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Day 19: The Switch On…

November 6, 2013
Activation day went well yesterday. Because I have been through it before, even with the same Audiologist, I didn’t expect the whole process to be ‘Wow!’ Nevertheless, it went well. 
 
I can’t say the same about the outcome for me personally, though. I experienced a deep sense of disappointment because I forgot (and they failed to mention this!) that re-implantation means you are back to square one of the listening journey.
 
I am really thankful to have the very latest CI which is Advanced Bionics HiRes 90K Advantage; but the way things sound right now almost brought me to tears yesterday. The best way I can describe what sounds are like to me right now is similar to coins/utensils clinking together and whistling noises. It sounds horrible! Everything seems like its coming from somewhere far (even though the volume is as high as I can comfortably endure it for long periods), there’s this sense of mute and muffled sounds. To be honest, I don’t really get it right now but I have been told this is normal and it is to be expected.
 
For 14-years, my brain has become familiar with the sounds processed using the former SAS strategy (Simultaneous Analog Simulation), “an Advanced Bionics signal coding strategy for early generation implants”. Now, it has been introduced to HiRes, the newest signal coding strategy from Advanced Bionics and to be honest, first impressions are not good. Again, I’ve been told this is normal. Okay…
 
It was hard going trying to make myself put on my sound processor this morning but I have to wear it during every waking moment no matter how badly I crave the silence and respite from this constant clinking and whistling that is supposedly ‘sounds’. It has to get better, right?
 
I know I have to be patient and go through all the rehabilitation required and give it time. There will be a lot of re-learning of hearing and listening skills required now in order to re-programme my brain to the new strategy. To help me cope, I’ve joined Hearing Journey, a cochlear implant forum where I hope I can get some advice, tips and encouragement from others who have been there and saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
 
Until I break through, I need to remember the ‘3 Ps’ – Patience, Practice and Prayers. 
 
Doose 
Chronicles of a Bionic Woman
 
You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat. – Joel Osteen
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