Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Updates and CI Moments

All day Monday was really no change from that whistling, motorized whine I got from the CI (Pete).

Tuesday I tried to turn off my hearing aid for a while just to see if I could sort out anything.

CI Moment: I took a sip from my cup and set it down. I heard a mechanical “clunk” as I set it down. And later on, towards the evening, I tried it again. I clapped my hand. I could hear the sound from the clap, but it was not clear. Then I could hear a sort of a difference in the underwater buzzing drill when the kids started talking. I couldn’t hear what they said, but the buzzing whine was different. And I thought I could almost detect some "heliumization" in their voices. (Did I make it to Toon Town yet? LOL)

Last night I plugged in the battery recharger (pictures below). I have two batteries with the starter kit, though I could separately purchase more on my own and maybe insurance might cover cochlear implant items under durable medical equipment. I hope they do. The rechargeable batteries cost just under $200 apiece. (Yes, it’s expensive being deaf.) My recharger can hold four batteries at one time. They last about 10-12 hours. I do have disposable batteries and they can last about three days. But the length of time really depends on how much power my map (the program that the audie sets my CI on) uses. Some maps use more power so it drains the battery faster. Right now my map is set at a low setting, so it shouldn't be draining so fast.

I also set up the Dry and Store (pictures below). This has a special brick inside of it that helps take the moisture out of the CI. The audie said that I could also put my hearing aid in it. I have to take the batteries out, though. It’s really like a dehumidifier for the hearing devices.

Today: I looked at the calendar for some reason and noticed that I had an appointment today. Good thing I looked. I forgot all about it. I guess the CI and the kids’ school routine takes precedence here.

I turned the CI on and felt around for the gravitational pull from my head. (Dare I consider my head like a planet. I wonder if I can cause the tide to come in and out? Just kidding.) Once I heard that familiar motorized noise, I knew the magnet found the internal magnet in my head. Two things I want to say: One, I don’t miss the constant slimy wetness from the earmold from the hearing aid (HA). When the earmold is in the ear all day, it gets damp/sweaty; it is just something we have to deal with when we wear HAs.. I still have that with my other ear, so I guess I’ll have to deal with it. Two, the processor is a lot bigger than my hearing aid and though it feels lighter, by the end of the day I feel the weight and the tips of my ears get sore.

I noticed that if I put my hair up, the magnet holds better. If I have my hair down (I have THICK hair) it doesn’t stay on very well. I have to dig around, moving hair out of the magnetic area. When I lay down, the magnet slips. So this is something I’ll bring up at the next mapping appointment. A magnet that is too strong could irritate the skin, though.

Just now, I find that I have another CI moment. It’s not clear, but I can hear the clacking of the keys as I type. It sounds high-pitched, kind of echo-y. If you have ever heard the TTY (teletypewriter for the deaf), that’s what the sound is similar to, but still distorted. It is still different than what I hear with my hearing aid.

So sounds are starting to sort out. Again, I still get that buzzing motor sound, but it’s getting better. :)

Most of the time, it’s a shrill whistling sound, then I get a lower buzzing sound that changes as a sound is made. I can’t make sense of that sound unless I knew where it came from and what it was. It doesn’t; sound the same as the sound I hear with my HA in the other ear, though.

I forgot to mention this: I did not get a word recognition test when I was getting activated. The audie could just tell that I would not hear anything.

Below I added some pixtures of the items so you can get a visual idea of what I was talking about.

This is the Dry and Store (closed)

This is the Dry and Store (opened, with a Dry Brik inside)

This is the Freedom processor with the cable and coil and magnet.

The internal implant and electrodes are shown here, too, but this just shows how the magnet connects to the coil/cable and processor.

Click diagram above to bigify.

This is the batteries that can be put into the battery holder below.

Battery Holder (Can be used instead of rechargeables)
Snaps into the bottom of the processor. Three batteries are used at a time.

Battery Charger (plug not shown)

Rechargeable batteries

(Snaps into the bottom of the processor or in the slots for the charger)

Have a great day. HUGs.

Sources of pictures: Cochlear Americas and other distributers. If pictures are clicked, the web address should show where they come from.



