Thursday, January 31, 2008

Map update: Better than I hoped!!

I went to Vanderbilt today for a new map for my CI and was really anxious to see what could be done. At my last appointment the computer showed that two of my electrodes had shorted out, and the resulting map was disastrous...it sounded just awful. My brain slowly but surely adjusted, but I was really excited about going back and seeing if she could make it sound even better.
When I got there, she introduced me to her newest intern and then plugged me up to the computer. She was walking through the information on the screen and explaining to the intern what it all meant, and then she pointed to some little green dots at the top, and said, "These are the "impedences". When they're green they mean the electrodes are on and working." Well, that was the first I'd heard of that, so I took a look, and TA-DA....ALL the lights were green! So I asked her, "Does that mean that ALL the electrodes are working??" and she grinned and said yes. We decided that probably what happened is that when she hooked me up to the computer last time something happened that made it lose signal from those two electrodes (maybe something as simple as my scratching my head and bumping the magnet) and they showed as being out. I was a little annoyed...because I can't help but wonder if maybe a reboot of the computer or something could have fixed it and I wouldn't have had to struggle through this past month...but on the other hand, I was so relieved that they were working properly...that was all that really mattered :). When we turned the two back on, men's voices are suddenly deeper and stronger...so we had to make some adjustments to keep them from being overpowering. It changed the entire balance of things...so it will take several days to re-adjust all over again...but I'll manage ;). I had forgotten to bring a music CD with me to listen to in the car so I turned the radio on just to see how things sounded. I was impressed that I could understand almost everything the announcer and all the advertisers were saying, and I was able to hear the music well enough to not only enjoy the sound, but pick up words here and there....to songs I didn't know. I have never listened to the radio before...it was an exercise in futility, because I really just couldn't tell what was going on. At this moment music needs work...after all the electrode-shifting and frequency-adjusting in today's mapping, my brain is thoroughly confused, and that will take a few days to settle down. However, I had a MAJOR CI moment when I was listening to the radio today...I was listening to a song that I didn't know and thought, "Hm...that sounds like Josh Turner's voice" and a few seconds later the announcer said that it was a Josh Turner song...and a few minutes later I thought I recognized Martina McBride's voice and it was "Independence Day" (I haven't listened to the whole song in so long that I didn't recognize it from the music until we got to the chorus!). Now...I'm pretty impressed with that!!!!
I did get some annoying news today...the T-coil (telephone setting...it blocks out background noise) won't work with my BlackBerry....grrrrr. However, it works fine with land lines...I just need to practice using them. I am still big-time phone shy, and will only talk to certain people on my "approved" list (I think, so far, it's just been family and Melli!) I can hear great on the BlackBerry but can't cut out all the background noise. When I was first activated I actually heard better on the BlackBerry than on the regular phone, so I haven't even tried to use the regular phone. I will probably be able to hear much better on it now with the T-coil. Anyone know any numbers I can call to practice? I already have the Time & Temperature message memorized!
If you have a CI, could you do me a favor? One of my blog buddies, Shari, over at Literally Blindsided, just failed all her CI exams...which means that she's a candidate (you have to fail all the tests in order to qualify!). She is researching and trying to decide which brand to get...would you please go over and tell her why you chose your CI and what you like about it? I know she would love any help you could give her!!
I was off today, but was so tired from my mapping appointment (they really can be exhausting) that I came home and went to bed and got a nap. I have been listening to music tonight and trying to catch up with my blog-buddies :). Tomorrow I work until 1 (just five hours...weird) then we're taking Will out to dinner...he will be having a birthday soon (deserving of its own post!) so we will be celebrating!
More posting soon....love y'all! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another CI moment!

