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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/22/2015 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Day 1- Hotel Innsbruck ...terrific gathering of most of the participants...a few were still traveling to Innsbruck .....and many Med-El Innsbruck employees. So many stories shared. Tears of appreciation shed. Lots of laughter. We quickly became a group of friends. Veronika treated us to special compositions on the piano. We are an excited group! Day 2- Med-El! Such a warm welcome at Med-El Innsbruck. We went on a behind the scenes tour of the Med-El implant production line. So many safety precautions and quality control checks. We saw implants in various stages of production. It takes 5 weeks to make an implant and all are shipped out immediately. Someone is waiting for every implant made! Viewing a shelf of completed implants made me smile knowing each one would be life changing to a future user. We were surprised to learn that we have helium, argon and quite a bit of gold in our heads! We were each videotaped separately giving info about our hearing journeys. Then we had an emotional time with members of the production team who make our implants. Each of us shared our story and our thanks. The parents shared videos and photos of their children. There wasn’t a dry eye at Med-El. A very special moving moment for us all. Followed by a much needed coffee break and more interactions. We went into the training lab for surgeons! Blue booties and all. There we used virtual reality and haptic tech to practice drilling a well for the implant.....complete with blood spattering when we drilled too deeply! I was terrible at this task. My patient would’ve needed strong pain meds for sure! We practiced inserting an electrode array into a cochlea. Way cool! And we had hands on time with the new surgical OtoPlan. Amazing tech for customized CI surgery planning. Followed by lunch and more chatting and learning from each other. Med-El really treated us as such special members of the Med-El family. After lunch we participated in workshops where Med-El wanted to learn from our experiences. Different Med-El leaders ran sessions on topics such as: -Why did we choose Med-El? What do we think makes Med-El special? -What problems have we experienced with our processors and accessories? -Service and repair showed us extreme cases of processor damage. Oh my! Stoves, ovens, microwaves, dogs, dryers....and our processors are not a good combination! They showed us revisions they have made to the Sonnet and Rondo based on user problems. A few revisions are already available and a few will be soon. We got to play with the new Sonnet mic cover design so we will not have to remove the earhook and deal with that tiny pin any longer! Yay! -We spent time at a hands on table with all the Med-El devices. The new Rondo 2 sure is pretty! All of the Med-El employees really listened to our feedback and took notes. They really care about our user experiences. Another coffee break! Each coffee break gave us opportunities to interact with even more Med-El employees. They joined us for coffee breaks and it was so nice to put faces to names we see online! Then the final round of sessions for today focused on aural rehab and the Roger Pen. We experienced a group conference call where we needed to plan a party, a noisy cafe with music playing nearby and talked about aural rehab needs for future users. It was a fun-filled, awesome, informative day! And every moment was so well planned. A quick break at the hotel and then off on a guided, narrated walking tour of beautiful Innsbruck! Excellent tour. Another quick break and we walked to a special dinner at a restaurant in town with 360 degree views named Lichtblick. A wonderful meal and lots more laughter. A wonderful day spent with wonderful people. Thank you Med-El!
  2. 8 points

    WOW Moments

    Well, it's been 2 years since my implant and I thought I would share some WOW moments of my journey with newbies, those contemplating a CI and my fantastic Hearpeers support group. Don't get me wrong, there are frustrating, irritating moments too but the journey is well worth taking. It's taken two years but now I can hear TV and it's a way to improve your listening skills, even with the annoying background music. I can carry on a conversation with someone while driving and not have to turn to read lips or say "Pardon me, what did you say?" I no longer look for excuses to avoid family and friends get- togethers. I no longer need to let people know I can't hear, because I can. And the biggest of all is when someone says "Wow, you can hear so well" My suggestions: take little steps, put yourself out there, challenge yourself each day. And follow the 3Ps - practice, patience and perseverance! It works, I'm living proof! Celebrate your victories and when you need a break from hearing too much and are overwhelmed, turn it off and relax. We have the best of both worlds! Thank you everyone for your insight, encouragement and being an inspiration!
  3. 7 points
    I enjoy meeting other Med-El users in person, especially new friends I have made through social media forums. Some ways I have been able to meet others so far..... -I traveled to NC for a Hands On Hearing workshop. We organized meeting up for dinner the night before. Great times! -I travel to NYC for my CI appts. We organized meeting up for dinner and a group of us from NY and NJ had a great meal together. -I live in a rural area but there have been a few Med-El Mingle events within a 3 hour radius. I have attended 2 so far. It’s great to meet other Med-El users. -One of the first Med-El users I met traveled a couple of hours from her home to meet up while I was on vacation in Florida. A fun afternoon on the beach. Some of these friendships have extended way past our shared CI experiences. We continue to get together as friends and share good times. Some dear friends and I are still awaiting our first in person meetings. I am looking forward to those. After spending 3 days at the Med-El Meetup last month, I am reminded of how powerful and meaningful these in person meetings can be for us. I encourage you to reach out to others (through HearPeers or other forums) and meet for coffee or dinner or a walk at a park. We have a lot to offer each other on our journeys. I hope you make some lifelong friendships this way too. And maybe post a picture to share. ?
  4. 7 points
    I just purchased headband headphones designed for people to wear when they sleep or are very active. They have thin flat speakers inside the headband that can be positioned anywhere within the band that you want. I thought they may work great with my Rondos. WOW! I am speechless. I removed the speakers from the headband (they come out so you can wash the headband) and discovered that they magnetically stick to my Rondos! No need for the headband part at all. They stay in place and others next to me can not hear what I am listening to. Crazy! And they only cost $20. Wow! https://www.cozyphones.com/products/lycra-headband-headphones
  5. 7 points
    MED-EL Moderator

