Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's been less than 2 months since activation and up until my last map, which I had on December 9, I was doing well with my implant but I was still struggling with comprehending about 40% of what was coming thru, especially since everything still sounded very chipmunk-like. So at my mapping appointment I complained a little about the chipmunk voices and how words seemed to run together, making it difficult to understand word for word what someone was saying. So with that my audi lowered one of the tones or something, I'm not really sure.. but as soon as he started talking I noticed immediately that his voice sounded deeper and more realistic.. human I should say. It's utterly fantastic. I can hear about 99% of what's coming thru. He also added a program for the phone this time and when I got home I called my sister.. I heard everything she said! Sure, she sounded a little different, but I understood her! Also music sounds MUCH better now..
I also wanted to add that at my mapping appointment my audiogram showed 20-25db across the board. Then I visited with the speech therapist to find out how well I was hearing certain sounds, like s, sh, c, t, etc.. and I scored 100% with the implanted ear but only 50% with my other hearing aided ear.

I don't know how I lived without this! Oh wait, I wasn't living. I was holed up at home avoiding the world. I'm still getting used to being able to hear again and learning to relax when around other people. I'm still not very confident and I get shaky..I imagine it will take some time but I'm getting better.
The very best incentive to having this done is my kids. After all these years of frustrating communication problems, especially with my daughter, I am finally able to hear them and hear them well. My daughter and I both noticed a few weeks ago that I didn't ask her to repeat herself once. Already, communication problems I've had with them are a thing of the past. Then yesterday at a family gathering they all were amazed at how well I was picking up on the conversation. We were laughing and joking about it. I won't lie, I had a hard time hearing everyone at the same time and they can get pretty loud and confusing with everyone talking at the same time! But it was great all the same and I was able to keep up with them for the most part.

The other day I was feeling brave so I finally completed the community college registration and financial aid stuff that I've been putting off. One side of me is scared that it will be another humiliating experience.. but the other side says it's time to stop being scared and start living again. So that's what I'm going to do.. starting January 12 I am going to begin another chapter in my life.

Thanks for reading... and big hugs to my fellow cochlear implantees! What an amazing journey we've been thru and if it wasn't for you guys I would've never had the guts to have this done!
Much love and thanks to you guys!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First MAP

I had my first real map today since being activated last week and I'm just amazed with this thing! At first I was slightly disappointed. It sounded very high pitched, metallic and garbled, but after 2 or 3 days I started understanding some words coming thru and that was so cool!
It is going to take some time and effort but I already know that this is going to help me tremendously. I've been doing some listening exercises on the internet and it seems to help a lot. I wear a hearing aid in my left ear but I turn it off for a few hours a day so I can concentrate on the implanted ear.

I forgot to ask for a copy of my audiogram but I was in the mild-moderate loss range. I got 100% on the words that my audi read (NO lipreading), but the sentences weren't as good, I scored 38%. I did terrible on the words read from the recording, but I was close on quite a few(duck, dock.. cab, cat, etc). But hey, it's only been a week and the test was before the new map so I'm very happy with my progress so far!

The new map is slightly better, it's not so high pitched. My audi also put 4 programs in... 1 is for everyday, 2 is for backround noise, 3 is focus and 4 is for music. I can't say they sound very different yet. My only complaint is that voices still sound chipmunk-like and sort of distorted but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I can't wait for next week!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


This morning I went for my activation appointment. Weird is the only way I can describe it. It almost sounds like tinnitus, very tin sounding. The only way I can really make something out is if it has some sort of a rhythm. My audi says this is normal, that my brain needs to adjust to the sounds coming in. Of course I already knew this, but I somehow thought I would be able to comprehend sounds right way. It's going to take some work.
They gave me this huge box of stuff that goes with it. Inside is a journal, a dry-store box, lots of batteries, etc. They also gave me a back up processor, which was especially nice.

Next week I go for another mapping, hopefully my brain will adjust a little more by then.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sorry it took me so long to post this. The first couple of days after surgery I was in pain and couldn't move off the couch!
I had surgery at about 9:30 am on Thursday, October 16. Dr. Weber said everything went according to plan and was successful. Surgery lasted about 2-2 1/2 hours. I felt pretty good after I woke up and went home within an hour. However later that evening I started feeling it, lol.
For 2 days I couldn't keep anything down and the pain pills - Tylenol 3 - only made me sicker, so I didn't take very many of them, mostly just motrin every couple hours. My head was killing me! I'm a wimp when it comes to pain but I usually bounce back pretty quick and that was the case with the implant surgery. After the 3rd day I didn't need the motrin anymore but I'm still a little woozy. It's getting better, though.
It really wasn't that bad!
My activation date is October 30th, only 9 more days!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Surgery date

Just got a call from my doctor's office. He had a cancellation for Thursday so I'm scheduled in!
Ahhhh, I'm so nervous and excited!!! I can't believe it's happening so quickly!

Please say a prayer for me and wish me luck!! :-)

Monday, October 6, 2008


Darnit! No surgery date yet! I went to my appointment on October 1st and all went well. I was told that all my tests came back normal and that I'm a good candidate. They submitted all the paperwork to Medicaid and as soon as it's approved they will be calling me to schedule pre-op and surgery. I am a little disappointed though, since I don't have an exact date yet, but Dr. Scott reassured me saying that Medicaid approves it rather quickly and it should only be a couple of weeks!

I was really stuck on which implant to go with but in the end I decided on Cochlear Nucleus. It was a bit smaller than the AB and I liked that it had more programs and the battery options. I went with beige/flesh colored, even though I was really digging the grayish/blue one, I knew it wouldn't look good with my orange hair! Speaking of hair, after seeing all these pics of half shaved heads, I started to ask Dr. Weber not to take much off. I was really, really shocked when he told me that he won't be shaving ANY off! Wow!
I felt like I was dancing on cloud nine walking out of there! :-)

So for now, I'm excited, a bit nervous and patiently waiting!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

YES!! I'm in!!

I went for my appointment today with my CI Audi, Dr. Michael Scott, and a student who performed my evaluation. This time I was tested with my hearing aid in and they also put an aid in my deaf, right ear but I couldn't hear anything out of it. This one was particularly nerve wracking since I had to repeat sentences. I could only "guess" half of them, at most, and I started having my usual panic attack.
But the good part was after the test when they told me that I am definitely a candidate!! I'm so THRILLED! Another shocker was that I've been reading it takes 4 weeks after surgery before activation, Dr. Scott said not anymore, it takes only 2 weeks! Cool!!
Also, my MRI came back normal, no brain tumors, whew.

I wasn't sure which implant device to go with so I was given a huge packet with lots of info for the Nucleus Freedom, Med El and Advanced Bionics Harmony. They all seem so amazing that it's going to be a tough decision! There's also tons of info about how it all works, including a cool DVD explaining how sound travels normally and with the implant, etc.

My next appointment is on October 1, and I'll see both Dr. Weber and Dr. Scott. Looks like we'll be scheduling surgery from there, I think, I hope. :-)

Everyone there is so nice and helpful, I feel so lucky to have these people 'hear' for me!