One Year Since Switch On! 
Friday, June 30, 2006, 05:54 PM
This is a summary of my year with the cochlear implant from the moment it was switched on. I have tried to only record sounds that are new to me, or sounds that have improved over time. :clap:

30th June 2005 - Switch on day

Within a few minutes of switch on:
Ping Ping
The speech sound ďShhĒ

Within half an hour of switch on:
Knifes and forks scraping
Footsteps behind me that sound just like footsteps
Chairs scraping across the floor.
Hissing of cars going by
clip clop clip clop (the same sound you make with your tongue to imitate a horse hooves

Day 1
While stationary in the car (with the window down) I head beeps which were people walking by. Strangely I heard their dog cough (bark maybe? sounded like a cough) really well!
The sound of my keyboard as I type
I am aware of someone speaking on the hands free car mobile
The music jingle in the cat advert (very soft)

Day 2
My car boot lock
The Kettle boil
The tannoy in ASDA
James :kiss: saying the names of random places (I got 5 out of 20)

Day 3
I heard a part of my name being called.:eek:

Day 4
I can hear people talking to each other while I am in the changing room
I can hear environmental sounds really clearly and they donít mush together
I can hear coffee being grinded.
I am aware of when someone is speaking to me

Day 5 Ė New Map
Hearing tests show that I have lost a little of the high pitches but I do have some hearing left on my implanted side
My Tongue does not feel as numb Ė things are still bitter and sour to taste. Creamy things do not feel creamy
Flushing the toilet is VERY Noisy. Going for a wee is surprisingly noisy:eek:
I can hear my own shoes tapping across the floor
On the video hearing test with just sound and no visual I could hear the following sounds: Shh, SSS, DA, Ah, KA, TA, Ba, Nh etc and I got the sounds correct on most of the words that were said.
We did some word exercises I had to tell her what sentence she had read out of a possible four, I scored 100%. The next test a sentence was read out and she said one of two words at the end, which sounded similar. Out of 8 I got four right.
I heard raindrops on the car window screen.
With the window down and I could hear the cars roaring pass, and a shhuuch sound of the water splattering behind the wheel.
A plastic bag is so loud! All crinkly and crackly.
I can no longer eat chocolate quietly! :eek:
The biggest and best sound I heard was the fizzzz as James opened a coke bottle.
I can hear the kettle click after it has finished boiling very well now,
I can hear James Hiccup!:eek:
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.
I can hear money making a clink clink sound.

Day 6
I can hear the electric shower make gurgling sounds and then whoosh as the water comes through.
The sound of the bath running sounds like a massive waterfall.
I can hear the rasp of the skin of my feet on the carpet.
I can hear my indicators when the car is stationery
I can hear the car park meter beeping
I can hear paper bags crackle and rustle.
I heard the chip and pin mini hand held computer click and whirl after I had put in my code and give me a recipe.
I can hear paper tear.
I could tell the difference between the noise level on the street and that of the shopÖ.. Did ANY one realise that electric doors make such a racket???
I heard a blowtorch being used by the workmen.
I can hear the traffic stop and start and the lights
I heard the blender, and the frothier, and the clinking of coffee cups in the cafť.
I can hear shop music
I hear people asking me if I need any help
I hear the microwave ping, :lol:
Onion skin as it crunched and my knife as it cut.
The electric grill pop and crackle bubble and hiss
I heard my mushrooms and onions sizzling in the grill and I could hear my pasta bubbling away.
I notice when the washing machine has finished its cycle.
I can hear our clock ticking
I can hear my clothes rubbing and rasping together :eek:

Day 7
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!! :clap:
I heard a lady ask me directions in the street

Day 8
Cutting paper with a guillotine is a lovely sound!
I donít like the sound of James cooking scrabbled eggs! :eek:
Metal on metal takes a bit of getting used too!
I can hear the sound of salt when itís being poured
I like the sound of oil getting hot.
I can hear my roller mouse!!

Day 9
While I was in the back garden I heard the lawn mower in the front.
I head the coke can pop as itís opened :lol:
I love the sound of ice cubs being shock together
I also went to a craft demo and although it was loud in there I found I could follow much more than when I was wearing hearing aids.
At the shops I could hear pretty much what the person was saying with lip-reading without having to repeat (which is SO unusual)

Day 10
Today I heard birds
We opened the champagne it sounded like a gun going off. I nearly jumped out of my skin!! :boom::eek:
I can hear music a little better on the TV.
I could hear people chatting in the pub we went to this afternoon.
I head the guy who cleared our table ask if our meal was alright for us.... That was great....
I could hear the little girl chatting away to her family (which was so cool) I have not heard a child speak for years.....

Day 11
I heard my name being called in a doctorís waiting room for the first time
Bubble wrap sounds great
I am becoming more socialable
People seem more friendly and chatty than they used to be (could I have not heard people trying to speak to me before?)

