Re Xmas 2009 
Monday, 28 December, 2009, 04:29 AM
On Christmas Eve we went to feed the parrots at O'Rilley's. I was surprised that I could hear them making different sounds. I could also hear their wings as they took off or landed or flew by.

We also walked through the wet bush and I could hear insets and birds calling and the occasional frog. As we walked over the bridge to get to the tree house I could hear the wire bridge and the wooden planks creaking.

Today I found I was not only hearing sounds but also I was able to identify them. (Sometimes I find I hear a lot but I donít always know what I am hearing)

So sounds I identified were:
The dog drinking water
Wind chime from across the other end of the garden
Cicada's making a racket
Frogs and toads croaking
Insets buzzing
The cat meowing

I feel more connected to everyone these days, I hear whole sentences and if I chose to, I can be part of the conversation. Timing can be difficult as I am not always quick enough to have my say as I find I interrupt people / or I try and contribute but the conversation has moved on.

Another thing I have noticed this year is that I am hearing much better on the phone. I find I tend to hear the name of the person or I can identify them by the sound of their voice most of the time. I also have found that I am able to hear my partner James on the mobile in noisy places as long as he keeps his sentences short which is very handy.

It has only been a year since I had the second Cochlear Implant but I have noticed such a difference. I no longer have to hold myself sideways so that I catch sounds. I pretty much able to sit anywhere round a table (although old habits die hard and I prefer to have my back to the light so I can lip-read easily Ė I do find that I tend to lip-read more in noisy places and it is useful to do so.)

Soon Cochlear will be bringing out a new type of processor. It is thinner, shorter and uses two batteries, which can be re-charged. It appears to have abilities to have settings / programs which could be useful. I plan to give it a try when the test model comes out. I am thinking of buying it maybe in a year time to give Cochlear a chance to iron out any design flaws. It took them about three to six months to iron out the design flaws in the Freedom Processor i.e. cracked battery packs, rubber coming off the battery pack, split coils that needed regular replacing. I was fortunate as I was in the UK so they just kept replacing the entire processor. I understand that the damaged part would be replaced under warranty in Australia.

So all in all a very good year as a bilateral cochlear impantee.

All the very best to everyone for the New Year 2010!


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re first year review 
Tuesday, 8 December, 2009, 02:54 AM
Today I had my first year review. It seems impossible that the second implant is a year old today! It did me proud and scored 100% in the hearing tests with two processors in.

It got about 97% with noise and about 93% words, and 70 something with words with noise. This is about 2-5% better than three months ago as I got 100% then as well.

I told someone the other day that I had my 1st processor about 3 years ago, a quick check actually shows I had it 4.5 years ago! Time flys it just does not seem possible.

All up I am happy with two, I think I hear better and using the phone feels easier.

There is a new processor coming out so I will be back to tell you more about that soon

Happy christmas!


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re everything is so loud 
Monday, 18 May, 2009, 05:56 AM
I had to turn the volume settings down today. People's foot steps were driving me nuts. Paper makes such loud sounds.

On the plus side, I have noticed that I can really hear the words of lyrics on my ipod now, were previously I was not able to follow the song.

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RE whistling 
Wednesday, 18 March, 2009, 05:55 AM
I heard someone whistle today, I never realised how tuneful it could sound

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re ipod 
Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, 04:59 AM
I listen to my ipod most days on the train. Being able to hear instruments has been pretty amazing for me. I cant get over how different they all sound. I really like the song called "feel like making love" its got some great sounds and brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. it gets better every time I listen to it.

The song called "We are Australian" is also great to listen to.

I just need to get the following songs:

something stupid,
killing me softley
cant live if living is without you
I was only 18
everything I do, I do it for you
think twice

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RE I went to a night market 
Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, 06:17 AM
This evening I was invited to a night market by a friend from work. Two of her friends who I have never met also joined us. Normally when I am sat in the back of the car, I only get so much of the conversation. With two processors however, I felt I pretty much got it all. I started to realise that I could ask questions, I could contribute to a conversation that was going on that I had not started or lead. It was so amazing. Throught the evening I asked questions and heard the answers so often. Later on it got busier and loud and I think I was hearing much better than the others because I had the advantage of lipreading as well as listening. I may have confused my friend as she repeated a conversation for me she thought I had not heard. When in fact I had heard every word correct - but thought the topic of the conversation (salary sacrifice) was a confusing thing - not that I was confused. I notised that I had to speak loudly - but I did not really need anyone else to speak up as I could hear them quite well and lipread them even better. Aint life grand!

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re my very first head phones 
Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, 06:08 AM
My OH brought me headphones (suitable for hearing aids and processors) they have hooks, rather than the plugs you put in the ear.

I do not have anything to plug it into yet! So we plugged it into my OH's ipod and I could hear the music and some of the lyrics really well. If I got stuck or lost I could pull up the written lyrics which is so cool!

