Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm going to be a Singer!!!

I have always loved music. As a child before they knew I was deaf, I used to have my head right up to the speaker of our old gramophone player and would listen and sing to anything I could get my hands on. Be it classical music, or children stories. At the age of 7 I was given a recorder and a music book. I taught myself to play this over a few days. I went on to learn piano, violen, clarinet and oboe. I joined choirs. I listened to the radio non-stop. Going deaf and losing my music bit by bit was one of the worst things to happen.

Despite my deafness, I still sang. I would sing around the house, I sing while I run or walk, I sing at the top of my voice on long trips in the car when I'm alone. I just love to sing.

As a young high school student, I still sang in choirs and I could still sing in tune, but as I got older and my hearing got worse, I knew I could no longer sing in tune. When you sing in tune, everything sounds good, and it's a really good feeling, but when you are out of tune, you can feel and hear the 'bandwidth', like a clash. I knew I was out of tune, but I couldn't do anything about it as my hearing was not good enough to figure out whether I needed to go up or down to make it right. I still didn't care - I sang anyway, particularly when I was alone, but I would never sing in public.

Even with my old implant, and my hearing was excellent, I was never able to sing in tune. We used to have singstar nights at home and I would try - but I could never get anywhere with those. Always out of tune!!

Anyway - on my way to my last mapping appointment last monday, I turned the radio on in the car. Couldn't hear anything interesting going on, so turned the tape deck on. A tape of all my old favourites was in there, and so I did what I usually did when I'm in the car alone, and turned the music up and sang.

But that morning it was different. It felt fantastic. I was singing in tune. Wheee - I can start my career off as a singer finally :)

(No one else in my family is enthusiastic about me being a singer - ungrateful sods!!)

My map has settled down nicely, virtually unchanged from 3 weeks ago, and all that was adjusted was the volume. Testing was fantastic too. I had improved heaps. I was tested using HINT (open set sentences without lipreading, that is - sentences where I have no idea what the subect is) in both quiet and in background noise. I was also tested with single words in quiet. Single words are by far the hardest.

One week post switch on my scores were... (April 2008 with new Freedom Implant)
90% HINT in quiet
58% HINT in background noise
29% CNC single words.
52% CNC with phenomes

Last monday at one month switch on my scores were....
98% HINT in quiet
62% in background noise
40% CNC words
67% with phenomes

So all up a big improvement. I'm still having loads of difficulty with background noise out in the real world, and I still have the midwestern twang. I think I need to go and live in Ohio or somewhere!

I was given another sound field audiogram. My hearing had 'improved' and in two frequencies I am now hearing at 20db. If they change the sound to pulsating noise, then my ability to hear goes up to 15db - incredible. I think the difference is that the pulsating sound means it is different to my tinnitus and easier to hear.

I'm off to listen to my ipod and sing to the top of my voice again while there is no one in the house. Hopefully the neighbours won't complain!



Abbie said...

It looks like you must go out to a Karaoke bar :)

Your progress is amazing Robyn! I am soooooo happy for you!

Bron said...

Cool, pleased you can sing now. I love singing but I've lost my voice so I won't be joining you! Must say your Kate Bush impersonation sounds pretty good! (and in tune too!)

Kim said...

Robyn, :-)
I love to sing too. I always sing especially while working. Can't help it. We be a singing duo in Philly.

Robyn said...

Hi Kim and Abbie - perhaps a karaoke bar is what we need to go to while in Philly??? LOL