Officially (finally) Bilateral!

Today was my week #2 MAPping for the newly implanted (right) ear!

My audiologist switched the program strategy from SPEAK to ACE and remapped the right CI.  The right MAP is different than the left MAP.  One big reason is because I had a lot of issues with neck nerves being stimulated on the left side of my neck.  It’s actually a split-second painful sensation that occurs with certain pitches at certain volumes…one example being the garage door opening while I’m in the garage.  It still happens every once in a while but it usually goes away the longer I wear my CI during the day….thankfully it doesn’t happen often.

So far I haven’t had any issues with having odd stimulation with the new implant (*knocks on wood*) and I have a greater tolerance for “comfort loud levels” than with the older implant.

The new CI still sounds different than the older CI because my brain is still getting used to it.  Sounds are still a bit high-pitched, quieter, and not as clear as my older implant.

The MAP for the older implant is narrower and almost uniform all the way across.  The MAP for the newer implant is not as narrow and it has an upward slope.  Of course this is just a generalization and from memory.

Below is a picture of a cochlear implant MAP that I found online (it is NOT my MAP).  The green dots are when the person started hearing sounds at that electrode and the red dots are when the person reached their tolerance for maximum comfort loud sounds at that electrode.

Image Source

So far, I like being bilateral.  Music sounds AWESOME!  It’s so nice to pick up sounds all the time instead of it disappearing or becoming quiet when I turn my head away from it.  Sounds are definitely louder, richer, and fuller.

Ignore all the flyaway hair.  🙂  Again, I’m very pleased with the job my surgeon did.  He made the implants pretty symmetrical taking into consideration things aren’t always exactly the same on both sides of a person’s head and the surgeries were over 2 years apart.

The older implant is the dominant ear right now and there have been moments where I wonder if I’m even picking up anything with the new implant.  I will take off the new CI for a bit and sure enough something sounds like it’s missing….it’s not as rich and not as full when I have both CIs on.

My audiologist told me to go ahead and wear both CIs all the time now.  She said that if I feel the need to see how the new CI is doing to just wearing it for a brief period of time.

I have to say I am very glad I did not get both CIs done at the same time.  There is NO way I would have been able to tolerate both CIs and I may not even have stuck with it.  I also found great comfort in knowing I had a back-up ear that I could go back to wearing hearing aids with if the first CI did not benefit me.  However, I do kind of think I should have gotten the second CI a year later rather than waiting 2.5 years.  I was trying every single option to avoid having a second surgery (trying to get used to hearing out of only one ear, trying out different hearing aids, etc.).

Being bilateral will take some getting used to and it will wear me out for a few weeks…but am very excited and am enjoying it already!

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