Monday, January 14, 2008

Check Up, Cheerios, CapTel and Chalkboards.

The four “C’s”


Last Thursday I hightailed it over to the University of Pennsylvania to see my surgeon for my three-month check up to make sure I don’t have a runway implant floating around in my head. He said everything looks great and I have healed up quite nicely. I don’t know if I mentioned this at the time I had my surgery since I was under the influence of some pretty darn good prescription narcotics :) but my surgery took a little longer then normal because he had some issues threading all the electrode in. He said the possibility of an obstruction in the cochlea prevented him from going as deep as he normally does. Obviously, it is working for me so it is not an issue. I popped the question about getting my other ear done, going bilateral with implants. Cochlear implants that is. I would not have to go through all the tests that I went through with the first one but he warned me that dealing with the insurance company to pay for another one might be my battle this time. I just have to start the proceedings, which is another blog entirely.


For little such a little ring of whole grain goodness, it has a big crunch! I was talking to my friend who was snacking on dry Cheerios and the conversation went a little something like this.

“Abbie, (crunch) is Home Depot (crunch) or Lowes cheaper for (crunch) wallpaper?”

“I would say Lowes since Home Depot doesn’t carry wallpaper.” I said.

“(crunch) I thought they did. (crunch) Are you sure (crunch) they don’t?”

“Are you eating Cheerios?” I asked..

“What does that (crunch) have to do with Home Depot?” She crunched again!

“It doesn’t, but I can’t help but notice how loud the Cheerios are.”

“You can’t have any.” She pops a whole bunch in her mouth and proceeds to macerate them with her fangs.

“You know, Home Depot does carry wallpaper!” I smiled.

A few hours later, I get a nice text informing me that I’m a bleeping bleep for sending her on wild wallpaper chase.

My reply was: Cheerios! :)

Her reply: You bleep. Ahh, the love.

Captel Phones.

Deaf technology rocks my socks! My friend Joleen who lives right down the street from me showed me this nifty little gadget (by the way she is having her CI surgery on January 17, keeps you fingers crossed :) It is a phone for the deaf or hard of hearing with the biggest set of buttons that enables you to talk on the phone normally while reading almost real time captioning, word for word of what is being said on the other end of the phone. I was so amazed by the ease of how Joleen talked on the phone. She has the 2-Line Captel phone, one line is the regular house line and the second line is for the Captel operator. I requested to see if I could get one because I think this will really help me out at work. I hardly answer the phone because I have a hard time with understanding people on the phone. I remember when I first started working I had to learn how to use the phone, I answered phone call after call and I eventually got use to it. This is what I need to do now and this is the perfect thing to help me! The possibilities are endless!

Depending on what state you live in, you might be able to get it free. Here are the links to check it out

This site is to check out what your state has to offer as far as CapTel phones go (some states even free!)

Go check it out!! But after you read the rest of this post!


I had next to no clue what nails against the chalkboard sounds like but not anymore, I could never hear it. Most deaf people cannot hear it and I must say thank god for that because if what I heard today is anything close to that, I don't want to. I was always able to tell by the immediate cringe or the makeshift corking of the ear with the fingers while I sat happy as a clam twiddling my thumbs completely oblivious to the sound. My boss was pushing a baseboard heater across the floor and I am not sure what it came in contact with but it made one hell of a piercing sound that shuddered right throughout my entire body. I watched my boss stand there frozen in the famous “chalkboard” cringe. Ouchies. Word to the wise, metal on metal sounds are not the greatest sound in the world.

Heed my warning, keep a 100 yard distance from any welder!! It is just bound to sound no good!

PS: Good luck with your surgeries Sam, Amy, and Joleen! Ears are all sorts of crossed for you guys! :)


Kim said...

The "bad sounds" stories kinda scare me. I think I mentioned I qualified for the experimental hybrid? My ASL teacher got an CI and she's been talking about pain from an electrode going bad or something. I'm not sure because she tells the story in ASL. haha! She CAN speak, but she won't-- not when she's teaching. (sigh). I understand the ASL sign for pain, so I know she has had pain down the right side of her face from it. SCARY! I'm just freaking. I've always been a hospital wimp.

