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I mentioned in a post back in August that the hospital where I was implanted ( London, Ontario) has a staff shortage of CI-trained audiologists. As a result, access between quarterly appointments (during first year after implementation) is pretty much impossible. If you aren't happy with your mapping, you have to wait for your next appointment. The shortage has become so severe, that my final quarterly session (one-year anniversary) has been pushed back three months due to one audiologist being unavailable. Thus it will be almost eight months after my last appointment for my next session. I am concerned that my mapping and progress with my CI is not optimal due to lack of support at this facility. Has anyone else had this issue?
Last week I had a very frustrating day and I'm still reacting to it. I am 3 months activated today. It seems like my progress is slow but my audiologist thinks I'm doing fine. I have a MedEl hybrid CI. I wear a hearing aid in one ear but I've not been wearing it while I get use to the CI. Some of the things that I'm struggling with follow: I hear two voices at once. One sounds more natural and the other is under and lower than the natural voice and seems to trail a little behind. It's sort of like an echo but I don't hear it on single words usually. I hear it more in sentences and especially when I am streaming directly to my Hybrid/CI ear. I also hear two voices when listening to TV but the second voice I hear sounds more mechanical, tinny and garbled. I do very well with Angel Sound word tests and other apps like that but the real world is a different story. I saw a technician last week who was doing a knee treatment on me and I could barely understand anything she was saying. After her, I saw the doctor who was hard to understand also, easier than the technician but still hard. I understand my husband and my son pretty well. With the technician, the problem seemed to be distortion. With the doctor it seemed he was too soft. I get frustrated that the audiologists where I was implanted seem to want to keep you on a schedule where you are seen about every 2 months. Is that normal? My first mapping of course was when I was activated. I returned two weeks later to have the acoustic part added (EAS) and I got my second map. I didn't like how things were sounding so I went in again early a few weeks later but that mapping was sort of a wash because I got my appointment mixed up and missed most of it. We only had about 45 minutes but the audi tried to help me. I've had one mapping since then which would have been about 2 and a half months out from activation. I'm not scheduled to return until March. To me, this seems like not enough mappings for someone who is having issues. I still feel like my ear is plugged up but my ear has been examined and I know that the fluid in my middle ear is gone. I think it's my eustachian tube that's the problem now. I can't seem to get it to open like I can the other side. I hear my heartbeat especially in the morning and almost any little noise I make from moving my head in my CI ear. It feels like there is still something in that ear somewhere that shouldn't be there. Car noise and fan noise sound like a waterfall or a public square fountain. It's a higher pitched sound and I sometimes describe it as a rice crispy sound. Drives me crazy. For those of you who wear a hearing aid in one ear, how long did they tell you not to wear it while learning to hear with the CI? Does any of this sound normal to any of you and will I ever hear well with this thing? It hard not to feel discouraged sometimes. I'm at one of the best centers for MedEl in the country, UNC. Thanks all. I know that was a lot but I thought I'd just reach out and see if some of you could relate or have suggestions.