Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Remember When...?

Remember when I mentioned my pre-implant audiogram that verified my candidacy for a CI (cochlear implant)?

The ones marked with the Xs is my left ear, the implanted ear. Note how some of the areas of hearing loss was off the charts (120+ dB). No one likes the feeling of failure, failing tests, even if you really couldn't help it and couldn't really "study" for it.

Look at the audiogram below, one month post-activation. (Not post-op, but after getting the initial mapping for the CI).

What a difference!! The "C" means "with cochlear implant".

Here is a detailed work-up of my hearing tests, both with sentences and single words. I didn't have any testing done with "noise interference" to make it more challenging. I bet that will come with the 3-month post-activation testing. (Click chart to bigify, if needed.) It tells you about my pre-implant testing results back in January and the most recent testing last week. The right ear is the one I still wear a hearing aid in and was the only ear I could hear out of pre-implant.

On the home front, there isn't much to report. I am recovering from a nasty bug and now Flare's down with it. Hopefully it will stop there and no one else will come down with a cold.

Last week, the start of autumn was like a false alarm. We had warm, sunny days. This week, however, autumn is showing its "true colors". More leaves, mostly the yellow ones, are dropping off the tree branches.

Talk to you all later.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If It Quacks Like a Duck...

Today was the day of my third map. Already!! So much progress, so much time. I am holding on just fine and dandy.

Dreading the word comprehension testing as I always do, I knew I just had to do what I could. (Really, no one likes to fail a test!!) First the audie put me in the sound booth (a short jail term of maybe 1/2 an hour. I can handle that...) to hear tones. High ones. Low ones. Weird ones. I had to raise my hand every time I heard a sound, no matter how soft. The soft ones are tricky for me. Do I hear it? Is that what I’m hearing or is that an echo? After that was done, I was tested on single words with a male voice recording. The man always said, “Ready” before the word. (Ready…word, ready…word.) Then, with the male voice again, I was tested on sentences.

Before the CI (cochlear implant) I had a CNT (could not test-no speech could be heard) in the implanted ear (before it was implanted), but the right ear (the hearing aid-HA-ear) test results for the word test was a paltry 6%!! After a month of activation, I got a 26%. The audie/cheerleader said that it was good for a one-month post-activation test. Patting myself on the back. From 0 to 26 in one month. Zoooming off. Whoo-hoo.

With the sentence test, before the CI, the ear had a CNT rating, but the HA ear got 46% in Sept. 06 and 32% in January 08. Now, with the implanted ear I got 79%. (0 to 79? What kind of engine is in that CI anyway? Winks.) Not bad. I was SOoooo surprised to do as well as I did. The voices are still robotic, but I’m getting more sense of it every day and with today’s new map, the robotic sounds are really tapering down. Yep, a little less “ducky.” You know that saying “if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it MUST be a duck? Well, obviously, not every person I talk to are ducks. LOL

She also balanced out the electrodes. She had two electrodes go off with a beep sequentially (one after the other) and I had to tell her if they sounded the same or whether one was louder or softer. They all had to be equal-sounding. Sometimes it was hard to tell, but I did get the more obvious “higher” or “lower” beeps. I could almost picture the electrodes as a xylophone and hitting the same thingy twice. Ting, Ting. Or Ting, Tong. Nope, didn’t match.

BTW, you guys know I call the CI “Pete” or “Petey”, but Hubby says it should be “Mr. Roboto” after a song from Styx. LOL. Okay, so that can be Petey's nickname.

Instead of all the programs with ADRO with increased volume, I have:

P2-ADRO with more volume
P3-Focused Listening (Beam)
P4-Music with autosensitivity

I kind of slapped Hubby on the knee and obviously hinted around with “MP3 player for Christmas” LOL Great for listening to music. Winks. I was advised to listen to familiar songs (Hubby piped up with Christmas carols and I am thinking of my favorite songs that I know-mostly those that were popular in the 80s and some country songs, too.)

