Thursday, 8 October 2009 long last!!! Thursday 8th October 2009

Hey Guys, sorry long time no type.. it has been such a manic summer, and it has just flown by!! Anyway, now 18 months into having my CI, I still have ups and downs as I deal with new situations. The good stuff is that music and environment sounds is so plentiful and clearer. Speech is still hard to understand and I find background noise a real hindrance!!

Background noise at work is unbearable that I find that I have to take the CI off in order to concentrate as background noise is louder than what I want to hear and I dont have any control over that!! and there is one particular sound at work that has an effect on me same as nails stratching down a blackboard!! eugh!! When its quiet in the office then CI is great and clear. When there's noise then everything gets distorted and loud :-(

Newest sounds are: hearing the sauce bubbling in the casserole dish as I took it out of the oven last night.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday 27th September 2009 - St Aubin, Jersey

Today was the first day of my holiday in Jersey and I went with one of my good CI friends. We had a great time.

On the first day we went and had a cup of tea in our B&B garden which was in the sun and had excellent sea views. There was a church nearby and suddenley the bells chimed and it made me jump out of my skin!! I didnt know what it was! Then Abi told me that it was the church bells! Also I have never heard so much screeching, siren like sounds before by the sea side and it was the sea gulls!! Gosh how you hearing people put up with that?? When we went for a walk on the beach later we could hear the waves on the beach and also the sand crunching beneath our feet.. I was amazed :-)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Wednesday 2nd September 2009 - Fizz!

Tonight a friend came round for pizza. I was pouring the coke out of the bottle into a glass and then there was this fisssssssss noise. I had no idea what that was and then it turned out to be the fizz at the top of the coke in the glass. I had no idea they made sounds like that!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Friday 14th August 2009 - U2 concert, Wembley Stadium, London

I had an amazing experience tonight when I went to see my favourite band U2 play live in concert at Wembley. U2 has been my fav band for 19 years and this was the first time I have seen them play live in concert. Also when I was at school, I used to play some of their songs on the electric guitar and in a group, so I know their songs and the chords really well. Anyway, tonight I could hear them really well with my cochlear implant and they were so clear and I could hear all the details except identify what the words were to the songs but I knew them anyway. I also had my hearing aid in the other ear which is the most powerful hearing aid (digital) that is available as I am so profoundly deaf. Anyway, during one of the songs I decided to compare what I could hear of the concert with each ear. I removed the magnet of the CI and lo and behold - the music just went!!! I could not hear the music with my hearing aid!! and it was over 80 dB in the stadium!! That just shows how much I am getting with my CI and how little I get with my hearing aid and what I had to put up with over the years!! Then I put my CI back on and the music came back loud and clear. I switched off the hearing aid and it made no difference to what I was hearing overall as really I was only hearing through my CI. It was a fantastic evening :-)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Thursday 18th June 2009 - Alarms!!

Tonight I was sitting at home at my house with my lap top in the living room. Sudden there was this alarm sounding. I thought perhaps it was inside my house like the smoke alarm or my burglar alarm and as I went to investigate it wasnt that. So I went outside to try and locate the sound. With being able to hear that sound with one ear, it is impossible to locate the sound. Then my neighbour came out too to see what the sound was. They listened for me to try and locate the sound and it turned out to be the burglar alarm of a neighbour's house 2 houses away!! I couldnt believe I could hear that!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Thursday 21st May 2009 - Cochlear Information Evening

Tonight I went to an information evening and this was good as it was present by my cochlear implant manufacture and they gave us more information about our cochlear implant. I met Charlotte and Sarah there and we had a great time. I learnt alittle more about my CI and good to meet other people.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Monday 11th May 2009 - Routine Tuning

Went back to the CI centre today for routine tuning and also to try and solve why I get clicks or crackles sometimes instead of normal beeps during tuning. One of the tech staff from Cochlear was there and we solved the problem... it was cos my skin is too thin and so the distance between the internal and external are too close. I now have an extra piece on my magnet which has solved this problem :-)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Sunday 10th May 2009 - new sound

Went into the city centre today with a friend and I noticed a new sound - church bells - I had never noticed that before in the city centre.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Friday 8th May 2009 - tuning

I have been having problems with my CI that one of the electrodes keeps turning itself up every two weeks then causing me pain :-( I have been going back and forth to the CI centre to have this electrode turned down. Today we have switched that electrode off and so I have 21 on instead of the full 22.

