Re Last Day In Las Vegas 
Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 02:29 AM
It is our last day in Las Vegas so we had to cram in as much as we could and even so we did not get to see all the hotels that we wanted to. So thatís settled it. We HAVE TO go back now.

We went to a hotel called the Venetian

They had opera singers in the square which were really cool to listen to. I thought the sound quality through the processor was really good.

I was really impressed with the hotel which I thought was done beautifully. I commented to James that this would be a nice place to stay next time and he told me that he thought it was pretty impressive too, considering we were on the second floor!

We then drove to the Grand Canyon which took four hours. I did not notice it take that long because I nattered non stop to james. It is so much easier to hear him when he is on my left.

Gosh that music is loud 
Tuesday, May 9, 2006, 02:14 AM
We went to the Mirage today and saw tigers and dolphins which was very good. The only thing I did notice was that the music was so loud. I could hear the beat, the bass and some of the different instruments, I was aware that someone was singing but gosh it was so loud. I had a headache by the end of the day.

James begged me to go on the New York New York roller coaster as itís our last day in Las Vagus. I said I would - but soon regretted it. I did take both my processor and my hearing aid off before we got on.

It was not as smooth as you would have thought it would be and was a very rocky ride. At one point very early on - I really thought I cracked my Jaw. When we went round the first loop the loop it felt like my stomach was coming out of my nose.

I quickly developed a strategy where I braced my feet, pushed my bottom down, and tucked my head in. As a result in the roller coaster photo it looks like James was on his own - as you canít see me at all!

Another first for me happened today. I HEARD someone else go to the toilet. It was horrible and really put me off what I was doing. It was very distracting to hear someone straining when youíre trying to do your own business. Some of these people really let rip and I was horrified at how clearly we can actually hear each other.


RE OOohhhh I have died and gone to Heaven 
Monday, May 8, 2006, 02:00 AM
We went to watch the fountains at the Belliagio Hotel. I was so overcome that I could not stop the tears from falling.

The water was in time to the music which was opera and I could hear all the different instruments and the music would fly up every time it hit a loud or high note.

It was truly an amazing sight.

We went back that night and watched it in the dark and it was so lovely it really was.

When we drive around sometimes James will put the window down and we can hear the fountians before we can see them! its really upbeat and gives you a total lift to the day.

I walked around with a smile on my face most of the day.

I can hear the lift telling us what floor we are on, and I can tell its a male voice!

Later that evening we went to see a show. If I could have my time again I would have also booked a show which had plenty of music and singing. But I have seen Penn and Teller on the TV and I have always liked them so that is what we booked.

It was well worth it Penn was sarcastic as normal and Teller was crossed between cute and creepy. The tricks were very good.

I did not get everything that Penn said - but he tends to be so physical with his tricks that it did not really matter. I got more of the verbal comments than I normally would have.

The only thing I did notice is that every time they really impressed me I would go "oh!" or "WOW" and I thought I was doing it under my breath but James pinching me let me know I was actually saying it quite loudly ! Whoops.

Life is so wonderful 
Sunday, May 7, 2006, 01:48 AM
Life is so wonderful - each and every day amazes me.

Things happen that I never dream would be possible and it is so great to be apart of the world again.

We went to see the Luxor Hotel which is an amazing sight.

The Luxor Hotel

We decided that we would watch the 3D Moon Film at the Imax Theatre and I was sceptical to how much of it I would hear.

Well! What a shock I was in for, apart from being totally blown away by the 3D affects which really did make it feel as if you were on the moon with Neil Armstrong I found I got most of what Tom Hanks was saying, and some of it was just so profound that I could not stop the tears from falling.

I have never enjoyed the cinema as much as I did today and it really was the most profound, interesting and funny film to watch. It was the kind of thing that just grabs your attention from start to finish - but being able to hear it really made it so much better.

We went to so many hotels today, the Monte Carlo, the Bellagio, Casers Place, The Mirage and Treasure Island.

My Processor has died 
Saturday, May 6, 2006, 01:40 AM
It finally gave up the ghost and I could not get it to turn on so I got out all my spare parts and much to my relief it was not a corrupted map and now works fine - phew.

We drove to Las Vegas today and on the way stopped into a Sizzlers. That place is amazing! It is built for your every comfort and even has wheels on their massive big chairs so that you can push your way from the table with ease after putting on a ton with all the food you crammed into yourself.

When we got to our hotel at the New York New York we found out that it is fight night at the MGM and the whole of Las Vegas is packed with scary looking people who appear to be packing guns down their shorts waiting for the fight!

Itís the little guys who scare me the most - they seem so on edge. We were walking around and suddenly a fight broke out between the 6'7 foot guy's misses and another girl, the pair of them must have been all of 4'9 and very scary.

We made our escape to one of the restaurants in the MGM and had a lovely meal - I had Hilbert and prawns and James had meatballs and pasta. We walked back to our hotel and got a ice coffee and a chocolate strawberry each! Yum.

I have noticed that I am now able to hear the difference between male and female voices and even if I canít make out what is being said - I am aware someone is speaking and it sounds like speech and not white noise.

