Tag Archives: Food and Drug Administration

Round Number Two!

I feel as though I’m feeling the same I did back in August of last year. Only opposite ears. It’s the physical shifts of hearing in the middle of the day. The feeling dizzy, the pain in the ears, the difficulty focusing. Its all back!

What do I mean? I’m slowly loosing hearing in my left ear now. It’s going slowly day by day. The entire reason for the creation of this blog was because I was sensing the loss of hearing in my right ear, and I wanted to document it. I wanted documentation through losing the hearing, pre-surgery, post surgery and now. I wanted people who have never been exposed to this part of life to have some kind of knowledge of something they have never known.  Never would I have thought that I would have lost my left ear to LVAS, at least not so soon!

It hasn’t even been four months and I’m fighting that uphill battle again, only with different ears. Except this time I’m losing it on my ear that I have used for everything. Losing hearing in my right ear was different than losing hearing in my left ear. In my right ear, I had always been a degree of deafness making me not able to really function using just that ear. Had I been born with both ears like my right ear, life would have been a different story. A story involving sign language, early childhood surgery’s and many other different life experiences.

I have always used my left ear in a dominate form to listen to music, talk on the phone, and hear a conversation. Heck I even sleep on my right ear just so I can have my left ear exposed just in case something happens and I might be lucky enough to hear it. Obviously most people don’t have to pick a favorite ear, the best way to relate it is to relate it to hands, you are either left or right handed.

I’m not one to sit and complain about situations. I feel that there is a reason that I have been chosen to go through these life experiences. I’m choosing to learn from them instead of mope within them.

I’m hoping that the left ear will stabilize, at least so I can have time to completely get on my feet with the newly activated cochlear implant. It is still taking a lot of time. I was told that had I not gotten activated over Christmas break like I had, this semester would have been much more difficult for me. I couldn’t agree more.

I couldn’t be more happy with the decision to have gotten the cochlear implant when I did. Now I’m hoping that I don’t keep having those sensations of hearing loss in the other ear.

Only time can tell, but everything happens for a reason and the best thing I can do is make the absolute best of any situation and learn from it.

Have a good week!

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Ten Days After Activation

Illustration of Electric Acoustic Stimulation,...

Illustration of Electric Acoustic Stimulation, a combination of hearing aid and a cochlear implant in the same ear. Deutsch: Schemazeichnung Elektrisch Akustische Stimulation, eine Kombination von Hörgerät und Cochlear-Implantat im selben Ohr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been ten days after activation and things are going very well. I’m already talking on the cell phone on the right ear (something I would’ve never even tried beforehand). I’m hearing sounds and retaining that auditory memory much more than earlier. As I go through my day’s now I’m getting better at locating where sounds are coming from, I’m no longer doing the full visual sweep trying to see if somebody is looking at me after I hear my name said, I know where the sound came from. I’m very happy with my choice to have gotten the cochlear implant, best $70,000 I’ve spent to date!

I’ve been required ever since I’ve been activated to go to my audiologists office for “mappings” and therapy twice a week. After my third mapping and before my fourth mapping I went into the hearing booth to receive a hearing test. As I was going in, my audiologist said that I was going to be tested on my hearing on only my cochlear implant side. I was thinking in my head that I had read online that usually people suck on these things. It turns out that I made a 100% on the test. I was told that that is better than some people that have cochlear implants for years test on these things.

I was thinking yesterday what it was like to be in two hearing aids all of my life, and how I wish I could’ve done this sooner. I mean for most of my life my right side had been silently dead. Now with the cochlear implant it has been completely turned on and it is really awesome how great it is. I anticipate that I’ll be needing some adjustment over the next month at school, but it will be worth it. The sound from hearing aids is so different from a cochlear implant. Hearing aids literally try to BLAST sounds in your ear, and if you have a severe hearing loss like I do, it doesn’t work. Cochlear implants work differently, they send sound straight to the nerve so there is no need to blast. And I’m getting to where I understand everything on that side. Something I would’ve never expected.

So I’m getting ready to go back to OU, and that is going to present itself with a whole new set of challenges. A whole different array of sounds and voices that I need to learn, and quickly. Ever since activation I’ve had the luxury of being surrounded with all of these people who have gone to therapy with me and have heard explanations from my therapists and audiologist about how difficult it is to adjust. I’m not going to get that any more. Now I’m jumping in headfirst into school, I’ve got the feeling that the next couple of weeks are going to be very crazy.

The video is coming, slowly but surely. I’ve been working on several different projects and that had fallen on the back burner, It’ll get done though, I’ve got one of my friends working on it.

Have a good weekend guys! Thanks for reading!

