Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Changes for the good

It is amazing how this thing changes and improves constantly.
Today I noticed that my last class of the day, chatting while they stood in line, sounded like a bunch of voices (which they were) instead of a convention of sleigh bells. I still can't pick out words there but what was coming my way en-mass had the same tone quality as a voice...or rather 22 of them.
I noticed during the announcements I'm picking up bits and pieces over the PA....did the pledge fine although I think my L's are a bit soft. I also could tell it was orange chicken day....Yummy!
One more a-ha...I have had 3 different people tell me my voice has improved.
I also moved to program 3. I go back Thursday so it's about time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My new ear's first church service

We went to Church this morning and I was anxious to see what I could understand. My hearing had gotten so bad that I had to peek to see when the prayer was over. Today I got 4 out of 5 amens. I call that a success. Brother Matt was away today and our service was led my Jessica. She is our newest associate pastor and I'd never even met her or heard her speak until today. I didn't get much of the sermon but I got what I thought was an impressive amount considering she has a high-pitched and fast voice.

Headphone instructions

Here are the instructions for the headphone thing I posted about last. I was working from memory as when I read it, I didn't need it yet. This is from Sam's blog:
There is also a version on Tina's blog:
Thanks guys for all you do to keep us new guys in exciting things.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I bought myself an awesome pair of $60 noise-canceling earbuds Black Friday for $19, spent $2.15 at the fish department in Petsmart and fixed myself a good way to listen. My first listening adventure with CI side only....Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid. I think I did pretty well. I let my eyes get ahead of the voice a couple of times and lost my place but was able to find it again without cheating and sticking in the other earbud. I also took the thumbprints test at the listening room and scored 38%. Not great but not hideous either considering my new ear is less than a week old.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What? My ears aren't bleeding?

After some mid-morning shopping, Caleb and I went to lunch at Panda Express (his favorite) and a movie. He picked Arthur's Christmas and I picked the theatre (Frisco Cinemark) since I wanted one with captions. Movie was great and my CI and I did fine. After the movie he conned me into going to the mall. Not just any mall....Grapevine Mills.....a pretty darn big mall......on Black Friday. I bought him a new LEGO mystery guy ($2.60) and me a new pair of jeans ($7.66) then hit Chik fil A for a brownie and Dr Pepper. That's when the noisyness kicked up. Mr. Silly....started singing....loudly.....about donuts.....opera style. He did this................all.....the.......way.......home......all 45 minutes of drive worth. My CI was screaming but he was being funny and I actually understood some of it....mostly "donut". Just about the time we walked in the door my battery died......I was thankful.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Much to be thankful for this year. Excited to be hearing. Dinner went well. I did have to "accidentally" knock off the headpiece when Grammy tried to sing along with the dancing Frosty the Snowman though....it was just more than I could take. ;)

The robots are beginning to morph into Minnie mouse. Hoping in a couple more days that they will become even more voicelike. I got to thinking that a CI is kinda like that StarTrek: TNG episode with the mind-controlling video game....you just relax and it all falls in place.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The first 27 hours

I was activated at 1 yesterday and wore my CI from 1 till bedtime around 9.
Turned on this morning at 7.
It is now 4 and my brain is very tired. I'm also impressed my battery lasted 9 hours.
Taking a little break before dinner.
We are going out to Chili's complements of my fellow librarians. Gift cards rock. :)
It will be my first restaurant experience with this kind of sound.
For just one week after surgery. The headpiece bites a bit after a while but nothing too serious.
So far, I have identified:
car blinkers (which are annoying)
the Stealth app (which was annoying enough to require an ice pack - Thanks Caleb)
Inkles the Cat
Fluffy the Guinea Pig
voices from other rooms (with some degree of understanding)

It still sounds like a robot but is improving all the time.

I heard Caleb over the vaccuum....to which he goes "you heard that?....what is this, crazy day?"

Surprise! Activation 2 weeks early!

Went for my post-op and "equipment orientation" yesterday (11/22/11). My audi came out to get me already looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. She asked if I wanted to try going ahead and activating...today! Well...like...OF COURSE! Now up till this morning I was still kinda freaked over anything touching that ear but I can hardly tell it's sitting there. We did the range of beeps thing.....then had some laptop issues....more beeps...voices...hmmm....it really sounds like my crickets went musical...or at least rhythmic....but they help. It's high, it's chirpy....it's not REALLY voices.....but it is so helping my understanding....and it's already mutating. It gets better and better. Right now I can hear myself type. I heard the cat. My husband started tapping his leg....I heard it....it sounded weird until I realized that's what it was but I heard it! She told me that she did test me in the Operating Room and that she had to double check that she wasn't on demo mode....that all 16 were firing textbook perfect. YEA! I did have to have a stronger magnet as I still have some swelling. She said program 1 may last me a bit longer because it will get louder as the swelling goes down. I have 3 programs (varying loudness) and go back Wednesday Dec.1 for my next map then Tuesday December 6 for another (which would have been my activation day). As for the surgeon...he just looked at my incision site, said good.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 6: no complaints

Feeling pretty good. Being careful not to do too much. Caleb has been really helpful today as asside from giving me a bill for $Infinity for a single skinny peanut butter cup, he's been pretty reasonable, too. ;) Tomorrow I go back to get looked at and to pick up my equipment. It won't get turned on till 12/6 though.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 4

I've really done very little but sleep since surgery so there's not been much to write about. I'm feeling considerably more awake today and will give it a try.