    RONDO 2 Review

    Want to know if you should get the RONDO 2? Three cochlear implant users try out RONDO 2 and give us their personal review. Check it here in the latest post on the MED-EL Blog!
  6. 7 points

    favorite WOW moments

    I have 3 WOW moments. The first was about a month after activation. Because I was never completely deaf I had no idea what I was missing! I remember my husband and I going for a walk on the beach which we had done frequently, but this day the sounds of birds overwhelmed me! I had no idea what I had been missing and that they were so loud. Amazing!! My next 2 moments were being in the delivery room when my Grands were born! Babies cry loud when they enter this world! What a sound!! And today they both call their Gammy’s name over and over! My heart continues to be overwhelmed in a very good way!
  7. 6 points
    Mary Beth

    Helpful tips for new members

    Hello, Many people have recently asked about navigating HearPeers. Here are a few things that I find useful. They may help you as well. Welcome! The bell symbol at the top is notifications. Touch it and a window opens. It will list any notifications you have received and allow you to tap on any of them to be brought right to the message without having to navigate through the forum. There is also a notifications setting icon in that window and by touching it, you will be brought to a window where you can choose when and how to be notified. Scroll down as there are a lot of options. The ACTIVITY link next to BROWSE is also very helpful. Touch ACTIVITY then choose ALL activity to see a list of all activity posted recently and you can click and go directly to any item you wish. After awhile of being on the forum, you can also use the UNREAD option which will then just show you posts that you have not yet read. Clicking on them will bring you directly to the posts. BROWSE option shows you all of our large topics. Clicking on any will open up a list of conversations in that topic. Aural rehab is a popular topic. Assistive Listening Devices is popular as well and where you will find info on the Roger System. SEARCH allows you to type in anything and search for it. You can follow topics or follow people if you like as well. It takes a bit to feel comfortable with this format, but in my opinion it is well worth it. There are many, many helpful people here and lots of terrific information. We also have Med El active here and can ask direct questions and receive info that way. (Check out the Rondo 2 forum to see what I mean.) I hope you find this helpful. @Joan @Karen T @Angie @Samina bugti @Mary Alice London
  8. 6 points
    My implant date was Jan25th..my activation date was Feb6th!! I was hearing immediately on activation! I was SO thrilled! At first voices sounded a little like Donald duck,but during the visit voices became more normal.Im only 2 days out,and there are things to smooth out and to learn about my Sonnet.But I have to say,I'm on cloud 9 !!
  9. 6 points

    POLL: Top of your Med-El Wish List

    I wish the fine tuner was actually an app on my phone so I don't have to travel with a fine tuner and a mobile phone! Also the vain part of me would like to see a smaller BTE processor lol!
  10. 6 points
    Cara Mia

    Music rediscovery from Mary Beth!

    Hi guys, we have a new pearl of wisdom from Mary Beth! Enjoy! @Mary Beth, thank you! It was a pleasure to read your new blog. https://blog.medel.com/3-steps-to-rediscovering-music-with-a-cochlear-implant/
  11. 6 points

    Activation September 20

    Here's a pic of @Jdashielland me immediately following my activation appointment.
  12. 6 points
    Mary Beth