Day 12
Speech sounds clearer
I spoken on the phone to my partner for the first time Ė I asked questions which required a yes or no answer
Then James started saying two or three words to answer my questions and this went very well too I was getting about 50% right and the rest I was getting the odd word wrong but the general message correct!!!!! :lol::clap:

Day 14 Ė new map
I can now hear the "s" and "Sh" much clearer than any other sound. Everything sounds normal and so clear! Every spoken word comes through perfectly whole and crystal clear.
All the sounds from last week sound more like they should do.
I was bopping along to most of the music on all of the shops; I can hear people chatting so clearly. I heard a child talking to his mum (unfortunately he grabbed my bottom and skirt) and I heard his mum tell him off and to say sorry, and I heard him say something (did not sound like sorry to me but it could of been!) I donít normally hear children so that was really cool.

Day 17
I can identify motorbikes, people chatting, and the lady taking my order when we went to pizza hut and the chime of the merry go round that was in the town.

Day 18
Everything sounds incredibly loud Ė even the quite sounds

I can hear everyone speaking and some of them I can hear their accent.

Day 19
I can hear the odd word of each sentence without lip-reading

Day 24
People say that my voice is clear and I pronounce things much better. Even my partner has noticed and commented that I was speaking and saying words very clear
I can hear the clink clunk of the cash machine draw opening and closing as well as the guy putting the money in

I had a phone conversation with my partner tonight and hardly had to get him to repeat very much. It was almost like a normal conversation - only I kept interrupting him! :roflmao:

I can hear mobile's ringing now - some ring tones sound cool some I hate!
I can hear people munching when they are eating their food.:eek:

Day 28 Ė New Map
I can now have a normal conversation on the phone Ė this almost one month since my switch on

Day 48
I can hear people say "want a coffee" "do you take milk or sugar" when they are in the kitchen *grin*
I got into one house and a child on the stairs shouted "I know who you are" the other shouted who are you and the third shouted "hi ya my name is Liam and thatís my sister" and I heard them all!
I am more confident now; I ask lots of questions and hear most of the answers or get them to say it again knowing that I will probably get it all.
While in France I heard people saying hello. I understood when a French person was speaking, and could understand them very well when they spoke in English (normally I would lip-read it and the accent would throw me)
People are more chatty than I realised. Every body says hello!
I could hear when the sea came in and out, and I could hear the pebbles bouncing out the water. :ahh:

Day 74
I made a phone call to my mobile company and car insurance
I now call my partner who works away during the week most nights for a natter and my brother and best friend once a week. :yay:

Day 252
There was a gap in new sounds coming in and there was nothing much to report Ė I was enjoying what I could hear and getting used to it. Then suddenly more progress was made and at a much faster rate!
I can now using the land line phone as normal
Today I was given a new mobile Motorola V3 which sounds clearer than the land line.
I used it while I was at work to call a friend (who I have never spoken to on the phone to before) and arrange to drop round her house for a coffee. I called her to get directions and I got lost, so I called her again and got more directions and found the place much quicker than if I had waited for her to text me. It was wonderful!
I answered my first random call and had no difficulties:clap:

Day 269
Today I identified the person by the sound of their voice when they were in a different room to me.
I notice when other peopleís mobiles are ringing.
I can hear the raindrops hitting the window (they are kinda loud)
I am able to follow what two people are saying in a meeting.
I know when the phone is ringing
I can answer my partnerís question if he is in another room.

Day 286
I can hear a baby making snuffley sounds and contented sounds. I never realised how such a tiny baby could make so many sounds - I could hear her chuckling and making happy slurpy sounds when she had her milk!

Day 305 - San Francisco - Alcatraz
I can follow the audio at a museum
I can hear soft music and people chatting when going out for dinner
I am able to hear our waitress telling us all the options :cheers:
I was aware that the music had more than one instrument or if someone was singing

Day 306
I can hear toys making sounds

Day 307
Having a massage can be a relaxing experience Ė I can follow instructions and answer questions even when I have a lavender eye mask on

Day 308 - Las Vegas

I watch the 3D Moon Landing Film at the Imax Theatre which was not subtitled Ė I was blown away by the 3D affects and 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. :waah::ooer::lol:

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 well is really what made it an unforgettable experience.

Day 309
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.

Day 310
Another first for me happened today. I HEARD someone else go to the toilet. It was horrible :eek:

Day 311 - At the Grand Canyon:
The bugs are huge out here and very scary! I can hear them before I see them and when I turn round it looks like an alien from Mars flying about and they tend to be a shiny black and green and really big. :eek::cool:

Day 314 - Back in Britain
I was doing my washing and I heard a sound that made me think that there was water coming out of the washing machine.
It seemed fine so I listened for a bit and then realised it was raining, I peeped out of the nets and sure enough there was big fat rain drops!