I had a neat CI moment today! I had to take Katie to the eye doc today for new glasses...it had been a year and a half since her last appointment and she was in bad shape. She wanted me to go in the exam room with her so I went. She was in the exam chair and I was across the room. The doc had his back to me, looking at her face, and turned the lights off to do the exam. Suddenly, I realized that I could hear everything he said to her! I hadn't been paying attention...Ellie was on my lap and I was playing with her...but when I listened I realized I could hear every word. I know I've had pretty good comprehension lately, but today drove home to me what a big improvement the CI has made...I've never, as long as I can remember, been able to get an eye exam before without knowing in advance what was going to be done, what was going to be asked, etc. I would always have to stop the testing and look at the doc and say "What did you say?" It was a real eye-opener to realize that I won't have to do that anymore...WOW!
I still have a little trouble at work...it's so LOUD there! Everything makes noise at Wal-Mart! I went back into the back the other day and one of the produce boys asked me, "Did you hear them page you?" I told him, no, I hadn't, and he said, "Well, you're supposed to call the office". I told him that I couldn't call the office, and he said, "Well, you HAVE TO"...to which I responded, "I'm deaf, remember?" After the initial sheepish grin he offered to make the phone call for me. I can hear the pages if I listen to them...but they're garbled, and there is a new page every few seconds, and I don't have the time or energy to focus on listening to them all day long :). Someone can come get me if they need me for anything! Word is getting around about the bionic gal in the produce department and I just love talking to people about it. They are naturally curious and have tons of questions and I have really enjoyed getting to educate people about it. I have also performed the famous paper-clip trick on more than one occasion...it never fails to entertain (and raise eyebrows) when you're able to stick things on the side of your head, as if by magic. Great party trick!
The two electrodes that are not with us anymore are not causing problems...I am happy to report that I seem to be fully acclimated to not using them. I desperately need a new map, since the other one wasn't great to start with...that will be remedied on Thursday at 10 (I canNOT wait!) I'll post and let y'all know how that goes! The biggest indicators of needing a new map for me are just an overall decrease in sound quality. Music sounds awful right now, where it sounded pretty good before, and things just sound a bit muddier and kind of irritating. I am ready to get back to some good CD quality sound again! :)
Mike Chorost continues to share his experiences with his second CI (and the exploits of the two ears together) on his blog...and Jim over at Countdown to Implant was activated today and has his own story to tell...go visit them! :)
A favor? I am updating my blogroll. If you want me to include you, PLEASE leave me a comment with the link to your blog and I'll link you. If I'm already linked to you but the link is out, let me know that, too, please? That includes all the DeafRead bloggers...I would love to link to any of you as well :) If you want to be included on my main blog blogroll too, let me know that too...I know that that roll needs to be updated!
Headed to bed...I've enjoyed being off today, and have an easy week ahead, but have to get up and get moving at 6 AM tomorrow, so I'm going to start winding down now. Hope everyone's having a great week and staying warm!! :)
Much love....... :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I LOVE this!!!!!

Several really, really interesting things happened today. My blogbuddy Cindy started my day off with a huge smile today. I visit her blog often and LOVE her pictures. She had one of a dragonfly last night and I asked her if she had any of my beloved butterflies. In response, she posted this: Wings for Jennifer. If you like butterflies, these are gorgeous...THANK YOU, Cindy!!!
Next up....here's a commercial, produced by Pepsi, slated to run during the Super Bowl's pre-game show. This is popping up on several friends' blogs across the country and I HAD to share it with you...it made me smile, burst out laughing, then nearly cry. (more information here!!) I love me some Pepsi!!!



I also want to share this video clip with you all....but you'll have to go to this website to see it. My blogging buddy Karen, who is deaf, drove around a Steak & Shake in her state yesterday and since she drove up to the window to order rather than ordering at the speaker, the MANAGER not only denied her service, but told her to quit holding up traffic or he'd call the police. She was outraged, her readers were outraged, and ABC news picked it up. I will be VERY interested to see what the outcome is to this story!!!
And Michael Chorost, who wrote the book Rebuilt, which I read just before my first CI was activated, had his second CI activated today. He wrote about it on his new blog...if you're interested, go visit him. He has two working ears now...the real challenge lies ahead...teaching them how to work together. Since my experience is so different, most of what he says is fascinating to me...a glimpse of how it's supposed to be :)!
In other, tragic news, I came home today from work to find that despite my best efforts to keep this family healthy, Fred the monkey (I keep wanting to call him George...Melli, that's your fault ;)) is bedridden with chicken pox (my girls were apparently in a very creative mood today). He has four anxious little nurses waiting on him hand and foot, and as you can tell from the cheerful smile on his face, he is soldiering on bravely. Poor Fred. (only at MY house!)

