A few weeks ago I had my ninth mapping. My audiologist is on maternity leave so I had the pleasure of meeting one of the audiologist legends at the HEAR Foundation whose name I've heard for years. Mary Lynn had a completely different style from Michelle from personality to technique. I still really miss Michelle though, and I can't wait to work with her again when she's back in January.
Mary Lynn got right to the point and had me listen to a lot of different sounds that I could see on the computer. She said they were like keys on the piano, and I told her what was comfortable and what was tolerable and what was barely discernible until she had a program mapped out.... just like that! She flipped it on, and I was dazzled. I could clearly make out the little nuances in Mary Lynn's voice. I told her the sound of this mapping was the most fabulous yet from what I could tell! It seemed so crystal clear and on the money, but then something funny happened. Yeah... my eye twitched. In fact the right side of my face twitched with each sharp, crisp syllable that Mary Lynn spoke. The lower rim of my eye was vibrating like a chain saw. Real attractive, mate, eh?
Reluctantly I told her that I was twitching. Very reluctantly. Blah. I offered to "live with it", but she was having none of that nonsense. Before I left I had three electrodes turned off in order to quell the twitch. She said the other electrodes would kick in. *sigh* She sent me down to the parking lot to listen to the traffic on the freeway to see if I could tolerate my new program. I could. Easily. Instead of playing in traffic, I went to give her the good news. (...totally kidding about that traffic thing... :)
I left my appointment and talked to my friend, Melissa, on the phone for a while to road test the new program. It wasn't pretty. I found myself faking more of the conversation or talking more than listening... an old habit to squeak by. My car produced a lot of static feedback with the telecoil on making it even harder to hear. By the time I parked the car and turned it off though, I was able to follow more of what she was saying, but since then I've gone back to using my videophone for some of my more important calls, but I still call up all the besties (except Dannette who gets to see my mug on the videophone) to give them my love and use them for auditory practice. They have all been patient with me so far when I know it can be a little tedious talking to me lately.
The game plan is to turn the electrodes back on at the next mapping and see if my face can adjust to all the excitement. It's kind of funny that on one hand, there's really no new breakthroughs for me since that mapping, and I feel like I'm struggling more now (just a little...) ....but.... oh the sheer massive power of that thing when it hasn't been on in a while!!! I had a splitting headache over the weekend and just couldn't tolerate the sound of the CI. I wore my HA in my other ear and just relaxed in the familiar lull, but it was so frustrating to realize I could understand hardly a word my son said this weekend until I finally put on my CI yesterday. (It also made me realize that I hadn't been putting in as much time signing with my son lately, because he only signs when I prompt him to, not when he wants to say something.... sure came back to bite me when I needed it!) Putting it back on though... whew.... so much power I thought it was going to blow me out the window. Even the silence will come blasting in, especially after a long break without wearing it. Loud silence is probably the hardest thing to explain to both(non-CI wearing)deaf and hearing people because it seems like such an oxymoron... How can there be such a thing?
Anyway, stay tuned for Twitchy Face Chronicles (a.k.a. Mapping #10) in the near future.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! :-)