Day 316
I was able to hear the tone ie bored, narky, sarcastic, cross etc which is a real bonus.
While I was in the garden killing the weeds, I noticed that not only was I able to hear the birds nattering/ singing/ having a chat. I could also hear different types of birds and hear different patterns of song they were making.

Day 319
I heard the sound of the post falling and hitting the floor. I never miss the door bell these days! :cool:

Day 323
I can hear my shopping being scanned on the computer in ASDA!

Day 350
I have confidence to call people who I have not called before.
I noticed when I spoke to a male friend that I could tell it was a male voice; I could hear his accent, the way he pronounced words. Itís strange how much you miss when lip-reading someone face to face. It made me realise that sometimes I am not always listening as much as I think I am. :wiggle:

Day 351
I was really surprise by the fact that the tone of someone's voice can play such a vital role. It was great to be able to hear the tone of someone making a joke, or mimicking someone else. Or being over the top and theatrical or tone in cheek.

Day 344
While my friend who has epilepsy was here I noticed that her voice changes when she is having a small seizure. Her voice gets very soft and sometimes goes very quite.
I no longer have to hunt round the house for James I can find him by sound. It takes a lot less time these days!

Day 347
I heard a parrot talk to me! :eek::clap:

Day 349
My implant was put in a year ago today. Not a day goes by when I give thanks to Mr Saeed, as it has changed my life beyond recognition.

Day 350
I know it sounds odd, but I am sure I can hear better with the un-implanted side now!

Day 352
I head my grill beeping when itís ready!

Day 354

A car alarm went off just now and I knew it was out side but not what it was. I could hear it quite clearly. Once I looked out and realised it was a car alarm it started to sound like one too. So I have learnt and identified a new sound! How exciting is that!!!! :clap::yay::woowoo:

Day 356
My friends have a 6 week old baby, I was really shocked to find that when they put her down after her bottle she talked to her self and made sounds like she was singing or keeping her self busy. I really thought (I feel embarrassed to admit this) that babyís only made a crying sound till at least an age where they started to smile and laugh. I could hear her burping, and then she got hic cups, some of which were quite loud for such a little thing!

Day 357
I noticed that I could hear the big nasty dog that lives in our street barking last night. I was able to identify it as a dog barking with no difficulties.
This evening there was also a dog barking - but this time it was the yappy terrier from next door which sounded small and sharp.
It is getting much easier to identify sounds.


I can hear cars approaching and they sounded really close, and would make me jump. But when I looked in my mirrors they were in fact about three car widths away! It made me so nervous that I could not drive with the window down. Guess my sound perception is a bit off at the moment.

When I was at the traffic lights and I heard some kids on bikes passing me, I actually heard them shouting to each other!

Day 360
I turned the radio on for background sound in the car while I waited for a friend. I was not expecting to be able to hear any thing really and for the first five minutes all I got was the odd word here and there. Then it started to become clearer and I was following the odd conversation with the odd word missing. Music came on and I could hear much more of the mood of the music in said of just the bass that I used to hear. I could also hear the person singing but I could not understand them. I could tell if they were male or female and I could tell if the song was upbeat and cheerful or sad and moody.

Day 361
I went to my interview by a train and at the last stop I heard the speaker tell me what stop it was very clear.

I heard the town hall bells ringing - they sounded like there were more of them than in my town. I stood there thinking how lovely it is to be able to hear the bells ring so clearly - then a car alarm went off, and although I could hear that clearly too - I did not appreciate it half as much.

The interview went really well - I had no trouble understanding him. I donít recall interviews being this easy. There was hammering in the background, phones ringing, etc and even then his voice was clear as a bell.

I got the job by the way :yay::wiggle:

Day 365 Ė One year post switch on
My implant was turned on a year ago today! :birthday::clap::lol:

I never knew that rice makes a hissing sound when itís first poured into water.

I also heard and identified my partner sneezing though two closed doors!


[ 5 comments ] ( 35 views )
RE The Film called The Piano always made me cry 
Thursday, June 29, 2006, 11:43 AM

When it first came out I really enjoyed the film called The piano where Scottish Widow Ada mute from shock of the death of her husband marries again in an arranged marriage to a guy in New Zealand who did not seem very happy about it. So he refuses to bring her piano up from the beach to their hut. The piano is taken by a fellow brit who requires her to be intimate with him in order to win it back one key at a time.

I think it was the first time I had seen someone carry a note book in order to communicate. It made me realise that this could be a useful tool rather than an embarrassment. I could ask people to write things down; it aided communication and was helpful at university.

The film always made me cry, if being mute from shock was a disability - then being able to sign and hear normally was a later.

I could not think of a better disability to have, and if I was given the choice that would be the one I would chose - even though I worked so hard to speak well, I would have gladly gave up my voice in order to hear.

