Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Switch-on or Activation Day

Monday 7th April....

Firstly, I actually got used to hearing with absolutely no sound. I thought it would be extremely difficult - but found it much easier than I thought I would. I am obviously a better lipreader than I thought I was.

There were a few times I got lost - but not many. I didn't miss sound per se - but I hated the symphony orchestra that no sound gave me - those musical hallucinations. But, if anything, this 3 week period has made me much more comfortable with my degree of hearing loss and not so panicky, so if (heaven forbid), anything happened to this implant then I know I can cope whatever is thrown my way.

Anyway - I got switched on this morning and thought you might like to hear the results. Right now my two cats are having a lovely big catfight, and I actually heard it, although it was very 'quiet'. (They're fighting over a small patch of sun). Traffic sounds like running water. Voices sound like chipmunks. My keyboard typing sounds 'flat'. Driving home from Greenlane I could hear the click when I turned the indicator on in my car, but I couldn't hear the indicators. By the time I got home (25 mins), I was starting to hear the indicators as well, so sounds are starting to filter through. I can hear the traffic going past my house - at least that's what I think it is. Even with my old implant I never heard that, but whether that was because I was able to 'filter' it out I'm not sure.

Sound is not nearly loud enough now, but I knew that before I left Greenlane but was too tired to do anything about it. Will start afresh at tomorrow's appointment. (I'm still not 100% from my hospital visit - legs still feel like they're going to collapse under me and I feel nauseous pretty much all the time. But I am eating and drinking.)

I'm still getting a bit of pain from the wound site. It's looking good except for the bit down behind the ear - it's still quite swollen and that's where the pain is largely coming from. It was nearly gone - but it has come back today from wearing the processor. If it's still there tomorrow I will get it checked out. Ellen (Audiologist) has put the processor on my other ear with a long cord on the magnet going round the back of my head. This is more comfortable for now, but it did confuse me when I tried to hear on my cellphone and wondered why I couldn't hear ANYTHING at all. We (my daughter and I) had it up to the implanted ear, but not up to the implant on the other ear. I am BLONDE you know!!! Very tired too!

The first several electrodes don't make any sense like the others. Instead of going do-re me-fa like all the others - they are all over the show. They're the much important low tones so I suspect over time they'll improve (I hope so anyway) - but right now - all men do not sound like men. Some do, but most don't. Jeremy (audiologist) has been accused of sounding like a woman once before by me, so I guess he won't want to talk to me right now!

Within seconds of switch on I was able to hear an open set sentence without lipreading so that's extremely positive and encouraging. Gone are those horrible sensations I was getting from the old N22 as it 'failed' or 'stopped working' or 'whatever it did', so I'm pleased about that. Initial word testing that they do upon switch-on I got 100% on all of them. Open set sentences I 'failed' at 15/36. (I'm really hard on myself - anything less than 98% is a failure for me!!!) Gayle and Ellen (audiologists) assure me that 15/36 on the first day is good. I remain skeptical - it would be interesting to see how I faired on my first day 15 years ago, except I don't think any testing was done back then - it was switch-on, here's the box of goodies - goodbye - happy hearing!!! I didn't see anyone for a month after that!

I do remember that at my initial switch on 15 years ago I only heard one word without lipreading, and that was the word 'interesting' I forgot to ask Ellen and Gayle to test me on that word today.

So it's a positive start, and one that I hope improves by tomorrow, I mean - over time!!

Here's some photos of the event...

Ellen - my lovely audiologist.


Listening for just hearing threshold. It's really hard to do, as sometimes you're not sure if it's tinnitus you're hearing, or if you really are hearing those two beeps you are supposed to hear. I 'think' I can hear this!


This is my map at the start. The left bit which is higher is where I've heard the beeps at that level - the lower right hand side hasn't been done yet.


Dad & Delphine came to see what the process was all about.


After listening to all the just hearing thresholds, we are now setting the comfort levels - around the medium sound level. The area between the red and the green is the band that in which I have sounds, or the dynamic range.


Just before activation or Go Live. I think my nerves are shot!


Looking more relaxed now - I can hear, even though it does sound like The Chipmunks!


This is what my final map looked like on the first day.


My lovely daughter Anne. She was taking the photos on the day, but then decided she had to be included too, so took this one of herself. For her efforts, I'm including this one in the blog

That's it. Now I'm just off for my second mapping. I'm taking the camera again....

Oh - and I heard myself eating breakfast this morning - a new sound, and my keyboard is a little louder also. I'll update you on my 2nd mapping later :)

4 comments:

mysticwit said...

Sounds like progress.

And you have a lovely daughter. :D

I hope things keep improving.

Abbie said...

Wow!! This is amazing! I'm so happy that it works and you can hear!!!

How does water and paper sound to you?

Bron said...

Cool photos.

You will have to change your blog profile now. It is out of date!

Liz said...

Love your photos. I'll have to bring someone with me when I get activated in my second implant--how fun to have a visual record!

And I have to say by the time I got to the end of your First Day story, I was almost in tears. I am SO happy for you! So glad this is working out, that you have sound again, that you can discriminate words and sentences--totally AWESOME!