Day 8 
Friday, July 8, 2005, 04:20 PM
Cutting paper with a guillotine is a lovely sound!

Other suggestions to listen out for have been:

1) a sneeze

I can’t wait for James to sneeze (usually he does this quite often but his being quite today maybe I should use my feathers )

2) Rice crispy for breakfast, they really do make a sound.

I have put this on our shopping list along with the ice trays

3) blowing bubblegum and making it pop
4) crunching of apple when you bite into it

which is also on the shopping list (so exciting)

I can’t wait for firework night - I am going to pick the biggest display and be the one in the front

Yesterday I was jumping up and down with excitement because I heard salt as I poured it - the pepper mill sounds lovely too (battery powered !!!! (James likes things like that)

I really do love the frizz that coke sounds like and I am looking forward to James buying a can so I can open it and see what that sounds like too.

I don’t like the sound of James cooking scrabbled eggs! Metal on metal takes a bit of getting used too!

I like the sound of oil getting hot tho

I can hear my roller mouse !!

I can’t wait for Thunder and lightening and really hard rain

I can’t wait for a BBQ that’s going to sound ace.... oooo makes me shiver to think of it all

We are going out for dinner tonight and I am so excited! I have an adapter to try out which is a microphone that plugs in and lets me hear just a meter (or less ) of sound on the T switch.... It means there will be a length of wire going from my processor to James over the table but I don’t let little things like that put me off

I honestly do not remember hearing when I was younger... I remember confusing and a muffled world where people got cross with me for getting things wrong!

My CI is 100% clearer than any HA, I can hear each sound, or groups of sounds. I no longer have to strain to hear speech over a massive racket of noises which I would never call sounds.

I can hear the quietest sounds (salt being poured out, fizz on coke, paper being torn) to quite loud sounds (lawn mower, traffic, bus, lorry etc) quite comfortably.

I have not had to take the CI off due to the level of noise being to loud/ unbearable coz they are all mashed together.. In fact I have worn it at the highest setting and I am loving it.

I still have map four to try out.

I am so happy, I feel like I have got more than my life back - I am experiencing a life I have never had.... It’s been a brilliant ride and one that’s not quite over - I am so looking forward to the future.

Having the CI is possibly the best thing I have ever decided to do

Day 7 
Thursday, July 7, 2005, 04:19 PM
I got 20% in the video test where the man says sentences and there is no visual (On Tuesday I got 0%) the Audiologist was almost jumping up and down with excitement!!

I could hear when a person was talking/ calling me

I heard a lady ask me directions in the street

Day 6 
Wednesday, July 6, 2005, 04:15 PM
I am hearing so many sounds now that it’s hard to remember and record them all. Most of the sounds I have never heard before and are totally new to me. When I got up I heard the shower gashing and the sound that the pump makes. I ran the bath and listened to the water filling up and splashed about for a while. I could hear the rasp of the skin on my feet against the carpet as I went down the stairs (which was a big shock) so I ran back up the stairs to give it another go (have to check these things)

My task for today is to identify sounds from a list I have and I decided that since James left yesterday to work away. It would not be a good lesson if I stayed in doors. So in order to really put the task into practice I “had to go” out and buy a heat gun… which was no good with out embossing things so I “had to buy them too”

I got in the car and the first thing I thought of trying was the indicators…. They came through much louder than I thought they would. It was such a nice sound that I sat there for a while turning the indicator on and off…. I thought about sounding the horn as well, but then I noticed a neighbour from across the street standing there watching me with a look of disbelief on his face. So I thought I better not and gave him a cheery wave and went on my way.

With the window down I could hear a lot of noise from cars etc but could no longer hear my indicator.

When I got to the car park I put my money in the meter and it beeped at me while it was printing my ticket (again never heard it beep before)

I went to collect a framed picture from the art shop and as I walked pass the counter I could hear the rustle of the paper bag as the lady put the customers shopping in it. I played by chip and pin and I heard the thing whirl and click and he tore of his part of the receipt and I heard it tear. I thought ooo that would be so nice to hear again, and would you believe it - the hand held pin reader had run out of paper. So I waited while he put a new I stood there grinning like a manic and he tore of several strips while trying to get it to work * bliss * I heard it all.

I also went to a few shops and I could tell the difference between the noise level on the street and that of the shop….. Did ANY one realise that electric doors make such a racket???

I heard a blowtorch being used by the workmen. I could not work out why it would suddenly go very quite ever so often. I then realised this happened when the traffic stopped at the crossroads.

I went for a coffee – the lady gave me a strange look, I am not sure if I was shouting, whispering or just generally looking my odd self. I heard the blender, and the frothier, and the clinking of coffee cups. By the time I was ready to hand over the money for my coffee I was grinning madly as I have never ever heard the milk bubbling and frothing away before.

