What Was That? and Watermelon vs Storm

I need to start asking “what was that” when I hear something. As a deaf person I’m so used to trying to figure things out on my own and this has been carrying over with my CI. I usually try to figure out what I’m hearing and I can figure it out pretty often….but do I figure out the right answer to what I’m hearing….I don’t know.

I just don’t want to bug people by constantly asking them what they’re hearing and what I might be hearing.

I’m just holding myself back in the learning process by not asking. I need to start asking instead of trying to figure so much of it out on my own.

I find it interesting what I can pick out and what I can’t. For example in a noisy place…no matter how hard I try, I CANNOT pick out when the person next to me is talking (I can sometimes pick out if someone behind me is talking). However, I can hear the ice maker dispensing ice in the kitchen when I’m upstairs in a different room. I didn’t know sounds like that could travel so far.

My current world is being redefined.

I also caught myself doing something “hearing” earlier today. Usually if I don’t like how something sounds or if a noise is getting on my nerves I take my CI off…simple enough…I can choose when I want to hear and when I don’t want to. šŸ˜€ I have mentioned that my computer fan just drives me insane and it’s hard to ignore sometimes. Well, instead of taking my CI off like I usually do….I put my iPod on to cancel out the noise with music without even thinking about it….then I realized 5 minutes later that I could have just taken my CI off to solve that problem. It just threw me for a loop that I reacted as a hearing person to this situation when I usually just turn my CI off. Weird.

I used to wonder why hearing people always had music plugged into their ears. I have always known that hearing people sometimes use music to block out other noises but I never really understood it….until now. I don’t know how hearing people do it 24/7, lol.

Speech is still ehh. I could never really understand speech with my hearing aid (without visual clues) and I was born profoundly deaf with a stable hearing loss. I have no memory/knowledge of speech sounds aside from what I was getting with my hearing aids. So, it will take quite a while to see how far I can go with speech discrimination. I’m pretty sure I will always need visual clues. Auditory input should boost those visual clues or so that’s what I’m hoping. When I say visual clues…I’m referring to lipreading, facial expression, and body language.

Auditory Rehab: I’m at the baby stage with this. I’m doing the whole same/different and “pick which word I said ” things. For the “pick which word I said” thing….someone will say 1 word out of 4 words…I then have to pick which one was said. Sounds easy right? Well, not for me. I usually only get 40 -60% right (pathetic…but….I keep telling myself I’ve only been doing this for 2 weeks with my CI). I could get about 55-85% right with hearing aids (after many years of wearing aids). The groups of words I’m working on is at the baby stage also. The groups of words either have different syllables (1, 2, 3, and 4 syllables words in a set of 4 words) OR same/similar initial letter + same number of syllables (pie, pen, bed, etc.) . Basically I have to be able to tell that there’s a pattern to speech.

I have to somehow apply the auditory skills I learned with hearing aids and adapt that to fit how I’m hearing sounds with my CI which is SO different. I also have to try and guess how something would sound when I have NO clue how it’s supposed to sound. Hearing people can hear before they learn a language. I learned a language before learning to “hear.” A bit backwards. Most people learn to listen before they learn how to read. I learned to read before learning to listen. I’m a profound deaf person learning how to listen. Tricky.

Sometimes I can pick out how many syllables there are with no problem and other times I totally butcher it all up. One example that gets me every time is when I have to choose between watermelon and storm. They both sound almost the same to me and watermelon sounds like it has only 1 syllable for some reason. No clue why. Anyone want to present a hypothesis for this?

A closed set of words force me to learn and apply listening skills which I haven’t been able to carry over to real life yet.

Sometimes I don’t think hearing people appreciate how complicated listening can be. What comes as super easy for them is really difficult for me. I guess that’s why it takes humans so long to develop spoken language. It’s not like we pop out of the womb with the ability to understand and speak a language…it takes years for babies/toddlers/children to develop spoken language. I’m kind of 25 years behind in that sense, lol.

It is fascinating to rediscover a world I’ve lived in all my life.

3 thoughts on “What Was That? and Watermelon vs Storm

  1. Hi Kelly,I have no idea why watermelon and storm would sound the same, maybe the “rm” in the middle of each?I was wondering if you can still use a hearing aid in the other ear? You probably aren’t “supposed to” yet right? To force your brain to adjust to the CI. One thing I’ve read though in my research on using both a CI and a hearing aid (one in each ear) is that even a tiny amount of help from the hearing aid at a very low frequency can help you tell when syllables begin and end. I’m curious if you could use both together to help make sense of the random CI sounds easier. Then go back to CI alone and maybe you’ll remember some of it. Just a thought.

  2. Hey there,It may be the “rm.” I actually have an appointment on Monday to get my hearing aid reprogrammed so that I can wear that + CI. I have transposition hearing aids and they want to turn the high frequencies off and leave only the low frequencies on.I think that will be an interesting experience. I’m not really sure how it works with hearing things in 2 different ways. Guess I’ll find out :-)How are you feeling? When will you have your initial activation?

  3. That sounds like a good plan. I don’t know how it works either, I guess like everything else more adjusting to crazy sounds. I am doing good. I’m not sure when my activation is, but probably this week! UNC does them very fast. I have an appointment Monday afternoon but am hoping to cancel it because my expectation is to drive 4 hours, have them remove the bandage and send me home. Apparently the surgeon originally said I could take the bandage off myself and if all looks fine that would be a wasted day of driving. If we can go later in the week they might activate it at the same time.

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