And today when I came home from lunch the oven went absolutely berserk and overheated (got so hot that it started self-cleaning, but without the locked door....oooh!). I couldn't make it shut off and it seemed to be getting hotter and hotter so I had to pull it out from the wall and unplug it. Oy. The repairman cometh tomorrow. Oh joy.
Going to bed....quite enough for one post...don't want to use up all the good stuff in one day! ;)
Love y'all......... :)


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quick update....

...I know I said I was going in for a new map this morning, but the weather didn't cooperate...ugh :(. I had to be there at 8 AM today and last night they were predicting snow, sleet, and freezing rain. I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't see much, but they had closed a lot of the schools around the area so I decided if it was that bad I wasn't taking chances. Southerners don't have a lot of experience with bad road conditions...I know I don't...and I don't trust everyone else out there to do better than I do...so I decided to stay home. Since my mother-in-law had my kids (I was supposed to leave early, early to get to Vanderbilt, so they spent the night with her so she could get them off to school) I went back to sleep and slept until 9 AM....awesome! I have been working so much lately and on the go when I'm off...and I needed the rest! :)
I have my mapping appointment rescheduled for Jan. 31st. I can wait one more week...I've waited this long! In the meantime, I have new listening material...one of our friends sings in a quartet and his CDs were some of the first I listened to when I was first activated. I e-mailed him and let him know how good he was sounding, and he sent me three of his CDs today as a gift!! I was so surprised and tickled....and can't wait to listen to them all! Wasn't that sweet?!??!
One of my online (non-blogging) buddies is having his CI surgery tomorrow...Ronald, if you're reading this...GOOD LUCK! And then there's Michael Chorost, who has turned his webpage into a blog (I love it...go check it out!) ...his second implant will be activated on Thursday. I can't wait to hear all about it and wish I could be there for his Two-Eared Party!!! Good luck, Mike!
I am trying my best to get down to business and learn some signs before my trip to Reno in June. I promised myself when I left OKC in June that I would know at least some signs before the 2008 convention...and while I've learned a few, I'm woefully behind :(. I signed up for an ASL class last fall, but they didn't get enough participants to have it two different nights and they ended up having it on a church night so I couldn't go. This spring I can't possibly pull it off because of all the hours I'm working, so I am trying to learn it by book and video...and it's slow going :(. Does anyone know of any great resources to help me learn online...perhaps some captioned videos or websites? I only know about 30-something signs...and most of them are some that I learned thirty years ago and managed to retain. Not nearly enough to be able to use it to communicate, though! :( My goal is to someday learn enough to become certified as an interpreter...I know I have a long way to go, though, both in learning signs and being able to actually hear well enough to do the job!
Getting off here and headed to bed...I've been on the go so much lately that I am constantly tired...ugh! Hope everyone is having a great week and staying warm...love you all! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One more thing marked off my list....

...today I reserved my hotel room (Abbie, check your Gmail, darlin') for the HLAA convention! Now all I lack is buying my plane tickets...and I'll be all set! I am still thinking things through before I actually settle down and buy them...my friend Deb put a bug in my ear and now I am wanting to go to the Advanced Bionics plant in Sylmar, CA, if at all possible, on this trip. I'm trying to figure out how to pull that off. I need to get busy and figure out what I'm gonna do so I can get those tickets before the price goes up! I am wound up about this trip...and annoyed that it's still five months away...but that will give me time to save up some money for it and decide how to approach the boss about taking that time off ;). If they won't let me off, I'll quit and get another job later...I have my priorities straight here ;)!!
In other news...tonight at church when the singing started I was able to tell where the pitch was almost immediately...which has been a problem the past few weeks. Voices are still not perfect, but what happens is you just get used to it, and it doesn't bother you as much, and then one day you realize they're actually sounding pretty good :). My next mapping session is in less than one week...and believe me you, I am READY for it!
Headed to bed...I was lazy today (day off) and tomorrow it's back to work again...and I need to get some sleep! Later, y'all.... :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Interesting...