Sign language is beautiful to watch, it almost becomes an art in its self. I used to work with someone who had such a lovely form of signing it almost looked as thought she was dancing. It would leave me hypnotised and it was so peaceful to watch it made me sleepy.

I never really got to grips with sign language especially BSL which is a language in its own right and not English based. In order to understand BSL - you have to think in BSL. It normally consists of key words and signs for objects which force you into thinking in pictures or working out mime. I found it very restrictive and tiring. The voyager in BSL is small and this affects the way a person uses words.

Children who learn BSL as a first language often get poor GSCE results; this is because BSL is similar to broken English when translated. It looks as though when they write down their answers in BSL that they do not have a good grip on English language. This is because they are writing in BSL which is a language of its own and can not be interacted very well into English.

Children who are taught oral skills with English based sign language do much better academically. I am sure it also helps their brain to develop language in a more acceptable way and it is easier to go from English to BSL and much harder to go from BSL to English later in life.

The film is a intresting idea, but it always makes me sad.

On a brighter note tomarrow is one year since my switch on day!



[ 1658 comments ] ( 14 views )
Re Today was a good day 
Monday, June 26, 2006, 02:15 PM
I had an interview today and decided to get the train as I knew it would reduce the stress. At the last stop I heard the speaker tell me what stop it was very clearly. It was interesting to hear this as I was not paying much attention. When I did pay attention I could not work out what it was saying! Typical really - but itís not something I have ever heard in my life!

I heard the town hall bells ringing - they sounded like there were more of them than in my town. I stood there thinking how lovely it is to be able to hear the bells ring so clearly - then a car alarm went off and although I could hear that clearly too - I did not appreciate it half as much.

I went to a cafe because I was early and ordered a coffee I must have missed the girl asking me if I wanted milk coz thatís what I got and I donít drink milk in my coffee!

The interview went really well - I had no trouble understanding him - in fact it went so well that when he had trouble explaining something I was able to explain it back to him in a much better way - and he said yes thatís my point a lot! Maybe we were just on the same wave length but I donít recall interviews being this easy. There was hammering in the background, phones ringing, etc and even then his voice was clear as a bell.

After that I decided to treat my self to brunch and I went to a little cafe next to the station that was really sweet. I ordered an apple; stilton and walnut hot wrap, and went and sat down. I had my back to the lady and I was busy with my phone - when I heard her call out. I got "do you want mumble mumble with that, mumble apple mumble?" I turned round and said excuse me can you say that again please and it was "Do you want real apple with that or apple sauce? Ah! Real apple, please! I was quite smug, because normally they would have assumed I was thick, ignorant, possibly deaf (but then I am too young to be deaf I am told!) or just rude.

I think a lot of people used to think I was either very rude, or stuck up. As I always seemed to get stroppy people and thought that was normal. These days I get happy people who smile at me because I have answered their questions previously so I must be alright. It kind of sets my day off nice. Well nicer than it used to be.

I rang James up to let him know that my interview had gone really well, and I had no trouble hearing him - not even when a big metal cart got pushed by which was loaded with drinks and rattled loudly as it went pass! Every time I try to call someone in public, I have a quick look round, assess that itís safe and quite and boom! Something loud will occur right next to me! Last time I tried to call James I picked a really quite spot with no people what so ever, I dialled - and as it was ringing I watched a guy walk near me, put a case down, open it and by the time James answered the guy was playing Jazz on his saxophone! James shouted why did you ring me when youíre standing next to a guy playing music!???!!! Doh!

I got my train home, and I was just about to ask the lady next to me if I had the correct train when she turned and asked me in said. I heard her fine even though it was really noisy.


I got back and decided I would go for a quick coffee before heading off home, in the cafe I was watching two girls chat - they seemed Italian as they spoke loudly and excitedly and guestured in a big way with their arms. I heard the reserved british couple make comments about them under their breath! I found it very amusing!


[ add comment ]
RE Listening to the Radio in the Car 
Sunday, June 25, 2006, 04:16 PM
We went for a drive today as I thought we were just going somewhere quick but it turned out James had other plans and he decided to go to two supermarkets on the way too.

I was not dress to go out as I was wearing trackie pants which are covered in grout as I am in the middle of doing the bathroom!

So I decided to say in the car and thought it might be a good idea if I turned the radio on for background sound. I was not expecting to be able to hear any thing really and for the first five minutes all I got was the odd word here and there. Then it started to become clearer and I was following the odd conversation with the odd word missing. Music came on and I could hear much more of the mood of the music in said of just the bass that I used to hear. I could also hear the person singing but I could not understand them. I could tell if they were male or female and I could tell if the song was upbeat and cheerful or sad and moody.

I thought it went quite well and I am now thinking about buying a digital radio to put on while I am getting ready for work and also for when I am sitting in my office at home.

