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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)

Useful comparison chart

The brand-independent and informational website, Cochlear Implant Online recently posted a comparison chart of the three CI-manufacturers products.

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I haven’t studied it, but at first glance it seems appropriate to anybody trying to get an overview of the CI-market. Kudos to the girls running Cochlear Implant Online !

Here is the link to the actual chart

CI-activation log no. 2 – day 1 and 2 – 1st auditory self assessment

These values that I test on myself are values based on this resource: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html
The scores are from the chart on that page.

The sound-level on my laptop HP HDX18 will be set to the value of 74 every time I do this test. My CI’s volume wheel is set to exact the middle position (turning all the way down reduces sound volume by 20% and turning up increases 50%!). Then I have the same test-settings every time. “Wire” means that I use a direct connection between the computers jack-plug-outlet and my Advanced Bionics processor. No sound pollution possible.

Every level of registration is a notion of sound. That means that I do not necessarily detect the difference in tone/frequency. Green is where I hear the sound (yet so far all the sounds sound mostly the same, i.e.. a very thin squeaking tone or beeep), red is only a short beep, blip, bip or ding.

( I can hear  violin of my own breath, broken glass of paper being crumbled and a ding every time one of my fingers hit a key on the keyboard!)

If anyone know of more sound-test or sound-generating resources on the internet, I’d be grateful for any tips!

Date of test: 07.09.2009 (1,5 and 6 kHz is the frequencies of my tinnitus, hard to hear the test-tone)

Program 1. (stronger low pitch, weaker high pitch, 120)

Freq. 30 Hz 45 Hz 60 Hz 90Hz 125 Hz 187 Hz 250 Hz 375 Hz 500 Hz 750 Hz 1 kHz 1,5kHz 2 kHz 3 kHz 4 kHz 6 kHz 8 kHz 12kHz 16kHz
No wire -9 -6 -9 -9 -18 30 -27 -42 -45 -51 -48 -27 -48 -48 -45 -27 -42 -6 -3
Wire -27 -24 -30 -21 -15 -57 -66 -75 -84 -75 -78 -63 -54 -78 -72 -72 -69 -27 -27
08.09.09 -21 -30 -27 -24 -18 -60 -69 -75 -81 -75 -72 -60 -57 -78 -75 -63 -63 -27 -27

Program 2. (Flat profile, 16 electrodes)

Freq. 30 Hz 45 Hz 60 Hz 90Hz 125 Hz 187 Hz 250 Hz 375 Hz 500 Hz 750 Hz 1 kHz 1,5kHz 2 kHz 3 kHz 4 kHz 6 kHz 8 kHz 12kHz 16kHz
No wire -6 -3 -6 -6 -18 -27 -21 -33 -42 -42 -42 -30 -36 -36 -39 -36 -42 -6 -6
Wire 0 0 0 -6 -6 -51 -69 -75 -75 -75 -72 -60 -60 -60 -63 -51 -54 -27 -27

Program 3. (Flat profile, 120)

Freq. 30 Hz 45 Hz 60 Hz 90Hz 125 Hz 187 Hz 250 Hz 375 Hz 500 Hz 750 Hz 1 kHz 1,5kHz 2 kHz 3 kHz 4 kHz 6 kHz 8 kHz 12kHz 16kHz
No wire -6 -6 -6 -6 -12 -27 -21 -36 -39 -42 -45 -30 -27 -39 -54 -36 -42 -9 -9
Wire

CI-activation log no. 1 – day1 1st impressions

OK, finally activated!I’m only one hour into my CI-era, and I sit at a hospital canteen-table next to my good girl, Mette. Her hand is lying warm on my thigh, relaxing me.

I start off very easy, all my sound settings on the Advanced Boinics computer programme “Soundwave” are set at the bottom. It seems I’m able to pick up auditory nerve signals very good. Meaning that I’m sensitive to them. That’s a good omen in my book.

I’m very conservative in terms of setting the sound too loud, many thanks to Abbie who wrote a post about overdoing that part meaning to be offensive. It ended up with her getting an overload.

But in the 15 minutes from my audiophysicist said that now was the time for my first venture out in the audioworld with my new cyborg ear, I discovered that I had maxed out the volume already. So before we went out the door, he made a second programme with an overall higher volume. I have now had that programme on and the volume wheel has been cranked to max. Looking forward to get back to adjusting in more details at noon today (45 minutes from now 🙂  ).

Will be exciting to see if all frequencies are just as good, or if some frequencies will need more/less amplification.

Sounds I get now is just morse-code. It literally sounds like morse code. My own voice is like bip-bip-beep-bip-beep-beep.
Sounds I have received as morse code so far are voices. My own voice, Mettes voice, and the audio physicists voice, and faintly other peoples voices. Cars, trucks, trams and buses don’t give me any sound sensation through my auditory nerves. When I closed my eyes I could sense the sound of the powerful sit-on-top-drive-like-a-car lawn-mower 10 meters away through the air-vibrations hitting my body… No auditory response there.

I had my first-CI-moment: I detected the sound of my own shoes! It came through like this beep – – – beep – – – beep…..  I stomped my feet, and yes, there it was; beepp — beepp.

It’s a strange sensation, it’s almost like a submarine sonar giving off it’s ping sound: PING! ——  (and the weaker echo comes back: bip). Feel like I hear what’s NOT there instead of hearing the actual sound… I know intellectually that it’s my brain trying to make sense of the input, but I have a need to express these sensation in words, I want to remember them and share them…

I found other CI-users  explanations and variations in sound sensations very interesting. And because I read them, I have been very well prepared today. I’m not afraid, I’m just curious on how my adventure will turn out to be, and I enjoy every new discovery, such as the beep-beep of the chairs being moved here in the canteen. I had morsecode telling me that some sound was being emitted, and I looked up at the guys at the next table  and they were laughing loud.

Yes, my CI is already doing me a service. It can tell me that there are sounds out there.

The tinnitus is roaring constantly, but the morse-code is louder.

I’m tired already, every bip-beep makes me feel slightly nauseous, on the verge of making me dizzy. Think I’m doing pretty well so far. Beeps come in from all sorts of sources, and I detect the beeps and bips.

Time to give myself a little break.

Diving with HIRes90K?

scuba-diving_400x300

Have had a long wait for answer about my question about diving with the HIRes90K implant. Both sources have given me the same answer, Advanced Bionics has tested the implant to only 2 ATM, equivalent to 10 m below surface (33ft). With “no plans to change the recommendations”.

I find this very dissappointing, since I’m into diving, have had the PADI Open Water divers certificate for more than a decade. Whenever I travel to exotic locations, I do my outmost to dive there locally.

Previous experiences has been:

roatan-dive-site-mapThe island of Roatan in Honduras (PADI-certification, great corals and animal-life)

BIGdivers-hurghada The Red Sea just outside Hurghada in  Egypt (went to a partly polluted dive-site, a bit destroyed corals and garbage, but first dive with underwater camera and decent animal life)

The famous Aliwal Shoal in the Indian Ocean – South Africa (my first encounter with ragged tooth shark, and swimming with sea turtles! Very difficult conditions, very technical dive.)

ragged tooth sharks at cathedral aliwal shoal

I was hoping to continue this fine way of experiencing a very different and wonderful world in different parts of our great blue planet…

Does anyone has any insight into this? Can we ask Advanced Bionics to do further tests in order to perhaps tell us it’s safe to use in even greater depths? (Like 18 meter which is the limit of PADI Open Water diving…)

Any experiences with diving with cochlear implants? Please leave a comment if you did, or know someone who has been diving with an implant…

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