My next map is supposed to be for the 3 month mark. That is in November. The audie did say that I may call or email her with any problems and if I needed a tweak or fine-tuning, then I could come in before the 3-month appt. Let's see how much Petey and I work together by then and get a 90 0r better? Sentences are easier because they do fill in the blanks somehow and I can get them in context. Single word tests are hard for most of us. There's nothing else to work with. I might get the ending (rhyme) or the beginning of the word ("sh") or even the middle of the word (vowel) or something.

On the home front:

Angel got to race with her peers in a Fun Run thing that a local organization set up for grade school kids. (Last week it was canceled because of the rain.) They get a free tee shirt (who cares that it had the original run date on it?) for participating in the run. Angel ran with the other 3rd grade girls. Only one girl was a classmate and one was a girl from our neighborhood that we knew. They only gave out first thru sixth places. Angel made it to the sixth place!! Yay. You go, girl!! I treated her to a shake for her accomplishment. She liked that. It was a ½ mile run, too. She said she got tired and walked a bit, but I’m still proud of her. Next year, fourth grade boys and girls race together (not separately). She’s kind of freaking out about that. Boys are fast!! Well, if she wanted to, she could work at it and be faster. I’m not going to push her, though.

The end of the week is the mid-quarter time for Flare. I have teacher conferences next Monday. (I never knew that there were conferences in high school unless there was a serious problem. I had to ask my mom about that. She said that they went to the conferences. I guess that because my parents were active in several organizations like Lion's Club, investment clubs, and stamp clubs, that I never really questioned their comings and goings.) Anyway, I am not really complaining too much about her grades so far (I check her grades online. Isn't that something? Information Age has really come so far.) :)

Angel is too young to have mid-quarter progress reports. I think they start at 5th grade at her school, but there will be a parent-teacher conference at the end of the first quarter. The graded paperwork that she brings home every week are really good, so I am not too worried about her academically. She does have some issues behavior-wise. She's very hyper and cannot sit still.

The weather here has been GREAT. Lots of SUN and cool breezes. Yesterday marked the first day of autumn. It still feels like summer. Yeah, I know. When school starts, you feel like summer is over, but technically we still have a few weeks left of summer when school starts. The calendar doesn’t lie, people. Right? LOL. Just wait till the first snow-I’ll be yelling at Jack Frost because we don’t start winter till Dec. 21. It doesn’t matter if we get Indian Summers in October. No, that doesn’t count….

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dropping a Line

Just wanted to quick drop a line (or two or three...)....

All Hubby had to do was walk in the house and startle me. I'd jump, I'd scream, I'd gasp and clutch my chest like I wanted to make sure I could catch my heart if it popped out, or all of the above. He would look at me and say that he doesn't mean to sneak up on me. He didn't have to try.

I could be anywhere in the house and I'd hear him. Squeak, creak. (Did I say our house is over a hundred years old? I guess I would squeak and creak, too, if I were a hundred years old.) I'd say, "I hear you." Sometimes I turn to look at him. He'd grin and shake his head and say,"I never meant to scare you before, you know." After a few more times of my turning to look at the source of the creaks, he'd continue to grin at me and say,"Now I will HAVE to sneak up on you!!" Aww, poor baby. I bet he enjoyed his ability to "not" sneak up on me and scare me at will. Now he just has to work at it. (Yeah, that means I hear the kids more, too. I am more aware of when they are coming or going, too. The "mom antenna" is more "tuned up" now....a HA!!)

I was sitting by the open window, reading (usually that will make me so engrossed in the book that I am totally unaware of what's going on around me unless I felt something vibrate, like someone "breaking some wind" on the couch. (Hubby says I wouldn't have to wait till I "felt" it; I would just have to look at the source of the sound and say, "Okay, who farted?" LOL.) I heard some kind of crunching sound outside. I look out the window and see Hubby riding Flare's bike, testing it. Her front tire was flat. She must have ran over some glass or something. The thought crossed her mind that maybe it was sabotaged, but Hubby got a new inner tire for it and said that it didn't look like it was cut or stabbed, so it must have been something she ran over. He also fixed her brakes a bit, too. Flare and I thank him for that. The brakes on her back tire will need to be replaced. Her bike is about four years old and it has had a lot of use over the last two years riding to it to school. (She carried her very heavy bike about five blocks and went to see if a friend could take her home. That was nice. Thanks again, to the friend who put her bike in the trunk and gave her a ride home.) Flare's arm is still sore from her bike-lifiting. The wheels wouldn't, well, wheel, very well being so flat.) She called home and this is what I heard:

Me: Hello?