My God - what a difference it made.....much more comfortable and also the sounds sounded better. Today went to the pub at lunchtime with work and providing my colleagues in the group spoke one at a time and looked at me, I was able to follow the conversation for the FIRST time!!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunday 26th April 2009 - More animals!!

Today I went to Bristol on the train and met a long standing friend there who is also born profoundly deaf and use BSL and was implanted with a cochlear implant 2 years ago.

We went to visit Bristol zoo and we had a great time and it was interesting to hear the lions roar and the noise of the birds, and flamingos. I also heard the penguins make a funny noise and the seals roar. It was a good experience...even though it will take me a while to remember each of those sounds. Afterwards we walked abit around the Clifton Suspension Bridge and I am amazed by there being quite a few birds there.

When I got my connection train, the tannoy went on that one too, but it was squawk sqauawk squawk....goodness knows what it said!! Also I am completely unable to understand them on station platforms!!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Friday 24th April 2009 - The BSL CIsers are growing!

Tonight after work, I met the newest person who was born profoundly deaf and use BSL who was implanted at my CI centre. She was feeling low and disappointed with her CI so it was good that she met me, as I have been through exactly the same. She felt much better after meeting me and so was glad that I could help.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunday 19th April 2009 - The Cliff Railway

Today whilst still at Aberystwyth, after a great hearty Welsh breakfast with sea view, I then went and explored the sea front before I met my cousin again at lunchtime. As I walked along the sea front towards Consitution Hill where the cliff railway was, I noticed the sound of the sea and the birds there. I walked along the beach and noticed the sounds of the waves and water brushing pass the rocks on the beach. It was very interesting. Next I headed onto the cliff railway and I could hear the mechanism on the cable on the track and the electrical humming as it is pulled up the hill, and could also hear the rattling of the wheels of the passing funicular car that was making it way downhill. Magnificant sounds at the top but the only sounds that I was aware off were those of the wind.

When I headed downhill again on the funicular railway, half way down, I noticed this distinctive sound and realised that it was a blackbird. As I cannot locate the sound, I had to look for this blackbird and found it perched on top of a telegraph pole as I was passing it. I watched its beak as it sang and realised that the beak movements matched the sound - so amazing!!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturday 18th April 2009 - Aberystwyth, Wales

I caught the train this morning to go to Aberystwyth to visit my cousin who is at Uni there. I had to change trains at Birmingham International. I not notice any new sounds though. I arrived at Aberystwyth and my cousin met me. We got to my B&B which is well recommended (Yr Hafod) and I met the manager there. He was a lovely man, very Welsh with a good sense of humour.. but.. I struggled to understand him due to his Welsh accent!! He was vewry patience.

That afternoon my cousin and I went to visit this animaliaruim at Borth. That was a good experience for to hear the animals and the birds. My cousin helped me to identify any new sounds. They included - laughing kookeburra, peacock and goat.

In the evening we had a fantastic bbq on the beach. New sounds for me here were the sea gulls, the waves on the beach and the crunching of the sand / pebbles beneath my feet on the beach.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Monday 13th April 2009 - Beep beep beep

I was still at my parents house today as today was the last day of my Easter holidays. Anyway, I've noticed more new sounds at my parents house today which I have never noticed before despite still not being able to follow the family conversation.

The new sounds I heard today were: beeping in the kitchen when I was making coffee (initially I thought it was the phone ringing, then I realised no one was coming to the phone and so I couldnt think what else it could be except the dishwasher and so it was), microwave beeps on my parents microwave at regular intervals for about a minute after finishing and being able to hear the blackbird sing outside from inside the conservatory.

