Pick Out a Song

Music has changed over the last few weeks with my CI. Sometimes it sounds kind of flat and monotone…and just blah. Other times I’m able to enjoy it. This is something that seems to change from day to day.

I can sometimes pick out the voices (no clue what they’re singing) in some songs which I couldn’t do a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes I can’t even pick out any beats and it’s just one constant annoying sound.

Anyways, I’m getting tired of listening to the same songs. I gave up listening to the radio in my car several years ago when I got tired of always hearing a new song I liked and not knowing what I was listening to….a bit annoying. I can’t overhear people talking about music and I outgrew MTV a few years ago….so my exposure to new songs is a bit limited.

I have a $15 iTunes gift card which will get me 10-15 songs. Help me expand my taste in music. Shoot me one of your favorite songs (I prefer something with some beat)and I will download it from iTunes.

Mapping #4

I had my 4th mapping and my next mapping isn’t until June. It didn’t change that much except for some increases in the middle electrodes which apparently is where a lot of speech sounds happen.

I’m not sure if I like this map or not. I plan on giving it a few days. It may have to do with the fact that I had the same map for 2 weeks and got used to it. It’s not like there was a big difference between this map and the last map or anything. Sometimes I like this map better and other times I like the last map better.

Auditory rehab is going to be a very slow thing for me. I don’t know if it’s even possible for someone with my background to really ever gain that much speech discrimination with a CI. I’m basically working on very simple things. I guess one of my fears is that I just don’t want to be stuck at the same level when I go back in June for my next mapping. I would be a bit bummed. Some of the stuff I’m doing now is what I plateaued out with my hearing aid. Other things I could do easily with my hearing aids.

Now that I don’t have those weekly mapping appointments anymore (although I can always ask for a new map before June if I feel it’s necessary)….I’m really feeling like it’s….100% up to me….and there’s only so much I can do. I’m also kind of feeling like….umm, now what and how do I make this work?

My audiologist did say that people tend to do better once they stick with the same map for a while rather than changing it often and having to readjust to a new map each time. She did say that things will eventually come. It’s so hard to believe that. I keep reminding myself that 3-4 weeks ago I couldn’t even tell the difference between a person talking and a car.

Well, all I can do is give it my best shot and see what happens. What happens…happens.

Now that spring is finally here to stay I’m getting out more and doing different things. I’m also trying to turn activities into listening practices. For instance I went for a walk/jog with a couple of friends on a trail. I was trying to actively listen and figure out what I was hearing…while trying to figure out what made each sound unique (some sounds still sound the same as others) rather than tuning it all out. I’m going to watch a friend play volleyball tomorrow and I plan on trying to see if I can pick out different sounds associated with a volleyball game (e.g. whistle, shouting, clapping, cheering, ball being hit, etc.). Just simple things like that.

House Episode

Save the date: April 27th, 2009

The next episode of House will be CI related.

House Divided

A deaf 14-year old wrestler suffers from hearing problems during a match, but his mother refuses to okay cochlear implants. Meanwhile, House’s insomnia proves a curse… and a blessing.” http://www.tv.com/house/show/22374/episode.html

This should bring up some interesting ethic issues. There is some debate out there as to how much say a child/teenager should have in the CI decision making process vs their parents.

Random fact (I’m sure several of you already know this but wanted to point it out): “Dr. William House developed and implanted the first cochlear implant, providing the opportunity to hear for deaf and hard of hearing patients whose condition could not be improved by hearing aids or other means.” http://www.houseearclinic.com/cochlearimplants.htm

Yep, House implanted the first cochlear implant…. 😉

Week #4

Wow, on the 23rd it will have been a month since my CI was activated. Time flies!

It’s been a CrAzY trip so far.

I’m still not sure which program setting I prefer and will have to talk about that with the audiologist Tuesday.

The worst part of the CI right now is just putting it on in the mornings. I used to hate putting my hearing aids on in the morning which is why I always waited a bit to put it on. I’m not a morning person to start with anyways and I don’t like being bombarded with all these sounds the first thing. I usually wait until I’m fully awake before I put it on which takes at least an hour, lol. I just HATE the first 30 seconds after putting it on…I dread it.

It usually stays on all day once I get around to putting it on. I’m at a point where I don’t always like having it on all the time but I also don’t like NOT having it on.

I no longer consider it a torture device although there are times here and there where it could fall under that category. But those times are becoming more and more spread out. 😉

The annoying high frequency sound is no longer constant which makes me very happy. It also doesn’t sound as high frequencishy as it did before which is great news for my sanity.

Right now the most annoying sound is my laptop fan which drives me up the wall after a while. I still find it amusing (I’m easily amused) how different it sounds when I walk on different surfaces. It even sounds different when I walk differently.