Flare: Mom? It's Flare.

Me: Flare? Are you still at school? (I looked at my watch. It's about 4:30.)

Flare (what I could hear): ...bike...broke

Me: Your bike broke?

Flare (again, what I could hear): ...D, your interpreter...

Me, confused: Oh, it's D. I thought you were Flare.

Flare: Mom!! It's me, Flare.

Me, really confused: Flare? I thought you said you were D.

Flare: No, I'm at D's house....bike....

Me, the puzzle pieces falling into place: Oh, your bike is broke and you are at D's house. So she's going to give you a ride home?

Flare: Yes.

Me: Okay.

(Whew. Can you see how easily I can be easily confused when I was sure I was talking to one person and then I hear another name and it'd just throw me off? LOL)

I try to turn off my hearing aid at times and just see what I can hear with the CI. Voices are still very nasal-sounding, robotic. It isn't so high-pitched anymore, but it's not clear either. My hearing aid ear takes over for the phone use and speech recognition, though my audiogram says that my hearing aid ear had 32% speech recognition. But I can tell you that, at times, when the HA is blending with the CI, it "overpowers" the hearing aid ear. It picks up voices robotically and other sounds I wouldn't have picked up with the hearing aid alone. I was sitting on the loveseat in the living room and Flare was on the computer, singing. SINGING!! Did she do that all the time? Yes, she did. Whoa. I must have looked like a very calm, tuned-out Mom. LOL.

Onyx is a very noisy walker, too. I never paid attention to how much she drags her feet. I didn't even realize dogs could drag their feet. I can hear her lap up her water.

For the most part, the environmental sounds that I first heard are fading into the background (clock ticking, my breathing, even the "buzziness"). When I was outside, I thought I heard a mosquito buzz. Do they buzz? (I still don't get enough of a warning before getting bit, though. Sigh.

Since Angel's new school is on the outskirts of town now, during recess the kids come across garden snakes (garter snakes), toads, and caterpillars. Angel needed wanted a container to hold a caterpillar so she could keep one. She brought home a fuzzy brown and black caterpillar and named it "Tickles" because it tickles her as it walks across her hand with multiple sticky feet. The school yard is a nature wonderland. I hope there aren't anything dangerous lurking out there.

My next mapping is next Tuesday. Maybe this time I'll get some BEAM and/or autosensitivity programs mixed into the CI settings? These are different settings for the CI. So far all I have had to work with was ADRO with increased volume in each program. Baby steps....

A brief explanation of what these options are:

1. ADRO-for dynamic, changing environments

2. Whisper-soft and distant sounds

3. BEAM-focused listening in crowds

4. Autosensitivity-comfort in noise

Source: http://www.cochlearamericas.com/Products/22.asp


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drippy Weekend...

We had rainy weather all weekend. There was moisture in the air, but I am not sure if I should call that humid, because it was a cool humidity.

Saturday was rainy all day. Since Hubby couldn’t really do much because of the rain, he offered to take us to the grocery store. Since I know he likes corned beef and cabbage, I simmered that in the slowcooker as soon as I got home.

A kind of "fun" race was scheduled for all the kids in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade could run in. They get a free tee shirt and run in their age group. It was canceled because of the weather. I expected that. So it’s been put off till next week. (It would be a good idea for the organization that set up the kids’ races to put down a “rain date” on the registration form.) Angel was the sixth or seventh runner two years ago. (Last year she had a cast on her arm from falling off her bike, so she didn’t go.)

Friday night and Saturday morning, she was fretting about the race, because she wanted a ribbon. I tell her that it’s more important to have fun. I really don’t want her to be discouraged and not run if she doesn’t feel like she’s the fastest. She can still enjoy running. Besides, if she wanted that ribbon badly enough, she can work at it, too. It takes work to be the fastest. I think it’s important to stress activities like these as a good way to form a healthy habit, not competition. That's just my opinion.