I havent had new sounds for a while, so its good that I have new batch of them coming in again.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Sunday - Sunday 12th April 2009 - Sirens and bees and localisation of sounds

Today at lunchtime we had nice drinks outside in the garden. I noticed that I could hear a siren. I asked my Mum where it was. She said going pass the Cricket Ground which was a mile away. I thought wow, I can hear a siren from a mile away!! But as I only have one implant, and hear nothing in the other ear, I cannot tell where a sound is coming from. When I hear the traffic from the main road at the front of the house from my parents garden, I ask them which way is it going? My mum told me, and I said how do you know. She said its all down to having two ears working to be able to tell direction. grrr...wish I can do that. Would save me alot of confusion!! Also I noticed that the noise of that siren was one second louder and then the next it was quieter then louder again. My mum explained that it was because the sound is carried in the wind!! But hey I can hear sirens a mile away and also I heard the bumble bee buzz for the first time - eurghh!!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Friday 10th April 2009 - The Blackbird sings!!

Today I have returned to my parents house for the Easter break. We were working in the garden today as a family, clearing the garden and tidying it up for the summer. Whilst we were out there, I noticed that there were lots of bird sounds and I noticed a new one that I hadn't heard before that was more melodic. I asked my Mum which bird was that more melodic one and she explained that it was the blackbird. Finally I have heard the blackbird. That was the bird my parents tried to get me to hear last summer but it never happened cos the blackbird wasn't singing when I was at home cos it was always raining.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Saturday 4th April 2009 - Deaf Day

Today I went to City Lit in London for Deaf Day. This was brilliant as I met up with alot of my Deaf friends and had brilliant chats with them in BSL all day. There were several Deaf people there with Cochlear Implants. I had no problem with the attitude of Deaf people there cos I have an implant and another one of my Deaf friends who is also a strong BSL user whom I havent seen for 6 years was very interested in it :-) Most of the Deaf people at the Deaf Day, we all met up in a pub in Holborn afterwards and ruled the pub. It was great to catch up with everyone and then afterwards a group of us went for a lovely meal in Piccadilly Circus :-) I stayed overnight with my Sister as I was helping her sort out her new wireless broadband network.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Friday 3rd April 2009 - I was the surprise!

Tonight after work, I was invite to join a group of deaf friends by a deaf friend to have a light tea and go and see a show in a theatre near my friend's house. However I was the surprise for one of her friends. One of my friend's friends who is also deaf used to be the Head of the Deaf Unit at my secondary school. She remembered me and said that she had a shock and a lovely surprise at seeing me again, so now we are meeting up on a more regular basis. We haven't seen each other for 19 years!! So it's lovely to see her again and there is alot of catching up. It was a brilliant evening out as a group together too.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Tuesday 31st March 2009 - table tennis frustration

Tonight after work, had frustration as unable to follow the social chats at my table tennis match tonight. I gave up with asking people to tell me what was being said because I couldn't follow what they were saying. So in the end I chatted to few friends on MSN on my mobile. The table tennis people might think I am not being sociable, but they can think what they like. What else do they expect me to do? Be more frustrated and then start getting upset? - I've tried to join in and I can't!! I cannot follow what they were saying, so let me do something that I CAN do. However, when I played my table tennis games, I played well. I had thought about pulling out of the table tennis team next season due to communication problems and the inability to communicate with them. But then again I am playing well and enjoy my games. Difficult decision!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Monday 30th March 2009 - Joy and frustration

This morning as I entered the lift to go up to the floor where I work in our 12 storey building, I met one of the Deaf guys who work 2 floors above me that I knew. I met him before around the building and we chat in BSL as we are both professionals and profoundly deaf with the same background of deafness. He wore 2 hearing aids same as me before I got my cochlear implant. Anyway I was shocked to discover that he now ALSO has a cochlear implant. He only had his for one month. So now we are meeting up at lunchtimes to compare notes as our CI experience will be exactly the same as we are both profoundly deaf from birth. I am NOT alone now at my work as there is now TWO of us :-)

