Friday, 1 April 2011

Snap, crackle, pop now fu*k off.

Environmental does the mental with cyborgs. Even with Clearvoice, certain sounds reverberate through every fibre of my being. I turn from Jekyll to Hyde in a nanosecond.

I’ve been a cyborg for some 5 months now and it’s always the environmental that makes me think WTF. Environmental is anything nature conjures up, I will throw kids in the mix as I’ve come to the conclusion the CI doesn’t like kids. Lol

Cyborgs tell me wind is one helluva bitch to put up with and I have to agree. Whoosh in your ear’ole and nowt else gets a look in...a real pain if you’re trying to have a conversation outside. If the wind doesn’t let up, cyborgs will start shadow boxing and cursing all the guys up there for eating too many baked beans.

Motor bikes and the like, is another that gets on my tits. Vrrrrrooom past my ear’ole as if a plane is about to land in your back yard, doesn’t bode with me either.

I’m convinced we cyborgs undergo a change in personality as the more we hear, the more we try in vain to screen it out. Selective is something hearies muster to a fine art. But if you’ve been deaf a long while, then the brain wants to hear everything, so selective doesn’t get a look in.

Most of us in the UK get given just one CI on the NHS. Kids on the other hand get two for being two goody shoes. With one, I have no sense of sound direction and don’t hear in stereo. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong mind. But, we humans just want the whole deal, two working ears.

The CI is a miracle..strangers in the street have said that to me. I’m in full agreement, I got my hearing back in one ear and my life has been a whole lot easier. I can now make up for all those lost years and recapture my dream of working for myself again.

A cyborg working for himself? Now that’s not something that happens everyday eh?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

R.I.P Subtitles..

From watching telly tubbies to songs of praise, I needed subtitles to understand the lingo. So, for years Ceefax 888 was my domain. Anything that didn’t have subtitles was a huge turn off. If you invited a HOH friend over to watch a film and at the last minute mentioned that it didn’t have any subtitles. The colour would drain from your friends face and you'd watch as they’d go to a corner and weep inconsolably. Lol

I know how it feels, your knackered and there’s this film you wanna watch on tv. Your even more excited cause it comes with subtitles. So you change into your PJs, get the popcorn out, draw the curtains and lie spawned across the sofa. The film starts and then a caption appears saying ‘ Sorry, we cannot get subtitles at this moment’..’Arrrrrrrggggggh’ you kick off big style. In the process manage to stub your toe on the coffee table and subsequently scream your head off. Your neighbours four houses down the road, hear you and wonder what the fu*k is going

So there you are, pissed off almighty and nursing a throbbing toe. Your hearing aid then starts playing up, cause of all the condensation build up. You then throw it at the telly yelling abuse as you do so. The aid reciprocates off the tv and flies out the window. Problem is, you live in a flat and it’s the fourth floor. You then rush to the window and see where it’s landed. Which is akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. You put on your dressing gown and go out in search for your hearing aid.

As you make your way down the stairs you pass your carer who’s eighty and asks you what on earth your doing in your dressing gown. Lol You explain in your best voice and your carer helps you in your search for the aid. Outside you stare at the tarmac, looking in vain for your beloved hearing aid. ’ It’s over here’, your carer says as she hears it whistling for dear life. You rush over and there you see it, covered in dog shit.

Same old shit, different day…

With my CI though, I don’t need to cry and ask someone to sing me a lullaby anymore. In true bionic fashion I hear what’s being said. I’m amazed myself how this can be so. My mind has gelled with the CI, they are fast becoming best buddies.

It’s liberating and I’m happy to leave that manky hearing aid on the shit pile.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Mission accomplished.

Geez three months sure has flown by, it's been the ride of my life. You may remember my old post Boyakasha where with hearing aids I got 0% on my listening test. Chuckles to himself.. You couldn’t do worse eh?

No I had to read lips in them days to survive. And that’s what life was like, just surviving and existing. I’d go into my shell like, cause that’s what deafened people tend to do. Well, someone has worked a little miracle on me and I’ve been set free from the deaf sentence I thought I’d be confined to forever.