Y'all know I've been struggling with this map quite a bit...and it's been really frustrating. Well, to make a long story very short, it turns out that when I went to Vanderbilt on Dec. 31st I was mapped with a faulty T-Mic. I don't think that has much to do with the electrodes shorting out...but I think it has a LOT to do with the sound quality over the past couple of weeks. The T-Mic that was on the CI was making a icky popping noise before I ever went in for a map but I didn't think much of it, honestly. When I came home from that particular disappointing mapping session I talked to my buddy Wayne who asked if I had considered trying a different T-Mic...so I gave it a shot. I had NO crackling or popping for the next few days, although the sound quality wasn't just terrific. Well, I took the T-Mic off the CI the other day to use the Direct Connect (to watch a movie, which shall remain nameless so as to avoid being repetitive, on the laptop) and when I put the T-Mic back on, it fell off and I couldn't find it right away, so I put the old one back on. It started crackling and popping almost immediately...and then suddenly I couldn't hear the first program at all anymore. Program 2 worked OK, but the sound was harsh and uncomfortable...I could feel the sounds, almost like with Thing 1. I promptly took it back off and put on the new T-Mic again (hubby managed to find it for me) and all the programs worked fine. So my last mapping was done with a T-Mic that was going out...that HAS to be part of the reason my sound quality has been so rough! I can hardly wait to go back to Vanderbilt on Tuesday (the 22nd) for the next map. I am taking the new mic with me and we'll give the whole thing another shot.
I talked to Katie on the phone tonight while I was at work...and did much better understanding her...and that always makes me feel great. Talking on the phone in a noisy environment is still not something I want to do...I think it's as much psychological as physical. I do intend to practice to see if I can get better at it but I wanted the T-coil to cut out the background noise and I don't have that. Plan to remedy that at the next map and then I'll try it again. I hate asking other people to get the phone for me...I always have. It's particularly annoying at work when the phone rings...I might be standing RIGHT THERE, but have to let my co-workers get it because of my fear of not being able to hear and really messing it up. I really get annoyed with myself when they're busy helping someone else and they have to stop what they're doing to come get the phone. I haven't ever been made to feel bad about it...they have all been just awesome, but I hate it. I need to cut myself a bit more slack...nobody can do everything, and this is just one of the things that I'm not ready for yet. It'll happen :).
I haven't had any profound CI moments the past few days...but today I woke up and all the kids were gone so I didn't put the Things on right away. I went about my normal routine in the perfect quiet. Occasionally I'll still feel mildly surprised when I slam a cabinet door and hear absolutely nothing...it's still hard to believe sometimes that I'm finally completely, totally deaf without my CI...quite an adjustment to make after 35 years of being able to hear at least some sounds. And yet, when that magnet touches my head, sounds roar to life...the sound of the heater, the TV, water running, the ticking of my Moonbeam clock, the clacking of the keyboard. I can hear it all...and it still amazes me that I can.
Thanks to Carrie for informing me that butterflies are deaf. I had never heard that before, and checked it out. And it's true...nearly all species of butterflies are deaf. That little bit of news really brightened my day. I have always loved butterflies but more so in the past few years than ever before. I identify with their metamorphosis from something plain and quiet into another entirely different creature: one with wings, with flight and freedom. Becoming completely deaf at last was the beginning of a journey that I never imagined taking...I had no idea at the time that I would end up an entirely different person at the end of it all. At the time it hurt so much that more than anything, I just wanted to shut myself away from the world and hide. This technological marvel...the tiny computer inside my head...changed all that. It gave me back independence, confidence, and joy...and, amazingly, it gave me something I'd never felt before...a sense of pride in being deaf. I have an intriguing story to tell and and have been able to share it...and even helped others make life-changing decisions for themselves. This butterfly has her wings and is flying, finally...and loving it :)
I've GOT to get to bed (stayed up too late last night working on my computer....oy) but wanted to really quickly send you over to my buddy Sam's blog again. Sam's getting his second implant done around noon tomorrow and will then be a bona fide member of the bilateral bionic club. It's still a fairly exclusive club...when Dr. Haynes spoke to our HLAA group in December, he said that worldwide, there are only about 3200 bilateral CI users...and less than 1300 of those are in the United States...with children outnumbering the adults 2 to 1 (that wasn't a surprise!). That number's going up quickly as insurance companies are FINALLY offering coverage. Sam was one of my biggest supporters when I decided I wanted a second implant...and I'm excited to see how he does with his...check it out! :)
Night, y'all...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Better....

