First Days

The first few days with a CI have been interesting. I feel that I have a better understanding of why people do not like to wear it and even stop wearing it after awhile. It can be the ultimate tinnitus/headache inducer and yet not be one (as soon as you take it off, it goes away – WEIRD). A cochlear implant is not something that is easy or an instant fix. It takes a lot of time and energy if you’ve been deaf a long time (I think it is probably easier for someone who just lost their hearing) I thought it would be a lot like switching from analog to digital hearing aids, but it’s a lot more difficult than that. My brain really doesn’t know what to do with all that loud ringing, but it’s making progress.

I haven’t felt well these last couple of days. My stomach feels nauseous a lot. It’s not a strong nauseous feeling – it’s pretty faint. I’m not sure if it’s because of my disorientation from the cochlear implant or if it’s from something else. Before my surgery, my doctor had informed me that I have a profound loss of balance in my semicircular canals. Basically, the surgery can’t make it worse than it already is. So it quite possibly could be something else like the medicine and if so, then it should go away soon. It may also be because I’ve been kind of pushing it with the volume. Maybe I’m just turning it up too fast. My logic at the beginning was to push my brain and maybe that’s not such a great idea. Today has been my “take it easy” day.

I think I’ve made pretty significant progress with it. Despite all the nausea and headaches (which was to be expected) there’s a lot of good things. The ringing in general has become more defined. I feel like having a hearing aid on has really helped a lot because it helps the CI side identify the sound and now things are becoming part of what I hear on my hearing aid side – only louder. It’s not perfectly defined yet, so I hear speech worse than with just my hearing aid. When my CI side has figured out what I am hearing, I hear what I usually do on my hearing aid side, only louder with a slight echo to it.

Right now speech sounds like bells, but I can identify each syllable and spaces between words when I am watching the person’s lips and reading captions (on TV). I can differentiate between speech and general environmental sounds with just my CI on. Everything sounds like bells, but the bells that speech makes is just slightly different than everything else. Every now and then, I pick out bell “patterns” and realize that I’m listening to something! Today I was in my office and the bells were making rhythmic patterns. It sounded like something electronical was going in a cycle/circle so I believe it may have been a computer fan. I lost the sound though before I could ask someone what it was.

Last night I was listening to talk radio and I could’ve sworn that for a short while my cochlear implant was picking up their talking when my hearing aid could not. It really fascinated me. I kept playing with the radio to see how soft I could make it and still hear it. But I think after a little bit, my brain made an adjustment to the CI (time to turn up the volume) and I couldn’t hear it any more.

I went to a bar last night too. It was so loud, but for some reason I think it may have been slightly easier to understand other people in the bar. Either that or my mind is playing tricks on me!

I told someone the other day. If there was a pill that could make me hearing, I wouldn’t take it (yes, this is after activation!) There are two reasons. One: oh my gosh, everything is so LOUD. And to think, there are still five more programs to get through in a week and a half! Each program is louder than the previous. Can you imagine how painful that can be to just turn someone on? It makes me shutter just thinking about it Two: I love being deaf. Everything is so much calmer. I really don’t understand why hearing people like listening to all that loud noise constantly. I love my breaks and my beauty sleep!

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2 responses to “First Days

  1. You are doing fantastic. The each time you go for a mapping the bells and whistles and tinnitus will dissipate over time. It is not permanent! When do you go back for your next mapping?

  2. I’m glad you’re starting to adjust a bit more to the implant! It DOES take time, for sure. Even I had to adapt to the processor every time I got a new one. I’m quite sure I WILL have to adapt big time to my next set since I’ve gone over a year without hearing! The remapping appointments should help you adjust to your hearing better.

    Another real interesting thing is probably something you already know. I once traded my processor with a friend to see what it sounded like, if it sounded the same as me. Oh, hell, no, it sure didn’t. I heard a REALLY loud ringing sound, it was downright painful for me. Never going through that again! =)

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