I went in to a clothes shop as I am looking for a nice blue bag (I came out with a nice pair of black shoes but no bag as you do) while I was in there I could really hear the music (normally I feel it if there is a bass) and I could make out the different beats (with out hearing bass sounds the same what ever the beat normally!)

I got home and decided to cook my dinner – I heard the microwave, the kettle, the onion skin as it crunched and my knife as it cut. We have one of them little electric grills that needed a clean before I used it so I turned it on and heard the click of the switch. As it heated it up I heard it pop and crackle… I then poured a little water over the base and it bubbled and hissed and was such a lovely unexpected sound it made me * sigh * with pleasure. I heard my mushrooms and onions sizzling in the grill and I could hear my pasta bubbling away.

I could not make out another sound and it took me ages to realise I could hear the washing machine spinning – I am sure it beeped after it finished too.

I can hear the clock tic ticking and I scared myself half to death when I started to hear a really scary sound (it was midnight) it sounded like a raspy voice or lots of whispering voices…. I was thinking oooo gwald this is scary what is it… walking from one end of the room to the other trying to find it… the more I moved the worst it got. I then realised it stopped when I did… My brain did overdrive * what could it be * then I realised it was my clothes brushing against my body and making a whispering sound * bloody scary when you don’t know! * This is something I have never heard and never expected to…

We live in a very noisy world….

Day 5 
Tuesday, July 5, 2005, 04:14 PM
My tongue seems to be back to normal. On Tuesday I noticed that it still felt odd in the centre and things still taste bitter/ sour.

Creamy things do not taste as creamy as they normally are. At least it feels more normal now! The scar looks so neat and you can hardly see it.

I have had my second mapping today. Amy decided to do it a different way today (as the last one was to loud for me to deal with) so she picked a few low electrodes and gave me the beeps and we just let it get higher and higher until I said stop that’s too loud.

I was listening to the beeps thinking jeeze this sounds SO Like tinnitus. Anyway on the second one, it got louder and louder sounding more and more like tinnitus and I said hmmm I think I can go up one more b4 it gets to loud. All of the sudden the tinnitus like sound went and in its place was a real sound like three musical beeps. I was so thrilled that we did the same for all of them till I could hear musical sounding beeps for each one. Once we got pass this hurdle I was then able to let her know when they got too loud (I could actually go up higher) I was thrilled with myself!!

Then she turned it on and I was hearing Amy speaking (thought I was going to cry) and then I heard James speaking (nearly burst into tears) Amy played around with it and then set it louder, louder still, more louder (got clearer) and then decided that she would not play with it any more as I was already doing really well with what we had (plus I am seeing her again on Thursday)

We talked for a while and it just sounded better and better. Then Amy gave me four different strength programmes to take away.

After all the excitement I really needed the loo NO ONE TOLD ME having a wee is NOISY!

I heard the lift go *ping* and I could hear my shoes tap across the floor very clearly.

We then went and had a hearing test - with my processor it showed results for moderate hearing loss (in said of profound) Amy said she would never be able to get my hearing aids to show this no matter how good they were so we were both quite pleased.

Then Amy said she wanted to test what was left of my hearing in my implanted side (this surprised me) and the test showed that I have lost a little of the high pitches but I do have some hearing left. I could not believe it when I heard the beep of the hearing test in my implanted side with no processor (the skill of that surgeon is amazing) (made him a thank you card and got him a pressy)

Then we had the video lipreading test.... Overall with voice and visual I did the same (95%) with voice only I did poor. BUT I could hear when he said a word, I knew how many words he had said, I could tell Amy if it was a word with the sound Shh, SSS, DA, Ah, KA, TA, Ba, Nh ect and I got the sounds correct on most of them. This really was a massive difference for me.

Then I met Karen who is the speech therapist and we did some word exercises I had to tell her what sentence she had read out of a possible four. Which I scored 100%. The next one was where she would read a sentence and say one of two words at the end, which sounded similar. Out of 8 I got four. Karen then gave me an audio book to take home and I will be seeing her again on Thursday.

On the way home it started to rain I never realised that raindrops made a sound as they hit the window screen - quite pleasant listening to it. We wound the window down and I could hear the cars roaring pass and said to James I get a shhuuch sound too and he said oh that’s the water splattering behind I was like *no way!* how coolllll!

A plastic bag is so loud! All crinkly and crackly. I can no longer eat chocolate quietly !

The biggest and best sound I heard was the fizzzz as James opened a coke bottle. He told me its even better and bigger if you shake it first. That’s on my to do list tomorrow (with fizzy water) oo cant wait!!

