My Cochlear Implant: It’s been three months! Woo!

“How’s your cochlear implant going? Why haven’t you updated your blog?”

Lists are always so tedious to read…. and a catalogue of the sounds I am hearing with my implant (CI) would bore even me!

(Peeling mushrooms)

I am embarrassed to admit that I have been a little slack with my training over the holidays but I’ve been inspired by a few things this week.

(Caitlin asking “How old is Adnan?” and something about a video being deleted)

I scored 50% in a word perception test at SCIC on Wednesday wearing just my hearing aid… and 64% wearing both my hearing aid and my CI. And my response time was faster wearing both. The CI is actually helping!

(The microwave beeping)

Carol was also very happy with my progress with word comprehension and picking out different vowel sounds with just the CI – I could tell the difference between bet, but, bit, bat, beat, bird and a few other similar words… “You couldn’t do that a few weeks ago!”

(Water dripping in the sink)

Carol forwarded these results to Professor Da Cruz in time for my appointment on Friday.

(A car driving past outside)

Prof was very excited about my progress and suggested I spend more time wearing just the CI to encourage further and faster progress. He also suggested I read Kate Locke’s blog.

(The screen door opening)

I read Kate’s blog and found it very moving. She talked about the difficulties and isolation she faced before having the implant and how it led her to contemplate suicide. She had far greater and faster success than I with her implant, but she had only been deaf for five years – during which time, she (like me) chose not to talk on the phone. Amazingly, she was able to use the phone after only a week or so of her switch on.

(Caitlin sighing)

Maybe with training, I will be able to use the phone again too! Or maybe not…. But it would be very exciting – and helpful!

(Fabric swishing against fabric)

It is very obvious to me now when sound is coming from my left side. That means I know when someone on my left is speaking to me! Which means I will unintentionally snub fewer people! Now I need to look for a new excuse…

(Caitlin climbing on the couch to look out the window)

Strangely, I can’t tell when sound is coming from my right side. I have realised that my directional hearing is so far limited to my perception of sound in my CI: if I can hear a sound only through my CI, it must be coming from my left; if I can’t hear it through my CI, it must be coming from the right. If I can hear it in both, it must be somewhere in between.

(A tea towel falling to the floor)

Once when I was driving, I became confused as I thought I could hear people talking right next to me, as though they were in my car. I checked the radio – it was off. Looking around, I realised that I was hearing some pedestrians chatting on the footpath behind me and to my left. That brought a big grin to my face!

A few days later, while waiting at traffic lights, I noticed I could hear people having a conversation in the car next to me! I am envisaging a new career in espionage…

(Water boiling)

I am still jumping with fright whenever anyone walks into my office or slams the back door. I can’t get used to the extra volume!

There’s nothing else to report except to say that I am making continual improvements and progress with Angel Sound.

Give me another three months and I’ll be applying for a job with ASIO.

(Liam laughing at the TV)

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