Friday, May 25, 2012

Activation Success

I actually have been dreading writing about my activation because I don't want to sound like a downer, although I know I needed to get updated. So I'm going to say a few things first then I'll go on in detail.
  1. DON'T and I seriously mean DON'T get your hopes up for activation to come out hearing speech. Regardless of how many success stories you read, its just simply not possible for EVERYONE to have the same success. Just remember if you hear any sound at all, it means the implant is working and that it's going to take time for your brain to process what it is hearing.
Ok so it was just ONE thing I wanted to say. Now don't take that wrong that I'm depressed about my activation because I'm THRILLED that I even picked up any sound in my implanted ear that has not had any stimulation for approximately 9-10 years with speech. Prior to surgery, I had minimal residual hearing in that ear, but was mainly just environmental sounds and they typically had to be loud in order for me to hear them. After surgery, that completely killed ANY residual hearing I previously had.

So why do I seem not so excited after a SUCCESSFUL activation? Because of so much researching I did, reading others success stories, etc. I really *REALLY* thought that because I had previously heard speech in this ear at one point in time, that I would actually been able to hear speech at activation -- even if it was mumbled, chipmunky, Mickey/Minnie Mouse, Darth Vader, or whatever other sound. Just so long that I heard actual spoken language. From all the reading I had done, I just felt that I had a pretty good chance of that happening. It didn't happen, so yes, I was a little bit disappointed in that. It does NOT mean I'm going to stop trying and it also does not mean that I'm not pleased thus far with my results... I did hear SOMETHING! Perhaps had I attempted to do cochlear implant shortly after my right ear went kaput, I may have been more successful at activation. What I am hearing is some environmental type sounds. They are not clear at all yet. But more I am dealing with a constant high pitched shrill sound as well. Turning the volume down on my processor helps some and if I have my hearing aid on in my other ear it tends to drown the shrill sound to the background some. I turn my hearing aid off in the other ear as often as I can, but there are times I NEED my hearing aid on in my other ear to be part of the 'hearing world'. This high pitched shrill sound is annoying to say the least, almost like when you go up to a microphone and get too close how it squeals back at you -- well imagine having to hear that on an almost constant basis 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE'. However, after talking to a few people and the audiologist, they are confident that this is all normal and its my 'punishment' that my brain/auditory nerve is putting on me. My brain needs more time to adjust to decipher what it is hearing. Afterall, its only been a couple days since I was activated. The audiologist did schedule an appointment for me next week Tuesday if over the holiday weekend here the shrill sound is still there, to come in and get an adjustment.

I am NOT a very patient person by any means, so I won't lie, I am frustrated and feel like I just wanna pull the processor off! Not because I can't hear speech but mostly because of this shrill sound. If I was hearing the little bit more of environmental sounds better over this shrill sound, I'd feel better. I know this is a process, I know it takes time and I know I need to have patience. Need to keep chanting that in my head 'patience, patience, P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E, whats that spell?? PATIENCE!'

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kendra, I've been following you on HJ and I'm praying for you. I really appreciate your blog. I am a bit behind you. My surgery is coming up on Thursday and I am so nervous and excited. I really don't like being "sick" and hope I react to the surgery well.
    I'm so glad to read your post. I know that everyone hopes to hear voices at activation and I am no different. Your post reminds me to be happy with sound. Not everyone is the same. I know you will see improvement each day. I'm sorry you are having the annoying sound and I hope it either leaves on it's own or the audi can give you relief.
    I just want you to know that your story is helping me to walk through this!
    Keep up the good work!