We stopped at a custard place to get some sundaes and shakes. Angel loved that.

Flare was hoping to go to the mall to find a Homecoming dress and got to go with a friend. Her friend’s dad dropped them off and Hubby had to pick them up. That arrangement seemed to work out well.

Flare got a really nice halter style dress in a kind of an electric blue color. Now she needs new shoes….(Do I look like a walking money tree or what? LOL) Actually, she saved her allowance money for that dress and she hasn’t cashed in her birthday money yet. I hope she gets a black or white pair of pumps-something basic that she can wear with other dresses. She wants to get sequined shoes. She says, "Mom, sparkles go with everything now. Get with it." LOL.

Sunday was another gloomy day, but instead of raining, it was misty. Really, three days in a row of gloomy days is enough to make me tired and walk around like a sleepwalker. Hubby dropped us off at church, but we weren’t early enough to hand the pastor my FM system (Zoomlink). It was okay. It was hard to concentrate on the sermon with a restless Angel resting her head on my lap. It’s really cute how she wants to help me find the right pages in the hymnal.

When we were leaving and shaking hands with the pastor, he asked me if I was hooked up yet. I was momentarily, inwardly shocked at that. I don’t expect hearing people to know what “hooked up” meant when it comes to CIs (cochlear implants). I just explained that I was hooked up, but people’s voices still sounded high-pitched and that it still takes time to get used to it.

Today was a gorgeous day!! It was sunny and DRY!! It felt warm. I was outside a lot today. :)

Other than that, it was pretty much an uneventful day. We are supposed to have temps in the 60s all week. (Pout) Should we dare to tell Planet Earth to start rotating backwards so we’d get summer again? I guess that people on the other side of the world (Australia) wouldn’t appreciate having another winter so soon. (Sigh.) I guess it’s our turn and that’s that. LOL. (I’m not exactly a fan of winter. The snow is very pretty on the trees and all, but I could do without the freezing cold temps. Moving to the south is not an option. (More sighing.)

As far as CI moments go, it’s still pretty much the same. I usually turn off my HA (hearing aid) for a while and just listen. When I am on the porch, I can tell when a car is going to “buzz” by on my right or left side (most of the time). I am glad that I am starting to get more localization with it. I used to always feel like sounds are on my right (the HA ear) and if I wanted to look for the sound, sometimes I actually pivot several times into a circle trying to pin-point the sound. Mostly, it’s a voice. Someone is talking to me and I am not sure where the voice is coming from. Hubby always seemed to be amused by that, but he knew that my HA ear was doing all the work prior to the CI.

I maxed out the new map already. LOL. To refresh your memory if you are new to CI information, what that means is that the map is set on the four programs (P1 to P4) and each program (for me) has the same map (ADRO for every day sounds) and it increases in volume. I still have a volume control that I can turn up to number 9, too, for more, well, volume. That’s it.

Right now, I am on P4 with the volume on No.9. I maxed it. It isn’t that loud again. That just means that my brain is soaking up the information and wants more. So, until my next map (next week), I will just listen, listen, listen.

When I have my next map, I am not scheduled for another map until three months post-activation. (Two months!!) I will see if the audie will make them map more aggressive or I may have to see if I can get another appointment inbetween the one month and three month maps.

I tried to watch TV with just the CI on and the voices are still very robotic and mechanically high-pitched (a.k.a. heliumized). Sometimes I can make out what they are saying, but most of the time, I have no idea what they are saying. I can follow along with the closed captioning and then I can understand the words better. Of course, to me, that’s cheating because I’m already reading the text of the conversation or narration. If I am on my own, I’m lost.

Will report more when I can. I know I am not blogging as much as I used to, please bear with me. I am trying to cut down on my computer usage. I admit it, I'm a computeraholic. I have been limiting the time I spend on the computer to just focus on other more important things in my life. I'll be popping in and posting updates about the CI and the girls. I did not forget you.