That miracle is my AB implant, I gotten my life back in spades. Right from day one of switch on, I could hear music again and it was emotional. The tinnitus that plagued my life for the last ten years varnished by the end of the first week on switch on.

What I hear with my AB implant is just like what a hearing person hears. My result for the listening test came at 100%. So eat your words doubters..

And it gets better..I hear well in noise too. Thanks to Clear voice which comes with Advanced Bionics, I can understand speech with back ground noise well. Take the other night for an example, we went to this bar and whilst music was playing, I got my girlfriend to whisper in my ear, that’s where the T-Mic is situated. Right by the ear, none of that top of the processor shit. I heard everything that was said right by my ear’ole.

So do I feel deaf? No way and believe me who wants to be deaf, with all that 'what' and 'pardon' crap that comes with cloth ears.

Anything that empowers one to hear well and make life easier, just has to happen. If one fears that a CI will make you look stupid, cause you happen to have a complex with the magnet. Well, I think you’d feel even more stupid if you saw me take a phone call for you that you couldn’t do with your hearing aids.

There’s still a lot of misinformation being bandied about with the Deaf community and the like. I heard recently that someone said a CI seriously damages your health!! WTF . Being deaf seriously damages your health actually. Just take a look at all the mental health problems the deaf have.

For me it’s a no brainer, I went for a CI, cause of all the positive things I heard about them. Sure I had my concerns about how they looked, but on closer inspection they look like blue tooth devices. I’ve held a mirror up and stared at the back of my head and... ok I realise I’m a cyborg. Lol

But here’s the crunch, I’m a cyborg that can walk the walk and talk the talk.

From 0% to 100% in three months, you ought to pay me double bubble. lol

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Enter at your peril.

Lets talk about deaf clubs. We all know they’re meeting places for the deaf to go. Often the highlight of their week, and for many it costs them a fortune in taxis fees. But thanks to DLA this makes it possible for them.

But as a cyborg it is really a question of them and us. Enter a deaf club as a cyborg and all eyes will become transfixed on your CI. Everyone watches as you go to the bar and heaven forbid if you don’t sign your drink, you really are in the shit.

Well that was me the other night, standing at the bar and talking…cough cough splutter I ain’t suppose to use my voice. But I did, cause I’m lousy at sign. I can do the rude signs, but that’s no good if you wanna get served. So I ask my girlfriend what’s the sign for red wine and do my best to relay that to the barman. That wine sign is like the phone sign to the ear, and I just cracked up man. Laughing hysterically I say to the barman ‘phone for you.’ Lol

Luckily for me I got my wine, all credit to the barman…top dude. But I had to pay extra to these geezer who looked like some gangster. In his best voice he explained as I was not a member we had to pay £2 extra, protection money me thinks..

A CI to them is some form of evil. So all evening I got the evil eye, and by the end of it I was ready to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger .

It wasn’t my first time at that place either, second actually. I figured they went easy on me first time, kinda hoping I wouldn’t come back. Lol Well, I did and boy did I feel the vibes in that room, so intense it was I’m telling you.

This geezer came up to us, all friendly which is sound mind. But like, within a few minutes he’s asking us for our phone numbers and suddenly we are supposed to be best mates. Winking at me, doing the old hand jive thing he’s like trying to butter me up so I can be his taxi driver for the next five years. Well fuck me it ain’t gonna happen. Still, for most of the evening he’s there, following us around like a bad smell. Ordering another round of drinks, the barman tells us to be on our guard, for he’s really a psycho as if I didn’t know already. Lol

I do my best to keep chilled mind, and talk to this other dude who I saw last time. But it was hard going cause I’m an oral guy and hearing this guy talk is like listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks. So I throw in a bit of sign to give my ear a break, but quickly realise it ain’t working.

You gotta sign to fit in with this lot. There’s no use being a cyborg in them places either. As soon as you enter, you ought to switch off your voice, real handy if you happen to have a sore throat . I was hoping to meet folk like me, but I’m thinking that’s not gonna happen in them places.