I can hear the kettle boiling very well now, and James Hic cup too! Speech sounds clearer and louder (although I have to lip-read too) I can hear sounds from the audio cd if I follow the book, and I can hear money making a clink clink sound.

I can’t wait for my next map on Thursday, which hopefully will give me even more sounds.

It’s all very exciting (the keyboard sounds very loud as I type!)

Day 4 
Monday, July 4, 2005, 04:13 PM
I went into town today and for the driving I wore both my processor and my hearing aid.

I turned it off when I hit the shops. When I ordered lunch I turned it back on again and forgot to turn it of. After I went to a big shopping mall and noticed I was hearing really well.

I heard voices clearly when I was in the changing room and I also heard two people talking quite clearly behind me when I was looking at dresses. I realised that I had left my hearing aid on – but what an improvement from Thursday where even with both the processor and the hearing aid on I noticed very little difference.

Just goes to show that giving your brain a work out without the aid really is the key.

Day 3 
Sunday, July 3, 2005, 04:11 PM
Today I was sitting in the computer room (very noisy apparently) and we had the air conditioning on in the next room (really noisy - although I cant hear it if I am not in the room)

James was in the loft doing men's things *grin* and he called me and I heard my name sound like "OoEEEEEEEEEE" which made me look up and think did I hear my name? He called me again and I heard my name...

Just not the zzzz part of it....

I last heard my name when I was about 15 - Other people started calling me snowy and coz I could not hear it, I never corrected them until someone else would say is your name really snowy as in snow?


Drove to Manchester Hospital today to make sure I can get there ok. Only got lost once coming back!

Day 2 
Saturday, July 2, 2005, 04:08 PM
Last night James and I played a lot of his music (anything with bass was ruled out) things without bass I had to listen really hard but I could make out a beat or feel of the music and mimic it back to James what it sounded like to me. We were surprised to find I was actually verbalising the words not the music *not something I have been able to do b4 - normally I can pick the beat out from the bass)

It’s actually quite nice to listen to (bit to quite tho) as it helps stimulate my brain - James also read to me and I could see the difference after a 20 min or so of hard listening.

We are planning on obtaining talking books and a radio (even if for background noise) so that my brain can listen even if I don’t understand or follow it....

Today I have worn it for six hours and its not felt to bad (I have been wearing it four hours then two hour break then a further two hours the last two days) it helps to play around with the magnet strength as if its too strong it gets hot and uncomfortable....Once its right then its fairly conformable to wear...

The setting is still on very low (bit to low now my brain has got use to it) and I am identifying new sounds everyday.... I heard the music to the cat advert the other day... and I heard the kettle boiling yesterday... Oh and I heard my car boot lock as well (normally I have to check it so I know its locked) I was so thrilled I heard it. It was a thrilling experience...

Oh another lovely thing I am enjoying is mould free ears (they have been cool and dry all day) lovely

I do wear my hearing aid when I am driving tho!!

I can hear when the overhead announcer in ASDA comes on and off (never realised it was consent!)

I can now hear beeps with the telly on loud

James said a list of places in the UK while I listened (with my eyes closed) and out of about 20 places I got 5 correct and just heard the rest but could not identify them. I was stunned to hear the word London, Liverpool, Essex, Basildon, and Newcastle.

One day after switch on 
Friday, July 1, 2005, 04:07 PM
Some one from the CI Forum on Yahoo

said the three P’s of having a CI are:-

1 Patience
2 Practice
3 Perseverance

Today I was feeling sorry for myself coz of the racket that I was getting while in the car. Turns out that its a bit much with the fan on 4 and the map navigation going as well.

Once that was turned down James got a call on his hand free mobile and I could hear the person speaking (no idea what they were saying) but not James! (James just sounded like beeps) But it really cheered me up!

While in the car (with the window down) I head beeps and thought what could they be - I think it was people walking by nattering so that was quite cool.

Strangely I heard their dog cough (bark maybe? sounded like a cough) really well!

I wore the processor for 4 hours and then later on in the evening for a further three – it does not feel like I am hearing much more than beeps but I did hear the music in the cat advert (very soft) which really cheered me up.

While typing this – if I listen carefully I can hear James tapping on his keyboard (so quite).

Swtich on day!! 
Thursday, June 30, 2005, 04:03 PM

We went to Manchester Cochlear Implant Centre at Manchester University today to have my implant switched on. I met Amy Donaldson who is the audio tech and Martin who is the head of the CI project for freedom processor in the area (I think). I have been told that I am the second person to have the newer implant and freedom processor – the software for it is so new that everyone is still learning how to use it. Apparently it’s quicker to set up, faster and easier to use and has more capabilities some which they are not fully sure of or understand yet.

