Saturday, 31 May 2008

Saturday 31st May 2008 - Around the tin mines of Cornwall

I am staying with one of my Deaf friends in Cornwall. This morning I have been cycling along the North Cornish coastal roads that are fairly flat along the cliff tops and then extremely steep in and out of beach villages where the roads drop down to them. However, as a regular visitor to Cornwall all my life, this is a different visit. I could hear the sounds of Cornwall for the first time. The sea, and the birds were amazing. Also whilst cycling along this coastal roads, I could hear cars as they approached me so I knew to let them pass. This is so much better.

Later on in the day we went and visited some disused tin mines Wheal Frances around Redruth and walking around these, I was constantly aware of bird song. I never realised Cornwall had so much birdsong.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Monday 19th May 2008 - The London Underground in listening practice

Another good day at work. I did some more listening practice this evening and I am picking up more of what one of my friends was saying. We based our listening practice on the London Underground map. We started off by my one of my friends asking me for directions to get from one station to another. And my friend then expanded by saying that he has a dog, lives in Regents Park, would like to take the dog for a walk on Hampstead Heath. I had to repeat the story line so that my friend could check that I have understood the purpose of the trip. It wasn’t too bad as we kept it simple. This was a good way to start moving away from the key word assisted listening practices. Don't forget these listening practices take place in a controlled environment without background noise. When I got of my car tonight there was so much racket from the birds from the trees near my house – unbelievable!!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Monday 12th May 2008 - different listening exercises

I took the bus to work today. Not noticed any difference in my auditory experience on my walk comparing CI and hearing aids to the bus stop. I don’t remember the birds singing this morning even though it was a beautiful day.

I got on the bus and looked for my ipod and found it and my CI personal stereo lead but couldn’t find the lead for my hearing aid direct input. Was annoyed, but anyway, plugged in the CI to the ipod alone. I did noticed that it still has some way to go with getting my music and that there were still some gaps in my music. I noticed also that some of the sounds were getting rather quiet and with the ipod and CI on full blast, I wasn’t getting a very loud sound. This then told me that perhaps it will need another tuning sooner than I thought. My next appointment isn’t until 2nd June but then thought well I am going to my parents and to Cornwall before then, the current tuning wont last until then, I will practically hear nothing before the next tuning. So when I got to work I rang the CI team and brought the appointment forward so then I get tuned just before I see my parents and also just before I go to Cornwall. Another thing I noticed that I couldn’t hear the ipod very well, cos the microphone on the CI was still active when I was on EA. I need to ask the CI team to create me a programme that uses EA only and mutes the CI microphone. I have booked the next appointment on Thursday 22nd May at 9am. Also whilst speaking to the CI team, I mentioned to them that I am purchasing an FM receiver for the CI on Wednesday and wondered if they supplied the leads for free. I got an email back from them saying “yes” they supply the lead for free – brill – that saves me £30. The hospital has now ordered a 90cm lead for me hopefully it will have arrived by my next tuning.

Work today was fine. There was a lot talking in the office which everyone was involved in so thanks goodness I have BSL interpreter there, and then one of my colleagues helped me with the group discussions. Also I have noticed some hearing people generally (not those at work) have become less deaf aware since I got my CI. I get feeling now that cos my speech is good and I have a cochlear implant, they expect me to hear what is being said – I CAN’T!! I really find this so frustrating and especially since I cannot follow a word in normal conversation with lip-reading. I know I can get some words without lipreading in listening practice with one of my friends cos when he says something to me he lets me know the topic and he speaks slowly. So why why why can I not follow group conversation nor conversation at normal speed? That really gets me down, but why didn’t it not bother me before? Perhaps cos I knew there were limitations with hearing aids and just accepted it. People have reminded me that I need to be patience with the CI, that it will get better and easier slowly. Perhaps I have high expectations of the CI? Grrr!!

Tonight we did some listening exercises on the computer. I had to listen to the sound and let one of my friends know what I think it is by pointing at the picture. This was a good exercise although sometimes I can’t tell what the sound is like the difference between a motorbike and a helicopter. Some of the animal sounds were difficult but I found the high frequency ones much easier to identify funnily enough!! A funny thing happened that a siren outside the office came onto the scene and I couldn’t tell that it was outside or from the CD and so I pointed at the fire engine picture as I thought it was from the CD when it wasn’t from the CD in the first place!! We burst out laughing.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Saturday 10th May 2008 - bike ride in the country

Today I went back cycling along a local off road cycle trail where I regularly do off road riding. This is the first time I have cycled there since at least 6 months ago. And again my experience was different. There were all sorts of bird sounds along that path that I had never been aware of before. The sounds that I can hear on my bike are the birds, the noise of my bike pedalling along and the wind as it brushes past the microphone on the CI.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Friday 9th May 2008 - Another thunderstorm

After work today, my colleague could hear thunder from a thunderstorm that was moving in. But the strange thing is that I still can’t hear the thunder!! Oh well.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Thursday 8th May 2008 - more phone practice

Not sure of what new sounds were heard today. But I do know that this evening we did some more speech and listening practice, we tried the phone out again. I used a different phone. I was holding a better conversation cos I was picking up a few more words. The friend who was helping me still needed to speak slowly and use simple words to help me understand the words that he is saying. He now suggests I try the phone with my Mum.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Tuesday 6th May 2008 - A singing session

Today back at work after Bank Holiday Monday yesterday. In the evening after work, we had another listening and speech practice. It went well and one of my friends tried to help me with pronouncing the ‘t’ and ‘sk’. I really struggle with those, but my friend was very good and very encouraging. Then we tried a singing session. We did "Do re mi" from the Sound of Music. My friend started a note and a word of the song “Doe”, and I had to try and copy. I felt so daft trying to monitor / project my voice to try and get that note / pitch. My friend was very understanding and was great by telling me either to go up or down to try and help me get on the right notes. I built up a little more confidence by the end of the session.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Sunday 4th May 2008 - Air raid siren and Southwark Cathedral in London

I was back in London this afternoon and went to visit the Britain at War Musuem with a friend. I found this very very interesting. One new thing really gobsmacked me with the impact of WW2 experience. There was an air raid Anderson Shelter in the museum and you went into it and got a demo of what it was really like being in that shelter. You could hear the air raid siren going off at the beginning of the raid, the planes flying above and then the sound of the bombs crashing to the ground and exploding and then the all clear air raid siren going off at the end. It was all so interesting as if I had been alive during WW2, hearing aids at that time were not strong enough for profound deafness so I would have never ever heard those sounds. But with a cochlear implant, I am able to do so. After the museum we went to see an Evensong at Southwark Cathedral. This was also very interesting and I can hear the organ and the choir with my implant. Also whilst inside the cathedral I also became aware of the cathedral bells ringing. And then of course once you opened the doors to go outside, that sound got louder and fuller. I was amazed by that!! The London Underground gets noisier and noisier!! Not only do I hear the squeaking of the carriages as they are pulled out of the station, I also hear the wheels on the track joints, the beeping of the doors just before they close, the closing of the doors and that stupid voice of “Sonia’s” whose voice on the tube train tannoy, the hearing people have to keep listening to on the tube trains. I can hear her now, but I cannot make sense of what she is saying though.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Saturday 3rd May 2008 - Cycling thru Central London

I went back cycling on my usual central London route again from Victoria to Canary Wharf area. Due to time limits, I was only able to cycle 20miles to get as far as Tower Bridge. I have noticed a difference the CI is making whilst cycling. I can now hear sirens and motorbikes from round the corner so I am aware of them before I can see them, this is the first time for me to be able to do this. But the problem is I still cannot locate the direction of the sound.