Changing Environment

Illustration of internal parts of a cochlear i...

Hey Guys!

I know it has been a very long time since I’ve updated, and I really appreciate all of the nice comments and feedback left on my old posts. I still check them every couple of days and I always enjoy what people have to say.

I haven’t updated in a while due to the fact that I had nothing new to tell, but as of yesterday there is some new news and information!

I’ll start in the beginning. I’ve reciently taken on a new job as a Holistic Reader for my university. I’m loving the change of jobs and the semester is going very well. I’m still on track to become an audiologist, hopefully I’ll see that dream come true within the next few years!

I’ve recently been experiencing difficulty with comprehension on both my implant side and my hearing aid side. Both my comprehension and sound recognition have gotten more difficult to work with the past few months. I’ve been putting off going to the audiologist because my insurance doesn’t cover appointments but the difficulties finally became severe enough that I went.

I spent two hours getting mapped (new programming for the implant), and my audiologist decided to start a new stimulation style for my implant. If you would have asked me two days ago if I knew about alternative stimulations on the implant, I would have had no idea what you were talking about. Basically getting the new stimulation means that the way the implant stimulates my nerve is different than before. We decided to try this alternative mapping because the old one was over-stimulating my nerves in my neck and face and causing a shocking sensation down my neck and shoulders. I’m not exactly sure on the science behind it, but I can certainly tell you about how the patient handles the new stimulation.

It seems as if I have just been activated for the first time all over again.

Unfamiliar sounds are all around me, I can clearly hear people on the telephone again. Everything is different and it is definately a learning experience. People’s voices are unfamiliar and my car makes noises that I’ve never noticed before. The toilet is loud and one of my co-workers sounds like Mickey Mouse. The rain was loud last night and I’m still unfamiliar with what a blizzard sounds like. Music for me has changed and my keyboard sounds very loud. All of this is another whole new experience for me.

To some people that sounds horrible and scary, but to me it is one of the best sensations in the world. My old mapping was starting to become ineffective and I was starting to miss out on key things throughout my environment. Although I’m facing a learning curve ahead of me, I can tell that this alternative stimulation style will help me in the long run. As my audiologist put it, “I’m taking one step backwards to go three steps forward”.

After discussion with my audiologist, we are going to start looking into getting another implant on my left side. My audiologist would like to see me wait until the fall to get implanted for newer technology, but it is definately news that we are looking into getting another one. I’ll definately keep this page updated with additional news as it unfolds.

I hope you have a great afternoon and please feel free to comment in the section below, I love reading feedback!

-Connor

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8 thoughts on “Changing Environment

  1. Casey Mercer says:

    Is the new mapping helping?

  2. Connor says:

    Most definately! Best one I've had.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Loved reading your post! It is very interesting to realize the things hearing people take for granted. Hope the new mapping continues to work well!

  4. Kaitlyn says:

    Hey I just found your blog today, and I just wanted to say how happy I am that you got a new mapping that is helping a lot. It really sucks to have problems hearing, even with technology.

  5. Your story is simply amazing! I have been watching the amazing stories of the Cochlear implant, and words cannot explain how happy I am for you!

  6. Michelle says:

    Interesting! Best of luck!

  7. Natalie says:

    Connor, your blogs are so wonderful to read! I have had a progressive bilateral hearing loss since I was 6 yrs. What I am wondering is how your keyboard sounds with the cochlear implant vs. hearing aids. I have had hearing aids since I was 7. I went to college and got my bachelor’s in piano performance. If my hearing declines, cochlear implants are about the only option left. (yeah, I’m kind of fighting it.) But I really would love to know what you think of the quality of sound through your implant. By the way, I think it’s absolutely amazing that you can hear sounds you’ve never heard before and that is a HUGE plus for implants. In reference to how things sound I would like to know about: High, medium, low pitches? can you distinguish loud/soft? tone? What about sound on a real piano? Keyboards put out electric sound and I didn’t know if there would be a difference between that and the sound of a piano.
    I want you to know that…
    Your reliance on God to see you through all things is an inspiration and a reminder for me to trust Him when I can’t see what’s up ahead in life. Thank you so much for that reminder! May God bless you on your journey to becoming an audiologist!
    Keep the faith,
    Natalie

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