    March 2018 implant surgeries

    I thought it would be nice to have a topic for this instead of having it attached to other threads. It will be an exciting month in HPs. @Dave on March 22 @Jdashiell on March 13 @Kara of Canada on March ? Wishing you all the very best! I just realized that all three of you are getting your second side done. (Or re-done)
  13. 6 points

    favorite WOW moments

    Wow moment: Life is real good! This is a huge wow moment when you realize you feel whole again. For those who followed my journey know it started far from ideal. No speech discrimination, a true daily struggle. Now, 3.5 months post activation (Of re- implantation! THANK YOU Dr. Pillsbury at UNC), I'm amazed at how great this implant work. Better than in my wildest dreams! Turned my life around completely. I'm able to travel again around the world, not worrying about not managing situations. Traveling has been great because it kept my senses alert, truly intensified my hearing experience. Recent wow moments: Talking to at least one stranger a day, without worry Hearing and understanding speech and music and everyting else without meaning to or even directing to it Calling the property manager on the phone and getting what is said Yesterday at my parents house, answering the phone at my own free will and taking a recorded message and also following instructions for confirming appointment, all sounds crystal clear Driving and listening to radio station. Great music! And I recognize songs in both languages! I understand lyrics of songs I've never heard before even tho the radio reception is crappy! Understanding right away which language is on although they go back and forth quite a bit! Hearing a conversation upstairs, and clearly. Everyting they said plus details such as numbers mentioned (Of course I verified I heard the number right !) Birds Couple of weeks ago, standing in the back yard and hearing a man (neighbour) talk on the other side of the fence. It was man voice and I could understand everything he said without even seeing who it was My nephew's little voice and I can get it all! I hope I get to add more to this thread.
  14. 6 points
    Just to let you know that I had my implant operation last week under local anaesthetic. Yes it was a bit scary, but was handled brilliantly by the surgeon and his team. It took an hour and a half and I was kept informed all the way through with cards held up telling me what was happening at each stage. I was warned I would go dizzy at one stage but that this would be momentary, and it was. I just had to keep still and was concentrating all the time on how it would all be worth it in the end. I am so grateful for this opportunity, given that I was refused the operation initially. Am now 6 days post op and beginning to feel more like my self. Activation 2nd May.
  15. 5 points
    Mary Beth

    favorite WOW moments

    This will most definitely be my favorite topic to follow! I just LOVE WOW moments. I can’t wait to read everyone’s WOW moments. Here are some of my favorite WOW moments with my CIs. -I heard my grand nephew hiccup on FaceTime when he was only one month old. -I identified songs playing on the radio while driving to work. My private Name That Tune game. Smile. -I conversed with family members from different rooms in the house and even from upstairs to the living room. -I heard the waves in the ocean while boogie boarding. -A flock of geese flew overhead and I heard individual geese honks! Crazy wild! -Hearing my cats purr. -Playing the piano again after decades of being unable to do so. -Hearing my family whisper, actually whisper, into my processors. So many WOW moments. Life changing.
  16. 5 points
    C T lex

    Activated 03/06/2019

    Hi everyone, I am happy to say I was activated yesterday as I sit here streaming The Flamingos and actually hear the lyrics and melody well. Admittedly I have trouble making out the lyrics, but I'm good with the melody. Yesterday, Mariah Carey's beautiful rendition of Oh Holy Night was rather poor but today it was much better. The rate of change over just hours is amazing. After activation my audi and the Med-El rep introduced me to what came with the Rondo 2 processor while I"m listening only with the implant. I was just happy to hear sounds and these guys are talking to me already! It has been a tough waiting period. I Had trouble with spitting up blood (for three weeks) and tinnitus of my heart beat (which was maddening). But now that's all done and I'm good. I am old guy so needed a little good news and yesterday I got. it. I did lose most of my residual hearing so I chose Rondo 2. Many on this forum have mentioned how loud the volume is on the Rondo2 and it is true. I am hearing the TV at much lower volume than with my hearing aids. These first four mappings are testing different volume levels (all seem loud to me). On TV the quality of the dialogue is such I'm not understanding much of it. But, hey, it's a little better than it was yesterday. For some reason music comes through more accurately than TV audio? Thanks to all who post here. Your comments about your experiences and devices have been very helpful, especially in choosing Rondo 2 (special shout out to @Mary Beth. @Jewel @Cara Mia ) C T Lex
  17. 5 points
    Mine is simply the fact I can talk to people again. I was always an outgoing guy and didn’t let my hearing loss stop me while with close friends despite messing up big time occasionally but I was really withdrawing otherwise. Now I can go into a coffee shop and chat with anyone. Getting my life back! (And some new friends)😀
  18. 5 points
    Mary Featherston