As I mentioned before I hear a lot of what I could hear before but on a different level. Some examples.
1) Vehicles.
Before: If I was outside in front of the house I could sometimes hear a car coming from 1-3 houses away.
Now: If I’m outside in front of the house I can hear a car coming even if it’s down at the end of the street (think 5-7 houses away).
2) Toilet flushing and water running.
Before: I could hear this if I was either in the bathroom or right outside the bathroom door (on good days).
Now: I can hear this from the next room over (sometimes).
3) People talking in restaurants/stores.
Before: It all kind of meshed together. I could pick out announcements. Of course I had no idea what was being said but I was aware that there was an announcement.
Now: Of course it still all meshes together, because that’s just what happens in busy places. If I’m standing in line for something I can tell when people behind me are talking. If I’m sitting at a table I can sometimes pick out when people next to me or behind me are talking. Something I couldn’t really do before. Of course I have no clue what they’re saying but to just be able to pick that out of all the other noises and conversations is cool. I can pick out when people are talking at the end of an aisle in stores. This throws me off because I can’t tell which direction it’s coming from or how close these people are unless I look up. I always think there’s someone right next to me trying to talk to me then when I look up they’re way over at the other end of the aisle.

I also heard a new sound: Someone wiping their feet on a doormat.

I have good and bad days. There are days when I just want to tell the world to shut up. There are also days when I’m all pumped to see what I can figure out that I’m hearing and if I’ll hear anything new.

Oh yeah. I also got to do something I’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t do with my hearing aids without a neck t-coil loop which just didn’t work well. I went for a walk/jog with my iPod. Very cool. It took me a few minutes to sort out outside noises, my feet hitting the pavement, and the music but I was able to do it. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to listen to music while taking a walk/jog. It’s interesting. I think hearing people do this to block out the other noises (or maybe not?). I still like walking/jogging in silence but it’s nice to have a new option.

Deaf Culture and Two Families (Scattered Thoughts)

I forget some of my hearing relatives and friends aren’t familiar with Deaf culture.

I wasn’t really aware that there was such a thing as Deaf culture until I was 15 and my initial exposure wasn’t…erhmm…the most positive experience, lol. I was labeled as being “too hearing” which is considered as an insult. Deaf people then accused me of trying to be too hearing and hearing people accused me of trying to be too deaf. I actually wanted nothing to do with the deaf community for a long time and now I can’t imagine life without the deaf community.

I’m not trying to be hearing, nor am I trying to be deaf…I’m just trying to be Kelly.

Do I consider myself 100% culturally Deaf? No.
Do I consider myself 100% culturally hearing? No.
Do I consider myself both deaf and hearing? Yes.

Just because a person is deaf doesn’t mean they’re automatically culturally Deaf. I have met many hearing people who are more culturally Deaf than I am.

There are so many things I would love to discuss but am trying not to write a book here.

There have been so many times where I wish I could share the positive aspects of Deaf culture with my hearing family/friends and vice versa. Yes, I miss out on things because I can’t hear. However, hearing people miss out on things because they can hear. Hearing people may feel sorry for me at times, but I feel sorry for them at times.

My deaf friends are more than just friends. I have 2 families. My hearing family and my deaf family.

My first family has seen me grow up and they’ve seen me at my worst and best. This family has always been there for me. We share many memories and holiday traditions that cannot be replaced. They provide stability, support, and love. They have always had a place in my life and will always be a part of my life no matter where I end up at. They have put forth the time and effort to try to break communication barriers to show how much they care about me. I know that no matter what happens I can always come home to them because they provide unconditional love…which is something everyone deserves to have and should never take for granted.

I share a common bond with my second family and there are no communication barriers. I can participate 100% in dinner conversations and enjoy events (e.g. weddings, celebrations, etc.) to the fullest with my 2nd family. They know my quirks (sadly some of them will even say “I just pulled a Kelly”), know how often I mix words up when I talk, are familiar with my lame attempts at making cheesy jokes, know how easily I can get distracted *oo! I see something shiny!*, and we talk about our dreams/problems/hopes/fears. I am not the “different” one in my 2nd family.

Scattered thoughts. 🙂

Lincoln’s DNA and Hacking Genomes

Check this out.

Test of Lincoln DNA May Prove Cancer Theory

How would you like to have your DNA tested 140+ years from now and for the whole world to know your gene test results?

I can’t remember if I posted a link to this article or not.
Special Investigation: How My Genome Was Hacked

Just Now Reading the User Manual

3.5 weeks and I’m just now reading the User Manual for the Nucleus Freedom CI.

*sheepish look*

I’m so used to just pushing random buttons on things until I finally get what I want. 😉

I was trying to figure out how to use the audio cable with my iPod and CI.

Note to self: When pushing random buttons don’t think that somehow turning the volume up will help. In my defense, I wasn’t sure if I just wasn’t hearing it or if I had my CI on the wrong setting.

I had the iPod on full volume, my CI on the loudest program (P4), and had the volume on the CI cranked up. When I finally got it to recognize the iPod I was almost blown out of my chair when I heard music at the loudest volume possible! Oops.

Now others won’t be subjected to The Ting Tings and Justin Timberlake music blasting from my iPod. :-p