Friday, December 18, 2009

Breaking Up is So Hard to Do.....

I'm tired of him.... really I don't care if we ever meet again... My life would be less complicated if I didn't have to hear his voice like... umm... ever! ...Yet... something tells me that he'll be back challenging me and taunting me... exhausting me and infuriating me.... I'm. so. over. that. dude. Seriously. He can go away, and I'll never look back.

...and thus begins the next installment of the Twitchy Face Chronicles...

Mapping #10 with all electrodes turned on and firing this time was really short and sweet. I met with my sub audiologist since Michelle is still on maternity leave, and as she tested my tolerance for sound with each one, the twitching started. I decided to not say anything at first because I wanted those electrodes firing on all cylinders, but once I felt my nose doing the Tabitha twitch I felt obligated to mention it. (If you really don't know who Tabitha is just google "Bewitched" instead of making me feel really ancient by asking me who she is. :) At another point she noticed my eye twitching when I didn't really feel it much. Pretty.

I was tired. The pipsqueak was awake at 4:30 a.m. demanding snacks and books. (Growth spurts that only require food and little sleep seem to be a weekly thing lately.) Bless his heart... it was a long night for his mother... and I totally did not feel very perky or chatty or like I wanted to get overly involved with the mapping process like I usually do.

Once we found something that seemed okay... no real twitching... I was sent to play in traffic..(a.k.a. going to the parking lot to see if everything "sounds okay.") The elevator dings were especially clear and sharp as the doors opened on the ride down. Those high pitched sounds still amaze me that I can actually hear them. No matter how loud I would turn up something before, I could never hear anything in that range because I just don't have any hearing in those frequencies. When I amplify sound with a hearing aid, it only amplifies the lower frequencies, so the one thing that I don't think will ever feel normal is hearing an especially crisp ding. It is really silly how awesome it is. In the mapping when we got to each isolated higher pitched sound that we tested my tolerance for I just wanted to sit there and play with them and make them louder and louder. We had to keep moving, but maybe when Michelle gets back I'll have to ask her to play with those sounds. I can just imagine her face dropping now because she'll be so afraid my head will explode.

When I went back upstairs my audiologist asked me to pop in the booth for a quick test, and she really just wanted to see how my relationship with "him" was. Oh yes... the guy from my recent post who likes to say, "ready..." and then some random one syllable word in rapid fire progression for what seems like forever, but is really just a few minutes or maybe just two or three minutes at that. I especially disliked hearing his voice this go-round, and she put in a tape with different words than I'd been tested with before... or at least that's what I understood she was doing, not that it should make all that much difference. I was conflicted several times about what he said and would still be thinking about it while he was saying "ready" and moving on to the next word, and I just hate to miss a word. A couple of times, I'd change my answer forcing the audiologist to stop the tape and scribble madly before restarting the tape. Once she asked me which word I meant, and I figured out from her face the second one I blurted out must be the wrong one, and of course that's the one I told her I meant... *sigh* Gnashing of teeth and hand-wringing aside, I managed to finish the test but on the last word I couldn't even come up with an answer... not a fake word or guess... nada. Just silence as I sat there staring at nothing. Pathetic.

The audiologist then told me my scores were 58%...down from 78% the last time Michelle tested me on that same test two mappings ago. I told her the guy made me anxious, but she was having none of that because she doesn't think anxiety would have anything to do with that much of a drop. Maybe so. She seemed almost unhappy with me for the fact that several of my electrodes were out of compliance because of what I told her I could tolerate when we did my mapping. She thinks perhaps my CI is too loud to the point of distortion, but honestly, it doesn't seem too loud to me during the day when I'm wearing it. As another blogger puts it... I'm a power junkie... I just like it loud! I do know that from what I saw her do on the computer I'm barely, barely, barely out of compliance at some points, but I can work with what I've got right now with little complaint because my day to day life with it is much more comfortable and easy-going than it was nine months ago when I was adjusting to all the noise and commotion that made very little sense. My hearing is never going to be perfect, but what I was able to do with hearing aids have been tremendously enhanced with the CI so even when I don't seem to be hearing or comprehending as well as I did 3 months ago, it's still nothing to sneeze at... that's for sure!

However, that said... I just don't like that man. He's such a trouble maker. My understanding is we'll be meeting again in two months before my mapping this time so a comparison can be done of my hearing before and after the next mapping. Smart, but I'm assuming I have to hear him smirking just slightly "out of compliance" twice that day. Lovely. She also did a quick hearing test that showed that I was hearing at 20 dB pretty much straight across... which is weird since I've been testing consistently at 15 dB, but even she said that was not a lot of hearing and the drop wasn't a big deal... comprehension is really her only concern.

On the plus side, my surgeon, Dr. McReynolds, was in the building visiting a new patient being activated, and he gave me a hug. It was so great to see him. Last time I saw him he would talk a little loud just especially for me, which never failed to make me smile a bit. Sometimes people can be over the top with the extra loudness and over enunciating, but there are two kinds of people that do this... one does this in a manner as if they are talking to an *insert eyeroll* extra special population they know nothing about (ever seen a parody on television of someone yelling at a blind person???) and then there's those that are so kind and mean so well and you just want to hug them for making sure you know what's going on. My doctor is the latter of course.

This time he talked in a soft spoken voice as if he were speaking to my husband and not me. I almost looked around the room to make sure he was talking to me, but I checked myself! :) He asked how I was doing, and I was happy to tell him that I've had some success with the cell phone, am enjoying real estate classes, and how my audiogram scores had been 15-20 dB for a while and he looked a little choked up. It must never get old. This man has done literally hundreds of cochlear implant surgeries since the 1980's, and yet he still gets emotional. Such a nice man. Wish I could say the same about the other one.

Until next year, dear readers... Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!