About three weeks ago, sounds from my implant began to sound fuzzy, robotic, and barely audible. This means that my brain has gotten use to the electrical output of the electrodes and in simple terms, needs more juice. I know a passing thought must be why don’t I just pump up the volume? I could pump up the volume but then my eye starts twitching at high frequency and hard sounds like SH, CH, S, and dogs barking (especially a certain Italian mastiff name Kane) Therefore, it forced me to keep the volume down so I could enjoy a twitch free day :)
In dire need of a mapping, I met my audiologist Jennifer and Advanced Bionic representative Tammy to see if we can resolve the silly little twitch of mine. They worked their mojo and it was resolved! I was using HiRes-P Fidelity 120 and they changed that to HiRes-S Fidelity 120 and widened the pulse width. HiRes-P was stimulating two electrodes at once, HiRes-S is stimulating one electrode at a time. What exactly does the pulse width do, beats me but I am going to figure it out! All I know that when they switched me over to HiRes-S, I whined that I sounded very digitalized. I had to laugh at myself. They changed my pulse width from 18 to 38 and that solved the digital voice issue. *clapping*
Another issue that could have been related to the twitch is that I had AGC (Auto Gain Control) turned off because I was not fond of hearing an ambulance or my cell phone and then having it cut off. AGC apparently applies a limit to the loudness coming through the processor. To troubleshoot whether this could be a cause, the dynamic duo gave me some homework. They loaded up one processor with AGC turned off and the other one with it turned on. It has been a couple days with AGC on and I notice a difference with sounds cutting off. Next week I will try the other processor with AGC off and report back.
I finally requested a telephone program to be put on my processor. Since I used telecoil on my hearing aid since I was a teeney bopper, I thought I would have it turned on. WRONG! I hated it. I think I had it turned on for all of three minutes before I asked to take it off and give me straight T-Mic. Poor Jennifer, I think she created about five programs for the telephone.
After I left the two girls, I went downstairs to wait for the valet get my car and I decided to call my mommy. Let me explain how the waiting room of the hospital is set up. Marble floors, glass windows, speaker phone blasting, escalator, vending machine down the hall, people coming and going and chatting about toilet paper being on upside down, not exactly a library. Not quite the ideal situation for me to try to make a phone call but this implant is a computer in my head so I am going to challenge the damn thing. I rang the lovely lady up and I heard everything she said, SHE had problems hearing me because it was so loud :)
I have had quite a few moments besides the unbelievable Daughtry concert. You know those moments of when people hear something and they start laughing? I am usually left out in the dark on these moments but I wasn’t this time. I heard my coworker’s cell phone ring who sits on my unimplanted side and to the back of me. I hear a click and her say “Recording!” which is how we answer the phones at work. I started laughing because I was able to figure out that answered her cell with our work greeting and that was something that I was never able to do before unless you were sitting right in front of me.
My next moment was that I was driving with my friend as a passenger on Saturday night. Anyone who is deaf will know this is not an ideal situation either. Normally in order to have a half-decent conversation, I have to turn my head towards them, which means my eyes are NOT on the road. Surprisingly, this does not bother my friends. I was actually watching where I was going, my friend was still gabbing away, and I realized that I heard what she was saying. I just let her keep talking to make sure I wasn’t fooling myself and hot damn, I heard her without turning my head! I have never been able to do that in the 10 years that I have had my license. That was an amazing accomplishment for me :)
This moment is not a CI moment but it has to do with the possibility of going bilateral. I was on my way to the hospital (both eyes on the road of course) listening to the radio and all of the sudden all I heard very little road noise. I thought something happened to my radio but it turned out to be my processor battery died. I replaced the battery and everything was right as rain. Technically, I should have heard at least some noise from the radio from my hearing aid and I got hardly anything. I should start to do some serious thinking about getting the other ear done. I will start looking into this next year, one ear a year :)
There is a couple CI surgeries and an activation that I would like to highlight. Jeff had an amazing activation yesterday! :) Stop by his blog and give the newest bionic man some praise. When I posted my activation video, it was only a visual for him. After his second mapping today, he was able to hear just about everything that my audiologist said. Jennifer continues to astound me with how well she is doing with Thing 2 as she calls it since she is a bilateral belle :) Geo had his surgery and is due for activation next week, I think he should move it up because quite frankly my electrodes are going to burst if I have to wait any longer! :)
Now I am off to find a WII, the wonderful WII of all!!!