Friday, January 25, 2013

Oohh technology...

Been 2 weeks of school so far... for the most part it's going well enough, although I do get a bit frustrated here and there. Frustrated with some of the math, trying to make sense of it. Seriously, fractions are NOT my friend! Also, the captioning set up for English is weird. Seems like I encounter some sort of issue with the set up during each English class. Last Monday, it was working fine for a few minutes, then boom nada.  Turns out I didn't have the microphone charged. Ok.  Last Wednesday and Friday, everything seemed to run smoothly enough, with hiccup here and there (the transcriber would disconnect the call on Skype, call me back and then it's running smoothly again).  This past Wednesday, it seems like there was some trouble with the internet connection?  The disabilities coordinator at the college had the IT department put in a blue network cable into the classroom so I could use it to connect my laptop to the internet instead of relying on wireless (the wireless signals in the room is very weak).  Set up worked fine at first, then we ran into issues, but got everything working again.  But today, nada.  No luck right from the start. We tried everything, reconnecting, restarting the laptop, no such luck. I sent an email to the disabilities coordinator about the troubles, and told him if we keep encountering problems that I just may not want to keep using the captioning service.  It's just not worth my time or the trouble, to have an issue arise and then having to spend time troubleshooting and trying to figure out what's going on, distracting me from the discussions going on in the classroom.  I may be able to get by in that class with the FM only.  The transcriber isn't able to hear the other students in the class when they have something to say, so either way I still miss out on what the students are saying. If I continue to encounter problems next week in English class with the captioning, I'm calling it quits with the service.  It's a great service when it works well, but if I'm just going to be encountering issues every so often, forget it.

Now, as for the FM set up... I went back to the audiologist the 14th... The ML10i came in, and we got that attached to my hearing aid. Tested it with the Smartlink+, and it worked great!  We tried fussing with the old MLx receiver for my Neptune yet again, and got no results. So we were quite stumped. The audiologist even spent some time on the phone with Phonak for some help as well.  Oh well, I was sent on my way with the Smartlink+ and the new receiver attached to my hearing aid.  We were starting to think perhaps the old receiver just isn't compatible with the Smartlink+.  But during the week, I played around with the FM system some more at home, and boom I got it working! Excellent, now I didn't have to worry about needing to get a new receiver afterall!

Today, I'm usig the FM set up with my ipod, and it's fantastic.  I connected the ipod to the Smartlink+, and music is playing in my ears without my needing to wear wires. Oh how nice it is to be wire-free!  I love it!  I don't need a separate set up for each ear device anymore. Sweet!
Update: The College's IT person checked the connection in the classroom, and even moved the network cable to a different desk. It seems my laptop was sharing the connection with the teacher/classroom computer, but now I should have my own network connection separate from the classroom computer. Will try it out on Monday and see how that goes, and hope the set up works better.

Friday, January 11, 2013

No luck with the FM today

Well, this morning was a mess with the FM.  Phonak sent the wrong receiver for my hearing aid (they sent the ML11i instead of the ML10i), and they also sent the SmartLink transmitter instead of the Inspiro.  They said the Smartlink is more sophisicated, and the Inspiro is old and outdated. Whichever, I can accept the Smartlink. 

We also tried getting the FM to work with the Neptune processor. No-go at all there.  We kept trying different things, audie even called Phonak for some support. Nada.  After the appointment (she kept the Smartlink, and I'll see her again Monday afternoon so we can be sure everything works with the proper receiver for my hearing aid).  I went home, and got out the old HandyMic transmitter and played with it to see if I could get the FM working with the Neptune. Again, nada.  What?!  I had it working in very late Oct./early Nov. when I tried it out with the T-Comm for the Neptune; plugged the MLx receiver into the Neptune controller, plugged transmitter into my iPod and music was flowing to my ear!  But today, I got absolutely nothing. So I'm wondering if there's something going on with the Neptune, at least with the controller.  I've taken the control off, put it back on and saw the green light flash saying it was synced to the Neptune, but I still was getting nothing. So I'm stumped.

I did email Allison about this, as well as the Wyo/Colo AB clinic specialist, see what they have to say.  Just weird.  If I end up just using the FM with the hearing aid only, and using the CI for hearing what's going around on around me in the classroom (like students saying something during a discussion or whichever), that might work too. But it would be nice to have the FM working for both ears.  Hmm......

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Preparing for college

College classes start on Monday! Ack!  I'll be taking Elementary Algebra, English: Basic Writing II, and Medical Terminology. I want to go for the radiography program, but of course I need to get some classes out of the way first. So I'll be taking classes for the next year before I can apply for the Radiography program if all goes well.

The disabilities counselor has the college has been a great help, helping me get registered for classes and such. On Monday I met with him in his office, and he got me set up with the ACS Captioning service, and checked out a RevoLabs Xtag microphone to me to use for English class.  I will use Skype on my laptop to "call" the person that will be doing the captioning for me, log in at the ACS Caption website so I can see the captioning, and the instructor will wear the microphone (this is how the captioner hears what's going on).  It's a pretty useful program and I am really happy the college offers this.  No interpreter needed!  And after class is over, the person who did the captioning will email me the transcript so I can refer back to it! Excellent! The counselor also requested a network cable be available in the English classroom so I can use it with my laptop for better internet connection instead of relying on the WiFi.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be going to my hearing aid audiologist's office to get my Phonak FM system. I'm sure there will be some programming going on, adding an FM setting onto my hearing aid and all. I'll be sure to wear my Neptune processor tomorrow so I can test the Phonak MLx receiver on it with the Inspiro transmitter to make sure it works, along with the hearing aid's ML10i receiver as well.

When I go to campus on Monday, I will definitely be loaded with techology.
  • Laptop
  • Phonak FM unit
  • RevoLabs Xtag mic for captioning
  • Hearing aid
  • Cochlear implant

Better make sure I have spare batteries in my backpack for my ears!

English is only 3 days a week, so I won't be needing to bring my laptop on campus every day, which is good. My laptop is 17 inches, so it's big and heavy.  The math course is mostly done on the computer, and there are occasional video lectures but I've been assured the videos are captioned.

This is what my schedule looks like:
  • Monday - Math, English
  • Tuesday - Math
  • Wednesday - Math, English
  • Thursday - Math
  • Friday - English
Medical terminology is an online course so I'll be checking in frequently.