Posted by: T. Boyd | December 7, 2017

Diary of a Cochlear Implant

January 4, 2017

Well, today my CI (cochlear implant) got activated!  So exciting to hear sounds in my right ear for the first time since December 4, 2017, although a little weird, as expected, but better than for some patients that I have read about. At first, because of the snow overnight, our audiologist office called to allow us to wait till tomorrow, we said, “That will be fine.”

But then the sun came out about that time, so I told my wife that I was going to try driving around the block to see if we would be able to make it;  I came back with the report that we would be fine and we were then able to re-establish at 1:30 p.m. the 2 p.m. appointment!  We are so glad that happened.

IMG_1552 Here the audiologist, Sean, is turning it on for the first time with the computer attachment.  I heard some kind of sound, but this stage was just the one where the electronics are being tested in the internal processor.

Sean was not surprised that I thought the internal disc would be closer to the ear – he said that is because the slight irregularities I can feel through the skin is the internal parts besides the disc.

The next thing he did was to put together the external unit (the cable and the battery compartment), placed it on my head, and gradually turned it on while my left hearing aid was turned off.  He was speaking to me during this time, gave me a chart to help me tell him when it got too loud – so we settled for “loud, but not uncomfortable”.

IMG_1580

During this part of the activation, I could actually understand Sean’s words with a few misses, but it sounded like he was speaking through a long, metal pipe with a hollow, resonant sound with echoes.  After letting me get used to the new sensation for about 5 minutes, he then let me turn on my hearing aid in the other ear.  And, wow! I started understanding his speaking quite well which got better and better during the next 1/2 hour or so of the appointment.

And on the way home, I could understand Leslie, my wife, to my right better than I have in a long time.  And she told me that I finally quit talking so loud to her and how wonderful that was. (I am finding that even my “quiet voice” is too loud in my own ears).

Back home.  I just turned on a TV show, and for the first time in years, I can actually almost understand it at a volume level that is comfortable for my wife!  That is so amazing.  I still need the captions right now, but I can see that in the near future I will not have to have them all the time.

With the CI already helping this much after 3 hours, and things are only going to get better, I am already forgetting the uncomfortable month after the surgery, and at this point, I am hoping that the normal 6 month’s minimum wait time for the second surgery will be shortened.

I go back tomorrow for the next adjustment.  Very wisely, Sean is stalling in letting me start experimenting on my own with the remote and other attachments.  So I am seeing that I will have to have great patience in the next few weeks and months. 🙂

I will add a video recording that I made of the first session when I get it edited.

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