Hearing Link

Three weeks post switch on

kirsteen alison - implant programming or mappingIt’s now nearly 3 weeks since I have been switched on. It feels like longer, which I suppose is a good sign! The beeping has nearly gone, so yippee!

I returned to the cochlear implant centre six days after switch on and I was in quite a bad mood. The beeping and squeaking was driving me crazy and I had told myself I would refuse to leave the centre still beeping! Unfortunately I did! My audiologist explained I had to be patient and give my brain more time to get used to all the different noises. It normally takes longer than six days for the beeping and squeaking to go. I was quite upset. She had planned to undergo a hearing test but skipped this for another day as I was not really in the mood for it.

She did go through all the channels again, and ask me what I found too loud or too quiet, and made some adjustments. A few days later I started to notice the beeping was going away so I cheered up! I think this new hearing journey is going to be full of lots of ups and downs!

I was advised for the next three weeks to spend one week on programme one (everyday), followed by programme two for the next week (noise), then for the third week before my next appointment I was to continue with the programme I liked best.

Both programmes have advantages and disadvantages. I have found that ‘everyday’ is best for background noises and I am more likely to hear things I have never heard before with this programme. Music sounds great, but the lyrics are too quiet. I have the same problem with voices, it is like everyone is talking in whispers.

With programme two, which is ‘noise’, voices are louder but very robotic. All other noises are quiet and I do not notice anything new. I feel this programme is best for noisy situations where you want to cut out the background noises to hear what is being said.

I have to switch to my ‘favourite’ programme next week and I think I will go with programme one – ‘everyday’ – because I’m finding programme two far too robotic. I will report back on this and see if it can be re-tuned and improved.

There are four programmes in total. The other two programmes with my implant are ‘focus’ and ‘music’. I think these are more or less self explanatory. I will not receive these programmes until later although I do have a show to go to in a few weeks so I might ask if I can get ‘music’ sooner. We’ll see.

I’ve been trying hard to ‘train’ my brain to get used to different sounds and recognise different things. My preferred training is to listen to music. As mentioned above, musical instruments sound great on programme one but lyrics come through better on programme two and I can recognise songs without using the Tune Wiki app (which provides lyrics).

I’ve also tried audio books but I am not having much success. I keep losing my place and it is too quiet on both programmes.

I’ve been trying to use the phone also. I can hear people speaking which is fantastic progress, but I cannot always make out what they are saying beyond ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’

So in the past three weeks I’ve gone from being a moody cow (sorry everyone!) to feeling more positive. What will I hear next time I update?

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