However it was a bit of a shock this morning going into my office as when I arrived, a group of colleagues started talking when I walked in and after a whole weekend of being able to communicate fluently in groups, suddenley I wasn't able to. I felt mad with my implant for not enabling me to be part of this group discussion in my office when my interpreter wasn't there as it sounded like as though they were all talking in foreign language that I cannot follow and the sound of it irritated me because I could not access it and I was too frustrated to ask what was being said. I waited until my interpreter arrived and then joined in. My boss realised and then started to make sure I was included and helped me catch up. He understood my experience completely. The implant works great for environment sounds, music and for one to one providing I can lip-read..but background noise and in groups of hearing people talking when I haven't got interpreter it doesn't work at all there, so therefore I find it very difficult to socialise in the hearing world unless I have a sign language interpreter there, or the hearing people I am with are deaf aware or can sign and aware of the benefits and limitations of the cochlear implant and includes me in.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sunday 29th March 2009 - Centre Parc Cochlear Implant bike ride

After a late start and a cooked breakfast and a great chat, a group of us set off for mountain biking through Sherwood Forest Centre Parc. We went and collected the hired bikes and then went to the Country Club for lunch and a drink. We realised that the 6 of us with implants in our group that 5 of us were implanted last year (myself included). Four of us have the Nucleus Freedom implants by Cochlear (myself included) and two in our group have the Advanced Bionics Harmony implants. We also realised that three of us have implant on our right hand side and we are all right handed whilst the other three have implants on their left side and are left handed.
After lunch we had a great time on the mountain bikes for a very rough and bumpy ride through the forest. There was a few steep dips that were unexpected that some of us screamed down at speed :-) and the photo on the left shows a pic of me going down one of these jumps!!!

In the evening I then had to take the train back down South to London from Newark and boy what an interesting journey as the train was mega fast. It just sped through Peterborough and the countryside between there and London and it leaned on the corners, but it was a very smooth ride.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Saturday 28th March 2009 - Centre Parcs - FANTASTIC DAY!!

This morning after a great cooked breakfast and numerous times of trying to stop the fire alarm from going off, we attended some interesting stalls at the Conference. Phonak were there so I was able to tell my friends about the new Phonak Nadia hearing aid. Connevans were also there, and I showed my friends the FM system that I have which is recommended with cochlear implants. Also Cochlear were there and they are the manufacturers of my cochlear implant and so it was really good to see all the accessories that comes with it. I have most of it but it was good to see the other colours, and I also got some freebies with that including a boomerang, ball, pen. I also got a t-shirt. They also had the electrode on display with the internal magnet that I have inside my head... I couldnt believe how long it was. See the photograph above.

In the afternoon we had some interesting talks by the Ear Foundation, a representative from Cochlear and also one of the surgeons from Nottingham who carried out the first child implant op for multi channel implant 20 years ago and then the mother of this child and this child himself spoke now as an adult. They talked about the past, where cochlear implants and the Ear Foundation have been and how they have developed and where they are now and where they are going in the future.

After the talks a group of us all CI users born deaf implanted as adults and we all use BSL went and had a good time in the tropical fun swimming pool. One of my other friends came up from my CI centre and joined us for the whole day. The pool was great and we went on this massive flume where a max of four of us sit in this raft to go down the flume and we rocked it so hard whilst descending that we almost flipped it!! We also went down river rapids where we had to swim down a fast flowing river and the depth of it kept changing and the rapids. It was brilliant, and you go down more slides and waterfalls in this and end up dropping into more rapid river or a plunge pool!! We also went down two other water slides that you go down on your back.. one was so slow it was boring, so I prefer the other one which was faster. But you start descending the fast one in complete blackness before coming to the bits where there are colourful flashing lights. It was brilliant!! Then a group of us went and sat around in one of the spa pools and had great chat in BSL before getting out.

When we got out, we went back to the villa and had another great meal and lots of drink and a brilliant evening together and we chat chat and chat and talk about loads of stuff including our ci experiences and listening practice etc. The clocks went forward tonight and so as we were chatting so much oblivious to the time we realised that it was 4am by the time we went to bed!!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Friday 27th March 2009 - Centre Parcs here we come

Today was the big day and a day I had been looking forward to for a while. This is the start of the CI users weekend together in Centre Parcs. Six of us were renting a villa together.