BTW, Literally Blindsided just had its second birthday. Happy Belated Blirthday, Literally Blindsided. Yep, you read that right. Blirthday. Blog's birthday.


Happy Blirthday to you.
Happy Blirthday to you.
Happy Blirthday dear bloggie,
Happy Blirthday to you....

(Can you tell I'm "losing it"? BLoggie? LOL)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Alvinated Moments with the New Map

Alvin and the Chipmunks
This, I think, is more like what some of the others have said about their activation. I had a lower volume in my first map. I’m glad I did, though. Weaning is good. I honestly don’t know how I would have done if it was so loud right away. I did have traces of heliumized voices during the past two weeks, but with the new map (increased volume) I really notice it.

After I had my CI (cochlear implant) adjusted for the new map, that night as I was doing the dishes, I could hear the water running. It sounded “normal.” I heard the dishes clinking. It sounded ‘NORMAL.” Cool.

When I was outside the other day, I heard the fire trucks going. I quickly turned off my HA to hear the sirens. It was a buzzy siren, but the high pitches were clear. I couldn’t tell you if I would have recognized the sirens if it weren’t for my HA, though.

I heard Onyx bark at me as I was standing at the sink. Her bark isn’t “normal,” but she still has the cutest yip. Sometimes when her water bowl is low or empty, she lets me know in this way. It’s one of the ways she communicates to me about her needs. While we don’t really encourage her to bark, she is a really quiet dog. When the doorbell or phone rings, she doesn’t move or bark. It’s no big deal to her. The only other time she barks (or should I say “yip’ because it’s not a real bark.) is when she wants to be with someone outside. If she’s inside the house, she’ll yip by the door. Or if she’s outside, she’ll yip because she wants to play. Other than that, we don’t usually get a peep out of her.

With the increased volume of the new map, voices are more heliumized than ever. (Where are they getting the balloons from? Just kidding.) I would turn off my HA (hearing aid) and listen. I watched TV. The voices are a bit buzzy and heliumized, but I tried to follow along with the closed captioning. I would make sense of the words as I read them, but I know I wouldn’t have interpreted it on my own. However, the sitcoms I watched always have laughter from a live audience (or is that always fake?). In any case, the laughter sounded “normal” to me!!! More and more sounds are easier to recognize.

The moleskin the audie put under the ear hook did help alleviate the soreness around the tip of my ear, but I worry about it getting dirty and hard to keep clean.

I worked out this morning. I jogged in place for 40 minutes followed by some weightlifting with 3 lb handbells to tone the arms. I really worked up a sweat, so I decided to take the CI off. Using only one ear, the HA ear, I noticed that things sounded “flatter.” What a difference!! It was like the CI actually is starting to blend with the HA ear.

I am really paranoid about washing the CI. I’ve seen the video, but I am still wary about getting too much water into the processor. I don’t want to wreck or hurt its performance.

On the home front, Angel got a free dictionary. It was given to all the third graders. I couldn’t believe that the longest word was this. Can you say that in one breath? Whoa. I bet I'd never pronounce it right. LOL.

The weather’s been on the cool side. Yesterday it poured and today was kind of a cool humid day. I don’t even know a weather term to describe a cool day with cool moisture in the air. It’s not misty, just an overall cool day.

Both girls seem to be keeping up their grades well. I had to email Angel’s teacher. Her teacher mentioned that she got “worked-up” a few times during recess. Angel LOVES recess. What kid doesn’t? I had to ask her what was up. Angel didn’t know. I wasn’t sure if “worked-up” meant hyper or emotional. Angel can be very hyper. Sometimes she gets issues with the neighbor kids-they get into a power struggle of sorts and if Angel got tired of doing things they wanted to do, she moves on and wants to play with someone else. It turns out now that Angel fell on her knees a few times playing tetherball and that was why she was “worked-up” (the emotional kind).

Flare’s high school has a website set up for parents to access the current gradebook. This is pretty common, I know, and I think this is a great way to maintain communication with kids. She’s doing really well. Sometimes I can’t believe this is the same girl who struggled in school a few years ago. I was actually worried that I entered her too early (she just turned 5 in kindergarten and just made the September 1 cutoff.) So I am proud of her accomplishments.