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re phone woes 
Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, 06:22 AM
I had a really strange experience today. I called a family in the morning and heard her fine. i called her in the afternoon and could not hear her at all! I think sometimes it depends on where they are when I call them which is always a pain with mobiles.

On a brighter note I called another family and heard her perfectly. It always seems to be much easier when they are not walking around or in a noisy enviroment.

That said I occassionly call a landline and can hardly hear at all. I put it down to the quslity of the phone - it can be very hit and miss.

I had the setting changed on my left processor - it now has a program where I do not have to press two buttons to get the loop working (just one click) and this makes it much easier to change when I need the phone. I am going to ask for it to be changed again so there is only two programs normal (1) and loop (2) that way when I click it three times it will go back to program 1 and there will be no need fo me to press another button to get the Tloop off. Role on 3rd map (20th)

I have recivced a application from VicRoads that require me to fill in a form about my medical health. I am hoping that this will not be a 12 month thing because my health has not changed since last time. If its every 12 months then that is a real pain (discrimination discrimination!) In the UK I only had to do it once, I had to agree to keep up my medical appointments (once a year) and if I could not prove that I was doing this then I would be disqualified which I thought was fair as there was no way I would miss an appointment because it tells you that the pacemaker programe is still fine and the battery life is as it should be. Ah well.

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My first iPod 
Thursday, 8 January, 2009, 06:09 AM
Today was my birthday, and I recived an ipod from my OH. It was so amazing to be able to flick through the songs and pull up the lyrics. For some of the song I could follow it, but ever so often I would get lost when the music over powered the lyrics. Its so great to be able to just go to the written lyrics for back up. I played it the whole way to work while on the tram. I have never felt so alive, and so real. There were times when the music sounded so wonderful that I wanted to burst into tears. Later that day I felt really overwhlemd, almost depressed and emotional, I felt like I could burst into tears at any moment. I just could not figure out why I was feeling this way. Then I remembered how I felt listening to my iPod and realised it was not really depression I was feeling, just a sense of being so overwhelmed and raw. I kinda understand where hearing people are comming from when they say they would not be without their music. It can be inspiring to listen to music that is so beautiful and so uplifting. It can change or alter ones emotions. Yet at the end of the day I know my life will not end if I am without it, although it would be a struggle and yes I would miss the sounds I have gained. Its not something I take for granted, I know hearing is not a god given right. At least there are still options open to me if the worst ever happened. I sure am enjoying every sound, even now as if it is for the first time.

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re so much has happend 
Monday, 5 January, 2009, 06:02 AM
Ah so much has happend and it got so busy!

Any way, I was waiting for it to be switched on and... nothing....and I waited and waited and waited. Then the audio tech realised that she neeeded to change a setting, but did not let me know this. So I started to worry that it was not working! Eventially it was already to go and it was switched on..... And the audio asked "how is it for you" and I HEARD EVERY WORD!!!!!! YAY.

Later that evening my OH and I tested it and we found that on its own with my eyes closed I could not pick out single words. However, with it turned on with the left one, I found it much easier.

Two weeks later we did the same test and I could hear every random word he said. We tried two words, then three then whole paragraphs and I was fine!

About two-three weeks in, I went for a coffee at work and found that I could not only keep up with the conversation I could also hear the accent fine too. The background noise was loud for me, but it did not over power the speech sounds which was so amazing.




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RE Switch on! 
Monday, 22 December, 2008, 07:19 PM
Today was my switch on day. I was really nervous! My partner came with me. First we checked all 22 electrodes worked, (they do) then I had to say when I heard a beep. Then I had to check each three sounded balanced. Then I had to set the sound to go up as far as it was comfortable to do so. Then it was switched on...........to be continued

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re realiseation 
Sunday, 21 December, 2008, 12:58 AM
All my life I have wondered why people stare at me. When I was younger I thought I must have been really ugly or my forehead was too big. Some people would even look back as they walked pass. I have since found out that it was more likly that they were wondering why I was making such a loud squealing sound. It never occured to me that it surprised people when the hearing aid gave out feedback. Had I realised sooner I think I would have been a much more confident child and teen growing up.

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RE it hurts 
Thursday, 11 December, 2008, 02:45 AM
I have never slept so poorly as I did last night! There was just no way to get comfy.

The top of my ear, the side of my face, and the inside of my ear is numb, but my tongue is fine.

I took the band aid off today as it was bugging the hell out of me, its all sticky and horrible. I was a bit surprised to see that the wound is held together by glue.

On comparing photos of the second implant and the first, it was clear that the bruising is less, the scar is smaller and closer to the side of my head. I did not really feel up to taking many photos but I will try and take some more every few days from now on.

Should be back at work by Tuesday 16th all being well.

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operation date 
Sunday, 7 December, 2008, 11:01 PM
I was a bit nervous once I left our flat. I think the thing that I knew was going to bother me most is that horrible taste that the anestetic always leaves when you first wake up and it stays there all day because you cant drink much. That and the pain I remember when I first woke, it seems to take a long time to get under control.