    favorite WOW moments

    Today it was warm (for January in Minnesota, 40F) and I went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for a walk. It was a bit windy, and when I was walking near oaks with dry, brown leaves still on the tree, I could hear them rustling in the wind. I'm not sure I've ever heard that before. Lots of birds singing today too! It was a great walk.
  19. 5 points
    Hi, I'm Jess and live in Perth Western Australia. I have a daughter who was implanted at the age of 11months with bilateral implants. We have used the OPUS 2, Rondo and now the sonnets which are our processor of choice. My daughter is now 7 and has very fluent clear speech. We still have all the usual issues in day to day life, missing processors, broken parts but in general extremely grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful product. Thanks Jess
  20. 5 points
    My father-in-law played clarinet prior to WWII. He is 93 now and started playing again at 50. He is an attorney ( Tax) and plays so very well. He got me started in the Jazz camp we go to every July. Amazing! my point is start again. Choose an instrument- it something you can due throughout your life and a great way to listen, improvising your audio skills and memory and brain training.
  21. 5 points

    favorite WOW moments

    Hi @Mary Beth hello everyone! I'm catching up on posting and reading the forums. I enjoy them so much and live this community. I have 2 wow moments since activation I would love to share. 1. My mom cane to visit a week ago. She was not only in another room completely out of sight but also behind d a closed door. I heard her clearly ask my aunt to tell me she wanted to go to the store. My aunt sat wide mouth as I said dis she just say to tell me she wants to go to the store. Lol. WOW number 2. I was interviewed for a local podcasting on inspiring women. My session was about my cochlear journey and how it has changed my and my family dynamics of communicating.
  22. 5 points
    Hi @Mary Beth just came back from the Audi, I'm back at work now. this activation was much shorter than the first one and so far everything looks good. It sounds weird at the moment having too much noise. Voices and sounds are high pitch like helium voices but in between I could recognise different voices from the start. I'm planing to use both processors everyday and leave the new one only after my job finishes at 4 pm. I'll keep you posted. Edit: tomorrow is already today here!!!
  23. 5 points

    November and December 2018 dates

    @Mary Beth definitely some exciting times ahead for all! @Margo @Esteban @Daniel the Stranger @Nikki @Mary Featherston @Marion nancy I wish all of you the very best and a terrific week!
  24. 5 points
    Thanks @Mary Beth - you did a great job of promoting the HearPeers Forum in Innsbruck and it's great to be here! I am a HearPeers mentor on the UK version of the site - here is a link to my profile which has some info about my hearing journey also: https://www.hearpeers.uk/mentors/ruth/ The meetup was really wonderful. It was fantastic to meet all the other users and MED-EL staff, and I learned so much about the implants, processors, and how they're made and developed. I definitely came away with a renewed sense of wonder and gratitude. I have had my implant for nearly twenty years! Here is a link to my Facebook post (public) with photos from the event: Another nice effect of this meetup and seeing all the other users who are so diverse, confident, talented, and wonderful was feeling more confident in myself. I have spent most of my life trying to hide my deafness and blend in. On the first night some of us had an interesting conversation about a model who got their processor photoshopped out of a picture. Another parent said that a friend had suggested they grow their child's hair longer to cover the processor, and her response was 'why would I do that? The processor is so wonderful!' This morning I went to the gym and wore my hair up, with my processors proudly on display. A small and very significant step for me! I've always known how wonderful they are, and now I feel proud to show them off, too.
  25. 5 points
    Day 3 - We began today with group photos outside Med-El headquarters near the Med-El sign. Then we focused on digital media all morning. Breakout groups focused on topics such as: -What digital media helped us at the beginning of our journeys? -What digital media may help others? -Med-El’s multiple digital media platforms, including a new Instagram presence! -Some of us participated in filmed interviews of each other in pairs. And then it happened. You could’ve heard a pin drop as everyone realized Inge Hochmair stopped by to visit with us. We were so in awe. Inge Hochmair, the creator of the modern cochlear implant and founder of Med-El, was standing right there! I met Inge and tried to express my deepest gratitude for her life’s work which has changed my life. I thought I would have this incredible experience for a minute or two since there were 15 of us. But after I finished trying to put into words how much my life has changed and how grateful I am, she asked me questions about my hearing journey. She was interested and took time to hear my experience. I could not believe I was standing there talking with Inge Hochmair! There are no words to describe my feelings. A dream come true. Everyone of us took turns doing the same. None of us could believe this was happening. And then Erwin Hochmair joined! We owe so much to the Hochmairs. Thank you for Med-El and for changing our lives! I had passed along thank you cards to be given to the Med-El employees who made each of my specific internal components on Day 2. Our serial numbers are able to identify the exact people who made them. It turned out that 3 of the team of people who made my right Concerto implant were there and they came down to meet me. Barbara from Med-El’s social media team translated for us. My eyes filled with tears as soon as I saw them. We talked for quite awhile. I told them how much I appreciate how carefully they made my implant and how their work took my ear which had not processed any sound for 24 years and turned it into an incredible listening ear. Thanks to Barbara’s translating not only was I able to share some of my right ear’s WOW moments but they were also able to ask me things they were curious about. Teary moments and laughter ......and another chance to say thank you so much for this gift of hearing! Ideas of ways to help people on their journeys were developing as we continued to learn from each other. We could feel the excitement at Med-El. More and more Med-El employees were coming down and discussing these ideas during coffee breaks. (Which is quite funny that those times were called coffee breaks because I was so excited to be meeting and talking with Med-El employees from all different departments that I never actually had any coffee!) We enjoyed lunch together with Med-El employees and then our time at Med-El headquarters was ending. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to all the wonderful Med-El employees. Smile. This first ever Med-El Meetup created a blended group of Med-El users and Med-El employees who are all highly motivated to work together to help others on their hearing journeys. It really is a beginning and I am excited. The afternoon was spent at Med-El’s interactive museum about hearing called AUDIOVERSUM. We screamed and then screamed in pairs to try to match the decibel level of an elephant. We tried our best but the elephant won. We saw a huge 3-D ear transmit sound. We chased birds using bilateral hearing, ran into walls in virtual reality 3-D sound mazes and played music with huge interactive cochlear hairs. Later we rode the cable car up Nordkette Mountain overlooking the beautiful town of Innsbruck and enjoyed dinner high up in the Austrian Alps. Saying goodbye to everyone was difficult. Our group bonded so easily that we are already special friends. I hope our paths cross in person again someday. We will stay connected via social media. We shared an amazing experience with Med-El. I see future travel plans to far off countries where we now have friends to visit. Smile. Med-El’s first ever Med-El Meetup was a huge success! Thank you Med-El for inviting me to participate in this incredible experience!
  26. 5 points
    Mary Beth

