Tag Archives: Mickey Mouse

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!


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Well… I’m On!


Walmart (Photo credit: matteson.norman)

I’m turned on, and it’s pretty awesome… with the cochlear implant I mean. When I walked in the door this morning I was promised that I was going to hate that office by the time I left them, and they couldn’t be further from wrong. I am very happy with how the cochlear implant turned out. It is absolutely amazing with how this had unraveled. I will outline everything’s events for you, I’ll eventually have the activation on youtube so you can see it and I’ll post the link on here. But for now, I’m going to write about it here.

So I woke up to the normal silence that I’m used to this morning, except this time I woke up before the sun and got ready because I knew I was going to get activated today. I got ready, took the shower and put the underwear on. Then went to the office.

Then Jace hooked me up to the computer, this part was like a normal hearing test. Basically we sat there for about twenty minutes playing beeps into my newly activated ear, testing threshold limits and “mapping” out my comfort levels. This was the longest part of it all. If you’ve never had a hearing test, I’ll explain it here (if you have, skip to next paragraph): they basically play every level of sound within the graph, and test at what level you pick up on the sound. Sometimes they retouch on the tone to see if you test repeatedly at the same level at the same tone. This is what they did to me this morning.

Then it came time to turn on the cochlear implant’s microphone. That was weird. He turned it on and at first I didn’t hear anything, then as he raised it I started to hear voices and make out tones in my right ear. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was having a conversation out of my right ear! It sounded like the voice was coming out of a walkie talkie from 20 feet away. But it’s getting better now. It was really strange because I could hear the keys clicking and the door knocking but the voices were the most difficult thing to distinguish. Then static started to appear, he pushed a button and everything started to sound really clear, the voices sounded far away still but I can still understand them. The voices all sounded like Mickey Mouse, no kidding.

It is so difficult to describe to you the sound, but I can tell you the bells and whistles occur at the beginning, the evil description is wrong, everybody sounds like Mickey Mouse right now. I’m kind of enjoying it, I went to the mall and seeing a 6 ft man sound like Mickey Mouse makes me laugh. I’m going to hope that goes away though, but for now it’s funny.

I did my first speech therapy session and I’m already having conversations on the cell phone, which apparently is a big step for somebody on their first day of activation. According to my speech therapist, I’m doing very well for a newly activated cochlear implant recipient, it is hard to feel that way though. I’m having difficulty distinguishing sounds and every little thing is scaring the crap out of me (like the low gas beep in the car, never heard that before).

I will keep everybody posted on my progress! According to my speech therapist, I’m doing well though. That makes me feel better.

Just so everybody knows, I asked my audiologist, my total for all of this cochlear implant and everything….. around $70,000.00. No big deal.

Have a good day guys, if you see somebody freaking out about a car horn in the Walmart parking lot, it’s probably me.

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