...men are slowly starting to sound like men again! What a relief!! I like men's voices, and was starting to feel like I was doomed to go through life listening to the guys talking in falsettos. I played a Paul Potts video a little while ago that I played just after activation...him singing "O Holy Night"...and it sounded pretty close...so that's a relief. I also listened to Jeff and Geo's activation videos again. The first time I listened to them I couldn't hear their audiologists talking like I could Abbie's so I wanted to take another listen. I still couldn't hear the audies very well...could just catch a word here and there...but you guys will be happy to hear that you sound like men and not girls ;). And lastly, I have been watching US Marshals again (that man looks good even in a chicken suit...whoo!) and while the voice isn't perfect just yet, it is SO much better!!! YAHOO!
I think a new map will make a huge difference. I can't help but wonder if something went wrong in the mapping process this time. In addition to the two shorted electrodes, I was supposed to have the T-coil set in the third program slot and it's not working....all I get is static. In her defense, I didn't try it before I left her office...even though I had my phone in my purse. This time I'm trying it out before I ever leave :). I have been handling phone calls pretty well just using the T-mic. My daughter called me while I was at Wal-Mart the other night and there was a lot of background noise and I didn't do so well then...but I eventually figured out what she wanted (she was calling with a grocery list of things, mostly junk, that she wanted me to pick up for her before I left work!).
While I haven't put on Thing 1 every single day (mostly out of forgetfulness), when I do wear it it's been fine...thankfully. It's not loud enough so that I can hear a whole lot, but that's not what I'm concerned with right now....right now I am just concerned with comfort levels...and if I can accomplish that, life is very good :).
And you know that annoying loudspeaker at Wal-Mart? I was working the other day and I actually heard them page me over it. I wasn't sure at first that I'd heard it right, but one of the women standing there said, "they're paging you!" and sure enough, they wanted me to run one of the registers. I hadn't done that before, so it was a little nerve wracking...checking people out accurately while talking to them and bagging will take a little practice. I did pretty well, though, I thought...they kept me up there for a couple of hours, so I must not have been too terrible ;)!
Jeff, thanks for the explanation in the comments. It took me a few seconds to wrangle it out in my little pea brain but I did finally get what you were saying, and it helped. I'm SO not techie about this stuff (Abbie can tell you...the poor dear has been working patiently with me) but am slowly learning. Before Abbie got ahold of me I just mainly let the audie do what she wanted to do...now I can say that I participate in my mapping sessions and know so much more about what's going on...and I like it much better that way :).
It's late, and I'm gonna get off here and watch my movie a bit longer...but I thought I'd update and let y'all know that things are on the upswing again...and I'm so thankful!! :)
Later....love y'all! :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Funny....

