Thursday, April 16, 2009

I've Got Ears, Say Cheers!

I'm just past two weeks since the first mapping, and slowly but surely, things are starting to look up! Last night James and I took Aidan to see Disney on Ice at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Aidan loves Mickey Mouse and all of his friends, so we knew that would be so much fun to watch the magic for the first time through his eyes. Meanwhile the show was very loud on my new "ear", but the noise didn't bother me any more than it normally would have in the pre-CI days. I had the setting on the next to loudest program (P3), but I thought it was at the highest at the time(P4), which is where I normally wear it during the day now.

I couldn't help but think how, even though the show is very visual, there is also a story being told and music playing that would require hearing to appreciate. Younger children with hearing loss will miss out on some of the excitement because of that unless Disney makes some accommodations I don't know about? I did wish I could follow along a little better last night, but I was so taken in by Aidan's pure joy with all things Disney, it was quickly forgotten.

Aidan loved the show and was spellbound with skating fish and lobster, the vibrant lighting and sound effects, and especially the Mickey and co. sightings between the acts. He was so calm and well behaved all the way through intermission. (Wow, have I ever said Aidan, calm, and well-behaved all in the same sentence before?) He sat on his dad's lap for a while and then reached out and asked for me. Awww... coming from his royal wildness, that was a special treat, and I enjoyed every last snuggly minute!

We let him burn some energy during intermission, and meanwhile, I loaded up on cokes, popcorn and cotton candy that came with the absolute must have item of the night, a yellow fish hat. (Mind you, we'd already had a cheeseburger, fries and a snowball in a fish mug.) The second half of the show started feeling a bit long for an almost two year old that was stuffing fistfuls of cotton candy in his mouth as fast as he could pull it out of the bag. He became somewhat restless and antsy, and I could finally show James, with absolutely no doubt, that late night sugar for our kiddo will create a monster. Of course I bought said sugar that created said monster, but did I mention we saw Mickey Mouse live and in person???

On the way home James had to make a quick stop to pick up his truck at work, so I waited in the car for a few minutes. Aidan was out for the count in his car seat. I decided to listen to a CD with my processor minus my hearing aid. The CD is one of Faith Hill's older CDs that I had years ago. I just bought it at Half Priced Books since I had several songs memorized I could use for listening practice. I was surprised to listen to Breathe and actually separate her voice from the music. It wasn't crystal clear, but it was something new. I could easily follow along with the song knowing it so well, but I couldn't have done that with my processor alone two weeks ago.

When we drove home, I continued to listen to the CD. This time I had the car engine running and my hearing aid on in my left ear. All the same, I noticed something big, something different I hadn't connected with before that moment. The "noise" in my right ear had become the high frequencies of the song I was listening to and it sounded like a (hold it....are you ready for this... wait...just wait...) PLEASANT (yes, I said pleasant!!!) tinkling of music that matched what I was hearing in my left ear. The two sounds were like matching bubble gum pink to fuchsia, definitely in the same family but oh so different. I can't hear what I'm hearing in my right ear with the implant on the left side with my hearing aid, but at the same time my implant has a long way to go before it catches up to what I can do with a hearing aid. (Why do I feel like I need to explain this, like I'm having an affair with my right ear and cheating on my left ear?)

Since last night I've heard music on the television in passing with the high frequency tinkling in my right ear that matched what I was hearing on the left side in the lower frequencies. Muy cool! Also, I've noticed almost overnight that speech on television is becoming more clear to me. Aidan and I watched Babe this afternoon, and I took off my hearing aid to listen for a few minutes. Words sounded like they were echoing, yet with the captions on I could easily match what I was reading to what I was hearing.... easily. Whew. Slowly but surely. This is definitely better than I had hoped for even a week ago at this point. I'm looking forward to my next mapping!


  1. Hi Michelle!

    Wow, sounds like great progress for you! I tried about two hours of listening to music last night. More on that to post in my blog later (I've been so busy, I haven't had time to post!) But lots of progress on my CI this last week too. And TV is starting to sound a lot better to me too. Hope everything keeps progressing nicely for you.



  2. Hi Dan!

    Yes, it's much improved... I still have a lot of static and white noise, but I'm getting better at looking for the cause for it in quieter settings. Not so much in bigger public settings...

    I bet you have oodles of progress to report considering where you were the first week. I'll be looking for your post tonight!