I took the train up, so enroute from my house to the train station I went to audiology which is also where my CI centre is based. Reason why I went there today was to pick up a new Phonak Nadia hearing aid as they had ordered on my request a black and silver Phonak Nadia. That had arrived so I went to pick it up.

Then I got on the train for my 3 hour journey to Nottingham. At Nottingham two friends who were also implanted last year like me and have same background picked me up. We then went back to one of the friends house and then we set off from there.

When we got to centre parc we met another friend who is a CI user who we havent yet met but have chatted to loads on MSN and CIUG2004 users group. It was good to finally meet her. We unpacked our stuff and sorted the food and settled in. We had a lovely meal that evening and it was so good to be able to communicate and that we were all exactly the same with our CI experience and we are all born deaf and similar age. So we were able to support each other.

After our meal we went to the Talent show which was organised by the Ear Foundation. It was brilliant some of the talents that some of these CI implanted kids have. I was particularly impressed by the CI boy who I think was about 4 or 5 years old singing Mamma Mia with his older sister who was a few years older than him.

Afterwards we went back to the villa and had some more drink and chat.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Monday 9th March 2009 - Re-tune and one year review

I went back to the ci centre today for my tuning session and also my one year review. I also received a new hearing aid - the Phonak Nadia for my non implanted ear. The Phonak Nadia superseeds the Phonak Supero and the Nadia is the most powerful and most advanced digital hearing aid for people with profound hearing loss.

My up to date audiogram with my implant now is that I can now hear at 15dB across the board!! Also had tests with my speech and language therapist and I scored 68% with implant only and 64% with combined hearing aid in non implant ear and implant. My audiologist is very impressed. But....why can't those results show in everyday environments? I am so frustrated that I still cannot follow people's everyday speech and group situations with hearing people are IMPOSSIBLE and I am still completely reliant on BSL interpreters. However communication on a one to one basis has greatly improved and can only talk to my Mum and boss on my Blackberry :-)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Wednesday 4th March 2009 - Grandma's funeral

I had a BSL interpreter at my Grandma's funeral, and at the end of it the Duke of Perth was played as my Grandma was very involved in Scottish dancing with my Grandad (who died in 1982). When they did Scottish dancing together they always did the last dance and now that they are back together again, my Mum and her brother thought it was appropriate. I was shocked when that music was played, it was very lively and I could hear it nice and loud and clear.

Also at the wake I discovered that one of my Aunts (my Mum's youngest brother's wife) was learning some BSL and I was really pleased to see that.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wednesday 25th February 2009 - Back to the CI centre

Today I went back to the CI centre for a retune. We managed to balance the low frequencies and the highs and now it sounds much better. I was also able to pick up a few words from the announcement at the train station but still so frustrated that I cannot get the whole thing.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Thursday 19th February 2009 - A leak

Was so annoyed to discover that when I got back to my house to discover that there has been a water leak from the back of the toilet cistern in my ensuite bathroom. I therefore had to call in an emergency plumber. He has now fixed the problem and I could hear dripping of the water in the cistern after the cistern had filled. That was a new sound for me there.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wednesday 18th February 2009 - Back to work

Today I went back to work after my ski holiday. I also noticed that my implant was playing up - became too bassy. So I made an appointment to go back to the CI centre next week on my another week off.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Monday 16th February 2009 - last day of ski holiday

Sadly today was the last day of my ski holiday in Switzerland. My Uncle took me to this pretty steep slope the other side of the town and I went down that. It was steep I mean it. I fell a few times cos it was so steep and needed steeper turns. But I had my ski helmet on. Then on the last ski down i went down straight at the bottom bit and turned the corner to the flat and whizzed pass my Uncle doing a High 5 as I passed. He then said - "Fancy a beer?". My response was "ooh yes please". So we went to this Alpine bar near the cable car station and had a few bottles of beer and a really good chat. He became alot more cochlear implant aware during the week which was really good.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Friday 13th February 2009 - On the Pistes

What glorious weather on the top of the mountain on the Swiss Alps and what amazing views.

