The visit to the centre after one month — tests and reprogramming of the processor. We are asked about our impressions from this first month and we fill in numerous questionnaires. Then there is a meeting with a speech therapist, the examination during which I am to say how loud the sounds are, processor programming and an appointment with the otolaryngologist.
It seems that this was the last meeting of our little Nucleus Freedom group. In July we all come to the centre again for standard tests, but we have separate appointments.
W. says that she understands speech better than before, she knows what her children are talking about when they are playing, but she hears ringing all the time. It turns out that her programming has been too loud.
The speech therapist gives me some different ideas about my hearing exercises. I am to listen more, following the text which I see. I can use both hearing aid and CI or CI only for the training. We don’t test my word recognition, because for me it is too early. I see some progress: a lot of the sounds during the tests I can hear normally. It turns out that I hear the high sounds, and feel the low ones. In theory, it should complement my hearing with a hearing aid. In practice, things are more complicated.
I feel the low sounds in my teeth.
During the reprogramming I get stronger signals on all electrodes. The signal should be above the response threshold of the auditory nerve. The said threshold is determined without the need of my interaction, by some measurement. I am to tell only if something is too loud.
For some time after the reprogramming I feel like at the beginning, a bit dizzy, as if someone was hitting me in the head with a big soft sponge. It passes after short time. The surroundings become noisy. I get much more sounds in the places which were always silent for me.
I have three programs which I should change in 5–7 days, each one a bit louder. My previous program is there too, as a backup, but it seems that I will not be needing it. I feel OK with the new one. However, the first two-three evenings I am very tired. It passes quickly too, my brain is getting used to processing more data.
With the new programme, the “echo” from the CI seems to drown the sounds I get from the hearing aid. I am anxious if I would be able to talk to people.
On Thursday I pass the first real-life test: long talk with a person I know well, but in a foreign language. Moderately noisy environment. It goes better than expected. I get sounds I didn’t before, like “s”, “sh”, maybe even “k” and “t”. Anyway, the talk was not more difficult than before, maybe even a bit easier.
Next day, in the doctor’s waiting room, I hear the heels tapping behind closed door and I know that it is my turn.
I begin to get information from the environment. I need exercises for hearing and understanding speech.
I am getting addicted to the processor. When I don’t have neither the hearing aid nor the processor on, it is all right, just like in the morning or in the bath. But if I wear the hearing aid alone, I miss something. The auditory environment is getting one-dimensional.
Batteries: Wednesday the 18th, with the new programme. I expect them to die in a while.