    Bilateral Bliss

    Here is my bilateral WOW moment of the day. I would love to hear yours too! After decades of never knowing where sounds were coming from, it amazes me that my brain now hears in 3-D. This afternoon in high school English class I was seated next to a student in the second row. The teacher wanders around the room sometimes as she teaches. Today she was reading aloud as she wandered around the room. I kept looking straight ahead. I didn’t need to look at the text because I understood her fine. While I was listening, I realized that I was picturing her in the room as she moved. I knew exactly where she was at all times just by the way her voice sounded in each ear. Hearing in 3-D is so awesome! I love my CIs!
  27. 5 points
    Well guys, I had the appointment with my surgeon today and confirmed the date of my second surgery for the 10 of October, about 5 months later from the first one.
  28. 5 points

    favorite WOW moments

    One of my favorites! Feels absolutely liberating. And it is!
  29. 5 points
    Another couple of milestones: I was just doing some rehab and did a lot of repetitions of vowel discrimination pairs and I swear, there was a point at which the voices in the middle frequencies seemed to be noticeably more coherent. That was more a feeling of relief than anything else, because it confirms that the sounds are going to come together. So then I went into the kitchen and put a loaf of banana bread in the oven (I can't do rehab 100% of the time) and then made myself a drink. And I heard, for the first time in at least thirty years, the sound that a carbonated drink makes when it fizzes up in your glass. Holy moly, peeps.
  30. 5 points
    I’m doing al right. Rough night. I could t get comfortable now the bandage is off I feel much more comfortable and have been able to sleep. So that’s what I’ve been doing all day off and on.
  31. 5 points

    March 2018 implant surgeries

    Hi I was hoping the same thing @Mary Beth So I'm glad it was with no complications, the surgeon was pleased and @Kara of Canadais happy I've got a picture to prove it With her permission I'm posting it here so we can all share the joy Congratulation Kara, on becoming bilateral!
  32. 5 points

    March 2018 implant surgeries

    Kara is out of surgery and on her way home Speedy recovery our dear friend!
  33. 5 points