They also have a bingo night, which I stumbled across the first time I visited. It’s all done in sign of course, so folk will sure get a stiff neck from looking up at the signer and down to check their numbers. Lol And I wonder what the prize is for winning? An ipod? Fat use that’ll be eh? Tee hee

I even came across a HOH guy wearing hearing aids. He says he’s HOH but starts signing like a fruitcake to me. I tell him, to quit the sign and use your voice. What’s does he do? He feckin carries on signing. I told him for the umpteen time to cut the crap and speak. Oh no, he carries on and well by then I’d seen enough and upped.

Play by their rules, or get the fuck out.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Friday, 7 January 2011 careful owner required.

Heard about this the other day, I gotta tell you about it.

Someone left their hearing aid in a department store, WS8 postcode area. The manager of the store is looking after it. There's a big poster at the information desk asking for it’s rightful owner to reclaim it. Lol

I mean that just cracks me up. How did that happen I wonder? Did he or she catch it on a Christmas tree and left it dangling on one of the branches? Or was it a case of the owner wanting to remove it, cause the wife was nagging him to death? I dunno, but here’s my theory.

The owner is old, I mean well old with a case of alzheimers. Cause you have to be pretty dumb, to go off without realising something is amiss. I also reckon the owner was looking for some hearing aid batteries for it, and took it out to double check that they were the right ones. And in a fit of excitement, the aid got left behind, with the owner leaving the store with just the batteries. Lol That’s just so darn funny.

The other theory could be that, the old aid was giving the owner some serious grief and with it being Xmas and all that. The owner just thought sod it, they can have it, placing it on a shelf next to the shredders and laminators.

I mean how often does this happen? For hearing aids to be left in department stores that is? We’ve all heard about knickers and the like being found on trains, that’s kinda normal right? But a hearing aid?

Nah someone’s off their head.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

The biz.

Looking at the picture, there’s no hiding the fact I’m a cyborg. I’m no a girl and don’t wear wigs either. Does it bother me how it looks? Not one bit and let me tell you why.

Cause it looks like a blue tooth device. It’s futuristic and trust me you won’t see many cyborgs at your local Sainsburys. So when you do see one that looks like mine, you ought to ask for an autograph.

A CI is so much more than a hearing aid. For a start, there’s no ear mould to wear so I can once again feel the wind blowing in my ears. You don’t get whistling feedback like you do with aids, which has to be the most annoying thing about hearing aids. And of course, I don’t have to worry about blocked tubes anymore.

My CI sits comfortably over my ear. The cord that connects to the headpiece tucks nicely behind the processor. Keeping the cable discreet. I did this, cause the cord was too long and did looked silly. The microphone is situated right by the ear, so picks up sound like a normal ear would. I have add on colours that I can use whenever I fancy. The battery is rechargeable and lasts on average 9 hours or so. We cyborgs of AB have a little purse to carry two other batteries for changeover. No warning is given when it’s time to swap them over, so a little forward planning is needed.

During my hearing aid days, I did think the CI resembled a huge contraption on one’s head. It bothered me that much that I wrote to a CI manufacturer and voiced my concerns. What surprised me even more, was they were in full agreement of what I said. LOL!

But times have moved on and so has technology. How it looks, isn’t so much a concern, but more importantly, how it works for you. If your CI works likes a Jelly tot, then fair enough it is a piece of shite.

My CI works for me. From calling up people on my mobile to listening without lip-reading I’m living it up big style. My everyday program is CV Medium IDR70 100% T-Mic. CV seems to work better for me now, I’m finding speech comes through clearer with CV. It also sounds good with music, so I’m just riding on one slot for now.

I got given a blue tooth loop for Xmas * thanks babe x * but I’m getting buzzing with it, so I’ll need to talk to the audie about this on the 5th Jan. My IDR on this is 60 with 70/30 Mic. Just calling direct without the loop works fine to get round the buzzing.

So, It’s now a new year and for me as a cyborg, a whole new way of life. I have made great strides in the space of just two months and with my listening assessment coming up, it will be interesting to see how I’ll fair then and in the months to come.

Happy New Year Folks!