She’s also on the decorating committee for Homecoming. She is artistic, so I am sure she’ll have a few ideas.

Well, that’s all folks.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Family Update and New Mapping

Sorry, guys. I've been so behind. I'll try to do my blog rounds when I can. It seems lately that I"ve been playing catch up with my emails and not my blogging. I'm here.

I've been getting into a routine with Petey (my cochlear implant) along with some adjustments at home with the girls back in school.

I've also been enjoying the nice autumniod weather we've been having the past week. I'm half expecting the leaves to turn into fiery foilage, the kind that airbrushes the trees in reds, oranges, and yellows. I haven't spotted any squirrels "nesting" the nuts. The squirrels here are pretty nutty. Hubby had to set a trap in the attic. About a year or so ago, we had one living up there, tearing up cardboard boxes (for the glue that holds the boxes together). I guess that glue comes from tree sap or something. Hubby did trap one and let it go miles and miles away from home.

Then earlier this spring, another squirrel is trying to reside in our walls in the attic. We've been trying to keep it away from it. Flare actually got a video from her camera showing how mad that squirrel was at us because we were outside, preventing that squirrel from getting to the roof. Unfortunately, I cannot upload that video to show you that video. I am not sure if that video is just too long or what. I can watch it on the computer, but I can't upload it. Oh, well.

The girls are settled into school. Flare says that high school isn't as bad as she thought it would be. She's outgoing and making new friends. She plans on going to the Homecoming dance with a bunch of girls, just to have fun. Angel likes her new teacher and she has three new kids in her class (bringing the total to 13, with another new kid coming in October yet). With no deadlines, and pressure from my schoolwork anymore, I am much more calmer about helping Angel with her homework and memory work. She's had to memorize various Bible passages and hymn verses three times a week. She loves the new playground for recess.

Flare just had her school pictures taken last Thursday and now Angel gets hers this coming Thursday. It seems that picture day is scheduled earlier and earlier in the school year. I could remember it being in October all the time.


Glitter Graphics

When we got to the facility for the map (Petey is still a baby, getting his second "routine" check...then in another two weeks, he gets his one-month check...growing in sounds), Hubby parked on the second level in the parking garage. A first!! So instead of going to the elevators to get to Level 2 and then entering the hospital, we just had to enter it, because we didn't have to get to Level 2. The last time, we just had to get on another elevator to get to the second floor, and then get to the third floor in a different elevator. But Hubby was just walking along, with me hanging on to his arm. I just figured that he just knew where he was going. Nope. I then told him; don’t we have to get to the third floor? He was like, oh, yeah, the parking ramp screwed him up. LOL. (Really, I am the BLONDE one, not him.)

Finally we get to the front desk and register. We only waited for a few minutes and there my audie was. She asked how things were and started the soft-comfortable-loud tone test. I got it louder, but it’s all on the same ADRO setting. Nothing fancy. She’s still weaning me into it. Every audie and center does things differently. I'd rather do it slowly than to just jump in and get overwhelmed.

I did tell her about how sore the tip of my ear was and she put some moleskin under the ear hook to see if that would be better. So far, so good. If nothing else, I figured I'd get a blister and then it'd toughen up.

She put me into a sound proof room to re-audiogram me. In the CI ear, unaided, I totally failed. I have no residual hearing in it whatsoever. I kind of suspected that because I tried putting my other hearing aid in it just to see if I could still her that “beep” when I first turned it on. Nope. It was gone. I know some still retain some residual hearing after a CI surgery, but not all. I’m okay with it. The CI is my ear. Good old’ Pete. :)

I did tell her I felt kind of lightheaded (more than usual, anyway. Winks. LOL) when she tried to test the CI ear unaided. It kind of pulsed, too. The good news is that in my unaided HA ear; the hearing level is the same. :) She didn’t test me on anything else. No words or sentences.

