Activation no. 2, first impression

Finally came the long awaited activation day for my second Cochlea Implant. Did go by myself this time, knew a lot about what was going to happen and so forth.

ear-with-sound-waveSo, first we went through the the initial single electrode check and level determination (in order to avoid a cataclysmic neural shock to the neurotransmitters after 3 years of total silence (except the tinnitus, that is).

Then we turned on, and after carefully increasing the volume, I could hear the audie’s voice, and this time it was somewhat intelligible! Right out of the box I could understand the sounds getting into my brain from the second implant. The difference from activation of CI#1 to this one, was like night and day. CI#1 was Morse code, chaos and utterly hellish to listen to. CI#2 is beautiful and crisp clear. Painfully clear.

As soon as the first setup was done, it was out into the world to test and work the volume up a bit. I turned my CI #1 completely off. First sounds I could not identify visually, all though they sounded a lot like someone walking with high heels (maybe from somewhere I couldn’t see).

I went into a café and sat down with a coffee and a bite. Turning up a bit more, and the sounds of tableware and glasses being shuffled about in the kitchen were almost unbearable. The sounds made my head spin, seriously. The fun part is that it feels like it makes my head spin the OTHER way, compared to CI#1. I hope this is some kind of sign that CI#1 and CI#2 somehow will balance each other!

Then I wanted to kind of be in the moment, and I picked up my newspaper. I had just turned on CI#1 in order to try to minimize the head spin feeling. stereoI couldn’t help myself grinning like a fool, because now I heard the rustle of the paper going from my right side over to the left, with PERFECT clarity! Yes, I grinned and almost laughed at the sound of turning the newspaper page! Smilefjes med åpen munn That’s when I really had my first bionic stereo CI-moment. The moment I had been looking forward to for three years! It was perfect!

So after celebrating a bit with friends on Facebook, I had to go back to do another programming round.

Leaving the hospital, I ran into an acquaintance, Kate, who is seriously researching how to best live and cope with hearing loss in society. (use Google translate if you have a hard time reading Norwegian Smilefjes ) She told me I was beaming, looking very happy, and I guess I was Smilefjes  Walking on clouds and being very happy, indeed.

crowFurther up the street, I heard a crow caw, but could not decide direction. But the sound came from both sides, like in a dream! A few seconds later a taxi drove by, and this time I held my head still, and most certainly got the sound passing form one ear to the other! It brought tears to my eyes. Oh JOY!

Being this happy for stereophonic sound tells me that man was made with two ears for a reason! Giving deaf people only one CI for economic reasons is just plain WRONG. It’s beyond my comprehension that someone can think that one ear might be sufficient. It ISN’T!

Coming home, I could hear my wife and 4 month old daughter for the first time with this new ear. And they sound beautiful! Especially Joanna’s baby conversation was like music Smilefjes 

This will be a good process. Given the experiences I had with CI#1, and the challenges I faced and conquered, this will be a victory parade down Avenue des Champs-Élysées Smilefjes som blunker

Stereophonic at last!!!

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CI no.2 activation date set

Got word yesterday, that I will get stereo back Monday 27.2 at Rikshospitalet. I’m now looking very much forward to getting started on the last leg of my very long CI-journey.

I’m quite tired of this, and just want to get on with living and forget about it. I have been working on coping and surviving this (slow oncoming deafness) for the last 12 years, I found out the other day. In retrospective, that is a long time indeed, and it has been part of most of my life: becoming deaf.

But now I will become hearing again, for real. One CI didn’t cut it for me. I have been able to cope, but just barely.

The hope now, is that I will start to get some amount of energy surplus, in order to get on top of things, instead of struggling most of the time…

F2.mediumCrossing my fingers with careful expectation and preparing for the worst. Nothing is given until I have turned the sound back on and lived with it for some time… I expect my brain to do some heavy adaptation fresh out of the gate, and then the race is on. We’ll see how fast/good I can get Smilefjes

Image: Auditory functional MR imaging
with music. Axial plane is parallel to sylvian fissure at Heschl’s gyrus level. Intensity of activation varies from high (yellow) to low (blue). Bilateral activation of primary auditory cortex is seen, with extension to secondary auditory cortex more pronounced on left. (source)