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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At Fri Sep 12, 10:31:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shari, You and Petey are doing great. Little by little sounds will get better. The brain and ear are listening and learning!!!!!! Best wishes to the school girls. Wonderful to have good communication with the teachers.
Enjoy sweating and pumping!!!!! Molly CC

At Fri Sep 12, 11:54:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homecoming decorating committee...that sounds SO fun! Good for Flare! :)

That is just awesome that you can tell a difference when you wear the CI and HA together! How cool.

This sounds like a great map, Shari. I wouldn't be surprised if voices start to sound less heliumized (is that a word?!) pretty soon.

What a great idea with the moleskin -- I'm so happy that is working well for you!!



At Sat Sep 13, 08:29:00 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Seems as though all is going well in your world - all positive, good news!
Onyx sounds like a treasure of a puppy and it's good to hear the girls have begun the school year so well.

At Sat Sep 13, 01:33:00 PM , Blogger Becky said...

That's great that you're starting to be able to recognize sounds better. I find it fascinating how that device works. I'm glad it's working well for you...even if you do have to put up with Alvin and the Gang. ;)

Sounds like the school year is off to a great start for your family.

At Sat Sep 13, 02:00:00 PM , Blogger Cyborg Queen said...

Ironically, you're right. Sitcom laughter is pretty much fake. Even though they have live audience on the actual tapings, but it think sometimes they have the same type of laughter.

It can only get better! :-)

At Mon Sep 15, 10:55:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! Just stopped by to catch up. It's exciting to hear how your hearing is coming along! And I'm glad Flare is doing so well!

At Tue Sep 16, 10:10:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Thanks, everyone. I just have to remember to be patient when it comes to listening, hearing, and adjusting. It's coming along slowly. Good things comes to those who wait, eh?



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