It would be good practice and I quite enjoyed listening to it. It is something that I never thought would happen in my life time. I used to hate the car radio it gave me terrible tinnitus and headaches, it used to sound like very loud static. To think I listened to the radio today and got some benefit from it, is amazing!

The only thing I did find sad about the whole day was the fact that I have a world of possibilities open to me, I could buy any CD I want to listen to and perhaps eventually be able to hear it well. But I will never be able to go back and grab all these times that I missed when I was younger. I canít even buy the music that a partner of mine Andy who has since died, may have listened too. I gave away all his CD's to his sister as at that time it was never going to be any use to me. Now I wish I had kept something of his music. It brings a lump to my throat to think that I never paid much attention to what he used to listen to so I have no clue to what was his favourite music. Some songs I know he particularly enjoyed like Lady in Red, "something stupid", "bat out of hell", "Donít want to miss a thing" I think he liked Queen but then I am not sure. I think he would have been so pleased for me, and it would have been lovely to off hear his Birmingham accent! I used to tell him his lip-pattern was so common!

Guess thatís just the way life is.


[ add comment ]
Re I am much more socialble these days 
Saturday, June 24, 2006, 05:41 PM
We went to visit friends of ours today to show them our holiday photos. Its the forth set of friends that I have visited this week and there is still one more to go!

I am much more confident in making friends these days because they are not as hard work as they used to be. Even if I miss a part of what is being said - its very easy these days to pick up the thread of the conversation again. Just like it used to be when I was younger, lipreading seemed such a powerful tool then.

With the implant and lipreading I feel like I am flying on top of the world.

It's a great feeling.

[ add comment ]
Re A Lovely Day today 
Friday, June 23, 2006, 05:18 PM
Today I went to see the Editor of ReSound, Norah and her Husband Dave. They made lunch for me, and we had a lovely chat about our experiences pre and post cochlear. Some were the same and some were so different. We also got lots of ideas for the next newsletter and I managed to convince them to try MSN Messenger which I am sure they will love.

We talked for so long that time flew and when I looked at the clock it was nearly 5pm. I had been there four hours and we still had not said half of what we wanted to say!

When I got home I went straight on to MSN Messenger to say ello to Norah, and I was very pleased to see that how quickly Norah got the hang of it - she is a very clever lady. It will now be easier to discuss our ideas and exchange files for the ReSound newsletter.

Hopefully we will meet again soon, and I am thinking about going to the Cicada Club BBQ which is in August. Iím sure it will be fun to chat to other people who have had implants.

I think it was really fascinating from my perspective to talk to someone who had the implant put in almost ten years ago. Norah has the 20 channel implant and it took her longer to get speech perception than it did for me. I was also encouraged to hear that Norah still notices improvements with her hearing even now. It goes to show that the brain is always learning and suddenly identifying sounds that it did not understand before.

Norah told me that they have done studies on implanted people and using MRI/ CAT scan it showed that they used parts of their brain that was mean for sight to listen to sounds. I think this shows how well the brain adapts when it has to and it finds other ways round the problem areas!

we both agree that washing up is very noisy! We both hate the sound of chairs scraping and people pulling their knife and fork across the plate. Banging and bashing of cups on hard surfaces, and everyday normal things are no longer a quite thing - its almost impossible to do it quite after 29 years of not being aware that I am a very loud person for someone so deaf!

On the way home I had a flash back from my past. When I was about 15 I did some voluntary work for a charity that provided a seaside hotel to disabled people. They depended on volunteers from all over the world to give their time for bed and board.

While I was there I met many people from France, Italy, the USA, and Japan. There was this guy from Japan, he could only have been 16, and he could not believe it when he saw me working and he told me to stop. I explained that I was volunteering here and I had been for the past week and he said no you canít be and started laughing. I said well if you donít believe me go and ask one of the staff which he did. I lip-read them talking and he said she canít be a volunteer she is not allowed and the nurse said in the UK she can do any thing she wants. He came back and said I canít believe they are letting you work here. I explained that I expected to work full time when I left school and pass my driving test and hopefully go to collage. And he said oh you will never be allowed to drive Ė I said of course I will and he laughed again and I found him very off putting. He did not last very long they send him home because he kept upsetting the guest as he was so blunt and dismissive of them. I just thought it was due to him not having a very nice personality.

But I read in Ivanís blog that Japanese people who are deaf are not allowed to drive. If it was like that in the UK, I would have trouble working, and then I would be dependent on the state to care for me. I understand now why that Japanese guy was the way he was, it was due to his cultural beliefs towards disabled people and as a country they do not seem to be very empowering. I feel so lucky to be born in the UK where the opportunity to have a good life is open to me.

I am looking forward to the weekend!

[ 8 comments ] ( 11 views )
RE sounds sounds sounds and more sounds! 
Thursday, June 22, 2006, 04:54 PM
The private health care has said I need to get a referral before they can consider the cost of a second implant. So today I rang the doctors to make an appointment so that I can ask for a new referral to the Manchester implant programme.