    Unbelievable!! Before 2 weeks back I received direct message from new member, he was asking for help because by mistake his nephew Rondo washed more than 20 minutes at least in washing machine before they discovered it missed! However, I give him some instructions because he read my story “Rondo falled down in W.C.”. I told him to remove batteries and using hair dryer carefully because if using directly maybe will heat Rondo and damage it or burn internal hardware, also I asked him to be patient and keep Rondo in dryer kit after that reuse hair dryer and keep it back again in dryer kit. However, I’m so happy that instructions help his baby nephews and Rondo work perfectly without any issues. Moreover, I told him to take it for nearest Med-El center to check it to be sure. He was so happy because they didn’t lose Rondo “total damage” after washing by mistake in washing machine, it’s amazing and great that Rondo not water proof or rating IP68 and still working perfectly. I faced two stories on my devices (Opus 2 and Rondo) and now it was the third case and it’s my pleasure to help my friends and colleagues in similar bad situation. Hameed https://ibb.co/kmoMG6
  34. 5 points
    Hi stream2525, Everyone is offering very good information. We can’t directly give medical advice here, but it’s good that you’re doing all the research you can. Every person’s needs are different, so you should discuss your goals with your clinical team. Cara Mia has pointed out that many studies show longer flexible arrays can also allow a degree of preserved hearing. What’s generally most important is surgeon’s techniques and using a flexible array, like all MED-EL FLEX arrays. Hicksy also makes a good point. There’s always a risk of losing residual hearing, but long arrays can help provide better hearing performance. If you lose residual hearing, a long array can help cover more of your cochlea for better, more natural sound quality. Hope that helps ! Kind regards, Leigh HearPeers Support Team
  35. 5 points

    Differences in Cochlear Implants

    Just to throw this out there, I was approved for a Sonnet EAS and was implanted with the synchrony flex soft which is longer than the 28. Unfortunately I didn’t retain my residual hearing ( pretty much my greatest fear, if any, going into surgery) and I can truthfully say it upset me for 15 seconds when I found out I had lost the residual hearing. What I gained is almost indescribable to what I lost that I actually feel I wasted those 15 seconds lamenting...? (truthfully my fears going into surgery was it would be another failed hearing aid experiment that would do nothing to regain any word recognition along with losing the residual hearing but I was to the point where the gamble made sense). So woe is me. I lost my residual hearing, I’m 10 months along, can’t talk on the telephone yet, still need cc on the tv, music still sounds weird, oh woe is me... nothing could be further from the truth... even the first day in the booth when I realized I had lost the residual hearing and it was early days with the “casino in my head” effect still going on I realized I was light years ahead of where I started. I’ve gone from zero word recognition on tv, radio, phone (for years) to about i’d say 70-80%, music sounds better than ever (I was missing soooo much) and even better, every time I think I’ve reached the plateau, something happens to prove I’m still improving. But that’s the nitty gritty small stuff. So still can’t talk on the phone, can’t watch tv without cc... Overall, it’s simply life changing. I talk to people in lineups, actually heard far better than my spouse in a noisy restaurant the other night, talk all night with my friends without asking them to repeat themselves once! Simply life changing.
  36. 5 points

    Almost missed my anniversary

    Hello all, dealing with all of this brain surgery stuff, I almost let an important anniversary slip by. 6 years ago yesterday, I recieved my first implant. It has been a wild ride and I would not change a thing. Thank you Medel for completely changing my life.
  37. 5 points
    I will do my best to explain how things sound to me with my bilateral CIs. I do not have any residual hearing so EVERYTHING I hear is coming from my CIs only. Please remember that this is NOT how things sounded to me at the beginning of my CI journey. The first few months are full of adjusting to the CI input and our brains figuring it all out as we settle into our favorite map. Everyone has their own voice. I can recognize people I know just by hearing their voices. I can recognize singers voices as well in songs. I notice people's accents. I can tell when someone is playing with their voice (being funny or disguising their voice). I can tell when someone has a sore throat which has altered their voice. I hear the child voice qualities in young children. I can pick up the phone without looking at caller ID and recognize familiar voices right away. This is what I mean when I say things sound natural to me with my CI. There is no robotic, computerized, flat sound to the voices I hear. They are amazing! Again, since this is very important to keep in mind, things did NOT sound like this to me at first. In fact, I did not understand any speech at activation for either side. At some point in my journey, musical instrument voices emerged. I was sent a musical clip to listen to from a friend. I had never heard of the group before. I listened and enjoyed their sound. I thought the saxophone was a tenor sax instead of an alto sax (I had played alto sax growing up) so I looked online for information about this group and it was a tenor sax! I was so excited that the musical instrument voices were becoming so clear. Smile. Just two months ago I was at a restaurant with friends. It had a bar with live music in the section next to where we were eating. We could not see into that area but could hear the live music. My friend commented on the clarinet. I was baffled because it did not sound like a clarinet to me. It sounded like a muted trumpet. On our way out, I peeked into the bar area and it was a muted trumpet. It's so exciting! We were on vacation and my friend was speaking to someone there we had just met. Afterwards I commented on that person's strong midwestern accent and wondered if she was from Michigan. My hearing friend said her accent sounded British. Later that week we ran into this woman again and guess what? She is from Wisconsin so midwestern accent was correct. This stuff continues to blow my mind. I am sharing my experiences with you so that you can see that for some of us, CIs sound very natural indeed. It really is all up to neural survival that delivers good info to our brains and then what our brains do with this info. We can not do anything about the neural survival but we can help our brains by activiely training on aural rehab and giving our brains time to figure things out, I have been implanted for just over two years and I still train everyday. The types of training activities I do have changed over time. Right now I am training musical pitch perception. I have returned to playing the piano and have been taking weekly lessons for the past 4 months. It is so much fun and things continue to improve. Some people have asked me when I will stop training. My response is always the same. I will stop training when I see that training is not improving my listening skills. So far that has not happened. Smile. I hope it doesn't happen for a long long time as I plan on getting the best listening possible out of my CIs. They have changed my life in so many ways. Since I have shared some of my WOW moments with you I think it is important for me to tell you that there were frustrating experiences along my journey too. This is not a simple fix. Everyone's journey will have WOW moments and frustrations. I wish you the best.
  38. 4 points
    Mary Featherston