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Various Updates And Such

Generic dashboard shot

Generic dashboard shot (Photo credit: SpaceAgeSage)

Well it’s been a few days since I’ve been activated, so I thought I would update everybody on my progress with the new-found hearing and stuff. Things are definitely different for sure. For starters, let me list the things that I’ve found that I either like hearing or that I had never heard before that I found interesting to hear.

Things I had never heard:
*Peeing. (I already told you that)
*My TV remote clicking.
*The “low gas” ding in the car. (Scared the crap out of me)
*The heater. (Also scared me senseless, I left the house)
*The keyboard clicking.
*The smacking of gum. (That will get annoying for sure)
*The way that brushing teeth sounds.
*The freaking loud “Whoosh” of the toilet. (Holy crap)
*Some parts of some of my favorite songs, all of the songs sound different now for sure. I like it though.

Sounds I like hearing:
*I like the fact that I can hear almost everything everybody says.
*I like hearing the lyrics of the song, not just the beat.
*Some different parts of people’s voices, like the “s” and the “sh” sounds that I had never heard.
*There are many more, but they fall under both categories.

I’m still working on understanding and comprehending all of the sound, but I am doing much better than anticipated. The therapy is tiring, but going well. I’ve also got home therapy that I’m supposed to do, that is very difficult. Basically that composes of listening to sounds, and they tell me what it is, there is over 2000! The therapists make me do all kinds of things I don’t much enjoy doing, like forcing me to talk on the cell phone on that side and talk with only that side on. That really sucks, but that is the only way I am going to learn to comprehend sound. I am very appreciative of what they make me do, because I know I wouldn’t make myself do it. They are awesome.

I can understand why cochlear implants have a small failure rate as well. These things are freaking frustrating. (I’m not complaining, I’m very happy with my decision and very happy with the outcome, I’m just trying to justify a reason for why other deaf people may not be as successful as I have been). But I mean I can understand both sides. The cochlear implant falls off much easier than the hearing aids, that is annoying. I’m gonna get that fixed for sure.

The sound is so much different after activation, and for life all around. That can be a little ground shaking. I mean think about it, you live one way for 19 years, than one day it all changes with the click of a keyboard. Everything you ever knew was different. Sounds from your TV to your kitchen sink to your own mothers voice are now unfamiliar to you. That could be a little difficult to withstand for some people. Some people could just give up if they don’t have the proper support system that they need. I have been very, very fortunate to have a great support system at home, in Edmond, in Norman, and at that office with the therapy.

I’m very happy with the decision I made, and I would encourage anybody else who is questioning getting this surgery to definitely get this. But be prepared for a lot of work post-surgery!

Thanks again for reading, I’ll update as soon as I have more to fill you in on!

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Getting Closer and Closer

As I near closer and closer to the December 20th date, things are starting to hit me. I’m not trying to be dramatic by any means, but I’m trying to be mature about everything and look at this surgery the way it should be looked at.

As of today my surgery is in 21 days.

I heard my sister’s voices the way I’ve always known all my life for the last time on Thanksgiving. I heard a lot of things the way I’m used to for the last time on Thanksgiving, my families voices and such. I spent my last weekend home before surgery too.

After this surgery, things will never go back to the way they have always been, even if I want them too. This is a permanent choice I had to make, but I’m very glad and excited I made it.

I’m going to have all of my residual hearing wiped out in my right ear four days before Christmas. That’s what has to happen for the cochlear implant. The cochlear implant won’t be activated until after New Years. I will not hear anything out of the right ear for two weeks. Through Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years. Even with the cochlear implant activated, sound won’t be anywhere near the same, at first. Instead of listening through my ears, I’ll be listening through electrodes stimulating my nerves directly. It’s a whole new way of listening. But it’s a way that will work for me.

But it won’t work immediately.

Sure I’ll hear noises, but I won’t understand how to comprehend the noises. I’ve never really heard or understood sound out of my right ear. It will take therapy to make use of the noises. So I will be going into therapy overdrive for the three weeks left of Christmas break. I will be going to classes with the rest of the students at school. Just with some different equipment.

I’m feeling a little weird about the fact that the next time I go home, I will be going into surgery. It feels like the date jumped up on me. Back in October it seemed like this couldn’t come fast enough, now I can’t believe how quickly it came.

Don’t get me wrong at all! I’m looking forward to it, I’m ready to do this and I’m very excited. I’m just nervous as to how this is all going to turn out. It’s going to be weird hearing things out of that ear. I’ve never really understood speech out of that ear, so to hear somebody speak to me and for me to understand what was said will truly be a miracle and I’m looking forward to it everyday.

I can’t wait until I can talk on the phone out of that ear, or until I can hear my friends out of that side, or until I can actually close my eyes and rely on my ears for once. It will be great.

If anybody is wondering, this is what Google says the cochlear implant will sound like: the first one is what you hear and the second one will be what I hear.

http://www.hei.org/research/aip/decrease_channels.mp3

Hope everybody is having a good day!

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