At Wed Aug 27, 07:36:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are doing great. I have my hair stylist trim the hair on the magnet area, which is the size of a dime. It does hold on much better.
Just help "Pete" to listen, listen, listen!!!!!!!
HUGS, Molly CC

At Wed Aug 27, 07:38:00 PM , Anonymous Karen said...

Shari, our experiences are so similar that it's spooky! :-) I'm glad you are doing okay. People tell me all the time that sounds will get better and clearer....and I don't believe them. LOL. I can tell a difference from Thursday compared to today but it's not like a night and day difference. It changes at a slow pace. I wish I could explain it. May each day bring us more clarity! :-)

At Wed Aug 27, 07:45:00 PM , Blogger Laurie said...


You are doing great! Try turning the magnet in the headpiece a little. . . it may not be strong enough to stay on your head.

Are you sure the whistling isn't coming from your hearing aid? I actually heard my own hearing aid whistling with my first CI! I don't miss that part at all!

Your audiologist probably "turned you on" very gently (pun intended!) This is all new to your brain and it is processing. By your next mapping session, you'll be ready for new settings!

My insurance company only reimbursed me 1% of my battery cost, therefore only giving me $1.95 for my rechargeable battery. I'm still fighting with them on this because the battery lasts three years and I don't have to get reimbursed monthly for disposables. But they will pay 80% of my disposable battery cost. Go figure.

Looking forward to more stories from you!


At Wed Aug 27, 08:27:00 PM , Blogger Becky said...

Once again, Shari...your descriptive imagery is perfect.
It's very interesting to read about your 'journey'.

At Wed Aug 27, 10:37:00 PM , OpenID suddensilence said...

Shari, you've already got CI moments! That is so, so awesome. :)

You're doing great, and I bet you'll be surprised how different things sound by this time next week.

Thanks so much for the is so interesting and I'm honored to share in your journey to hearing!

~ Wendi

At Wed Aug 27, 10:41:00 PM , Anonymous Kila said...

I'm excited for you! New sounds every day!

How's school going for the girls?

At Thu Aug 28, 12:07:00 AM , Blogger Jennifer Bruno Conde said...

Super, Shari!

Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad you're doing so well so soon!

Jennifer :-)

At Fri Aug 29, 07:01:00 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Progress - wonderful. It seems like quite a learning/adaptation process.

(hope this comes through - i'm up North - wonky internet - it's taking forever....)

At Fri Aug 29, 01:24:00 PM , Blogger hillgrandmom said...

Shari, it's great to read of your progress.

At Sat Aug 30, 08:53:00 AM , Blogger Eileen said...

I learn so much from you about this. I appreciate that so much. I am glad things seem to be getting better and it does seem like your progress is headed in the right direction (happy dance). I hope your appointment went well. Keep us posted.

At Sun Aug 31, 10:55:00 AM , Blogger Shari/"Whiger" said...

Molly, trying my best to listen, listen...:)

Karen, in the words of Aadam's Family,...we are altogether ooky...I'm not getting too much differences in the past few days. The hearing aid overpowers what I'm trying to hear. I do turn it off from time to time to hear what things sound like. Time, time is all we need.

Laurie, I tried to keep the coil in the north position and having the cord hang south. It seems to say on pretty well. Haven't ran in it like that, though...:)

Yeah, the audie said that she wanted to keep it soft because she wanted me to wear it and not get frustrated. She did say that she'll up the volume at next mappings if I can handle it.

Interesting about the battery coverage. I'll have to see what our insurance will cover.

Becky, thank you. I try to explain things the best I can. We all have a jouney called life. :)

Wendi, CI moments are slow right now. Still buzzes and when I hear the lower buzzes, I know sound is coming through but it could be the fan in the bathroom or the microwave.

Kila-Will post something about the girls soon.

Jennifer and Amanda-Thank you. I'm glad Amanda's making progress, too.

Hey Beth-Yep, you got through a-okay. :) Yeah, this is a big process. Patience and time. That's what I have to remind myself when I get frustrated. LOL

Hillgrandmom-Thank you. It's a "work in process" alright. :)

Eileen-I'm glad you are enjoying the journey and I don't mind sharing the hearing jouney with you all.


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