Friday, July 27, 2012

I heard my watch tick!

After seeing some of the discussions from some Deaf folks on Tumblr (some of them have recently gotten cochlear implants), talking of what sounds they never heard before or don't remember hearing.... microwave going, clocks ticking, etc... someone even mentioned a watch ticking.  That got me thinking. I have a watch! I should see if I can hear it.

So today, I picked up my watch off my desk, held it up to the T-Mic on my Harmony processor, and waited. At first I didn't hear anything.  But I kept trying, and soon enough I heard a quiet "tick, tick, tick..."  Whoa!!!! Amazing! I got all excited and kept listening to the ticking for a few minutes.  Wow. I have NEVER heard a watch ticking, so it was a pretty exciting moment.

Friday, July 13, 2012

MAPping day

Yesterday, my alarm went off at 9 in the morning, my bed shaking me awake. Slowly got up, got dressed, got my dog fed and walked quickly... Grabbed all the stuff I had packed and threw them into the trunk of my car, then "stuffed" my dog into his crate in the backseat of my car and off we went! I took my dog to the vet and dropped him off for boarding, then went to work. Got the fire calls taken cared of first, then waited and waited for the rest of the public records to arrive.  Turns out the employee who picks up the public records from the police station was sitting in at court for a report. Whew, hadn't counted on her having to go to court, as my stepdad wanted for us to leave town at noon! Finally at about 11:30ish, we got the public records and I immediately got to work.  The boss took the easier two public records and I got the inmate roster and the police calls in.  Because Tuesday was a parade day and there were no public records then, I had 2 days worth of police calls from the local police department (and I should have gotten the Tuesday police calls on Wednesday instead of yesterday!).  Oh well.  It was barely noon when I got done and clocked out.  Pretty much ran out of the building, hopped into my car and headed to my mom and stepdad's house. Of course, it was lunch hour so there was quite a bit of traffic to deal with.

As soon as I parked my car in the driveway, I jumped out and grabbed my stuff and put them in stepdad's truck, then went inside the house to find mom and stepdad.  "It's about time!" Sorry!! We grabbed some lunch from Hardees and hit the road! Stopped off in Cheyenne to refuel and continued on our way. Made it into Denver after 4 and got checked in at the hotel, the same hotel we stayed at for my earlier CI-related appointments. Sat for a few minutes, then left to head to the salon step dad's sister works at. Did some waiting until the sister arrived. Stepdad wanted to get his hair cut and such and his sister is always happy to do the job. She cut my hair a bit too. She noticed I had some short hair on the left side from where the surgeon shaved the hair for the CI surgery. She also made sure I wasn't hurting anywhere around the ear either, she must've seen the bumps or grooves from the implant surgery.  No pain at all.  We all went to dinner at Piccolo and the food was great. Mom, step dad and I then headed back to the hotel for the night.  I went straight to "my room" (we always get a suite at this hotel), got my laptop out and just chilled.  Took me quite a while to get to sleep, even though I was tired.

Mom got me up bright and early today (8:30, really?). Got dressed/ready, yada yada, we grabbed all of our stuff, loaded up the truck and checked out.  Stepdad's sister told us to check out Duffeyrolls Cafe (or something like that), saying they had really good cinnamon rolls. So that was where we went.  The rolls weren't too bad.  Since we still had a bit of time to kill before my appointments at the CI center, we drove around for a bit. Even went into a sporting goods store (Sports Authority, was it?). Soon enough stepdad dropped mom and I off in front of the Swedish Hospital Medical Complex, and he took off to get some more flowers/items for the flower shop.  Mom and I headed in, I checked in, and we just hung out.  She flipped through some magazines, and I played with my ipod touch. One of the assistant audiologists took me back for a quick hearing test with the right ear. Then waited some more. Finally (at about 11:45 or so), I was called back to Dr. Kelsall's office (the whole office was running a bit late, since there had been quite a few drop-in's). Kelsall looked in my ears, made sure I didn't have any problems with the implant. Told him of my progress so far with the implant, haven't had any pain or aches lately. He was happy.  Then back to the waiting room.  Recognized a kid that arrived/checked in for his evaluation appointment from WYHI in May, and Mom and I chatted with him and his family for a bit. I showed him my CI equipment, since he was curious about it.