When I arrived to have it switched on there was Amy and Martin who both spent a long time talking to me (I was thinking in my head like "yes yes yes yes yes.... I knowwwwwwww can we start now????" *lol*) as they were trying to prepare me for the switch on.

Martin knew all my background history (even had hearing tests from when I was four!) He talked a lot about how important it was to understand that I might hear sounds that I have never heard before and I would not be used to it.

First they opened the programme, which checked the implant was working – it was quite impressive to see each electrode light up on the cochlear logo. This confirmed that everything was in working order.

Then I had some beeps sent thru the processor, which sounded like a normal hearing test – this set my tinnitus off quite badly and it was very difficult to hear the beeps.

I was setting there waiting and everyone was looking at me because I had not responded and all of the sudden I realised what I had been listening to for the past few minutes was not actually my tinutes it was a two tone beep and I looked up in surprise and Amy smiled and said “You have been hearing that, haven’t you”. She counted the beeps as they came to me, which helped me make the comparison between the sounds and my tinnitus – I got quite excited by the fact that I was hearing the beeps

I then had to let my tech Amy know when I heard the sound, when it sounded soft, medium, loud, to loud. None of the beeps sounded soft to me! I could not tell what sounded Medium only what was loud and too loud.

The Amy tested the electrodes in sets of five, which I confirmed I was hearing.

Then it came to the big moment – she turned it on and I waited, waited, waited and about 5-10 seconds later jumped six foot in the air and said turn it off!

The sound was SO LOUD, it was not human, terrible screeching, growling, beeps, pops, squeals and nasty sounds I can’t explain were coming through.

Amy played with the settings a bit more, we tried again, same thing happened but a bit softer (not much tho) it was still pretty unbearable. Amy turned it down a little more and I told her that I really found it unbearable – but Amy was reluctant to turn it down much further as it was on a very soft setting (could of fooled me at the time)

After about 20 minutes the sounds settled down a little and when Amy or anyone else spoke I could hear a beep for each word. I could hear it beeping when I spoke. It sounded like someone was pressing the highest key on a piano every time someone said a word. I was thinking oh my this is terrible its not going to work – but then I realised I could only hear beeps when there was a sound to be heard. Amy felt this was very positive but due to my brain being so sensitive to the sound coming through it was not possible to do a true map – So I have three settings, each one more loud than the first.

Martin stood behind me and made the sound shhhhhhhh churrrrrrrrrrrrr hissssssssssssssss cheeeeeeeee and I honestly thought he had something in his hand to make this massive racket, which was high pitched, and shrill sounding. I looked at Amy and she was setting quite comfortably, I looked at James and he was the same so I turned around and said what on earth did you do? You could of knocked me down with a feather when he told me all he was doing was making the sound shh!

Although both Amy and Martin really tried to prepare me for pre-switch on and post switch on - nothing can.... I actually could not hear a thing and could only tolerate low beeps anything more powerful makes my brain feel like it was going to pop (incredibly frustrating) so I have it on a very low setting at the moment.... BUT I am not hearing useless things that the hearing aid would crank up that ends up muffling the speech I am just hearing speech (and beeps) on a very low setting. So it does give me a lot of confidence.

I think you will find that a massive bonus when listening to speech...

I thought to myself well its pointless crying about this coz I am not surprised about the result – I have not heard clearly since I was about 6 years old. I can hardly expect to hear true sound 60 minutes after switch on. I was disappointed tho, I think James was to coz I really could not hear much.

We went for lunch and about an hour in to lunch James was watching me with fascination as I was tapping the plate with my knife – yep! I could hear the metal clipping the plate quite well…. I also had a go with a spoon on my coffee cup (same result same sound) then I realised I could actually hear footsteps as someone walked behind me quite well too.

I kept it on in the car and when we got home we had a look at all the goodies in the CI box and turned the setting on to number two. The beeps were louder, I discovered I could hear the sound clip clop clip clop (the same sound you make with your tongue to imitate a horse hooves) very well. I spent the first hour humming and making babble sounds, which eventually made my voice, stop being beeps and start to turn in to sounds. We turned the processor on to setting three, again the beeps were louder. James read to me for an hour or so and the beeps started to merge into themselves and ever so often I heard a mechanical voice (that I had to lip-read)

13 days since the operation 
Sunday, June 26, 2005, 04:01 PM

You can still see some light bruising around the scar and back of my ear but the bottom of the scar seems to have disappeared into the creases that were always there. It feels a lot better without all the swelling.

It's looking better every day. The swelling on the back of my head has gone down a lot and I can now feel the small bump where the implant is. My tongue feels almost normal now although sweet things don't taste as they should.

My hair is growing back nicely although it is a bit itchy where it's short.

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