Sunday, May 4, 2008

Long time no post! :)

I'm so far behind in all things computer-related...I was working so many hours on the job that when I got home all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. Friday was my last day on the job, though...and I'm looking forward to catching up. I am such a blog addict that it's been hard for me not being able to update...I have been somewhat better about updating on the family blog, but this one has suffered!
I'm about to need a new map...I always wondered how I'd know, but my high frequencies are starting to disappear and things are starting to sound slightly more muffled again. I am trying to hold off a couple more weeks...the Reno convention is in another month and I want a fresh, good map as close to then as possible. Comprehension is starting to slide just a bit...I noticed it mostly at work, but since I knew I'd be quitting soon I didn't panic too much. It's still good at home and in small groups, but in a lot of background noise and in restaurants I can tell a difference. I'm not worried, though...tweaking those frequencies will fix everything! :)
I heard something a couple of weeks ago that I'd never heard of these.
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I actually had no idea they made a sound, although, as my friend BigBear says, almost everything makes a sound...I've just never heard most of them. I was sitting on the patio sunning myself like a lizard on a rock and kept hearing this faint whirring sound. It was actually loud enough to get my attention (I had a magazine going), so I turned to figure out the source of the sound. There were quite a few of them falling all around me, and at first I was like, no way am I hearing THOSE, and then one fell just beside me, and I heard it whir and then heard a tiny sound as it hit the patio. My mouth was seriously hanging was the first time ever to hear something so soft. Utter amazement!
Yesterday I was in the front of the house and heard something that I couldn't place but knew that it was outside. I asked Katie what it was, and about the time she told me I recognized it as the alarm on the car...apparently, we'd hit the "panic button" on the keyless remote. I guess it was fairly loud but Katie said she could barely hear it so I patted myself on the back for picking up that sound :)!
I've been thinking a lot lately about my first implant, and several of you have asked how I'm doing with it, and I thought I'd fill you in on what's going on with it...just a bit. If you're a long time reader of this blog, you know that I've struggled with Thing 1 quite a bit. It wasn't "right" from the beginning...while I did hear some sounds, I also feel sensations with every sound, and those never have become even close to being tolerable. In addition to the bad sound, I also have to deal with physical discomfort. When I lay on that ear, I feel a sensation of pressure on my eardrum, and if I touch that ear anywhere at all, it feels like something from behind is pushing my eardrum outward. I can't wear headphones or put an iPod earbud in that ear...because the air pressure is painful. Water in that ear is uncomfortable.
From the very beginning, I decided that the reason I wasn't hearing well was because I had been deaf for way too long...and accepted that. Having never had a CI before, I accepted the pain and pressure in my ear as just being part of having a CI, and even chalked it up to my being a little fussy about sensory things (the story "The Princess and the Pea" has my name written all over it). It wasn't until I had my second CI that I realized that the two were vastly every way. The same surgeon did them both, and they are positioned in exactly the same place....from the outside, they look perfect. However, I have been hearing extraordinarily well with the second one...with no sensations at all...and the feeling of pressure inside my ear is simply not second CI ear feels exactly as it did before the surgery...a plain old ear.
I have asked my surgeon to look into my first CI, and have talked to my audiologist about it...but to be perfectly honest, have gotten nowhere with that. I'm not a pushy person, and haven't pushed really hard, but admittedly, this approach hasn't gotten me anywhere. I contacted my local hearing aid audiologist to see if she'd take a look and she shot me an e-mail basically saying that she wouldn't touch a CI with a ten-foot pole (can't blame her for that).
So now...there is another approach in the works, which I am not going to go into a lot of detail about here, because I'm not sure it's the right time, but I'm hoping that we can get to the bottom of things soon. I quite frankly think that there was a surgical error...but have no way of knowing for sure without some cooperation from the medical profession. This doesn't change my opinion of my my opinion, he is one of the best...and errors happen occasionally even in the best of circumstances. I may very well be wrong, but I want desperately to know if anything can be done to make my first CI work. When I started this blog, it was with the hope that someday I'd hear with two ears...but so far, that just hasn't been the case. I hope that soon I'll have a little more information to share about way or another...but it may take time.
I'm not discouraged about it...I heard with just one ear for thirty years, and I am overjoyed that I hear as well as I do with the one ear I have now. The fact that I have speech comprehension now that I've NEVER had before, and that I can hear tiny sounds that I didn't even know existed, is a source of thankfulness EVERY SINGLE DAY...I never get over being amazed at what a difference it's made in my life!
A few CI bloggers to visit today: David, over at Life in a Cone of Silence, was activated on Thursday, and has incredible, heartwarming stories to tell (and he'll make you laugh out loud, too). And I am enjoying reading Katie's blog...she had her implant surgery a couple of weeks ago and is waiting for her switch on! Go check 'em out!
OK, enough for now...I have GOT to make a grocery list...we have nothing to eat in this house! I'll try to post more soon....later, y'all! :)

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