Initially I did not catch the first thing the receptionist said and I thought oooh I donít think I am gonna be able to hear her. (I did know it was female) but once I said my name and why I was calling, her voice got clearer and clearer till I had no trouble at all. Stupid appointment is not till the 3rd of July though!

Then I went into town, now I have been able to hear the cars for some time when I'm driving, but today I drove with the window down and it scared me so much that I had to close it.

I could hear cars approaching and they sounded really close, and would make me jump. But when I looked in my mirrors they were in fact about three car widths away! It made me so nervous that I could not drive with the window down. Guess my sound perception is a bit off at the moment.

I was at the traffic lights and I heard some kids on bikes passing me, I actually heard them shouting to each other!

I got into town and had a chat with the lady in the shops, I noticed that these days I can hear them tell me how much things cost.

Pre implant what would happen is I would always have a note handy because I could never hear what they said. As a result I carried around a LOT of change!

I can hear the msn messenger beeping when I have a message these days, although the new upgrade is great as I can hear it nudge and the hear the logo which sounds like knocking on the screen which is really cool.

I noticed that I could hear the big nasty dog that lives in our street barking last night. I was able to identify it as a dog barking with no difficulties.

This evening there was also a dog barking - but this time it was the yappy terrier from next door which sounded small and sharp.

It is getting much easier to identify sounds.

If I scratch or ruffle my hair I can hear the raspy sound. If I hold half of yellow pages and let the rest hang free I can hear the crackle of the pages rustling together.

I can hear when the kettle has finished boiling as it goes "click" I can hear the clock in our kitchen ticking away which takes me by surprise every time I cook!

I love the sizzle of food cooking its such a nice sound. I can hear the popping when I'm heating the pans and the bubbling of water when itís ready for veg. The times when I have dry boiled my food is over!

I can now hear the creaking of my desk chair and sometimes I can hear my hearing aid squeaking!

I can hear myself speaking although I am not always good at knowing how loud I am speaking say if we are in the car and the fan is on.

I hate the car fan - it seems so loud.


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RE To much time on my hands 
Thursday, June 22, 2006, 07:50 AM
Itís easy to see when I am between jobs as the blog entries get longer and longer as I have to much time on my hands!

I was doing some research today because I might be working with adults with disabilities. I came across a website for Barking and Dagenham who were very proud to promote the fact that they donít say disabled they say impaired and follow the social model of disability.

eh?!!?

hold on a minute, Impaired according to the encyclodictionalacapedia

http://www.answers.com/impaired&r=67 the word impaired means

Diminished, damaged, or weakened: an impaired sense of smell.

Functioning poorly or incompetently: a driver so tired as to be impaired.

Having a physical or mental disability: an impaired child in need of special assistance

According to the word net:-

The adjective impaired has 2 meanings:

Meaning #1: diminished in strength, quality, or utility

Meaning #2: mentally or physically unfit

according to my word Thesaurus impaired means - damaged, weakened, ruined, messed up!

"Dis" Abled - on the other hand means - stopped, prevented, held back,

Here are a few more exsamples to what Barking and Dagenham think are wrong and should be chaged:-

Often the term 'disabled parking bays' is used at supermarkets and shopping centres. This is inappropriate. It should be 'parking for Orange/Blue Badge Holders or 'parking for disabled drivers and passengers'. More and more supermarkets are changing to the former through pressure from disabled people.

People who are deaf or blind or deaf/blind are said to have 'sensory impairment' either 'hearing' or 'sight impaired'. People who are deaf/blind prefer 'dual sensory impairment'.

Often the term 'disabled toilets' is used, but this is inappropriate. The toilet is either 'accessible' or 'inaccessible'.

What on earth is going on! This is a play on words. It has nothing to do with empowering a person to have access to the same things as everyone else.

Barking and Dagenham say under the Social Model, the term 'people with disabilities' is incorrect as we have impairments. We are people who are disabled by the environment, attitudes, stereotypes etc.

erm no I am disabled because of a biological problem that causes my ears not to work and renders me deaf.

Discrimination and ignorance prevents me from accessing the environment, attitudes and stereotypes etc. I admit that this is more disabling than my deafness. Which is why we say Dis -abled apposed to abled. (what are these people on?)

I am not damaged or ruined or weakened because I am deaf I find it quite insulting to be considered impaired because of it.

I wonder what other people think about this? Am I the only one? To think when the social model became known I thought we were in a step in the right direction. Now everyone has interpreted it to suit their own beliefs and it has lost all its power.

Does the impairment/disability discussion really have a place within the social model?

I am all for being an individual as I have never really believed in the possibility of being able to make my life equal to others - but I donít really want to be seen as an impaired individual.

