Skratch – no quantum leap


I have been impatient and dismayed the last few weeks due to little or no felt progress with the sound, or rather, speech perception capability with  my CI. But here’s the thing:

b_improvement It IS improving! Only now the improvement is unnoticeable on a day to day or week to week basis. But I could track it last week due to these reasons: my girlfriend bought an audio book to her 4 year old son, and played it in the car while I was driving. I could understand some of the words, and since it is for children, it is read aloud rather slowly, which is good for me. I estimate my understanding to about 30%, which is better than what I managed 1 month back…

And I’m not so tired anymore, and general frustration during conversation is going down 🙂

So, I’m in the process of REAL listening training with speech as the main input source. Sound books in the car will be the method, since there’s noise, and my brain is forced to try and lure the voice out of the messy sound environment that exists inside the car. Both passive and active training with audio books.

I have to work on trusting what I hear again! That is my main challenge; to trust what I actually hear…

trust Listening training with my audio teacher is progressing, we’ve identified three or four areas of difficulties for me. These difficulties lies in the fact that the sound is produced almost identical, with only the lip position to change. When I lip read, that problem more or less goes away, but my goal is to utilize my bionic hearing to the maximum, getting to a point where I don’t HAVE TO read lips. Random words are a big challenge, and I have to work on trusting what I hear again! That is my main challenge; to trust what I actually hear…

I’m getting anxious to get to a re-mapping session with my CI again, I’m sure things are changing, and a re map would make my speech perception better… But since the actual detected improvement is rather slow, I will be patient this time. Probably wait until the hospital calls me in on a regularly scheduled re map…

A bad, bad experience

I’m pursuing a new career these days, and have been preparing and laying the ground works for things bureaucratic. I hit a snag with my physician, she actually acted as my career counselor, rather than my physician! She categorically told me that my thoughts about becoming a social worker would be a very bad idea. I wonder where she got that notion from, and how she felt that that was her mandate? She doesn’t know me as a person, and according to my best friend who is studying to become a social worker himself, she clearly doesn’t have a clue about what a social worker can do. There are so many possibilities…

It was a surprise to get resistance from someone who has been helpful throughout my CI-process, and I had a very acute experience in that meeting with my doctor that I want to tell you about:

Stress-ConfusionChokeI came to the meeting being optimistic and up-beat. Had a feeling that things were rolling my way again. Then her reaction hit me like a freight train. I managed to stay cool enough to stop her from totally undermining my hopes, wishes and plans. I practically dictated the medical report in the end. But my emotions were in upheaval, as you can imagine, I felt very threatened and scared. It was plain uncomfortable, and I was really fighting to keep the adrenaline under control. STRESS!

In the beginning of the meeting, I understood her speech and did not have to ask her to repeat things (she has a foreign accent). But after the confrontation, and my stress levels went sky high, the regress in my ability to comprehend her speech was very noticeable! This was very interesting, because the change happened in a controlled stable sound environment, and it was so pronounced! While my stress levels were high, the tinnitus was like a thick muddy blanket over her voice. This sensation can be compared to putting a vibrator to your ear while someone is talking, I guess. In my case, this “vibrator” is so strong that it nearly takes away my ability to comprehend speech at all. I’m then back to lip reading again…   Very interesting experience!

Tinnitus mastering course

Tinnitus affects me much more than I imagined! Good thing I’m in a tinnitus mastering course… I just started it, and the focus is on mastering the stress, which in turn enables the tinnitus. Later I will train on mental processes, repressing the tinnitus notion via thought. I’m already good at it, but with the proper mental tools, I can become a master…

AND I have received a calling to the hospital, who wants to examine me for CI no 2! If all goes well, I’ll be a bilateral CI user around summertime 🙂

Clouds are slowly giving way to open air, sun and beautiful sounds!!!sunshine climate.jpg

Posted in deaf. 1 Comment »

One Response to “Skratch – no quantum leap”

  1. funnyoldlife Says:

    Did you tell your doctor to stick to her job? I would not have been able to sit there and not tell her off. I would have seen red and blown up!

    I’m interested to hear more about your tinnitus management course. My speech therapist said she would recommend tinnitus therapy for me, this was back in September, and nothing has happened since. Huh.

    Wow, 2 CIs, already! Good luck.

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