Sunday, March 9, 2008

First *WOW* moment

Activation nearly a week ago was bittersweet; the ability to hear all the sounds around me is amazing, but speech comprehension was, well, not that great. For all the admonishments to keep expectations low, all the positive things posted on the blogs and groups do tend to make you hope for amazing results.

I haven't posted much because I've gone through a number of, well, "issues" is the current vernacular, I guess. I tried running a couple of times, just simple three mile runs, slow and easy, but that led to vertigo; in one case, the vertigo lasted for more than a day. So I've quit running for a bit. Considering I'm planning a marathon at the end of April, that's gonna be a problem.

My tinnitus flared up something awesome for a few days about two weeks after surgery; so bad I really thought I was almost going insane. That seems to have taken care of itself too.

Then yesterday, I kept getting these pains, felt almost like muscle spasms in my brain, every minute or so. That seems to have abated. Mostly, anyway.

I know, I'm whining, and it's ugly; all of these complaints are relatively minor. The good news is we had a family gathering today and I was *amazed* how well I understood people! My sister Mary, I frankly have not been able to understand even with lip reading for nearly a decade. Today, I could easily understand her (with lip reading) with the CI! I mean, every word came in loud and clear. My hearing aids never gave me that. Pretty cool; even mundane conversations are *powerful* when you can hear and understand them, and really participate rather than just try to keep up.

It was only a taste; I still have trouble with most people, and the TV, and stuff, but that one single conversation was truly eye-opening.

I also had a nice chat with another recent implantee; it was nice to exchange observations. In some ways learning to use this device is a bit of a lonely business; there really aren't that many people to chat with about the experience.

I go for my second map on Tuesday. I am a bit uncomfortable with how much my whole life really pivots around my success or failure with this device, but I am optimistic, if not very patient.


Amy said...

Yes, be very patient, you will get amazing result in time, everyone timing is difference I got my amazing result 4 weeks post activation and I considered that very lucky but got bad mapping on that day so everything's unrecognizable, so glad tmw is my mapping I'll tell audi to throw it out and never use it again LOL. Also keep practicing listening as much as you can and use lip-reading until you feel comfortable to look at eyes to try match up sound you remember hearing while lipreading, same with using CC but what I do is read CC ahead of time then look up to actor and listen it help, its really slow process. And difficult because all people have so much difference in pitch and accents oh my god. So far I can understand one on one in quiet conversation if I know the subject with a female I'll succeed 80% of time comprehending her with lipreading so far. But for men if say one word a time and slowly so I can pay attention to way word sound so I don't get distracted by how deep their voice is lol. It takes time so hang in there man!

Abbie said...

You sound like you had a wonderful activation! I did not have the great activation meet my expectations, in fact I was downright disappointed and you can see that in my video. However, I was very thankful for what I was hearing and it only gotten better with time. It is not instanteous and this is what we mean that it is different then hearing with a HA. All seriousness aside, you are doing wonderfully.

Now for some tips and tricks, since your speech comprehension will take some time to come. My six month anniversary is next week and I am able to hear people behind with and have a conversation with out turning around. I could never do that in the beginning. You are doing very well and I have a little suggestion. It is really important to expose your ears to proper speech. Audiobooks exposes you to a wide variety of proper speech and pronunciation. I cannot stress how important it is. Every night after activation, I sat down for a half hour with an audiobook and followed along.

Tomas Rokicki said...

Thanks for all the support, Amy and Abbie; you two singlehandedly put such a positive presence on the web for implantees and I am grateful for it.

I've got two audiobooks (Wrinkle in Time and Hitchhiker's Guide), and plan to get the Potter 7 book tonight. The good thing about the Potter 7 book is it's been sitting here unread for a long time; this will give me an excuse to read it finally.

Just heard a siren go by; first time! I was going, what is that odd noise, but then I figured it out.