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Without it, there isn't anything getting done around this blog here. But through the miraculous powers of the coffee plant, I was able to devise this rather inspiring little chart of all my HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) scores.
You will notice that my left ear before I was implanted was 0% across the board. This was an ear that has been unstimulated for over 15 years. I was pretty damn deaf in that ear. I can't argue with that. :)
The red column shows my progress with my left ear tested at one month post activation. I scored 44% in quiet. I was pretty elated to go from 0% to 44% in a matter of a month. I distinctly remember thinking that my brain was playing tricks on me because it was almost as though I had to learn to trust myself that I was hearing something correctly. As it would turn out, I was hearing it correctly half the time.
The lime green column is my left ear tested at five months post activation. It jumped up to 79% in quiet and 34% in quiet. I was practicing with an audiobook every single day for at least half hour to an hour. This was kind of at the point that my brain was sorting out speech in quiet and learning how to pick out what is important in noise. Baby steps!
The purple column is my left ear tested at one year. My score remained the same at 79% in quiet but my score in noise went up to an astonishing 73%. Since I scored so well with the first level of noise, my audiologist felt that I could handle the harder noise test and I scored 64%. I was downright impressed with my scores. Now, I was thinking that the benefit of a cochlear implant can really take up to a year especially on an ear that has been unstimulated for so long.
The dark blue column shows my left ear tested at one year and five months. I don't know whether I had a really good mapping at my one year appointment or my ear just blossomed but I scored 96% in quiet, 88% a little bit of noise and 84% with even more noise!
Now we are moving on to my right ear that has been stimulated all my life. the orange column shows my HINT scores when I was evaluated for a CI in May of 2007. I wish I could get my right ear tested before I had the surgery because I couldn't hear anything after I hit my head on the roller coaster. But in my total unprofessional opinion, when someone takes a loud speaker and talks to you about five feet away with a fully powered hearing aid in and you can't hear didly squat, I'm going to say my scores were next to nothing. Just saying.
The light blue column shows my right ear tested at one month post activation and it scored an AMAZING 85%! Now, it took over a year for my left ear to get up over 80%. Even with the first level of noise, I managed to hear 40%. That will get better as time goes on. Now I am totally giving credit to the substantiated claims that surgeons advice about implanting a better ear. They apparently know what they are talking about. :) It means that it is less stressful and the learning curve is much shorter. But you know me, I do nothing easy...
The mauve or dusty pink column shows them tested together. The results are nothing less them supremely impressive. I scored 97% in quiet, 85% a little bit of noise and 77% with more noise introduced.
I was so proud of the good job they did on the tests that I went right out and brought them a pair of earrings. :)