Several new sounds have been picked up today which Ive never heard before. You can hear the beeping from the snow bashers as they smooth out the pistes, and you hear the humming of the cable on the button drag lift and cable car and the rattle when the cable rattle on the pylon wheels.

I could also hear the skis moving in the snow - swish, swish swish!! But dont ask me about direction of sound.

I also realised at one point my Uncle was talking to one of his friends in French. I had never heard a foreign language being spoken. However I did manage to pick out "deux semaines".

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Thursday 12th February 2009 - Swiss Alps here I come!

Today I flew to Switzerland to the Alps for my 6 day ski holiday. I flew from Birmingham International Airport and although I fly on planes regularly, I hadnt flown since getting my CI so I was alittle unsure of what to expect and how the pressure inside your ears when descending to land would affect the cochlear implant.

Inside the airport, when I got to security, I was not allowed to walk through the security thing as we are a cochlear implant user and so we could trigger the alarm on this machine. I had to go round and get searched by a hand held security thing. I always carry my cochlear implant id card with me. I got through security no problem. After wandering around the duty free I then made my way to the boarding gate for my flight to Geneva. I still cannot hear the tannoy in the airport, so still was completely reliant on the flight detail screens to keep me updated about my flight departure.

Finally I got onto the plane and sat down at my seat in my usual place which is in front of the wing, next to the window and on the left hand side. Why I always sit there, I do not know. But I do LOVE the window seat as I am a town planner, I LOVE on clear days being able to look out of the window and see England below and recognising exactly where we are, by looking at the road pattern, landmarks and location. Anyway whilst still docked to the boarding gate on the ground, I kept hearing this bing bong sound on the plane. It did start to annoy me alittle. But I ignored it. Then we were ready to go. As we were taxiing along the taxi way to get to the end of the runway for take off and at a different time to the emergency instructions, I noticed some kind of talking over the tannoy system. I could not make out a single word so had no idea what this was about so took no notice of it. We had to wait for this Irish plane coming in to land and using the runway before we could use the runway for take off. The Irish plane then landed and cleared the runway and off we went. The power and my goodness the NOISE that was made as the engines forceably went into intense acceleration as we careered down the runway and then climbed steeply up into the air leaving the houses and the field and power lines and cars getting smaller and smaller as we ascended. I found the plane far too loud. Mid flight when we were cruising above mid France somewhere I took my implant off. Phew - some peace and quiet!! Also at this point I also started talking to the lady sitting next to me who was also flying to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. I mentioned about the tannoy when we were taxiing along the taxi way to the end of the runway prior to take off. She never heard this tannoy. Then I realised I was picking up the radio communications between the cockpit and the control tower!!

Anyway we came down to land and the descent and ear popping moments that are widely experienced were no different to that pre implant days. There was no problem with flying with a cochlear implant at all apart from the plane being noisy, everything felt normal. One advantage, I do not get affected by temporarily hearing loss that some people experience after landing. With a cochlear implant, my hearing levels remain the same as whats normal for me regardless whether you are trying to balance the pressure in your ears or not after a flight.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Thursday 5th February 2009 - More snow!!

Today, we had more snow. I drove to work after the rush hour had finished in the hope that the roads were more clear.

Today I hear two new sounds. Whilst walking in the snow to my hairdressers at lunchtime there was a pigeon and I noticed that it made a cooing weird is that?

Today I felt really tired and I struggled alot more to understand what people were saying even though I was picking up the environmental sounds beautifully. My boss told me that it was cos I had been retuned yesterday and that it's normal for me to feel tired, struggle to follow speech more on the first few days following tuning so told me that its ok to feel like that and not to worry about it.

And then when I got home, I went into my house via the front door. It had been snowing lots and there was some water dripping from the snow on my gutter and as I stood by my front door outside I heard this tapping noise and I felt a wet drip on my head, then I realised I was hearing the water dripping onto the patio path beneath my feet :-)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Wednesday 4th February 2009 - ONE year ANNIVERSARY o of my CI!!

Exactly a year ago I had my CI op and funnily enough I had to be back that the hospital again this morning to be retuned.

