Today was my one month follow-up for my right CI. Technically it’s more like 6 weeks but was out of town when my one month appointment was originally scheduled. Then again, it has been almost a month since I’ve been bilateral.
I had a closed set test where I had to pick out the word that was being said out of groups of 4 words. I got 55% correct which I expected since life has been so hectic lately with getting ready for the Peace Corps that aural rehab has been put on the back burner for now. I am confident that once I get settled down and I have more access to sound on daily basis (I work from home and all my friends are deaf so I’m lucky if I get exposed to an hour of listening to people talk) that I have the potential to do much better on closed set tests. I am not disappointed in this score since it is slightly higher than with only one CI.
I am the most disappointed in the fact that I simply have not had the ability to prioritize doing aural rehab.
We also did another sound booth test and the results looked great (around 20-25 db for each ear). We decided to leave the MAPs alone since I like them, the sound booth tests look great, and it’s not something we want to mess with before I leave the country.
That aside, I LOVE being bilateral even though I still struggle with wearing both CIs all day long. I have noticed that every once in a while I do pick up a random word without lip-reading and without thinking about it. I have also noticed that I can hear cats purring whereas I couldn’t really hear them before except maybe once or twice. I am starting to understand what people mean when they say one person’s voice and laughter sound different from another person. It is a lot easier for me to pick out a person’s voice over background noises.
I have no idea how I put up with listening to the world with only one CI for two years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being bilateral and can’t wait until I can tolerate the volume level all day long.
You may want to reach out to Lisa F Seward. Here is her amazing story:
Click to access lisafullerseward.pdf
And here is her blog:
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Greetings from another bilateral CI user, who also lives overseas for years at a time. I was living in Mali, West Africa, when I was deafened overnight by bad meds prescribed by a national doctor after I was seriously ill. Came back to the States, got implanted and had several months for programming and mappings, and returned to Africa for a year to see if living in a 3rd world country would work with my high-tech CIs. It did. And I got my hearing life back. Now, we’ve spent a year Stateside again for our normal home assignment, and are preparing to return overseas next month.
Where do you live right now and have you had much contact with CI users? Which brand do you have? And where will you be serving with the Peace Corps? We have had contact with Peace Corps workers in West Africa over the years.
I agree; bilateral is great!
I have been able to interact a lot with other CI users (there are several of us in the area) which has been wonderful. I will be serving in Kenya! 🙂 What was your experience like while wearing CIs in West Africa, what did others think of it? What do you do overseas?