Late last night I watched US Marshals (ooh!). I had already put the ears to bed for the night (one of the benefits of being totally deaf with CIs...you can still have quiet time when you want it!) but when I saw Tommy Lee Jones, Thing 2 went back on...I love his voice as well as his face and his attitude. Well...boo...he sounded like a GIRL last night! And I know what that voice sounds like...and girly it ain't! What a bummer! I listened to it for about an hour and then took the CI back off and ended up falling asleep (I have it on DVD, so I can pick it up again later). All the men sound girly. I had heard other CI users mention having trouble with that before but hadn't ever noticed that particular problem personally until the two electrodes shorted out. Definitely something to work on at the next map (I think I'll bring along the laptop and my US Marshals DVD and we'll program it until Deputy Sam Gerard is sounding good again ;)!)
Despite that...and here's the funny part...this morning in church I actually heard the bell ring to signal the end of class...for the first time ever. It's a kind of shrill ring and I haven't ever been able to hear it before...even when listening intently for it. This morning I just heard it and wondered what it was until everyone got up and started walking out...then I knew. I also heard a noise during church and asked hubby what it was. He told me that it was the squeaky leather jacket of the woman sitting behind me...but I told him no...I know that sound now and that wasn't it. He asked me after church if maybe it sounded like the pump to the baptistry behind the pulpit, and I told him that THAT'S what I think it sounded like...a machine. He said that it wasn't supposed to be on but sometimes it kicks on when it's not supposed to...so he's going to check it out. If that's not it I'm going to guess that maybe it's the heater or something...it was definitely a machine...but hubby couldn't hear it, which, to me, is just wild :).
I have lost most of my sense of pitch, though...since we have men leading the singing and their voices throw me off. If my hubby starts singing before I can pick up the pitch from the women around me, I usually can't pick it up (he drowns them out). I didn't have trouble with that before, so, again, something to work on.
I have slept a bit and thought things through a bit and my thoughts on the deaf child mentioned in last night's post are a little calmer today. Whether or not I'd do the same thing, that child wasn't meant for those parents...for the good of the child AND the parents. I don't know the circumstances, so yesterday's posting seems a little judgmental today. Blame it on emotions.
My kids go back to school tomorrow (hooray!) and things will be somewhat back to normal. I'm glad...the lack of routine is making me crazy!
Later, y'all.... :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Random thoughts....(long)

