Thursday, May 14, 2009

Binaural HINT Scores.


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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.

Click here to make it bigger.

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. :)

Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention 2009

I will be attending the Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention 2009 on July 10 - 12, 2009 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, MA where none other Josh Swiller who is not only pretty easy on the eyes but the author of “The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa.”, will be the keynote speaker.

You can take a look at the 2007 convention pictures here. I have to say from looking at the pictures, this looks like it is going to be a fun group! Children, adults and workshops - oh my!

So what is this convention about, check out this snippet below.

Dear Families and Friends,

You are warmly invited to attend the Seventh Biennial Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention, to he held July 10-12, 2009 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA. On-line registration or registration forms will soon be available on this site. Call 1-800-582-3232 to reserve your room at the hotel, or on-line at

Nearly twelve years have passed since our first convention in Sturbridge, in 1997. In some ways, the convention is like a school reunion. Lounging around the pool or at a party in a guest room, we catch up with our friends’ changing lives: new jobs, or maybe retirement; children progressing through elementary, middle and high school, and on to college. And incidentally, how are you or your child doing with the implant? How nice to hear that things are going well!

The theme of the ’09 convention is “We Hear the World.” It is a natural evolution from the previous convention themes of “Raising the Bar,” “Enhancing Communication,” and “Technology Rocks!” In “Raising the Bar” we considered the new higher standards for classroom acoustics, the rising performance levels of cochlear implants and assistive listening devices. The theme “Enhancing Communication” reflected the many new technologies and approaches for facilitating communication access by adults and children in a wide range of situations. “Technology Rocks!” addressed the many exciting technologies and approaches that can unlock communication potential and make possible more complete and satisfying human communication in school, at work, in social settings with friends, and at home..

“We Hear the World” celebrates the many examples of cochlear implant users participating fully and independently in the world around them. The keynote speaker at our upcoming convention, Josh Swiller, will offer some thoughtful and humorous insights about hearing the world and being a part of the world. Josh spent two years living in a rural village in Zambia. That experience is recounted in his book, “The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa.” Josh has had a “ large variety of careers, including forest ranger in the California Redwoods, sheepskin slipper craftsman and salesman, Zen monk, raw food chef, journalist, and teacher. The title of Josh’s keynote address is “We Are the World.”

Hearing the world also implies that we listen with empathy and respond to needs that we learn about. Like everyone else, cochlear implant users experience passages in their lives. High school students leave home for college. College students enter the workforce. The generation born after WWII leaves the workforce for retirement, and many of those who received the earliest implants are now golden agers. New technologies and communication approaches can ease the transition to a more mature stage of life. At the convention we will explore these transitions to the next arena of life.

See you there!

Larry Orloff, Chairperson, President, MIC and Marilyn W. Neault, Ph.D., Co-Chairperson, Children’s Hospital Boston

So go ahead and download the registration forms here and I hope to see you there!