I told her how it’s hard for me to tell if I’m hearing the high pitches and she said that it would be hard if I never heard them before. I told her about how I used to play on my Gramma’s organ and hit the high notes on the left and that I couldn't hear the high notes on last six keys, but Gramma’s dog would be howling, “OOOOooooOOOOoooooo!!!” (Too bad we didn't have camcorders 30 years ago, that would have been a good "World's Funniest Video" clip to send.)

I kept having fits of laughter on the way home (poor Hubby must have thought his wife lost her mind) with the image of my Gramma's dog howling along with the organ music. (Gramma said his ears hurt, but it sure looked like he wanted to sing; he was just like a wolf howling at the moon.)

It wasn’t a really exciting map, but it’s louder and I will acclimate to that. I told her about how hard it was to tell that the volume was higher with each program, she said some people are more sensitive to volume increases, so she just made the volume increases more noticeable, but not too much. She doesn’t want to overdo it.

Yesterday, I turned off my HA and just tried to listen with the CI. I heard the phone ring!! I actually RECOGNIZED the ringing, though it's not the same sound I hear with the HA, but hey, it's progress!! Usually I hear something and the CI would just go "nuts" and I don't know what it's trying to interpret. It just goes haywire. Ding, ping-aling. What's that? Then when I see what it is, I'll listen more to make the brain recognize it better. But the phone!! It was cool!! Of course, I had to quick turn on the HA and answer the phone. Only it was a wasted effort. (Satellite TV anyone?)

So far, I'm getting clearer hollow sounds than before, not like the haywire sounds of before. :)

So now Petey and I will move on with this adjusted map and see where it takes us for the next two weeks...(I'll keep you posted on Progress Road, journey to sound.)

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Updates and Another Mispronounced Word

There's really not much to report with my progress with Pete, my CI (cochlear implant). Everything still sounds robotic/mechanical and hollow. It still has that "heliumization" to the voices.

I've been using program P4 a lot lately. All the programs P1 to P4 have ADRO settings with no sensitivity yet. Each program is the same, with increased volume in each program. Today was the first I've been using the volume control to make things louder.

It's strange, really. When I first got activated (after the tone test was done-too soft, too loud, comfortable, etc), it was LOUD. Now it seems I have adjusted to the "loudness" and things are getting soft. It makes me wonder just how "LOUD" it's going to be before I have adjusted and have the right map.

I am ready for the next map next Tuesday.

To me, it's like well-baby check-ups.

In this area, after birth, babies have a two-week routine check-up, then a one month, three month, six month, nine month, and 12 month check-up. It seems that the CI (at this facility anyway) has maps scheduled like this. After the first year, then the maps should only be "tweaked" once a year.

I know, it takes time and patience. I'll look back on the adjustments and wonder how I got this far. :)

I still GOT it!! I still unknowingly mispronounce words don't seem to look hard to pronounce. Leave it to me, I'm a pro at it. :)

Another example:

Flare and I were talking about school and one of the teacher’s (or was it a student?) uptightness. I said something about how people can be anal about things. She laughs at me.

Me: What?

Flare: Mom, it’s ay-nal.

Me: An-al.

Flare, laughing some more: No. Not an-al. Ay-nal.

Me: Oh, ay-nal. (I’ve never really heard anyone say the word before. I’ve always read it that way.)

Flare nods.

Me: Oh, so that means an-us is really ay-nus?

Flare: I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with my mother!!

LOL. I'm terrible. Well, I had to be sure that it was pronounced right, too....

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Quirkily Memed

I got tagged by Breazy.


1.) Link to the person that tagged you.
2.) Post the rules on your blog.
3.) List six unspectacular quirks you have.
4.) Tag six bloggers by linking them.
5.) Leave a comment on each persons blog to let them know they've been tagged.

Six Quirks about me:

1. I feel self-conscious when people stare at me. I am paranoid, I guess. I worry too much about what other people think. I don't know why I care.

2. I don’t know why, but when I am deep in thought, I just blurt out whatever I am thinking. It’s involuntary. I don’t like it when I catch myself doing that. Then I worry people are going to think I talk to myself. (See Quirk 1 above) LOL. Seriously, I would be thinking about something and then I would say one of the kids’ names (or something). I have no reason to call her name, but it comes out of my mouth. It drives the kids nuts. It drives me nuts, too.