I am full of randomness lately! Thought I'd share a few of those thoughts with y'all...
I read on one of my CI blogs today that a woman wanting a baby from China turned down a referral for a child because it was deaf. I have been thinking about that all day long. I know that most parents don't get to pick if their child will be hearing or deaf...or have anything else wrong with them, for that matter. International adoption often gives you that option. When my niece was adopted from Vietnam Doug and Lisa got a chance to see her referral and decide if they wanted her or not. She appeared perfectly healthy and was a beautiful baby and of course they wanted her. I would have :). They found out down the road that she has some sensory issues that they have had to deal with, but I firmly believe that even if they had anticipated those problems, they still would have loved her and wanted her unconditionally. They wanted to be parents and, I think, had faith that God would send them the baby that was just right for them :).
I can perhaps see not being prepared to take on the challenge of a severely mentally or physically handicapped child...especially if healthier, happier babies are available...but not wanting a child because it couldn't hear was a little bit stunning for me. I suppose that's because being deaf is the only life I've ever known, and it hasn't been a bad life by any stretch of the imagination. It's had its rough spots, to be sure...but nothing that was insurmountable. Most deafness can be dealt with...if not by hearing aids or cochlear implants (and there are very few people that truly can't benefit from one or the other), by sign language or other means of communication.
I love reading the blogs of the deaf babies...the dedication and love and commitment of their families is clearly evident. While doubtless many, many tears have been cried over their childrens' loss, I have heard it again and again: "I love them just the way they are." It doesn't mean that these parents wouldn't change things if they had the power to do so. It just means that they value their children for who they are...that they can see the child, not just the disability.
I think, as a deaf adult who has struggled with my own insecurities over my handicap, that seeing a child overlooked because of deafness is just incredibly sad. Even though I don't know all the circumstances surrounding the prospective parents' decision, and I would hesitate to judge them too harshly, it feels like to me that this child just wasn't quite good enough for them. I hope that I'm wrong...that perhaps they thought about it very carefully, considered that they didn't have resources available to help a deaf child, and hoped that they would be better taken care of in another family...but it still makes me sad.
My parents didn't have the choice when it came to "perfect children". In addition to having a deaf daughter, they had a severely mentally retarded son (and I had two more brothers, so they had their hands full!) They never had the chance to say "I want a do-over!" or "I don't want this one!"...it was what it was. And they went to bat, not just for us, but for all their kids...and I was given whatever it took to have not only a functional life, but a good one. The nearest GOOD resources for deafness were right where they are now...at Vanderbilt, an hour away...and we were there nearly every week. And I never, for one minute, felt that my deafness made me "not good enough" in their eyes, or that I had inconvenienced them somehow. They loved me for who I was...just the way I was (and wanted to strangle me, occasionally, for who I was, but that's a whole 'nother ballgame, and not one bit related to deafness ;)). I did (and occasionally still do) have insecurities over being deaf but have learned, after years and years of denial, to not only accept my deafness but be proud of it and who I am despite it.
I have been debating whether to write about my last mapping but think I'm ready to tell a bit about it. It was both bad and good. Abbie and Sam had both been dealing a bit with "problem child" CIs...in their case, they had the facial twitching resultant from the electrodes stimulating the facial nerve. Abbie first learned that the HiRes S program helped dramatically with the twitching...and passed that bit of information on to Sam, who tried it at his next map with equally dramatic results. He passed that bit of information on to me, and I promptly squashed that idea because, after all, I didn't have twitching and I stubbornly didn't think it would help. I thought about it a bit more, though, and decided that it sure wouldn't HURT anything...after all, it wasn't getting better like it was. So at my map on Dec. 3oth, I asked Susan to turn Thing 1 down to the HiRes S program to see if I liked it better, and amazingly, I do. It's still very soft, but the vibrations are much less jarring on S than they were on HiRes P or the 120 program. I had made a commitment to wear both Thing 1 and Thing 2 for just a little while every day, and HiRes S has made it much less of a chore. I am so grateful for my Internet support group...we all help each other out, and offer advice here and there, and if we can't do anything else, we can sympathize and support...it's wonderful :).
Thing 2, however, was a whole different ballgame this time. When Susan turned on the computer, I waited for the beeps but they never came. I finally took a gander at the computer monitor and electrodes 4 and 5 were highlighted in blue. I asked her what that meant and she said that they had shorted out. SAY WHAT? I then, of course, immediately commenced to freak out (I'm prone to that). She reassured me that it wasn't an immediate cause for freaking out (her reassurances fell on deaf ears *snort*) and told me that the other electrodes would pick up the slack and that things would be fine. Well...that mapping session was a bad one...we just couldn't get things to sound right. I went home that day and for the first time was unable to tell men's and women's voices apart. This week has not been a good one hearing wise...I can still hear all the environmental sounds fine, but am having a little more trouble with voices. My own sounds more like Daffy Duck than ever before. I go back on Jan. 22nd and we're going to take another shot at the mapping thing and hopefully will be able to fix some of these issues. I have talked to quite a few people who have experience with these things and have found that shorting isn't an uncommon thing, and it should have little or no effect, in the long run, on my overall hearing. It has set me back a bit...but I should have expected that this journey wouldn't be without a pitfall here and there!! It's been absolutely perfect up until now...I've been so lucky :). I have faith that everything will soon be back on track...but it took me a few days to get my good attitude back in gear!
I did have a great experience when I called my hairdresser to make a hair appointment and was able to understand him just fine. I hadn't made many phone calls to "outside" people (people outside immediate family, in other words) and was a little nervous, but it went great...I heard almost everything (and I have an appointment Tuesday at 9, which cannot come soon enough). And get this...I was driving when I called him...and our Pathfinder is SO loud it's a wonder I heard him at all! I have called my daughter a time or two and never have any trouble with her...I still can't get over what a blessing that is!! :) I need to practice calling people more...but I'm still a bit nervous (anyone wanna be my guinea pigs?) .
I'll be back to write more soon...but The Fugitive is on, and Tommy Lee Jones is looking good, so I'm off to watch that! Later....much love! :)