Allison then came out and got me, and told mom she could come back with us too. Mom was pretty excited about that. We were introduced to Allison's student, and while Allison was doing something out of her office, we talked with the student about my implant experience and how amazing the technology is and that sort of thing. It was fun.  Allison came back in, and we got to work! Talked of my progress, she checked both of my processors and they were working as they should. She also tested the T-mic to make sure it was still fully functional (well I would think it would, since I haven't used it for a few weeks due to using the Neptune).  Told her I was ready to go back to the Harmony, the Neptune's been driving me crazy.  The dials on the control gets messed with far too easily, I keep losing the headpiece often, I hear the hair brushing over the mic on the headpiece, etc.  She turned up the volume on the Harmony, then sent me to the sound booth with the student for a quick test with the implant on.  Push the button when I hear the tones, OK.  Slight improvements from the last test, but not much and Allison wasn't too happy with that.  But it's still early enough so I'll get there eventually.  She then did some more fine-tuning of the programs for my processors. Brought up all of the levels, turn up the bass levels, and put the same set of 3 programs on each processor. Excellent! At times when I would put the processor back on, it would be pretty loud at first until the ClearVoice kicks in.  I'm still at Medium for ClearVoice, which is fine with me.

Then we all went into the soundbooth since Allison wanted to see my progress with the implant.  She started off by having me hold a card with different pictures on it (ice cream cone, airplane, hot dog, shoe, etc.) and she would say the words and I'd repeat them back.  The first 3 I got right, "Meghan, are you sure your hearing aid is off?" Yes, it sure is! We did more words and I got most of them.  Then we did a different card, and I did pretty good with that too, mixing a couple here and there.  Then she said some sentences, and that one I had more trouble with.  Some sentences I got, and the others I did not get at all.  There was one sentence, like one of the last ones she said to me, and I only heard 3 words, but the others in that sentence I didn't quite hear but I was able to piece it together anyway. I definitely blew Allison away with my progress, as she wasn't expecting for me to have made this much progress just yet.  So that was pretty cool. And mom was just happy for me.

After the booth testing, we were good to go.  Yay!  Was a great day! I am still completely amazed with the cochlear implant technology.  To think, I've been profoundly deaf in the left ear for possibly almost 25 years, and to actually be able to hear with the implant (even if everything has a bit of an electronic tone still), ..... it's just amazing.  I am so extremely happy I finally got the cochlear implant and to be making some progress with it. Very exciting stuff!

Anyway, we were done with my appointments, so mom called stepdad to find out where he was, and we waited for him to get us.  We hit the road and stopped off in Loveland for lunch and a stop at the Tommy Hilifiger store.  Headed on to Cheyenne, stopped off to refuel again, and get drinks/snacks, then kept on going until we finally made it! Of course we had to stop off at the flower shop first to unload the truck. Hung around for a bit, then finally made it back to the house.  I hit a button on my car remote while I was still sitting in the truck to pop the trunk on my car, and stepdad was a bit confused when he saw me still in the truck and the trunk on my car was open... Hehe.  Yeah, was a good trip, exciting day.

And I am ready for a 2-year-old's birthday party tomorrow afternoon.  Once again, it's a full out pool party at his grandma's house in the backyard (few inflatable pools all over, slip n slides, the whole works). Last year, just a tiny itty bitty splash was enough to make my Phonak Naida hearing aid go crazy (until I ran it through the Dry n Store overnight, then it was fine).  But this year, I am waterproofing the Neptune and leaving the hearing aid behind.  Or, at least bringing a small case to stick the hearing aid in for safekeeping.  Should be a fun afternoon, that's for sure.