3. I not only sing off-key, I also miss notes. (What can I say? I’m deaf.) I embarrass my kids when I sing. Lucky for them, I don’t do it very often and when I do, it’s in the car or at home. No one really has to endure my horrible singing voice, except for the kids, of course. LOL I remember talking to a pastor about it years ago. He talked about singing and I told him I don’t sing. He said, “God doesn’t care how you sound. Lift up your voice and sing your praises to God.” I still cannot bring myself to really sing in church. Either I’ll mouth the words (call me Queen Lip Sync) or I'll whisper it softly. (If I sing, refer to Quirk 1 above.)

4. I forget things easily. If I want to remember something, don’t distract me. If I take two things out of the refrigerator, then I want to put it all back in the same time so I don’t have to keep opening the door all the time. But somehow, I always forget to put one thing back in when I do that. I don’t know why I just put it away while I am thinking about it instead of waiting till I am done with something else. It could be pickles and mustard. Put it on a hamburger and put it away one by one. Sometimes, I just don’t always remember.

Or I would be curious about something and I tell myself that I’ll look it up on the computer and research it to find more information about something and then when I am on the computer, I completely forget that I wanted to do that. I need to write things down so I can remind myself, but I don’t always do that. It’s not like I have a handy pen and paper in my pocket. Odds are that by the time I get to a paper and pen, I’ll be distracted by someone or something.

5. Lately, if I am reading books that are part of a series, I do NOT like waiting for the next book to come out. Examples: Harry Potter. (I was lucky I got into reading them last spring. I read the first book about six months before I read the next five books one right after the other. Then I had a three-month wait for the last Harry Potter book to come out. That was awful, people. This time I was lucky with the Twilight Saga series. Flare wanted the first two books for her birthday. I got her them. Then I started reading them. I didn't have to wait for another book to come out; they're all out. I finished reading book 2 (New Moon) and now I will start book 3, Eclipse. I hope I always get into reading a series when all the books are out. (Winks.)

6. I am a smart aleck. Just now, my oldest daughter came home from school. She rode her bike home and she says, “My brain is fried right now.” I would glance at her head and say, “Really? I can’t tell…” She’d give me an indignant look. “Mo-om!! You know what I mean!!” The other day Hubby was talking about “breaking wind” and I start whipping my arms in the air. “How can you break wind? It’s not solid. I can’t touch it..” He’ll look at me and say, “You need help.” (Don’t get me started on windbreakers, the jackets, although I suppose you could call a person who 'breaks wind" a windbreaker. Good thing jackets don't "break wind" or no one would buy them.) LOL Sometimes I’ll be nice and let things slide, but sometimes I’ll smile in a smart alecky way about something that was said and they will know exactly what I am thinking.

Speaking of break, I will break the rules here. I won't tag anyone. Some people are good sports about getting tagged and some have been tagged so many times that it's hard to keep track whether they have been tagged by the same meme or not. Then there are some who may not really enjoy memes at all. I don't want ot offend anyone. So, if any of my readers want to do the tag, be my guest. Just let me know that you are going to tag yourself.




Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

At each family gathering,
There is a void that is hard to fill
Yet we keep our memories alive.
We know that it was His will.

We have to move on.
With joy our hearts sing,
Knowing that you are
No longer suffering.

You left an imprint on us.
We will not forget you.
We have learned so much
And it shows in the things we do.

Thank you, Dad. We love you.
It's been ten long years
Since He took you under His wing
And washed away our tears.

In spirit, you can walk
Around without pain.
No need for a wheelchair,
A prosthesis, or a cane.

You have a granddaughter
You never got to hold.
And three great-grandchilden
Have been added to the fold.

I know you are watching them
and the rest of your grandkids grow
As you once did with us,
From head to toe.

The things left unsaid...
The things we meant to say...
I know you know
What's in our hearts today.
In Loving Memory of My Dad
September 2, 1928-April 21, 1998