Maybe I totally misunderstood the social model of disability? I am all for saying its disabling not being able to gain access to a supermarket, or its unfair that there are not captions in a cinema. But to say I want the words in the
disabled bay
to be repained to say
'parking for disabled drivers and passengers'

is totally over the top, it makes us look picky, demanding, a pain in the backside, expensive. Would they also be happy for the other bays to be labled
' warning - parking for nondisabled drivers and passengers only - disabled drivers WILL be clamped

and if not - would that be seen as discrimination against nondisabled people? will a new act come out as a result to protect and promot nondisabled peoples rights? or is that just being over the top.... Yes, my point has been made.

Damit! I did not log in to write about this, I was actually going to write about something completely different!

It is getting to the point where I am thinking about carrying a pen and paper around with me - I seem to get snippets of past information when I am driving in the car. I think oo must put that in my blog and then itís gone forever!

When I was at collage I would go out with my mates and we would go to night clubs in the area. I was told (they could have just been trying to be nice) I danced really well. I had two tricks, one dance to the base (thatís all i could hear) two look around find the best dancer and dance to their rhythm. Both worked quite well.

The hard bit was when a guy would come and dance with me; we were fine as long as he did not speak to me. If he did try I would just shout in his ear itís to loud for me to hear you sorry! we would dance a bit more, and he might mime "you want a drink?" ďno thanks I am fine!Ē I would shout back. If we have a drink then he will shout in my ear again - then what will I do! Not only is it pointless to shout in my ear it tickles like hell! I fond it easier to lip-read as long as we were not under the strobe lights I think they were called.

If I really liked him then I would say ok then but you need to know I am deaf. Now this would produce two reactions the guy would say "oh ok then lets go and get that drink. Or he would turn and walk away with out saying a thing.

Now the first time this happened I was close to tears, the pain crushed my heart like an elephant sitting on it. (I was sixteen ok I was entitled) But a very clever friend (also sixteen where did she get her common since!) said to me "is it not better that you find out within a few minutes what a wanker a guy is, than to waste time and then find out what a wanker he is?" and I thought yep I really donít want to be having a drink with a wanker, and it turned into a really useful tool to find out who wankers were.

Sometimes my mates would even push me into dancing with a guy to find out if he was wanker free before dancing with him themselves. As they said they did not want to dance with a shallow guy. Lucky I never fancied any of em myself so it worked out quite well. I think it was my first lesson in turning something so negative into something really positive. From then on I have always tried to do that and it makes me a lot happier emotionally.




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Re I am rather worried about a friend of mine 
Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 02:16 PM
A friend who is waiting for his implant operation has asked if he should take a CD with Cavatina on it when he go for the switch on because he would like to try out some music while his there.

I cannot think of a worst thing to do. If he is really lucky, he may hear his wife's voice. If he is very lucky he might even hear her accent.

Having an implant does not give you the hearing that you have lost.

It provides you with an alternative way to hear, which is better than hearing aids can give you.

But it still will not, ever, sound like how it used to sound when you were hearing. At least not in our life time, and if in our life time, then at least not this year.

Music is the most complex and difficult thing to hear. Environmental things like a car going pass, rain on a window, a clock ticking, is actually easier to hear than speech. Itís all I heard about two weeks into switch on.

I know other people who lost their hearing more recently before having the implant have reported voices sounding squeaky or even like Darth Vader!

There is no way, this early on in a map that the brain would be able to process the sounds of music. Even if it could - it would sound very different to how it once was.

I donít think the fact that he wants to try upsets me so much, its the fact that he wants it to sound as he remembers it that sadness me. As it just wonít ever happen, that moment has been gone for a long time.

Gosh the quote from Blade Runner just jumped into my head!


ďIíve seen things you people wouldnít believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.Ē


I watched this as a kid I must have been 10 years old and I felt like I was one of the replicants and could totally relate to Rutger Hauer. I was dying too, I did not belong, and I so much wanted too!

This film questions what it is to be human, and why life is so precious. It also for me at least, touched on how difficult it is to be accepted when your different and how important it can be to be accepted. I found it almost painful to watch because it was not the replicants fault that things were the way they were. But they sure were paying the price.

The ultimate price is what it is to be human. I wanted to be a hearing human so badly. But having an implant will never allow me to be a hearing in a natural sense of the word.

For the record Ridley Scott fully intended Harrison Ford to be a replicant!

Yesterday I went to a friendís house; they have a new born baby. I was really shocked to find that when they put her down after her bottle she talked to her self and made sounds like she was singing or keeping her self busy. I really thought (I feel embarrassed to admit this) that babyís only made a crying sound till at least an age where they started to smile and laugh. I could hear her burping, and then she got hic cups, some of which were quite loud for such a little thing!