So at lunchtime I went to the pub with my work colleagues and had a great lunchtime and we talked about how much I had advanced with the CI in the past year. I explained about the huge jump in environmental sounds but still struggle with speech and I also explained about the quietest sounds I can hear with the CI.

Today as a result of retune, heard two new sounds - traffic lights beeping tells pedestrians to cross from INSIDE my car and heard some metal clanging from a building site some 500 metres away!!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Saturday 24th January 2009 - Fleet Pond, Hampshire

This weekend I went to stay with a good friend of mine from University. He is also profoundly deaf. On the Saturday we went for a walk around Fleet Pond and at first the walk was through some woodland and some streams nearby and I heard a whole lot of new sounds.

There was quite alot of birdsong. There were different types of bird song and also there was the nasty crow sound.

I could hear the water in the nearby stream. It was interesting how the water rushing sound different depending on the obstacles in the water affecting the flow of the water. Also when further around the pond, where the water from the lake lapped at the path we were walking on, I could hear the water lapping at the edge. I had never heard that before. Then there were some ducks, and for the first time ever I heard them quack!! It took a long time coming cos in the summer I couldn't hear them quack yet. There is the railway line next to the lake and I could hear the train as they rattle by and the planes going for Heathrow.

This evening. my friend and I went out for a meal with another CI user who use BSL and her fiancee. It was brilliant that we could meet up as we had so much to talk about and we shared the same ecperiences with our cochlear implants and we both have Freedoms :-)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wednesday 21st January 2009 - The Table Tennis Match

After work today, I had a table tennis match where I play in the local District Table Tennis League. Everyone there is hearing and I am the only Deaf person there. Last year I used to dread the matches cos I cant hear anything and I can't hear the score being called out and when we had the breaks, everyone would chat and I would not have a clue what was being said.

I noticed something new tonight during the match. I started to be able to hear the score being called out - both when I was watching and when I was playing. The only time I could hear the score being called out depended on the person being a loud and clear speaker and when it was announced at a time when there was NO other sound happening at the same time (so for example - between the moment of the ping pong ball bouncing on the table or off the bats) but then even when the conditions were perfect I didnt hear it every time. I found it kinda helps being able to hear the score sometimes when you were playing as it helped remind you where you were in the game and you could keep your eyes fixed on the ball. However when we had the coffee break I was still completely unable to follow the conversation, but thanks goodness for my new mobile phone which is a Blackberry is able to receive my personal emails as well as my text messages, so I had loads of emails in my inbox so I used that time to reply to my emails :-)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Saturday 17th January 2009 - CI users who use BSL social meet up

Today a group of us who are profoundly deaf from birth, grown up in the Deaf World and use BSL and all implanted as adults at my cochlear implant centre met up in a coffee bar. This was the first time all of the BSL cochlear implant users (except one) met up together from our CI Centre implanted as adults. We did also have someone with us who is thinking about having a cochlear implant who also grown up in the Deaf World so our social meet up was useful for her too. It was brilliant as we all realised that we all have exactly the same experience and we were able to share and compare notes and experiences and ask each other questions.. have you experienced this or that and also compare our speech and language session exercises and we all knew what the other was talking about, how long was it before you heard that etc etc. It was so confident building and it helped all of us although we were at different stages it really helped to understand what we were going through as we were coming from the same angle -been profoundly deaf all our lives and we all grew up in Deaf World and we couldn't stop signing/talking about our experiences. We are looking forward to our next meet up as we had plenty to talk about.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tuesday 13th January 2009 - Cats are noisy!!

This morning I went back to the hospital for tuning. We sorted the tuning out and straight away - "ah that's better!" The sounds were balanced again and it became clear again. I had listening and speech practice afterwards and we practiced saying the "z". I have never ever been able to say that letter in my life!! Now I am just starting to.

I then went to work and noticed a different in the clarify of sound again in the office environment. No new sound or recognised phrases been picked up without lip-reading though.