    It's the Little Things

    Yesterday I was able to use my new superpower for real: we had an 8.5 hour flight and a toddler two rows ahead screamed for at least three of those hours (intermittently throughout the flight). I just popped the magnets off my implants. 🙂
  39. 4 points
    First day "WOW" moments. -The wine pouring in my glass - My daughter said, "I love you Daddy" and I understood it! -The rustling of a plastic bag -Steak sizzling on the grill. -Throwing a handful of stones and hearing them hit the ground 20 feet away -The sound of water from the tap running into the sink -I could rub my fingers together and hear it in my right ear OMG this is great! Thank you to the mentors on this site. Especially the three super stars; @Jewel, and @Mary Beth, and @Mary Featherston! You are all so wonderful for us newbies getting ready to embark on this incredible journey. Thanks! You are the BEST!
  40. 4 points
    @Mary Beth thank you. I will visit 5he forum more often. I just started back college full time. Getting used to being g surrounded by so many young people on campus. It's definitely different this time around in my late 40's AND being able to hear and understand and participate in class discussions. I would love to start a blog or article on the differences between now and 30 years ago as a young undergraduate just coming to grips with severe hearing loss. Anyone have any ideas where to submit such an article or blog?
  41. 4 points
    Mary Beth

    HearPeers and its awesome members

    While participating in the Med-El Meetup, I found myself talking repeatedly about how awesome everyone is in our HearPeers forum. It seemed that most people thought HearPeers was a forum for people just starting on their CI journeys or in the early stages of gathering information. To me, HearPeers is a community of Med-El users, and a few users of other brands. It is a place to celebrate WOW moments, ask questions, share listening difficulties and tips, and so much more. Many of us have developed lifelong friendships which extend outside the HearPeers forum. HearPeers has not always been such a vibrant, awesome, diverse community. I am thankful to each HearPeers member for making HearPeers what it is today....my favorite online community of CI users. I must’ve been a bit persuasive as several participants have joined! Smile. So thank you for making HearPeers so awesome.
  42. 4 points
    MED-EL Moderator

    Flying to Europe with CI

    Hi @Jewel, You shouldn't need to take off your audio processor for going through x-rays etc, however, do inform airport staff. You can read more about travelling with a cochlear implant here: https://blog.medel.com/traveling-with-a-cochlear-implant/. Thanks, Mary
  43. 4 points
    Like Mary Beth said don’t stress yet. My activation went well. I heard voices as well. But everyone sounds like Donald Duck! This has changed drastically for me even in the short time. I am hearing less muffled voices and more clear speech in my new ear. I have been activated for little over two weeks. It takes time for the brain to adjust to this new way of hearing. I was harder with the first implant. So hang in there. Train hard with single words as well as stories or speeches. I really like listening to TED talks now. Try it out! They have the option to follow the transcript and listen as well. It has really helped my speech comprehension.
  44. 4 points

    March 2018 implant surgeries

    I had a good meeting this afternoon with Dr. E. Post op. he did not have his phone with him so he could not provide any imagaes this time. He did say has has an X-ray showing all electrodes are in the cochlea as desired. He use a Flex 24 array this time because of size of cochlea and that he had to drill through ossified blockage. (I have Flex 28 on the right) That blockage was there prior to previous surgeries and the last implant never was able to enter the cochlea at all. Because it was near by provided me with very high frequencies only, at the outer part of the cochlea. He said he is using my case in a new research article and that he does similar surgeries, this morning he had one from another patient from out of the country. I am very happy that I chose him because of the research he does and his experience. I told him so. I also asked about obtaining research papers and he provided some web sites, my wife wrote them down. I’ll post later.
  45. 4 points