Today I went to visit another friend who has a three year old boy, at first he was to shy to speak to me but I won him round eventually and although I could not always hear every word he said. I could hear that he had a very high little voice and I could hear the excitement in his voice and sometimes I could hear the tone he used when he was being serious and the tone when he was puzzled. If he only said one or two words then I could pick up what he was saying quite well. It was when he babbled on something that I did not have a clue what he was on about then it was harder to work out what he was saying. It was a massive change to how it used to be. I could never lip read very young children they donít stay still for long enough and what sounds they might have made I never got anyway.

I am feeling a lot more confident about speaking to people now, we went out for lunch and it was very noisy but I could still hear most of what was being said to me. I did notice once or twice though my voice came out really loud! Itís kinda hard to moderate my voice in busy places.

When I was a hearing aid uses I knew that if I did not watch myself I would end up shouting so I learnt to always keep my voice soft, to a point where some people could not hear me Ė but it was less embarrassing than shouting at them and seeing the look of shock in their eyes.

Itís much harder to keep my voice soft with the implant because the map is not set to give me how loud it really is. Itís set to give me what I feel comfortable with hearing, as a consequences I donít really know how loud things are Ė itís an educated guess. What may sound loud to me, might not to someone else and what might sound loud to everyone else might not to me!


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RE Breakfast 
Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 05:38 AM
Ok I donít know if itís because I have spent so much time on my blog and reading up various things about hearing and CI's BUT - Making breakfast today I realised I could hear it as I buttered my toast a lovely crunch scrape sound. I HEARD the water as I poured it into my coffee cup.

Sitting here now making the keys all buttery because I am still eating my toast, I can hear it as I bite in to it. Itís a lovely sound.

I reason I have not noticed before is I donít eat breakfast much normally, but today I felt like it. I wonder what other foods sound nice?

I remember my disappointment when we brought a packet of that sweet which is meant to pop and crackle and turn into gum. James said he could hear it - but I could not hear it at all. Wonder if I would be able to now?

When it was first switched on I noticed every knife scrape across the plate, and every clatter of the fork hitting the plate and every ting of a glass being put down on the table. Someone scraping their chair back was enough to make me look like Roger Rabbit when he hears *whispers* that song.

Itís not as bad as that now but when I go to a restaurant, I can still hear a lot of sounds that I never did before. The only difference is, peoples voices carry over the top, I can hear the sound of someone laughing, or a group deep in conversation. I might not be able to understand what is being said but I can hear the tone which their mood is set in.

Some days you go through life not realising how much you can hear now, its only when you reflect that just how clever it is becomes apparent.

Michael is right this article is good, it had me laughing out loud.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01933.html

Does he have radar for this kinda thing? Every single thing he has recommended has been able someone with a fabulous sense of humour.

Not that I am complaining mind you

Josh Swiller had a lot of speech therapy. I can relate to this, I also can relate to the fact that he loved listening to music and would follow the song by obtaining the lyrics. I used to do that for years till I suddenly stopped being able to hear a single thing on the TV, record player etc.

I also love the fact that Joe could follow lyrics if he had them written down except for the likes of mumbling Bob Dylan, who, according to his speech therapist, really should be ashamed of himself! Classic.


I too found friendly women who spoke through their smiles hard to lip-read. With one particular colleague I can remember thinking if only I could hit her, it would be worth it just to take the smile of her face SO I can lip-read her. It was always such a drain on my eyes.

Sunglasses also stopped me from lip-reading easily - I like to see people's eyes and I like to be able to see their full profile. Somehow sunglasses cut the profile in half and I just donít seem to lip-read as well.

Joe said he had 70% hearing when lipreading and hearing aids and when asked:

What's 70 percent like? It's hard work. It's always hearing the laughter but rarely catching the joke.
Ok I have lived in this guys shoes.

One-on-one you can hear pretty well, but big gatherings -- are just noise falling on top of noise,
Joe said [if we could hear it would be] like ocean waves in a storm. I think it is more akin to being shoved into a washing machine, which has been loaded with plates by mistake, and still being expected to have a conversation were you donít say "I'm sorry could you repeat that again please?"

It is so fascinating to see that similar techniques are developed to get by and pretend you can hear, ie
the smile-and-nod, the thoughtful lip purse,
and the yes-and-nod - which can go wrong if its more appropriate that you had said no. But why do we put ourselves through it? Simple reason I guess, we want to be a part of it all and to do that we have to somehow stay in the game. It too time consuming to ask people to keep repeating things, so we bluff our way through and cross our fingers and hope it works out.

My mother used to say to me ďWill you STOP nodding your head and smiling when you CLEARLY have not understood a word I said. One of these days a seriously dodgy guy is going to say to you ďwant to come back to my placeĒ and you will wonder why things went so wrong.Ē My mother always had a really bleak view on the world but I did admit that she had a point. It took me years to break the habit and stop nodding or saying yes in said of pardon? I did initially try the trick of shaking my head and saying No, but I missed out on so much I stopped doing it!


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