I have been trying to go without the hearing aid for a few days, so I could just rely on the implant and get the practice in with just the implant alone. But ooohhh, the tinnitus! It's horrible! Loud, obnoxious, continuous, it never ends! The tinnitus is in the hearing aid ear, and if I don't have the hearing aid on, it kicks in. It was fine first thing this morning, but then I put the implant on..... and soon enough the tinnitus was kicking in because I hadn't put the hearing aid on. I didn't wear a hearing aid for most of the day yesterday, and for a while I was fine. But by late afternoon/early evening, there was that constant high pitched sound going on, and it didn't quit the whole night.
It pretty much goes on 24/7 with
no hearing aid and the implant going. If I take the implant off, then
after a while the tinnitus starts to settle down it seems. It's kind of weird. And it doesn't help that my right ear is sore and I really
don't want to stick an earmold in that ear irritating the sore, but I
just can't take the tinnitus anymore. I have not noticed any tinnitus with the left implanted ear, it's
only with the right ear as always. The
only way to get the tinnitus to shut up during the day is if I put the
hearing aid on and make noise, but when I want to just focus on the
implant alone, it gets tricky.
I did email Allison about all this, and she replied saying to keep the hearing aid on (after activation, she said to try to take the hearing aid off for at least a couple of hours a day, which I've managed to do until recently with all this tinnitus activity). Still wear the implant too, but have the hearing aid on, don't worry about isolating the implant at this time. Ok, I can do that. But I will turn off the hearing aid when I do auditory rehab on the laptop. I don't typically do the rehab for more than 15 minutes at a time typically, and I only do the rehab maybe twice a week if that. Sometimes I'm too tired when I get home I don't even want to bother with the rehab.
Now, if the sore in my right ear would just disappear already so I can wear the hearing aid more comfortably again... Neosporin, do your job! I usually get this type of sore (my primary doctor once said it looked like swimmer's ear when he checked my ear once quite a while back for this same issue) at least once a month or less. Gets kind of annoying. Would be nice to get rid of the hearing aid and just implant the right ear too. Then no more earmolds, and be done with the annoying hearing aid feedbacking, no more sore/itchy ear as a result of the earmolds.... yeah. Maybe someday I'll go bilateral (more than likely I will if it gets to the point where a powerful hearing aid just isn't cutting it for the right ear anymore).
I am still making slow progress with the implant alone. As long as I can lipread/have visual support, I can usually keep up with just the implant alone. Sometimes I'll ask the person to repeat if necessary, but I can usually kind of figure out what was being said. Yesterday, I did hear a bird chirping in the tree while I was out with my dog. I found the bird in a tree, so I was watching it and every time it open its mouth, I heard a sound. Definitely was the bird! And the other day, I'm fairly certain I heard some loud thunder with just the implant on.