Thursday, April 17, 2008

Implant at 1 Week Post Switch-On

I should give you an update on my new ears.

On the Thursday after my switch-on - I was finding I was getting headaches from all the sounds, so emailed for an appointment to get tweaked again. I was also having problems with volume, had to keep turning it up several notches, and was worried that with the weekend coming, I might end up with too little sound. So on Friday afternoon, I made my way back to the clinic for another tweak. Things were still sounding very high pitched and I hated it. After redoing the map, the high pitches changed only a little, however I did get that important volume boost. Everthing still sounded high pitched, so Ellen tilted the map several times, to widen the dynamic range in the low frequencies and lower it in the high frequencies. It was good - it didn't solve the high frequencies completely, but it was beginning to get onto the right track. Here's a photo of the finished map that was done on Friday.

In the weekend, a friend of mine and I went for a walk in Cornwall park. It's a gorgeous park - particularly in autumn with all the leaves changing colour and falling everywhere. I heard the dry leaves blowing down the road, lovely sound. I heard and recognised sheep calling. I heard a Tui sing in the tree - but I had to ask Bronni what it was as I didn't recognise it. Even when she did tell me - it still didn't sound like a Tui. I heard another sound, and bronni told me it was a cricket. I didn't recognise that either. It was a most enjoyable walk but it was only at the end of the walk that I realised that it would have been much easier to hear my friend had I been walking on the OTHER side of her. Once again I had forgotten I was wearing the processor/microphone on the other ear while the surgical scar and ear heals. Another blonde moment obviously! I have so many of them - there's absolutely no hope for me!

On Sunday, my cousin Clare and her family from Sydney came to visit. Interestingly Clare was the closest to normal sound that I had heard so far. However the kids still sounded like robots, or Dr Who's Daleks. Chris wasn't too bad - but still far too high pitched for a man.

So on Monday - I had my one week post switch-on mapping. Ellen took Fridays map, untilted it, remapped the high frequencies, and we found the range in the high frequencies were widening. I'm wary of high frequencies. I hate them really. But Ellen tells me that I MUST get used to them, and the only way to do that is to practise listening to them, so I guess I have to live with it.

Monday's Final Map.

After the mapping, I went back with Gayle to test me on what I can hear again. They repeated the test I did on the day of my switch-on - the one without lipreading, that I scored 42% (15/36) on. This time I tested at.....


100% - unbelievable. I didn't think I would get 100% with this implant ever. I thought because it was a replacement implant, that I would never get back to where I was once with my old one.

Over the next few days, I've started answering the phone when it rings. My heart just about stops everytime I hear the phone jangle though. Then I go to myself - should I answer this or not? So far I've managed to understand everything, which is pretty amazing considering everyone sounds like they are breathing helium. I've even phoned and made several appointments which is also good. Today I heard a Tui and recognised it so I'm rapt about that. I'm hearing when the washing cycle ends on my machine, which reminds me to put the washing out, so I'm finally getting my clothes dry on the same day! I heard the jug switch off and the food splattering in the pan while I was in the lounge. So I guess I haven't got anything to complain about. I just wish people would stop breathing Helium all the time!

I now don't go back until the 5th May, unless things change dramatically and I need another tweak. But so far, the map seems to be fairly stable. I'm also getting 5 days battery use which is longer than I had with my old implant.

So all in all - I'm happy, albeit a bit impatient for it to start sounding more normal. Patience has never been a virtue of mine!! But I am assured that people will stop breathing helium!


mysticwit said...

You need to have someone tell you lots of off color jokes while they still sound like they're on helium. :)

kw said...

This is amazing!!! :-) I'm so excited for you. I can't believe your 100% score either! WOWOWOWOW!

Chris H said...

How neat that is all coming together ... and people will eventually sound 'normal' again for you.

Abbie said...

Oh High frequencies are SO much fun :) *rolling eyes* They damn near drove me batty :)

I am absolutely amazed at your 100% and all talking on the phone now! You are doing absolutely amazing!!

Anonymous said...

What a great Blog Robin. I love to read what you say. It is all so interesting and I love the way you word things. Good luck with the implant.
George (Capetown)

Bron said...

Damn it. Are you saying I have to give up the helium?!!!

Yeah, sorry for making you walk on the wrong side of me. I do that to everyone. Fun walk. We will have to do it again soon.

And it's very exciting news that you can hear all those little things again like the jug.