Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Llightning fast!!!

I have so many computer towers in my hallway to repair for various software/hardware issues that if I get any more; I have to walk on top of them to get to my bedroom. For those who do not know this, I repair computers and I reopened for business last week. I spent a better part of the second half of last week and all weekend doing diagnostics. Since I am a walking computer, I might as well surround myself with them. I am one amongst the circuitry!

Moreover, the question of how my little chip in the left ear doing? It is doing fan-flippin-tastic! I hear so much more with the CI then my hearing aid. It has exceeded my expectations. I refuse to call it my right ear my good ear anymore because it sounds ghastly! Last night I removed the CI and plopped the hearing aid in. I sounded bizarre and I could not hear the TV or my dog walking on the floor. My immediate thought was “I have been missing so much.” Shortly thereafter, I put the CI on again and all was right as rain. Although I prefer when I wear both, it gives me a more balanced sound.

Sounds that were loud to me last week are now soft. I had a horrible time last Wednesday trying to adjust to the beloved air conditioner that is located right above my sunny little cubicle. I did not know what was worse, the static from the radio that was located behind me or the air conditioner. I was not a happy Abbie. However, arriving at my sunny little cubicle on Thursday, the atrocious noise from the air conditioner gotten softer and I was able to pick up little things from the radio again. My frown turned upside down.

I did have a great moment last week at the library. I went over to get this book called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell to read along with the audio book. As I was rapidly scanning the Dewey Decimal numbers, I heard something that sounded like:

“Fleas ga to turkination usk” Hmm, I totally understood that. Then
it said it again.
“Pease ga to circulation desk.” Say what?! It
said it a third time
“Please go to the circulation desk.” Are you
KIDDING me?! I just heard over a loudspeaker for the first time in my LIFE!
I used the phone today to call a computer to give me a confirmation number. I understood it! I am miles from understanding speech though. I still need to read lips or I am a lost cause. The tinkling sound when someone talks is dissipating in the background. Although, last night I was reading my Blink book and I stopped to watch TV. This one man started talking and for some reason, I was picking up an accent. I asked my mom if he had an accent, and she goes “Yes dear.” I happily nodded. Then I asked her if it was an Irish accent, and she goes “Yes dear.” I chuckled to myself.

Random sounds that I am hearing: acorn hitting my roof, my keyboard sounds like a keyboard, mouse-clicking sounds like mouse clicking, music is sounding prettier every day, water has a melody to it, crickets (unfortunately but fortunately I only hear them with my music program with the IDR of 80), cars pulling in to the parking lot next to my sunny little cubicle, my puppy Bella low growl when she is guarding the window, and the friggen air conditioner.

There are things that need some adjusting. It is a well-known fact that humans crave affection. One sign of affection is the mere ability to wrap your arms around someone and give them a hearty squeeze. The universal sign of love is hugging. People do it. Pets do it! Hell, they even have a national hugging day (January 21!) I love to hug but I have to learn how to hug without the gosh darn contraption flying off. One incident, I got a hug and then all of the sudden my bionic ear fell to the floor. Yeah, that was awkward. Another incident, I gave a hug to someone and when I started to let go, my bionic ear went flying off. Due to my lightening fast reflexes, I caught it mid air. Is there a secret to this or something? With my hearing aid, I cocked my head at 90 degrees to avoid the horrendous hearing aid whistle. Now what do I have to do with my CI? Purchase a snazzy pair of earmuffs to give someone a hug?

Another adjustment that I have made involves the sink or basin depending on what part of the world you are from. Now when I first got my CI, I had a bad omen of something happening over a sink. When you get that unsettling feeling of something not quite right, this is your subconscious telling you and you need to listen to it. Since I cannot avoid using the sink because I wash my hands all the time, I have opted to be extra special careful. I am going to tell you why. Saturday afternoon, I managed to climb over a couple computer towers to get to the bathroom to wash my hands after cleaning a couple computers. You can always tell when the computer has been in a smoking house. It is disgusting. I’m going to town on my hands, lathering those babies up, water is running a gallon a minute, and I start to rinse my hands off. I feel a slip. Well, thank goodness for my lightening fast reflex because I managed to catch it before it went fishing in my sink. Since that episode, I now stand a good three feet away from the perimeter of the sink. Of course, my mother was just heart broken to hear that I have terminated my imaginary chore of washing the dishes. There is no way that my CI is going scuba diving.

The sense of normalcy is beginning to settle.


Jennifer said...

Abbie...I'm delighted to have an update...and this one sounds terrific! You're doing SO well...I'm thrilled for you!!! I lost my processor a good bit the first few weeks...and told my husband that as a result I could no longer clean toilets (sad to say ;)). However, after a lot of practice, here's what I've learned: I wear the SlimCell batteries only (the bigger ones are too heavy and the processor gets overbalanced) and I ALWAYS wear the T-mic. I have my T-mic curved so that it goes into my ear...I literally just about have to screw it on, but it does not fall off unless I get a particularly vigorous hug (and I'm a hugger too, so I have to be careful!!) Try it sometime and see if it works for you. The T-mics are fairly flexible and you can bend them to fit you better!
Keep the updates coming...it sounds like you are enjoying hearing your new life!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jennifer, I also always wear the t-mic and it is curved. I like the slimcell batteries better as well.

The hugging has been the hardest. I can't figure out how to hug with two bionic ears on. Most of the time the magnets come flying off.

Oh, I was looking for t-shirts and trying to find something that fits the "new" me. I found one at http://www.zazzle.com/pd/find/qs-cochlear%20implants I want to get the one that said "got magnets." Also cafepress.com has some. My husband wants a shirt that said "can you hear me now" and mine that said "duh."

Well enjoy all the wonderful sounds. I am so excited about hearing about it.


Anonymous said...


I enjoyed this update and am glad that you're doing well.

Huh about the hugging and having the bionic ear fly off. I wonder if those of us who wear/wore hearing aids condition ourselves to tilt our head just prior to a hug? For example, my better ear used to be my right ear. I might try to tilt my head to the right so the other hugger's head would end up on the left side of my head. Sometimes I didn't wear a hearing aid in my left ear or had it turned off/low then. Like you, I now have a CI in my left ear and was recently activated.

Enjoy your progress with the CI! :-)

Loreene (from hearingjourney.com)