My little wind problem!!

April 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants, My Cochlear Implant choice, Speech | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s almost a year since my switch on and about 7 months since my last post.

I have learnt to adapt to my CI very well but I still have problems in group or noisy situations.  One of the problems I have recently solved seems so simple I wonder if anyone else with a CI has done the same?  The problem is WIND!  It is a problem that all CI users have and it is really annoying if you are outside on a breezy or windy day having a chat and you are constantly interupted by this gush of wind which completely kills off anything you might hear at that point.

More recently I have been doing a lot of cycling to train for a charity bike ride.  I find the wind when cycling really annoying and actually can be a safety problem as traffic noise is harder to hear.

Well, not one to sit back and take it I have been doing some research and it appears there is nothing on the market for AB CI users to stop this wind problem.  I cant quite believe it and I am happy if anyone can correct me on this.  I have therefore found my own solution and I have been testing it out.  Not to be too smug……….but it works brilliantly!!

It’s called a ‘windjammer’ and is a little sponge microphone cover that you see people on TV using on their lapel or tie microphones.  I contacted a local manufacturer and asked for their advice.  After sending the a picture of my CI they were able to recommend their smallest ‘windjammer’ for me to try.  It cost me about £10 for 5 of them and they work brilliantly!!

Now this solution will only work with Advanced Bionics CI’s as they are the only ones with a mic in the ear.  You also have to be 100% in the ear mic or you will still get some wind noise from the aux mic on the top of the unit.

Problem solved!!! 🙂

Roll on the summer and BBQ’s and more wind!!!

‘Ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’

June 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants | 9 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

So it’s been 4 days now since I got switched!  Here is a quick update on what’s been happening on the hearing front!!

The day after my switch on I had to carry on as normal so no real time to get used to the new noises.  In order to cope with that I have been wearing my hearing aid and CI at work and then when I get some time to myself just using the CI.  It seems to be working out quite well as when I wear both I suddenly go into stereo sound.  At first it wasn’t anything I could really make out but over the last few days the CI sounds have been getting just a little bit clearer and I am re-discovering sounds that I haven’t heard since I lost my hearing last year.

So what have I been hearing and knowing what the sounds are?

The list is quite long so I’ll just give you the best bits – footsteps, the kettle, the microwave, the toilet flush, water running from a tap, traffic noise, my mobile phone text alert, the land line dial tone, my cat purring and my Grandmothers carriage clock ticking!!!  That was the odd one.  I struggle to pick up louder sounds and then suddenly I can hear this ‘ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’ noise coming through my head!!  I didn’t belive it was the clock at first and thought something maybe wrong with my CI so I made sure nothing was on in the house to make any noise and went and stood next to the clock.  Sure enough…….’ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’!!   That ticking used to annoy the hell out of me when I could hear normally……….I love it now 🙂

What can I hear that I can’t quite understand?  This generally is anything that involves talking…….like the radio, the TV, the telephone etc.  I can hear them all now better than before but it is just noise at the moment.  I managed to ring my wife on the mobile phone and had a basic chat with her for a minute or so.  I could work out most of what she was saying but she was keeping it very simple……….’how are you?’ and  ‘what are you doing?’

I have also been plugging into my MP3 player.  Music is not as I quite remember but to go from nothing to something is great and gives me real hope that in a few months time I may be able to enjoy some tunes again!!

What’s next then?  Well, my volume on the CI has reduced so much everything seems to be a whisper at the moment.  This is normal apparently as you brain gets used to hearing again.  I have a second re-tuning appointment on Wednesday where I will get my volume turned up.  I can’t wait for that as everything should start to sound a bit clearer again.

Ha ha………as I’m sitting here typing this (I can hear me tapping the keys too!) I can hear it again!!!

‘Ticka ticka ticka ticka ticka’  🙂

More news after Wednesday.

The big ‘Switch On’ !

June 10, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Posted in BBC See Hear, Cochlear Implants, My Cochlear Implant choice | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today is my first full day as a fully fledged Cyborg.  It has been a long hard journey to get to this point today and I wish I could say that it is all smelling of roses right now………but I can’t……….not yet anyway!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very positive about the whole Cochlear Implant journey but today it feels like my hearing has taken a step backwards in some respects as well as a step forward in others.  For someone who has had normal hearing for most of my life it has been hard to keep my expectations in check.  No matter how hard you tell yourself not to expect much, you can’t help but have that secret hope buried deep down that suddenly everything will be normal again.  I’ve told so many people exactly that, that maybe I forgot somewhere down the line to tell myself!!

