This is a rather boring journal accounting of my beginning moments with a cochlear implant ( CI ) yesterday and this morning. Be warned. ūüôā

Yesterday was a most amazing day. ¬†CA and I are exhausted. ¬†The trip down and back from Portland to Boston is easy but with all the emotional stress, it was real work. ¬†When we arrived at South Station we decided to walk the ten or eleven short blocks to the hospital. It takes about fifteen minutes. It is almost a straight shot sort of through China Town down Kneeland to Washington and then you’re there. The walk did us good going as well as returning.

The activation was remarkable. ¬†I was able to hear voices at once. ¬†Understanding was iffy, but there was an immediate acquisition of my audiologist’s voice. ¬†It was not a normal sounding voice but one that might have been produced by a computer. I suppose it was. It sounded like someone was talking from the other end of a large diameter pipe or culvert producing a bell like overtone that made understanding difficult. Some of this might be dealt with through programing in concert with the brain making “sense” of what information it is getting through the CI.

With the CI alone I was able to understand about 75% of what she said.  As we progressed with the configuration these results began to fall off, increase and then settle in somewhere in between. 

She gave me 4 programs that essentially gave increasing volume and one that turned on the T-coil, which allows me to listen to TV and audio books through my hearing aids and implant when I am inside my audio loop.

I go back in a week and in the meantime I am going to listen to children’s audio books. ¬†I am told that this is a great way to grasp simple words and increase brain function as it seeks to make sense of what it’s hearing. ¬†

As time passed after we left the hospital I noticed subtile changes happening.  For instance, with both the HA and Ci going I was understanding CA more than usual.   I guess this will be the case for a while yet.  New discoveries around every corner.

Upon waking this morning my ability to understand speech was a little better. It seems that there are subtile changes happening all the while.

With the Ci alone, I would be lost most of the time.  As time goes on I am told that will get better. When I go bi-model Рusing the hearing aid and the implant my hearing is greatly improved from before the implant. This makes sense as i was getting little to no useful information from the left ear.

I am so pleased with the whole experience.  I have been tied in a knot these past few days Рmore so than before the surgery.

It seems that wearing a hat is going to be a huge problem. ¬†I’ll be working on that. ¬†I do hats. But that’s a minor challenge.

One of he most difficult parts about having hearing loss is helping friends who have normal hearing to understand what I am experiencing and what I need from them. Without fail, everyone understands, and without fail their behavior briefly changes before reverting to previous patterns. So I had this idea … …

What if at the next dinner party, cookout or celebration where I – a person well known to have serious hearing loss – was invited, I brought a supply of ear plugs and asked everyone to wear them then try to communicate as usual? … . . Well, it was a thought.

I remember hearing perfectly. I remember waking up to birdsong and wind in the trees. I remember the nuances of music – the overtones in every aspect of life that flows on a bed of sound.

I am two days away from the activation of my cochlear implant. Friends have expressed some serious hope and expectations about this. The advise I get from the hearing loss community is, “High hopes and low expectations”. It’s a process, I am told. It gets better, I am told. I’m looking forward to the time when my mind is filled with other thoughts – or perhaps none at all. Sometimes, I think that would be best.