I had my one month post-activation mapping and testing today. I might just be a rock star after all! There are so many sounds I had forgotten about that are coming back – like birds! Things that I knew logically made noise but I hadn’t heard so long that I pretty much forgot.
Testing result were good. We updated my main program and I’m now at 77% speech comprehension with the CI alone (no lipreading in a quiet room). With both the CI and hearing aid I’m at 92.5%. That’s pretty phenomenal for one month.
Last mapping, we had turned off an electrode entirely in the high frequencies because I was complaining about everything sounding static-y. My brain didn’t know what to do with that frequency yet, since it hadn’t heard it in so long, that it basically just came through as static. We turned that electrode back on today and it’s much better than it was before. My results above are AFTER making these program changes.
Things are also starting to sound like they are one sound rather than two separate channels. Both ears still sound different, but they are starting to blend.
So Saturday morning I went hiking and ended up going into the Ornithology Center, which I’d never been in before. They have this room called a “quiet room” where they play all sorts of bird sounds for you to hear. And I could! I hadn’t heard birds yet (or at least hadn’t recognized them yet) until that point. Coincidentally, we went to our friends’ house later that day and they have pet birds. I was thrilled to hear them chirp and flutter – things I wouldn’t have heard without the implant. I knew they made noise – of course they make noise – but I really had kind of forgotten. There are other sounds like that – my mouse clicking, my dog’s tags clinking, buttons beeping. When I swipe my badge to get into work, it beeps. I had no idea.
I did feel over the weekend that my speech comprehension had regressed, but I think it may have been the listening situation I was in. Our friends’ house has very high, vaulted ceilings which leads to some degree of echo. I noticed this in my old condo too, but I didn’t have my CI until after we moved so I never really paid much attention to it. It was pretty difficult to understand there, and it was a party so there was a lot of background noise. So the next day I did 3 hours of listening to audiobooks – 1 hour of just the CI and reading along and 2 hours of listening with both without reading along. I also increased the speed of the books a bit.
So I think I’m doing really well. I have quite a headache and am really tired from this morning’s session, or the weather, or whatever. I’m guessing that since it didn’t start until after the session that is the cause. But I’ll take it!