Monday, September 24, 2007

Newly mapped and ready to roll!! :)

I am back from my second mapping and I need a little time to play with these before I give you the technicalities. I need to immerse myself in different environments before I give my update. I will say that my Comfort Threshold level has increased from 157 to 282! Right off the bat, I can say that I notice a decrease in the mysterious static noise that has been irking me. Here is a hint though, I am very pleased. :)

I wanted to answer some questions that were left as comments.

My operation for a CI is scheduled for dec 31, as long as I pass the testing phases in November. I have a question. Are you able to carry on a conversation with a person yet? When your Implant was activated were you able to make out what a person was saying to you right away or did it take time?

First off, I want to say congratulations on your surgery date! You are truly starting the new year off with the greatest resolution! :) Let me provide you with a little background information. The ear that I chose to be implanted is my worst ear and it has not been stimulated in over 15 years. I am a superior lip reader or speech reader, whatever term is politically correct for you. With 24 years experience under my belt, I can read lips with and without audio cues. I do not know sign language in the least little bit. Keeping that in mind, I was able to have a conversation right away. I used what little audio cues I got from the static noises and I read lips. In all honesty, if I did not possess lip reading skills, I would have been up a creek with a paddle.

When I was activated, I was not able to make out what my audiologist said. It sounded horrible. When they tell you to have your expectations low, go lower, but stay positive. Do not take those words lightly. I will say that in one week’s time coupled with today’s mapping session, I see a drastic improvement in what I hear. I can hear far more then I could have ever imagined in just one week. I will embellish a little more tomorrow when I get in to work and see how I do there. I want some proof positive to put in writing. :) Check back tomorrow night and I will have something for ya!

May I asked why you picked the Harmony? I am curious. I just found out I was a candidate on Friday and I wanted to know all the positive and negatives of each implant……..My doctor/audiologist prefers the Freedom. I think the Freedom comes with both rechargeable and disposable batteries. I need to double check!

I want to say congratulations to you for becoming a candidate! It is the non-stop researching that is the fun part of the candidacy process. The stories, support, and people are amazing. I started researching back in February when I went through a month and a half with out any hearing. I cannot even begin to tell you how many hours were logged. I started researching Cochlear Freedom and Advanced Bionics in the beginning because I did not care for the Med-El cosmetic look. Although, there is some Med-El users on forums that I am a member of that are very happy with their implant. No matter which company you pick, you will be happy with.

I chose Advanced Bionics for a number of reasons.

  1. Familiarity of Advanced Bionics is similar to the style and function of my hearing aid. It just felt right. It has three programs and a T-Coil that you can have activated with any one of your programs. It fits my lifestyle and my immediate needs. Advanced Bionics Harmony processor only uses rechargeable batteries. Cochlear does use both. I don’t mind relying on rechargeable batteries because as it stands now my life is surrounded by them. :) The customer support from is amazing.
  2. My audiologist made sure I was well aware of the problems that Advanced Bionics had in the past because of two recalls. I was also told that a majority of the implants that were done at the hospital were in fact, Cochlear Freedom. It is known that Cochlear has a large market of those implanted. Even though this was presented to me, Advanced Bionics is a company of humans and nothing perfect is made by humans. I checked with the FDA Maude database. This is the FDA database of reports regarding Medical Devices. When you visit the site, in the Brand Name field, you would enter Hires 90k for Advanced Bionics and for Cochlear, you would enter NUCLEUS 24. This will show a list that both companies each have their problems. I respected the fact that Advanced Bionics themselves issued the recalls. They followed up by taking the steps to rectify the situation. In my opinion, the reliability of a company that will put the needs of their clients first before profit is crucial in the capitalist world we live in.
  3. I felt that the technology is more advanced. They have the capability of 120 spectral bands, which means the ability to create up to 120 different pitches. They are the only one on the market that has this capability. I mentioned before I am a member of quite a few different forums and I have noticed a surge in those who have chosen Advanced Bionics. This site shows the comparison between all three brands, CI Comparison
  4. I wanted an implant that once I got it stuck in my head, I didn’t want to have to upgrade it every time a new version come out. Both companies provide this and backward compatibility. No worries there.

That is it in a nutshell. Please feel free to drop me comment or send me an email with any questions because I am more then happy to answer. If I can’t answer it, I can certainly find someone who can! :)

Now I am going to take my newly mapped self to bed. As I am typing this, my eyes are closed, so forgive me if my grammar is not perfect. I will edit it in the morning with both eyes open.

ps. sorry for the suspense!


deafcone said...


I was taught to read lips at age 7. I also don't know sign language. I rely totally on lip reading in a conversation. Sounds like I would have similar experience in initial stages after activation. I have one ear I haven't had an aid in in a loooong time, and the other I stopped wearing the body aid months ago as it wasn't helping any more. I've read every link on your site in researching other peoples experiences and I've visited several sites for deaf and hearing impaired. As far as expectations, my take on it is, worst case it can't get any worse than it already is hearing wise, so I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
thanks for the input and I'm looking forward to your remarks from your remapping.
thanks again

Abbie said...

Funny that you just said the worst case is that it can't get any worse than it already is, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. That was drilled in to me by every single person who has been implanted. This morning as I wipe the sand off my eyes, getting the cochlear implant is totally worth it! I've been keeping a written journal in addition to my snazzy blog here. When my hearing friends look at they realize what they take for granted, I am getting all happy about. To me, that is amazing progress! I will be counting the days down with you :)

Anonymous said...

Like both of you, I also have similar experiences. I am a lip reader. I have not had any training just I had to learn. My only hope from my cochlear implants were to have conversations with my 9 year old. It has gone beyond that. I am hearing sounds that I did not know happen - a rolling cart, dry markers on a board, whistles, fire alarms. Its a lot of work, but worth it. I wake up in the morning thankful for my implant and the ability to enjoy sounds.

Another note on Advanced Bionics! I had to fight my denials for bilateral for over a year. I felt that Advanced Bionics was the most helpful in answering all my questions on appeals, also Let Them Hear for handling all the appeals.

Here is the real comment - If you want cochlear implants to not be deaf or hard of hearing, then you will not be pleased. If you want cochlear implants to enhance your life with sound and willing to work hard, then you will enjoy it.


CDM said...

I liked your description of why you chose AB's Harmony. When the implant center in Denver told me of their recall issues, that got to me. But after posting on, I feel better about sticking with my Harmony decision whenever I get the implant. Harmony just appeals to me more than Freedom does, and I like what I've been hearing about the HiRes programming and such. And the color options, I want to be able to "play" with the look of the implant, changing colors every so often and all. :)