14 days post switch on 
Thursday, July 14, 2005, 04:25 PM
Today I went to have the processor programmed again (new maps)

When she turned it on I started to cry coz I heard her so clearly (before I could hear her but it sounded like she was whispering and now I could hear the "s" and "Sh" much clearer than any other sound) now it just sounds normal and so clear! Every word comes thru perfect.

Deborah read some paragraphs from a book and after saying the same thing three times I was able to get most of it right.

I now have four programmes:

1) Normal everyday programme (can be used with T but then I cant
hear myself)

2) Beam

3) for noisy places

4) for the telephone which is set so I can hear myself as well as
the other person

I have not tried them all yet!

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 don’t normally hear children so that was really cool.

I brought a few things to celebrate (this is getting quite expensive since I have two more appointments to go! )most things are 70% off now so I am picking up some lovely dresses quite cheap. But I can hear the ladies ask me if I want a shop credit card for 10% off... I always wondered what they were asking me about - it used to get so confusing. I used to think "look I just want to buy the dress and get out why does this have to be so difficult" Now I can say no ta and pay... so much easier.

Things are clearer now and louder which takes a bit of getting used to... as all the sounds from last week were I said they did not sound like I expected them to... now sound like they should

I have been walking around with the biggest grin... people have smiled at me and given me a look as if to say what is making you smile so much!

On a really positive note I got speaking to a dad who's little girl is under going the assessment for the ci (she could only have been 5) and I gave out my webpage so he could have a look at the photos.

Deborah is now trying to get me to write a book Not sure if I could cope with that!!

I was told to listen out for bird sounds: the dawn chorus, noisy, busy starlings, cawing crows/rooks, twittering swallows, quacking, gobbling ducks, hissing swans

We have a place called Pennington flash which is a local bird animal thingy it has huts etc for bird watching and a big lake.... Ooooo I could go over there and have a listen...

Fizzy coke and bubble wrap are still my best sounds and ones that I tell everyone It has people in fits of giggles coz poor jams has never had so many offers from me to get him a coke (I don’t drink it - its horrible stuff)

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Day 12 
Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 04:24 PM
Today I went to work and found that everyone seemed a lot clearer....

There was a lot to catch up on and I quickly became very tired so I am going to do half days this week.

When I got home my partner James told me to call him and we nattered for 28 minutes! First it did not go very well as I could not understand what he was saying. Then I tried asking James questions where he said yes or no. This went quite well... 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!!!!!

All this just two weeks after switch on!!!!!

James said he was shocked how much of the phone call I got. It was the first really voice call we have ever had with each other in the three years we have known each other.... James got all tearful *bless*

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Day 11 
Monday, July 11, 2005, 04:23 PM
I went to see my consultant today. Normally I would never hear anyone call my name. Today there was no problem what so ever. They have a strange system where they move you from room to room till you end up sitting outside the consultant’s door. The second nurse called me and I heard her fine too. She said quite crossly “I’ve been calling you for ten minutes did you not hear me?” Where were you I asked? Round the corner she replied…. Well I am sorry but I am profoundly deaf I said… and its not good practice to call someone when your standing round the corner and people cant see you! Got a very apologetic nurse after that. I was left in a waiting room that had a small TV, normally I would not hear any of it… Today Grease was on, and I could really make the music out! So we are going to have to dig out our old Grease DVD as I think I will see it in a whole new light!

Lets see oh yes the consultant was a different man from who I was expecting he was DR Chung and I thought oo here we go, am I going to be able to lip-read him (heavy American / Chinese accent and very fast talker who did not necessarily look at me when he is asking questions :o ) He asked me to take the processor off so he could look at the scar then he fired three questions at me and I got them all correct and he said oh the ci is really working fine and I had to say actually I've not had a chance to put it in yet :o ) :D But as I say I managed fine.

I went over to the ward I stayed at to see the nurses and give them my thank you card.. One of the nurses remembered me and came rushing over and I told her all my best sounds and we both ended up in tears!!! My voice quivers when ever I speak about my best sounds! :oops: and my eyes mist up.... Gonna need a few hanky's when I go back to work I can tell you.

Right I found some bubblewrap in side a envelope - I got the odd crack and pop and could hear it over the rustle of the paper.... But methinks I really need a full sheet :D Going to the postoffice tomorrow coz I forgot today so perhaps I will get some there.

Anyone ever get their hands on the really big bubblewrap please let me know and I will swap anything (yep anything including brads or even a few charms from Carolyn’s :o ) for a bit :D

I forgot to buy peas, rice crispies and bubble gum :( But I will try and remember this on the way home from work (I am going back to work tomorrow!! *yay*)

okies about a hour a go I was in the garden with my big bottle of fizzy water....ooo :D very rumbly frizz :D I think the coke sounded stronger than my water tho *could this be my imagination?*

I had to go to see my consultant for my ci today he is very pleased and never wants to see me again :o *giggles* :D So that’s good news.

I am more sociable now, and it’s easier to chat to people in the shops, when I am ordering coffee etc. People are much more friendlier than I realised as they are willing to chat. I realise that there must have been heaps and heaps of people who tried to speak to me and I gave gone marching pass! Coz I heard so many people approach me today and ask if I was ok, did I need any help, could they help me find what I was looking for. I have never noticed that before! I even had a laugh and a joke with a guy in starbucks (bloody expensive in there aint it!) which I normally would find a struggle. It was lovely - he will never know how thrilled I was at the time to be able to join in on the joke....

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Day 10 
Sunday, July 10, 2005, 04:22 PM
Today I heard birds (quite loud aint they!) and we opened the champagne :clap: I was not sure if I would really hear it coz I have never heard it before.... sounded like a gun going off :o I nearly jumped out of my skin!! *giggles* bit drunk now tho :D
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.....

I am so happy

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Day 9 
Saturday, July 9, 2005, 04:21 PM
While I was in the back garden I heard the lawn mower in the front.

I heard Yvonne's coke as she opened the can and I had a good listen to her ice cubs which she very kindly shock for me (quite a few times)

Lovely! I am very happy *sigh*

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)

great day out by all accounts…..

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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

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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

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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….

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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!)

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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.

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