I know the feeling of horrible chalkboard noise because I have recruitment. I only recently learned that term, but it's the kind of painful noise that makes your head vibrate. I have good low tones. Apparently what happens is the nerves or the brain starts searching for good nerve outlets when it realizes it's not getting through to the deaf ones. In my case, the lows keep getting over stimulated-- over and over and over too much! It's like overload. Hard to describe. I HATE it.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I wonder if snap pop, crackle in the cereal bowl is sounding menacing to Li-Li!

Abbie, can you tell me what sound spinach makes to a CI wearer? Because anything green and leafy on her plate terrifies her to no end, and I'm sure it's a CI-thing. Maybe we can adjust her mapping to accommodate it :) .


Karen Putz said...

I have the Captel and I also use a videophone. I use the videophone for long conversations and the Captel for quick conversations. The lag time on the Captel doesn't work well for me on longer conversations.

deafcone said...


My surgeon had the same problem with the cochlea blocking entrance for the electrode. He had to cut 1/8th of the cochlea off to get the electrode down where he wanted it. The part he cut off was calcified any way so it's no big deal, according to him.

jim cone

Valerie said...

Welcome to the chalkboard club. I am so thankful that I only have white boards at my school. :) I do hear the scraping of the markers on the board.

I want a captel. It is free for Tennessee residents. I am going to get one.

I can't wait for you to get your surgery. Go bilatieral and never go back. There is a reason for two ears.

Cyborg Queen said...

Chalkboard sounds - I HATE that sound. In fact it sticks in my head all the time when i go NEAR the chalkboard. It sends creepy goosebumps up my spine.

CapTel - Hmm, I never really thought of that until you mentioned it...that would be perfect for me as well since we both speak fluently. It could make it easier for me to use instead of VP (sometimes I get interpreters that do not even understand my last's a 4 letter word damn it!) wishing luck to ur friends

Sam said...

(crunch) (crunch) (crunch) (crunch) (crunch) (crunch) (sccrreeeccchhhhhh) (sccrreeeeechhhh) (sccrreeeecchhhhhh)
Next time...tell your friend to go to Wally World for wallpaper!

Anonymous said...

Darn what Karen said, that CapTel has a bit of a lag. For some callers who actually speak in a relaxed pace this wouldn't be a problem, but way too many people out there talk as though they think they're competing in a contest. Still, I may have to try this. Thanks for posting about this, Abbie!

Anonymous said...

Just faxed in my CapTel app!

Abbie said...

kw: That doesn't sound good at all :( I have heard mixed stories about CI and the recruitment issues. The latest thing I am hearing about is the Middle Ear Implant from Envoy. That is suppose to have some promising results for people who have severe/moderate hearing loss. Too bad it isn't approved yet in the US of A. It is phase 2 of the FDA Trials though!

Li-Li mommy: You know, I think I am going to grab a box so I can hear the snap pop and crackle!

Funny you mention spinach because I eat raw spinach daily and it is a rather squeaky leafy vegetable :) I got a tip from this one mother who is a Vegan, she makes little pizzas with the veggies hidden :)

Jim: I wonder if something is growing in our cochleas that cause our hearing loss. I think we should donate the little buggers to science... after we are long gone.

Karen and Ruminator: I was in complete awe with it! I didn't think it was all that lagish, I was able to hear the person talking through the phone from where I was sitting and the difference was maybe a couple of seconds. I thought that was darn gone great! I'm getting the captel at work (yay!) and I faxed my application over as well last week. I can't wait to start talking on it again!

Kim said...

I met the criteria for the Cochlear hybrid, which is also in trials-- phase 3 will be starting sometime this year and I'm on a wait list.

I'm not going to go through with it. My low tones are really good and there's a 15% chance of losing them after surgery. Then there's my sinus/migraine issues. I'm just not sure I want to mess with my head when I already have so much head pain. I know the chances of developing head pain is small, but if someone is going to develop head pain, it would be me. I'll wait until it's approved. Maybe by that time they'll have my head figured out too.

I have a video phone I can't use because I'm barely able to sign, but I'm learning and they only just recently approved Captels in this state, so I've been thinking of getting one. Let me know what you think!