Monday, 28 July 2008

Monday 28th July 2008 - A series of bad thunderstorms

From 6pm today was the start of a series of very dramatic thunderstorms with spectacular lightning displays and very very intensive rain. We had four thunderstorms tonight (each lasting about 45 minutes) from 6pm until the last one about 1am). I could finally hear the thunder for the first time and the rain on the conservatory roof of my parents house and could hear the intenseness of the rain. I am not used to the noise and so at times it was alittle scary, but I had my parents with me so I was ok.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Sunday 27th July 2008 - The Malvern Hills

Today I cycled on the Malvern Hills. Whilst waiting on the platform at Worcester Foregate Street station to catch a train to Great Malvern, I noticed two new sounds. A bell ringing which I was very surprised about and also the noise of the seagulls on the platform roof which confused me at first as I thought it was a siren from the street below. The tannoy on the station platform is still beyond me.

I then arrived at Great Malvern and it was uphill cycle ride all the way up. It got steeper and steeper. I headed towards St Ann's Well and hoped that there would be a decent path up to the ridge of the Malverns that led you to the Worcestershire Beacon. I found a path and it was a very pebbly one! And it was incredibly steep, so steep and rocky that I had to push the bike up. In blazing sunshine and temperatures of about 32 degrees celcius I got myself to the ridge. Then it was a fairly flat ride until I got this path started to ascend steeply again up to the Beacon. I made it to the top and stayed up there for about an hour to enjoy the views all around. The only new sounds were the wind and birds and people talking at the Beacon, but I don't understand what they are saying though. Then I rode down to the Wyche Cutting and then cycled all the way through Malvern back to Worcester via the villages of Bransford and Rushwick (stopping at my old house where I first lived) on the way.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Sunday 20th July 2008 - My CI surgeon retirement party

I dashed down the motorways from Chester back down to the South of England to arrive in time for my CI Surgeon's surprise retirement party. He has done a really good job in my CI op and so I really wanted to be at the party to send him Best Wishes for retirement and to say Thanks. It was a great party and whilst there, I met another CI user who was implanted as an adult who has grown up in the Deaf World and use BSL. That was a relief for me as she was the first one I met since my CI op. We got talking very quickly and became good friends. I told her about my ups and downs with the CI and she was happy to give me guidance on how to cope with the adjustments as she has been there before. We then made arrangements to meet up for a Chinese meal. Whilst at the party I got asked if I would like to say anything to our CI surgeon about how the CI has helped me on video. I agreed and on the video I thanked our surgeon and told him about the new sounds that I can now hear.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Saturday 19th July 2008 - Liverpool

I was staying at a friends house in Chester whom I know very well from my University days in Liverpool. We spent the morning going into Liverpool and my friend showed me the changes at my old University Campus and also in the City Centre. I was shocked at the changes, but I also had a new experience - sound!!! Whilst at my old University campus we walked through the grounds of the hall where I used to live and therefore frequently used to walk the path there. When I walked through the same path today, I noticed a difference - there was sound - there was birdsong!! And there was lots of it. I had never noticed that before - well of course I didn't. I was amazed.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Friday 18th July 2008 - Open Day at The Ear Foundation

I went to the Ear Foundation in Nottingham for the first time. I went along to find out more about what it was about and to find out about more support for maximising the use of the cochlear implant and how to deal with difficult situations.

I was the only born signing Deaf person there who has a CI, but it was interesting to meet a few CI users who were born hearing and become deaf and now have CI as their experience is completely different to mine. It was also good to meet some of the staff and it was so good to be able to have sessions with them for advice on what to expect from the cochlear implant, how it all works, and how to deal with more difficult situations. I had a session in the morning to talk about how to deal with the implant in difficult situations like groups for example. In the afternoon then I met a the other staff and it was really good to have sessions with them too and we covered communication and listening practices and looked at what was available to help with listening practice online, technology (including what is the best way to listen to the ipod through the T-link which I hadnt tried before and the sound was quite good through that) and chatted about cochlear implants and hearing aid together and the use of FM systems with another member of staff. I had a very enjoyable day and felt so much better for gaining more support and felt more aware of what was happening with my development in using my cochlear implant.