There was not much of a wait, I arrived at the hospital at 7am, and by 8.30 am I was on my way to the opperation theatre. It was a really cold part of the hospital so they layered me up in blankets. Blood pressure cuff, drip put in, heart monitor tabs popped on and I was just thinking wooor my head ...... and I was asleep.

Next thing I knew was waking up apporx 2 hours later in a lot of pain and shivering from the reaction of the anestetic which is normal for me.

They fluffed around with the blankets as they thought I was cold and I was like give me something for the pain it hurts. They took their time drip feeding it to me slowly, and it really hurt - like a drill inside my head.

There was a bandage wrapped round my head which was much too tight, my ear was meant to be numb with local - but it hurt due to the bandage being to tight. The nurses were under strict instuctions that the bandage could not be touched!

Later on I was sick, as I had not eaten since 7pm the previous night there was nothing to bring up. However I did bring up some blood which I took to be where the tube may have upset the lining in my throat. My lip was puffy so it must have been from the tube.

They had me on a drip but it did not seem to be working, and after a while I asked for something to stop me from feeling sick and they gave me a jab which sent me of to sleep which was nice.

The nurses kept disturbing me every 3 hours to take my blood pressure, but I was not in to much pain.

The next day Professor Briggs came to see me at 8am and put to band aids across the wound and said I could go. No medication to take which was a bit different from the last time.

Now I am home and I have brushed out all the idoine out of my hair (massive clump at the back was impossible to get out) my neck, upper back and side of my head is sore. The wound looks small and dry and I have not disturbed the band aid as its not bothering me at all - but I can't see it staying there for over a week. We shall see. I am due to have a post operative appointment for Monday 15th December and I still need to find out when it gets switched on.




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my referal ran out 
Sunday, 30 November, 2008, 10:59 PM
I have never heard of a referal running out but apparently here in Australia the referal only lasts 12 months. As I had to wait 12 months for my private health insurance to mature it ran out in the meantime. So I had to go back to my GP for another so that medicare would fund the costs!

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operation date 
Monday, 24 November, 2008, 10:57 PM
I got the paper work for the operation date. I now know that my surgon is going to be Professor Robert Briggs and the Anaesthestist will be Mr Tim Costello.

There are to be some out of pocket fees, and the anaesthetist may be on of them. The rest of the fees will be covered by Medicare and my private health care insurance.



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RE I have the paper work for the second implant 
Tuesday, 23 September, 2008, 10:51 PM
It is so exciting. I have the paper work for the second implant.

The total cost of the implant in Australia is $13,570 for the implant and $11, 500 for the processor. a total of $25,070.....

The bulk of the cost will be paid by my private health insurance and medicare.

The only thing I am confused about is the out of pocket expenses ofr the surgon, radiology some pharmacy costs and anaethestist.

Not all the CI surgeons charge a gap.Hopfully the gap fee will not be to much. Apparently I get to pick the surgon I want. I did say I wanted the one with the least amount of failures post op, plus any that have not had a accident and cut the face nerve would be an advantage.

At the end of October my insurance matures so the hospital will be in touch with them and then its a matter of waiting to see when the ball gets rolling.

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Re ear pain 
Friday, 27 June, 2008, 05:48 AM
I started to get a funny feeling in my ear over the weekend. By Monday the inside of my ear really hurt, by Tuesday I was at the GP complaining of a really sore ear.

By Thursday it was no better, in fact it was getting worst. I went back to the GP for stronger painkillers which were no help.

By Friday I was getting a bit worried that I could have a really bad infection on my implanted side and the last thing I want is for anything to impact on the implant, so I called the implant centre in Australia and they booked me in to see a consultant stright away. I could not belive how fast it was.

The consultant was very nice and checked my ears - only to tell me that she thought it was more likly the infection was caused by my wisdom teeth!

So it looks like I have a minor ear infection and a serious wisdom tooth infection. Which will explain why I was in so much pain.....

I think the medical care in Australia is truly amaining I really do. I got to see a dentist within a few hours and now I am waiting to see how much it is going to cost to have the wisdom tooth taken out. My private insurance has not matured yet so I am going to have to pay for it myself or find a public hospital to do it.


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RE its been approved!!! 
Tuesday, 4 March, 2008, 08:24 AM
At the clinical meeting yesterday the results were discussed and my
name will be placed on the waiting list for a right cochlear implant in December this year.

Wow!

See below the results of the hearing tests. In some ways I am shocked that I got 56 % with just lipreading.

In many ways I am please because it shows I still have the skill to be able to lipread like this.

Only 10 more months till Christmas!



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RE Ups and Downs 
Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 11:16 PM - Rambling things
There is something I just do not understand with implants. The ups and downs of good and poor hearing. Its a machine so it should be consistant right? Wrong!

So why is this....

Could it be my brain is tired?

Some times even the sounds, well sound different.

Before I had the implant my ears never popped. These days only the hearing aid side pops - which is odd. I had to ask James how does one unpop their ears? As I have never done it before.

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