It’s no secret that I love 80s music. George Michael was no exception, he was even one of my first crushes (along with Corey Haim and Jordan Knight) as well as being musically brilliant. My husband bought me a record player for Christmas, so the first thing I did upon learning of George passing away was pull out my Wham! records, which was an intriguing new listening experience.
It both sucked and was great at the same time. I really miss listening to things on vinyl – I have had records my whole life, but haven’t had a record player since 2009. There’s something about analog sound over digital that is just so much more REAL. Which is funny, given that every single thing I hear now is digital. So listening to an analog recording via digital ears was fascinating.
I heard what I remembered – the rawness of the analog and the memories of the songs themselves – which made me happy. But I also heard the annoying robotic-ness of the sound coming through my cochlear implant. I think over the last 15 years I got to the point where I am able to mostly ignore the “digital” sound of the hearing aid, but the CI is something different. There’s a tinny echo after everything still that is annoying and frustrating when listening to speech, but is just about killing me when listening to music.
The static problem I had was mostly resolved with recalibrating my processor at my last mapping, but now I get this awful sound that is like listening to someone talk underwater – but it’s not the whole sound, it’s just a split second afterthought of the sound. With music, since the sound is so constant and multiple, this afterthought is happening constantly. It’s coming from my own voice when I’m singing along, too, so I have no idea if my pitch is correct or not other than to trust my training.
I was hoping that as with my other mappings and program changes, I would adjust and this would go away but it has not happened yet, so I’ll need to call my audiologist’s office next week and see if I can get in for a quick adjustment (I’m not scheduled again until mid-March, I don’t think I can go that long).
Speaking of underwater, in positive news my audiologist lent me an Aquacase. This includes a waterproof case that I put the processor and battery into that clips on to my swimsuit or hair (processor/battery is normally worn on my ear like a hearing aid), a waterproof connection cable, and a waterproof headpiece/microphone (this is the part that attaches to my head with a magnet). With wearing my processor normally, I use a microphone that sits right in front of my ear canal, so I hear sounds from the same place normal people do. In this case, the microphone is higher up on my head, about 3 inches above my ear. I tried it out at the gym pool the other day and it didn’t work as I expected, so I need to do some troubleshooting. I may just spend the money and buy one (about $1300), as I feel it will be super useful to have in the future – I really want to take up kayaking, for example, but have been hesitant because of my hearing and non-waterproof hearing devices. We’re going to Florida in January and I feel that will be a good place to really use it.
Anyway, I know that I’m still only 4 months into this journey, and I am to expect 6 months to a year before things start to sound stable, and that every mapping is going to be worse before it gets better. Just got to have a little faith that it will all come together.