ColoradoAmy

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My Story

I've had progressive, bi-lateral, hereditary, sensorineural hearing loss since my late teens.  I started with a mild loss evenly across all frequencies, in a slight "smile" shape, similar to the "speech banana."  My loss progressed and in my early 20's I got my first pair of hearing aids.  By my 30's, my loss was flat across the bottom of the audiogram.

 

I am the 5th of 6 children.  My dad had a progressive profound hearing loss that was diagnosed when he was in his 20's.  My mom had normal hearing.  The 3 children with brown eyes, like my dad, have progressive hearing loss that started in late teens.  The children with hazel eyes, like my mom, have normal hearing.  We are keeping an eye on a niece with brown eyes.  She reports a mild hearing loss.  We'll see.

 

In spite of my loss, I got a degree in Music Education in 1978, and taught school for 2 years, which was, frankly, a disaster.  I went back to school and got degrees in accounting and computer sci, and have had a fairly successful career in IT Audit and Project Mgt.  I do know that I've probably not been as successful as possible due to my hearing loss.

 

I don't have a "good" ear; I've used hearing aids in both ears for almost 30 years.  The stars finally aligned for me to make the decision to have the CI surgery.  When talking to me, my audiologist thought it would be a challenge for me to qualify; however, I had her fooled, and passed (failed?) with flying colors.

 

At age 53, I decided to have simultaneous bi-lateral implant surgery, with the Nucleus 5.  Many reasons for this: I did not want to go through this process 2 times; I don't have a "good" ear, so I could never choose; my personal at this time life allowed for the time off.

 

Surgery was 12/09/09 in Denver, CO. Activation was 12/18/09.  Since I had auditory input right up to surgery, I quickly adapted to the CI's.  I understood speech immediately.  At the 2-wk mapping, I got 100% of the sentences in one ear and 90% in the other (missed one).  At one month, I went from about 2% to 96% on the single word test.

 

I can understand the radio while driving, I can understand people behind me.  Restaurants are better than they were; I'm still working out the settings.  People I know have noticed the difference. TV and movies are harder.  I've relied on captions for so long and not using them is a hard habit to break; I'm trying.  Phones are better, but some tweaking is needed.

 

I can also listen to music, even new music.  It might be my background as a musician.  Orchestra music is harder.  Jazz trios are best.

 

High pitches are the challenge for me.  But after 5 weeks and 2 mappings, they are getting sorted out.

 

I am very, very happy that I went with the simultaneous bi-lateral. EVERYTHING sounds different than with my hearing aids. I would be bananas having the 2 kinds of sounds coming in, and I would miss being bi-lat.  My own voice sounds different, but I am getting used to it.

 

More to come in the journey.....

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Blog Entries
My New Normal
One Year Ago
It has been 3 1/2 years since my bilateral implantation. This is my new normal. My hearing loss no longer defines me.It has been quite a while since I have...
New Job with CIs
3 Years Ago
 I started a new job on November 1, 2010.  My lovely "summer sabbatical" is over and now I'm back to the old 9-5!  I haven't...
 I'm not making it up - that's the name of the musical comedy that we recently attended!  This was the first theatre performance that...
 We attended the local high school marching band festival.  The kids all did a great job regardless of the size of the band.  I was surprised...
 I had the opportunity to be a volunteer at the Hearing Health Fair in Denver sponsored by Cochlears.  The event featured short educational...
 I had the opportunity to visit the Cochlear headquarters in the Denver area last week.  I had planned to meet with Michael Noble for a casual...
  This blog is mainly for me so I can record some of my pre- and post-operative and activation experiences from back in Dec 2009 before I forget...
No instructions were included, but thanks to reading others' posts, I knew that the instructions were in the sound processor manual (pg 41 in my...
Music in the Park
4 Years Ago
Hubby and I attended a free outdoor concert to listen to the Grand Junction sysmphony orchestra and band.  The musicians were on a stage and there were...
Annoying Noises
4 Years Ago
When I wore hearing aids, very often my husband would be irritated by some small noise that I could not hear.  When I got the 2 CI's I was often...
We went to the Garfield County Fair in Rifle, CO, and the Rodeo was included in the entrance fee.  I could not understand the rodeo announcer!  I...
I have not yet received my rechargeable batteries for the Nucleus 5.  Based on some other people's posts, I get a feeling I have been skipped...
I just returned from my 8th HLAA National Convention in Milwaukee.  It was great to see many old friends from across the country and to meet new people,...
Has anyone posted their Cochlear Community blogs to another site?  I have several friends and family on Facebook, and I'd like for them to read my...
Job Interviews
4 Years Ago
I have had a couple of job interviews over the last week and they have gone very well. These first interviews were the “behavioral questions”...
Intimacy
4 Years Ago
I am going to try to have a go reporting on this topic.  I have bi-lateral implants.  The magnet is situated a little over an inch above and...
Junior College Baseball World Series, Grand Junction, CO: As the series progresses, the crowds have gotten larger and more raucous.  At the smaller...
JUCO Baseball!
4 Years Ago
We have been attending the Junior College (JUCO) World Series baseball championship in Grand Junction, Co.  This is my first time to listen to a...
Even though this is not related to hearing loss, it demonstrates the power of the human mind.  Sometimes we can be very, very good at filling in the...
Cochlear Americas participated the Colorado HLAA Walk4Hearing in a BIG way!  All of the walkers and HLAA member in Colorado really appreciate your...
Rapunzel
4 Years Ago
Is anyone using the Telephone with Confidence program service?  I just found it the other day and I've had a delightful time listening to the...
I've been a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) since about 1994, when it was known as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People...
Recently, I needed to drive at night with 3 passengers.  With my hearing aids, having a conversation would have been difficult and dangerous. ...
I had a great experience last week.  I gave a talk at a Sertoma Club meeting at the request of a friend (Sertoma is a service organization).  The...
The next Boulder HLAA meeting is February 20.  If there are any Boulder or Denver area CochlearCommunity members interested, please send me a...
I wrote the attached article for the Colorado HLAA Newsletter describing my decision to have simultaneous bilateral implants and some of my first...
I think most CI wearers will agree that it is a combination of both.  For me, when I was first activated almost 2 months ago, the high pitch components...
Microphone problem
4 Years Ago
About 3 weeks after activation, my left implant was making funny noises. Since this was a Friday, my audie was able to work me in.  As soon as I hung up...
Last week, I had a meal at one of those coffee places where you give your name and they holler when your order ready.  I usually hover waiting...
Listening to music
4 Years Ago
By January, I was ready for music.  With some trepidation, I put on some CDs to see how music was going to sound.  For the most part, it came...
On the way home from my mapping session on Jan 14, I had the radio on.  At a certain point, I realized that I could understand the announcers!  I...
I had a nice moment with my CIs on Jan 23.  I was at an HLAA meeting.  the room was not very large, but I was about 4 rows back.  I was able...
Hair behind my ears
4 Years Ago
Huh!  I just realized that I can't tuck my hair behind my ears while I am working on the Sudoku!  Makes me wonder about what it will be like to...
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