Tonight after work I went to a friend's house for tea and good chat to catch up with the gossip and news. In fact the whole family are very good friends of mine and they have four daughters and two of them are profoundly deaf and have cochlear implants. Both of the deaf daughters are few years younger than me and they have had their cochlear implant for 8 years. We had a lovely meal in their kitchen and then suddenley whilst we were talking there was this noise I had never ever heard before.. it was the cat!! It miaowed!! Wow!! They can be noisy!!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Monday 12th January 2009 - Skiing at Milton Keynes

Today I had booked the day off work and went skiing at the Sno dome in Milton Keynes with a deaf friend. We were both skiing at the sno dome last night too. We had a brilliant time and I could hear the snow under my skis and when I was going up the slope on the ski lift (button lift) I was aware of music playing in the background. I hardly fall whilst skiing, but today I fell!! Ouch!! It was because there was suddenly an ice patch and then some very deep snow immediately afterwards! My cochlear implant was fine, it was under my helmet and protected. After I had lunch with a deaf friend, I then got a text from my Uncle confirming my skiing holiday to Switzerland was going ahead. I then had to dash home to book my flights. I got my flights booked.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Saturday 10th January 2009 - The Grand Cafe

Today I went and had a lovely cooked breakfast in the same cafe that I went to with my family just after my switch on of my CI. This was the first time that I had been back in this cafe and I noticed a MASSIVE difference!! I remember on switch on day (Monday 3rd March 2008) when I went into this cafe, I could not hear anything, although I was aware of a vibration when my knife and fork made contact with the plate. Today I noticed all sorts of sounds. There was the cutlery on plates, glasses clunking over at the bar, music playing in the background, general chatter and the whooshing sound coming from the coffee machine when it steams. I never heard any of that when I went in on switch on day.. made me realised how far I had come!!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Friday 9th January 2009 - Pizza Express

Tonight after work I went out for a meal with a Deaf friend (also a BSL user and has a cochlear implant). We went and ate in Pizza Express. I noticed that my CI was starting to go out of tune... some sounds were getting quieter (the low frequency ones) and the high frequency ones were getting louder. In Pizza Express sometimes the sound of clanging cutlery was soo loud. Ouch. I thought well, I am not going to worry about it, I have a tuning on Tuesday, I will manage until then.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Thursday 8th January 2009 - Dying Nokia Communicator, hello Blackberry !

Yesterday my mobile phone started playing up, it had stopped receiving text messages. So I went to my mobile phone store and spoke to them about what to do as I am heavily dependent on text messaging with being profoundly deaf. I was worried about communication to the staff there in the store. Anyway i went and explained that I am profoundly deaf and that they need to look at me when talk. They did just that and the guy was brilliant and the CI really made it easier to lip-read him. I couldnt believe that he was easy to follow as he looked at me and spoke clearly and if I didnt understand he wrote down. Anyway my mobile had stopped receiving texts for no reason and so I needed a new handset, but they dont do Nokia Communicators anymore. I told them that I rely on text messaging and I need email and internet on the move. I managed to get a really good deal and ended up getting a blackberry for the same price I have been paying monthly on my old contract. Brilliant.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Monday 5th January 2009 - noise in my car

Today I went back to work and had a VERY early start as I had to be at work by 9am and I was commuting from Worcester in the snow. I left my parents house at 6.30am to get back to the South of England.

It was a snowy and icy start. But the roads were clear. I noticed something that started as I turned out of my parents drive. Everytime I steered right there was this "clinking" sound. I could not work out what it was and I was worried that there might be something wrong with the car. I headed down the motorways for my 2 hour journey and there was no clink sound as I was driving straight. Just as I came off the motorway for the last leg of the journey to work (20mins drive on A road) and clink started again and I ran out of screen wash and I really needed to refill it. So I stopped at a garage to refill the screen wash and then I saw the very thing that was causing the clink sound every time I steered right. On the floor of the passenger side were two de-icer cans side by side. Ah that's it.. as I turned right gravity forced them together hence the clinking sound. I moved one of the cans and the sound did not come back again. Phew! Wasn't the car then.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year 2009

We had a fairly quiet day at home as we all had a very late night last night. No new sounds today that I am aware of except the TV and the hi fi are very loud.