    Update on 2017 Switch-on and Progress

    I realized I have not given any updates on my progress since my switch on, which was October 3. I wanted to post this hoping it will help someone who may be trying to figure out whether to get a CI or not. Brief background for me: I am 34, and I was fully hearing until I was 7. My loss is genetic (my older sister was born with a similar loss) although the doctors were never certain why mine came about at 7. My loss ranged from profound in most pitches to moderate-severe in the highest frequencies. My loss stayed the same for about 26 years. In 2016 I experienced a drop in the high frequencies, where most of my best hearing was. Funny enough, this occurred after I entered the CI process. My speech discrimination has been poor since I was 7--never going over 10% of full words and 20% of partial. Some tests over the years showed it was as bad as 2% of full words.... I became a very skilled lipreader because I was able to use the sound I had left and the visual of reading lips to put the pieces speech together. After my hearing dropped in 2016, lipreading became so hard... I was really using the sound I had left to assist. Because of my poor speech discrimination, I was never a candidate for hearing aids. I even tried them around 13 and they were terrible--didn't help at all. At my switch on in October, I heard sounds that day. The high frequency sounds were coming in as they should, or as my brain remembered them. The low sounds were not coming in as sounds at all, and wouldn't completely come in as sounds until 4 months later. I am hearing sounds easily now, and more range every week. The most unbelievable part to me is after 4 months my speech discrimination has gone up to 40% of full words and 66% of partial words. This is really without much aural therapy. I have been trying to figure out how my progress has been moving so fast without any routine therapy and I think my lipreading skills have played a huge part--lipreading allowed me to see the word at the same time I hear it, so I am probably getting training all day long! I received a lot of support from people on HearPears when I first posted before my surgeries (I had my surgery twice due to a allergic reaction the first time), and I wanted to make sure I post a good update! I also remember reading any post I could find on people's progress with the CI. Ali
  46. 4 points
    @stream2525 Almost all articles and CI audiologists/surgeons seem to say one year. But I have friends who had achieved great hearing with their CIs well before one year and also friends who took longer than one year. One year may be an average or the length of time most users take but it is arbitrary in a way for any individual CI user. Studies show that there is continued improvement in listening well beyond one year after activation. In fact, one study I read showed continued improvement over the length of the study which was 5 years. Definitely for most CI users who are doing aural rehab, the quickest improvements will happen early in their journeys. I have been activated for over 2.5 years and I am still noticing improvements, especially with musical pitch. Everyone’s CI journey will be unique. That is one reason it is so fascinating to read about other people’s journeys. No two ears take the same journey - even two ears on the same person!
  47. 4 points

    Need information

    First surgery 2016 was on right side Working great especially with new maps that increased loudness/volume 1 year later second surgey on left ear failed to get more than 6 of 12 electrodes in the cochlea so a another surgey was attempted to repair it this time only 5 of 12 were implanted so I switched Drs and am now at UMiami to correct this Dr. Eshraghi has done more reconstruction surgeries and I am confident he will resolve this for me. MedEl is developing a special electrode array implant for this case. We believe there is some form of obstruction that needs to be passed . I will know more soon. December 1 I will call to see if the new implant is ready and a surgery date can be set .
  48. 4 points
    Mary Beth

    Most surprising sounds!

    @Megan L. Maybe you and I should practice so we can recognize hummingbird chirping!
  49. 4 points

    Most surprising sounds!

    So surprised at how noisy hummingbirds actually are!
  50. 4 points
    Ivana Marinac

    favorite WOW moments

    Hello Gang, Although I was never completely deaf my situation is different - even when I had my hearing aid, everything sounded melt into one big bowl of porridge. First WOW sound is definitely when I have heard (right after the activation) a difference when my Doc started clicking on a keyboard right beside a sound speaker - Rolling Stones were on.... Second WOW was the next day - after a night call, off-duty team passes a status to the next - on-duty team. A high ceiling room with a catastrophic acoustic where I could never differ 2 voices - suddenly I could understand 2 or even 3 discussions between. This was and will be such an exquisite moment for my lifetime... Third WOW was definitely hearing a rain outside with closed windows. Fourth I have such urge to describe as I am an extreme music lover - hearing a symphonic orchestra and having the ability to differ a separate instrument. Hearing an organ or harp in this big mess... Unforgettable...
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