Monday, November 26, 2007

Better...and worse...

I'll start with "worse" first so as not to freak y'all ;). I am maxing out my program...which means that my brain is adjusting really well, absorbing the new sounds like a sponge, and it now needs more power, more sound, some fine-tuning. Sounds that were loud and clear are starting to be slightly fuzzier, softer, and even more robotic than they were before. It's really a good's supposed to happen that way...but it will be about five more days before I can get back in over at Vanderbilt for tune-up. Usually the first appointments are much closer together than these, but when Susan moved my activation date up, she had trouble scheduling follow-up appointments close together. I wanted the earlier activation date, so that was how I chose to do it :).
Normally at activation you're sent home with a few programs to play with (Advanced Bionics has three programs on each processor). Due to my processor's "issues", only one of my programs works right now, so I'm pretty much at a standstill. That means that I might not pick up a lot of new material this week, and I might actually appear to be losing ground. I repeat...this is a good thing...and when I go back to Vanderbilt on Friday, I will have a new, well-behaved processor to play with and three brand new programs, and I am sure that I'll make up for lost time quickly!!!
Church today offered more listening opportunities. My brother-in-law's brother Stephen sat behind me in class this morning and I decided to let him be a guinea pig in my listening exercises. He is prone to offer deep, insightful comments from his vast wellspring of Biblical knowledge (I don't know if he reads my blog or not, but I thought I'd play it safe) so I was nearly guaranteed some conversation from his direction. One of the things I hate most in our classroom is having to crane my neck to lipread people all around me (I've always done it, but I hate it). Anyhow, this morning I decided that I was going to try to not look at Stephen at all if I didn't have to. When he started talking, I just listened...and was able to pick up a good bit of what he said...without having to turn around. My friend Jon sits behind me to the left, and I couldn't understand him without turning to lipread...he was further away, and not close to my "good" ear...but lipreading was SO much easier than it has been in the past.
I told hubby several weeks ago that when this whole CI business was over I was going to need Botox for the wrinkles in my forehead...concentration has become such a huge part of my life over the past few months that after church or a shopping expedition it usually took quite a while to destress. I would catch myself sitting with my face twisted into a frown trying to puzzle out what people were saying. I had an almost impossible time understanding our preacher and Bible class teachers, and had just about given up entirely. I have been amazingly surprised today to find that if I just watch, the words come much more easily than they did before. The sound that I'm getting is high enough quality that it complements the lip-reading perfectly, and comprehension is much easier...I didn't have a lot of trouble with either of the preachers we had today (regular preacher was out of town). Yes, I still felt a little stressed after's a fairly noisy environment, and the sound quality was a bit worse today due to brain assimilation (good thing, remember?) so my nerves were a bit jangled, as usual, but I sure was happier...definitely not as left out of everything! :)
Singing didn't sound as great today...but I expected it, and it's OK. It will sound even better next week! :)
I went to Goodwill today and enjoyed hearing Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" over the was neat to just hear it and recognize it again :)
OH!!! And I heard a siren!! You might remember that with Thing 1 I was nearly bugflattened by a fire truck this summer...the fire truck that I never heard. Tonight we were on our way to dinner when I saw a fire truck pull out onto the highway in front of us. I told hubby and the girls, "Sh! Let me see if I can hear this!" and they all obligingly piped down, but they really didn't have to bother...I could hear it almost immediately from some distance away. HOORAY!!
I know this blog has been a bit one-track lately, and I will remedy that soon, I know...bear with me, people, this is all new to me :). I feel like a kid at Christmas...this is such a huge, exciting experience. I am writing this down as much for me as for anyone that I can go back and re-read it later and remember how this felt. I feel blessed, overwhelmed, thrilled...tired ;). Can we say "sensory overload"? Tonight after church I came in and sat on the bed and started reading and the battery went out. For the first time, I didn't immediately replace it with a freshly charged battery so I could start listening again...tonight, I decided to give it a little rest. Incredible though it all is, when you've been living in a relatively quiet world for a while, it can also be a bit much. I need to pace myself!
I am in awe. Prayers have been answered :)
Love y'all! :)

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