USA Holiday - Bridal Veil Fall 
Friday, May 5, 2006, 05:38 AM
Today we got up bright and early. I had no trouble ordering my breakfast and said yes to coffee and juice. (i used to normally I say yes to anything in hope I will get a coffee and sometimes it brings up very surprising results!)

We went to Bridal Veil Falls which looks just like a bridal veil! *tsk* lol

we walked up the trail and the air is full of cold droplets from the waterfall even though its quite a way off.

Once we got to the base of the water fall I could really hear it but I did not want to get to close as I did not want my processor getting wet. Even though it is splash proof I still like to take as good care of it as I can.

We had a very nice lunch - I had a taco salad which was the nicest taco salad I have ever had. James had Pizza.

We then went to Mariposa Grove of "big trees" and boy they were big!

As James is driving on the left side on this holiday. It meant that I could hear him really well because my processor is on the left too. We have talked and talked and talked and it has not tired me out as much because its not as hard as it normally is to hear him.

Later that evening I went to have a sea weed infusion body wrap that finished with a massage and a warm lavender body lotion.

I explained to the lady that I was deaf, and I had a implant. She asked first if I wanted the lavender eye mask and I said yes.

I was very please to find that I was able to hear her questions which varied to asking if I was ok, to if the lotion was ok and not to hot, to how long she was going to leave me for. I had no problems what so ever understanding her. It made the whole experience very relaxing.

USA Holiday - Off to Yosemite 
Thursday, May 4, 2006, 05:31 AM
We drove to Yosemite and went across the Golden Gate Bridge - it was pretty amazing to see.

The motorways all seem to be four lanes and massive in either direction.

I went to the ST Michaels craft and hobby shop and brought loads of goodies!

Then our Tom Tom navigator took us up a mud track which got smaller and smaller. I was getting quite worried as it was late evening and about to get dark. We needed gas, and I needed the rest rooms really badly.

Rocks were falling and one cracked our window screen and left a chip as big as a 5p! I was quite stressed out by the time we reached the hotel so I went straight to the reception and booked myself in for a body wrap.

After a nice cup of coffee we went to look around the gift shop and I was looking at all the childrenís toys (they just get better and better donít they!) and I found some small furry birds which when you pressed their tummy they made the sound of that bird. So I tried all of them and I was delighted to be able to hear different bird song depending on which toy I had in my hand. When I got to the reception to pay for a few other things the lady gave me this look if to say "is she special needs? She looks like she is, but she seems quite normal now!

I was bubbling with enthusiasm. I even considered buying one of them birds but I liked all of them so much I could not decide if to get one and which one!

all in all a lovely day

USA Holiday - Our trip to Alcatraz 
Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 05:21 AM
We got a ferry to Alcatraz today and it was amazing to walk around. They gave you the audio tapes which I took for the very first time.

I was really surprised that I could hear the main speaker quite well and got lots of information about the history. Which normally I would rely on James to tell me at the end.

The only thing I could not get on the audio was when other speakers from a long time ago came on as it was poor quality.

They also had a video which was subtitled so I really enjoyed it.

We then went to the "believe it or not" Museum which was quite fun. Again their videos were all subtitled and I really enjoyed watching them all and got so much information.

After that James went back to the hotel for a rest and I hit the malls on my own. I got chatting to quite a few people and I felt confident in asking a lot more questions than I normally would have pre op - because I know I will be able to get at least 75% of what they are saying and I am quick to work out what I have missed. Where as when I was lip-reading this would be about 55% sometimes 35% if it was very noisy.

We went for dinner at a steak house which was in the basement of San Franscio. I could hear all the people chatting (normally it would just sound like a massive nasty noise that had no identity) I could hear soft base music with other instruments. And I could hear our waitress telling us all the options. It was a lovely meal - there was onion bread - which is the best I have ever tasted, I had salmon with a lovely sauce and James had a very nice steak.

My Processor has gone wonky 
Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 01:22 AM
I noticed it on the plane and at first I thought my ears were popping but when I turned of my hearing aid I realised that my implanted side was also popping!

When we got to the hotel I noticed that the screen was not showing the full programme normally it said 1 but I could only see half of the 1. I tried to change programme and it would only show the top half of the numbers and then it went blank even though it was still working and turned on.

It seemed back to normal the following morning but later in the afternoon it went wonky again. Batteries donít seem to help at all.

The sound quality does not sound as good but I donít want to use the spare this early on in the holiday.

We are going on a summer holiday! USA First Stop San Francisco  
Monday, May 1, 2006, 04:06 PM
I have been so excited - we booked this holiday 6 months ago. I had no problem checking in at the airport. I showed them my pacemaker card and cochlear card and went straight through via the wheelchair access so that I did not have to go through the magnet field.

Everyone treated me with respect and explained what they wanted me to do clearly.

Getting into USA was a bit more complicated because I could not understand the guy at all and he was talking so fast and intimidated me so much I could not bring myself to tell him that I was deaf.

He wanted me to put my left finger on the scanner but I put my right finer on. The stress of it all made me come out in a cold sweat and I made the glass all wet which meant it could not scan my finger!

We got there eventually though!

San Francisco at night is quite scary as there seem to be loads of homeless people wondering around with all their worldly belongings and people clearly dealing on the street.

Hopefully during the day this will change!

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