Saturday, 21 February 2009

3-monthly tune up

I had been so excited all week as my 3-monthly tune up was approaching. I knew I would do well as I had been picking up so many little things on a daily basis. At my workplace, I am beginning to hear people saying the odd sentences in the background.

Yesterday, I met Sarah, one of the Audiologists who I never met before. She tested the sounds by me pressing the button using my CI and hearing aid so she can update my audiogram and see if there was any change from the previous one. The result was at 15dB(HL) across the frequency range tested (250Hz – 4 kHz). I then did the same test as before (without lipreading) and my BKB score was 84% keywords correct. That had improved from 61% at 1 month post. I was so chuffed!!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Workshops all day

Last week, I wanted to find out more about the accessories for my CI make - COCHLEAR NUCLEUS FREEDOM so I attended a morning workshop to learn more. It was really interesting and I met other CI users who have the same model as me. We were given three pieces of equipment to test. First, we had fun trying out with an ipod/CD player. It was funny seeing others how they react when listening to music. I had been practising with my ipod for a little while and the types of music sound different compared to my other hearing aid. Secondly, we were asked to plug a cable to watch the video of Dr Dolittle. I found that difficult because the video player plays a hum in the background. As it was an American film, I could not understand Eddie Murphy because he was talking so fast plus there was a music background. Thirdly, I was given a go listening to the music player. They turned on various types of music, using the CI/cable or CI alone. I have found I would listen to the music without the cable. I am glad I attended because it gave me the chance to try things out and was able to learn more that I did not discover.

Later on in the afternoon, I attended another workshop called "Using Your Voice Well". It provided practical hints and tips on maintaining a healthy voice. The Speech Therapists gave us plenty of ideas to keep our voice sounding great and feeling comfortable. I realised that I must drink plenty of water and drink less caffeine!!

Saturday, 31 January 2009

My first talk - 28th January

I had been asked to attend the User Group at the SOECIC to give out a talk about my own experience. I met another CI called Lesley who also been asked to come along and talk her own journey. She was a lovely person to meet. It was really nice to share our own experiences even though we were a little nervous in front of others who were thinking about having a CI! Nikki the Hearing Therapist who conducted the group, asked us some questions. The audience were a mixture of ages and at the beginning, they looked a bit petrified! I think in the end, they were more relaxed as me and Lesley made them understand better listening to CI users. We received a praise as they clapped for us. We felt even lucky as Nikki said that, the audience in the past user groups have never clapped before so we were the first ones!!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Welcome to 2009!

Here I am writing my first post for 2009. Since I had my monthly tune up, there have been some small improvements with my implant and surprisingly, little noises have crept up on me! I have been told by some people that my speech has improved and that I speak more clearly. I’m still picking up the odd word without looking at their lips. More interestingly I have been able to hear my parents’ pretty well from a distance. The other task I wanted to try was to have a group conversation. I managed to get some of it but I know it just takes time. I was in Birmingham for Christmas and we had a big family dinner. There were some people that I hadn’t met before and I had the chance to understand them when meeting for the first time. Although they had a “brummie” accent and it took a while to understand them in the end.

During the past few weeks, I had been catching up with some friends who have young children. I have never been able to understand what young children are saying unless they talk to me very clearly in front of me! I caught up with my friend Joanne with her two twins, Keira and Jack. The twins adore me so much, crying out for my attention. I really loved seeing them. They have said the odd words and I hope when they get older, I will be able to understand them better. On 19th December I became an Aunty for the second time to Dannan (Danny). He is absolutely beautiful! I’m still practising understanding my other nephew Zac who is only 2. I’m determined to interact more with children and communicate better with them.

What have I heard more so far.....? The fireworks on NYE and I have never heard anything so LOUD!!!! I love hearing birds singing in the mornings... the washing machine alerts when I’m in the next room... supermarket announcement - got some of the words “special offer” and “buy one get one free!” I have listened to my IPod more and I can hear some of the lyrics. One morning I had Rice Krispies for breakfast and I actually heard SNAP, CRACKLE and POP!!!!

The best thing that has happened to me in 2008.... Well I would definitely say having the cochlear implant. It was exactly a year ago I had decided to explore my options of having a CI and I'm really pleased I have made it happen.

As the New Year has arrived, I’m really excited to discover more with my implant and have more practice with conversations. I would like to try my luck using the telephone/mobile and communicate with my family and friends more. I’m hoping to get involved more and help others who are thinking about having a CI.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Monthly activation

What a week! I went back to full time basis at work this week and it has been tiring! I had been picking up news sounds which was incredible! One morning on my way to work, I passed by a river and I heard the ducks quacking at a distance! I really couldn't believe it and maybe they were trying to catch my attention to test me!

Yesterday was an exciting day as I had my monthly tune up and activation. I had a hearing test with the CI implant and hearing aid with CUNY (with lipreading) and BKB (without lipreading). Here are the results showing before implant and with implant:

CUNY - 16% before implant and 61% with implant
BKB - 73% before implant and 95% with implant

I was really pleased with the outcome and didn't expect to achieve a higher percentage! I have noticed recently that I have been picking up new small sounds but also catch the odd word or two. I have started to practice conversations with people without looking at their lips but it will take time. Now I'm looking forward to hearing more unusual sounds!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Back to normal!

I know I haven't written for a little while. The past few weeks has been touch and go trying to adjust to normal life. I returned to work last week with part time hours for a 2-week trial. When entering into my office for the first time, it was actually noisy, (although I work in an open plan office). I could almost hear what everyone is doing! I really can't stand hearing the paper rustling! It just felt good to hear another person talking across the room. Now I realised how hearing people has to put up with when I missed out on these things. I was a little nervous when I caught the train (as I commute every day) and I could just about hear every single thing going on in the carriage! The announcement drives me insane!

I'm getting used to my implant now and I have picked up little things that it hasn't occured before. It makes me smile and even more excited what more is to come! I have my tune up next week so it'll be interesting to see what my audiogram looks like and see if it has improved.

Friday, 7 November 2008

2nd Tuning

Since I got switched on, I have found myself asking "what's that". The hardest part was putting the processor on every morning because it sounded like a loud and bashing squeaky sound. It soon calmed down afterwards. I went back for my 2nd tuning today and this time my dad came with me for moral support. When I waited at the centre, I could hear the clock ticking. I met Helen again and recognised her voice well. We did some tests with the implant alone and I had to hear 3 beeps in sequence. She made some adjustments that made me feel comfortable and I had to concentrate really hard. Then a few moments later, I found it too loud because it was shaking my brain a bit!! Afterwards I had a rehab and met Julie, the Speech Therapist and we talked about using the syllables. I had some practice to see if I could hear her voice using the implant. I did really well but will continue to practice. I am heading back again on Tuesday for my weekly audiology.