Saturday, 27 November 2010

A focker moment.

Well its been two weeks since you’ve heard a peep out of me. I bet you’re dying to know how I’m getting on.

Well fourth week, saw me back at Emmeline centre for more rehab and maps. My IDR has been increased to 80 now. So F120 IDR 80 on two slots with one being louder, gives me the full modus. 3rd Slot is for the blue toothy loop I tried out there. With a lower IDR 50 to cut out buzzing and 70/30 ratio it worked quite well. Only quibble is the blue tooth loop cost a ton, someone’s taking the Michael if you ask me.

CV, which is an add on feature that some cyborgs love with F120 to help reduce background noise doesn’t bode with me. I guess I’m used to hearing everything via the old analogue aids and hated the transition over to digital aids as it was full of compression.

I hear more than I have done in years. I hear every environmental sound going so don’t even think about slipping me a sly one to test me out. I hear the slightest squeak on anything, even if it’s your dodgy knee. WD40 should use us cyborgs for their adverts, trust me they ought to.

I can’t get over how beautiful it is to hear bird song. I hear every bird going, even the one that is stuck indoors with Maurice. You can never tire of bird song, only tire of bird nag. Lol

With my increased IDR, speech is easier to understand. I’m already getting into the habit of not reading lips more and listening instead. I guess it can be a die hard habit to break, when you’ve been staring at rubber lips for years, and relying on subtitles when watching TV. My audie’s tip is to watch first half of a TV program without subtitles and then put subtitles back on to watch the rest of it.

Then into the fifth week, boom.. My brain had a major falling out with my CI. It stuck up an imaginary two fingers up to it and went into meltdown. No amount of how much I strained myself to hear, I was not getting it. Apparently it is normal for us cyborgs to have a fall, stumble every now and again. Cause, although hearing through a CI is awesome, it still requires rehab time. The mind has to gel with the CI, hang out at some bars etc getting to know one and another better.

There is one particular sound that still stops me in my tracks and makes me scream out WTF. It is hearing babies crying. The sound is feckin weird, and out of this world. Lol

Cyborgs with all our focker moments are here to stay, move over you geriatric hearing aid users.

Friday, 12 November 2010

ET phone home.

Well folks I’m on my 3rd week and today it was rehab time at the Emmeline centre.

I’m still on F120 program and although it rocks, environmental sounds need to quieten, thus allowing speech to come through clearer.

Anyway, I voiced my concerns to the rehab lady and she said CV ( Clear voice ) would be something to try. But my next map wasn’t till next week. So had a word in the audie’s ear and CV Medium is now on one of my programs. Also, I’m after a wider IDR but audie said I have to wait till next week for that.

So back to rehab.. First up was the old no lip reading session, talking about the weather and whatnot. I did well in this test.

Then looking at the phone on the table, she looked at me and said ‘Are you ready for this?’ What the phone…wow 3rd week and I’m being put on the phone already!

She explained she was gonna go into a cupboard and make a call. I thought shall I lock her in the cupboard, that would be real funny to see. Tee hee

So I waited for the phone to ring ‘Brrring..Brrring..’ I answered it and heard her voice. She talked about the weather and I heard her with ease. Then she talked about more random stuff like music, again I heard, only getting stuck on one word.

I sat there in daze, trying to take in what just happened. For ten long years, I’d had to get by on type talk. But today here was I taking my first call with lady who squeezed herself in a cupboard. I’m thinking this is a miracle right. This computer chip in my head is working its magic, and empowering me to the hearing world again.

Awesome beyond words this. Later on that day I call my daughter and we have a conversation. Again, I’m left speechless.

And today, I call up someone who is a total stranger to me and I get most of the conversation.

My fellow cyborgs have been telling me all along to take it slow. To be forgiving and allow the process unravel as it sees fit. Well, I can only say my mind is so hungry after lying dormant for so long. It is like being let out of a dark prison and is taking in this wonderful gift like a child is to candy.

What I hear over the phone sounds normal abet a little quiet. A little distant, so my mind has to go into the zone and pick it up. I tend to crank up the volume on the processor to equip me with the tools to make life easier.

Some tool eh? that helps me reconnect to people. No longer do I have to talk to sheep. No longer do I have to avoid people. I am walking talking and living it up big style.

Way to go, woo hoo..

Friday, 5 November 2010

Lets dance..

Woo hoooo Second week.

Lets kick off with some cool lyrics…

Let's dance
Let's dance

Let's dance, put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let's dance, to the song they're playin' on the radio

Let's sway, while colour lights up your face
Let's sway, sway through the crowd to an empty space

Second map I’m on like F120, a formula 1 car, only it’s a pretty niffy software that comes with Advanced Bionics. It comes with better pitch perception, and let me tell you it rocks!!

As soon as the audie fired me up with F120, I was like wow, like opening a window and a whole rush of exciting sounds came to mind. ‘This is more like it’ I tell the audie. Let’s work with that. So, I’m on like 3 programs of F120 varying in loudness to see me through till next map in two weeks.

I was hearing a high whine in the audie’s room and it turned out to be the radiators. Next up, was a hearing test to see how much I were hearing . I had to like listen to the quietest sound, it could have been next door’s fart for all I cared and I pressed the button. The results were cool. 20db range, that’s like what a hearing person hears.

Then it was off for a rehab session to talk Jackanory. The lady was looking at me and was saying like why wasn’t I looking at her. It was cause I were listening through my CI, after all that’s what I’m here and not for subtitles. Anyway the test started up and they were like three words written down and without lip reading you complete the sentence. Like the cat went ……… ….. …… …… ……. . Overall, I did well in these tests and she was like saying I’ll put you on the phone next. Jeez, the phone! Imagine no more type talk and walking down the high street with the blackberry in me ear? Woo hooo. Wicked.

Dances to himself..

So how’s speech going? Well I got an audio CD to practise to. It’s about Aliens. Lol Started falling asleep listening to it, it were that boring. Still, I’m chillin with some music to keep it real.

Going back to my first week as a cyborg, I were hearing the highs a lot. That’s because the brain hasn’t heard them for 10 years and is like focusing on the highs instead. However, like now it is normalising. Donald duck has now left me for someone else and so my laugh is mine now. The dog barking is still a little high but nevertheless has come down a bit.

Bird song is wicked, love it after been out of it so long. Crisps packets and the like drive me nuts, I can’t for the life of me believe how noisy they are, so they are off the menu.

Another cool thing about this CI is how I can feel the wind blowing in my ears again. Something a HA wearer is never gonna appreciate until they make that leap of faith into cybernetics. My ears are breathing and healthy little wings again. Lol

Oh yeah, one another thing, when I go running I tend not to wear the CI and just use a HA in the other ear for environmental sounds. The difference in sound quality is startling. A CI is no match for the geriatric HA.

Let’s dance, for fear your grace should fall
Let’s dance, for fear tonight is all
Let’s sway, you could look into my eyes
Let’s sway, under the moonlight, this serious moonlight..