Yesterday I took off the pressure bandage. That helped alot. It was a bit scary to take away the protection it provided but now I can really tell that the sore spots I have are mostly where it was rubbing and/or digging in. I am a bit freaked by the fact that the top of my ear seems glued to my head. I'm sure it's probably just residual ick holding it together but I'm not going to go messing with it.....at least not yet. I have some itchy spots but that's mostly where the hair he shaved is getting stubbly. My hair is really greasy, nasty, icky....and I can wash it Monday. I may be brave and do it Sunday night. The doctor told me Monday but the paperwork said 3 days.....so thinking I can fudge just a little. Maybe.

I woke up a bit lightheaded this morning. I can't really say I've had a vertigo attack or anything. It's gone really well. I'm actually thinking I was hungry and dehydrated. A couple of glasses of water and a breakfast burrito seemed to help alot. Mom is delivering lunch....wonder what we are having. I'm thinking we may need to re-think the Thanksgiving plan of steak. I can't open my mouth very wide and that much chewing might be hard....but it's still a few days away.

I'm very glad it's Thanksgiving break now so I can't possibly feel guilty about not being at work. I have a feeling Caleb is going to want me to do more than I'm up to though. Andy is off all but Monday so they can keep each other entertained.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Warning: Gross Pictures Ahead!!!

For those that want to see the innards of my ear and the awesome electrode array that will let me hear again.....here ya go.

The day after...

Today is brought to you by the letter z because that's what I've done zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Feeling decent but insanely sleepy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Surgery day...the official report

I got there at 5:45 and went to prep about 6:10. They took me in promply at 7:30 but not before I'd been able to grill my surgeon to be sure he was 100% using AB. He's a nester, by the way....I asked that, too. I don't remember a single thing from 7:30...scooting over to the surgery table and waking up about 9-something needing to throw up. They got me some good meds added and I was SOOOOOO sleepy. I was insanely groggy till about 11:30 when they had me move around some. I was discharged about noon. I catnapped during the hour-long ride home...nothing eventful. After a nice cup of chicken and stars and sweet tea, I had about a 2-hour nap. Right now I have a sonic burger plain with ketsup on order and plan to have pain meds and a nap to follow.
They gave me sprite to sip in the hospital and now I have an insanely painful case of burps....pressure....ouch. Tinitus....the crickets are still with me but now at a cricket convention. Occationally they fine the karyoke machine. Comes and goes.
The surgeon even gave me pictures of my ear, the stitches, the array (inside....eeeew), etc.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The day before

Pre-op day. Doing something I won't be allowed to do tomorrow....having breakfast. I'm torn between wanting to go early and get it done and not wanting to be there at 5am. I'll find out this afternoon what time we'll be doing this thing tomorrow. I hope I'm remembering everything I need.

Yesterday I went to the chiropractor and got my elbows and shoulder back in line. Nice massage....good and deep. Kinda sad that I can't use the marching ants (TENS machine) anymore except lower. Don't want to cause a short in my head or anything.

Roxy is staring at me. She wants my breakfast. She's a good girl. Yesterday someone posted about training your own hearing dog. She does pretty well with telling me there is someone at the door but not sure beyond that. Pretty sure we'd not want to take her out to dinner. :)

Thankful today for the support of my friends both new and old. It's awesome to have found such a supportive group as Hearing Journey. There is a chat tonight with the Advanced Bionics CEO. That should be cool. Glad to have my team holding down the fort at school, too. It's all shelved. My desk is a mess but what else is new. I'm surprised I left emptyhanded yesterday and didn't bring home work. I can always create work though. ;)

Off to haircut, lunch and pre-op.....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Buddy Meets the Kids

This is the week that I'm telling my students about my CI. They are meeting Bionic Buddy, too. I'm reading his story to Kinder, 1st and 2nd and just talking it out with 3rd, 4th and 5th. I'm also doing a sizable pitch on hearing safety and not listening to devices with the volume cranked. While that's not what happened to my hearing, it all gives the same bad result.

It's funny how the different ages react differently to things. The K-2 pretty much gave me the pep-talk on how surgery doesn't really hurt because you sleep right through it. ;) The 3rd-5th were more interested in approving the colors I chose. ;)