World of Understanding

Two week appointment was yesterday. My CA (cochlear audiologist) tested my hearing with my processor on, in the booth, using the ascending beep/noises. At first I couldn’t figure out the noises, they seemed to vibrate or warble in my ears. Once I was able to identify the sounds, the test went very well. Dr. Roberts said that my hearing is already very close to target! She redid the test in my CI ear without my processor and my hearing clocked in at the very bottom of the chart – Yipes. 

So, what have these two weeks been like? Stupendous. That’s the word. Wonderous, that’s another one that fits nicely. Let me give you some examples: doves wings slipping through the air as they rise from the ground near where I knelt – ethereal. How about a concert of lovely high ringing notes when ice hit the sides of the glass in a busy restaurant? How about FaceTime with my grandson and almost understanding every word while understanding my son, who I’ve not been able to understand for 20+ years? And NPR on the radio, understanding the discussion. And hearing while understanding my wife who spoke to me while my back was turned, behind her face mask she wore while sanding some wood, amazing. Many tearful moments of hearing lost sounds. 

When I must remove my processor to sleep, it is confusing – suddenly, no sound. As if I had taken off my right hand. In the booth without it, I could only feel that encompassing fear I used to feel when getting my hearing tested… fear of failing, looking stupid, being seen as incompetent.

I don’t want to take you on a ‘Merry Sunshine’ ride here, there have been difficulties, none concerning the function of my CI though. I have still got pain in my inner ear and itchyness (a sign of low grade pain). The pain arrives in the late afternoon or evening nad persists into the night, so it is helping me to be more mindful about how tired I am – hearing fatigue hasn’t disappeared (yet). On that note, usually I’m so much more relaxed than with my HAs – I don’t have to work hard to understand now.

Nuts and bolts. After the processor was turned on and mapped the first time, I was instructed to increase the volume (using my remote) from 6 to 10. Yesterday we re-mapped and I’m starting back at volume 6 again. It’s about building tolerance to sounds I’ve not heard in years. This is such a complex process!