For those of you who don’t know, this is what happens at ‘switch on’.

Firstly you are attached with your external unit.  In my case I have the Advanced Bionics.  You sit there and are asked to listen for some beeps and to tell them to stop turning it up once the volume seems loud but comfortable.  They did this for all the 16 electrodes in my head.  I was pleased to say that I could hear them all.  Although it was the strangest sounding noise I have ever experienced.  I can only describe it as ‘controlled tinny robotic sounding tinnitus’.  Not horrible tinnitus but right inside the head where tinnitus seems to lurk none the less.

Then, once the levels have been set, the audiologist switches you on.  Sound immediately flowed into my right hand side in a very mechanical way.  Exactly what I had expected or what I thought I’d expected because this is something that, no matter how you describe it or read about it, you just cannot understand until it actually happens to you.  Someone I was talking to today compared it to child-birth!!  Before all you ladies start sending me evil messages it was only a comparison in the fact that you can never know what child-birth is like until you actually experience it for yourself!!  I for one will stick to the CI switch on thank you very much!!! 🙂

So.  What can I hear now?  Well, on activation I very quickly began to pick out voices.  Not very clearly and nothing I could really understand but voices none the less.  Everyone did and still does sound like they have been sucking on helium balloons before they speak!!! 

Voices are definitely the hardest to work out.  I can however hear random things like…..me typing this……..and the kettle and microwave.  I could hear the radio in the car a little and managed to work out a song that was playing.  You’re the one that I want……ooh……oooh……oooooh!! 🙂  Yes it was dodgy local radio but I haven’t been able to control the radio for a while!!  I’m looking forward to getting talksport back on soon!!!

I am strangely finding that I can pick out music better than expected.  I came straight home with my box of gadgets you get with the Implant and went straight for the MP3 player.  Plugged straight in and managed to make out Pink Floyd and Red Hot Chilli Peppers!!  That was only after 2 hours activation!!  I haven’t had the chance to try it again yet today but I’ve been told not to rush it as I don’t want to overload the old brain.

I have been back to work today and found I need to use my Hearing aid in the other ear to improve my communication.  Again, I have been told to try to use my CI with and without the HA so I am sat back at home now with just the CI.  I must admit though it is tempting to use both as suddenly I find I’m hearing in stereo for the first time in over 10 years!!!  I like that a lot!!!  Even though it is still mainly noise I’m hearing………at least it’s in stereo!! 🙂

Did I start this post sounding a bit negative??  Now I’ve just read what I have typed I realise that actually it has been a really positive switch on!!  See what writing a blog does for you!!  I am already finding that I want more volume but will have to wait until next Wednesday when I go back for a re-tuning session.  Patience Graham!!

Oh…….yeah……..I can hear the dial tone on the telephone!!  I rang my wife on it and could clearly hear that she said something…………no idea what………..but hey………..that was only after 4 hours switch on!!  See this is getting better by the minute!!

Right.  I’m waffling now so I’m gonna sign off with the best part of all.  I can hear my little robotic girls!!  They will sound more normal in time but hey ho………one step at a time!!! 🙂

Post operation news and count down to switch on!

May 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

Well it’s been nearly two weeks since my operation and I’m about to go back to work.  Since my last post I have been healing well and the innitial dizziness has subsided.  I have to say the pain has been minimal and the worst part for me has been the increase in my tinnitus.  The best way to describe the noise I had in my head was………when I could hear………….standing on a station platform and the noise you got as the train pulled in.  Loud and unpleasant.  Thankfully now that has gone and I am back to a reduced constant washing machine on spin cycle sound that, although annoying, is far more easy to tune out.

It’s now just 2 weeks to my switch on and I have come across a great little video which describes how the CI works.  I have done lots of research on the subject so I know exactly how it works but I find it quite hard to describe it to thers sometimes.  Have a look and see what you think.

HOW A COCHLEAR IMPLANT WORKS

Not much more to say now until my switch on.  I’m off to see if I can get any fridge magnets or bottle tops to stick to my head 🙂

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: