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Hi Everyone,


Here's my  intro!  I   have lived nearly my whole life with hearing loss. Although I was born with normal hearing, I lost hearing in my left  ear (almost total)  at  age 2 1/2 from the mumps. Then, when I was 5, my  right ear drum kept breaking from ear infections (due to swimming), until  finally it would not grow back. No doctor would operate on a 6 year old to repair my perforated eardrum  in the 1960s, especially since I did not have a "spare" hearing ear. I remember getting a hearing aid for the 1st  grade, so I have been wearing an aid since (right ear only). I've long worn the  most powerful  aids,  and they have served me well until about 5 years ago, when my hearing started fluctuating drastically...until  I  could barely function. My loss has always been at the  profound level, but it must have been  coupled with  sensioneural  loss  over   time, because the "clarity" dropped drasticcally, and of course hearing aids do nothing for that. 


I actually qualified  for a CI back in 2001...but (long story) did not pursue it for various reasons...not least because with one hearing ear  (however little)  I did not want to take any chances, as long as I  could  get by...Since about a year ago, my hearing  reached an impossibly  low level, forcing me into the CI option.  It helped tremendously that I had  lots of information and support from  Hearing Loss Association of America. Through that organization I am lucky to have many friends  with  CIs.


I researched all  three CI companies thoroughly. I was attracted to the Med-El 's focus and message early on, and the other two (after extensive meetings, reading, etc.)  could not change my mind (though I came  close to considering  second company!). For Med-El,  the most  compelling features was the electrode array, particularly  its  longer length and flexibility. Med-Els advances  on the internal parts seemed  important (to me)-- one gets one shot at that, while the external parts will and do change/improve over time. I also love the Rondo idea  (which the other companies do not have). I was implanted May 13, activated  June 7. I am  extremely happy with  my decision!


I was plenty warned about not hearing "normally" when first activated,  and how one must re-learn sound, etc. ...so I was very surprised at how normally people  sounded (no donald duck for me!)  from the first  moment. I'm just about a month  post activation, still going for "adjustments". Speech sound are so very clear and crisp, and of course I hear all  those little background sounds that everyone mentions, sounds so long missed....I am apparently in the very  lucky minority!  I sometimes feel like I am bragging...:-) when, really, I am totally and completely amazed myself! Needless  to say, my family is thrilled - they   have bore the  brunt  of living  with  hearing  loss - not easy for them  either.


I feel  my question is almost silly, but I am wondering what I can do to hear even better at this stage, when in fact I hear so fantastically well already! I am not sure what "hearing better" will be like.   I am  trying to  focus on the  actually HEARING by seeking  out all kinds of  sound  in  different places. (and less on  "aural rehab" skills which are  already pretty sharp  from a life-time of wearing a hearing aid).


On the other hand, I am still  a one-ear  person  (CI unlikely  to  really do much good for my left  ear). Plus, as great as  the CI  is,  extra-noisy environments are always  going to  be  more challenging. It will always be  harder  to filter  background noise, though  I  understand with a CI,  my brain can "learn" some filtering, to a certain extent. So it is not like I have perfect  hearing. It's like I've rolled back the clock maybe  30 years, at a time I did pretty  well  with the one hearing aid. In addition, it's the new technology,  the telecoil  and the bluetooth ALDs that make some  listening situations 100 times  easier...something I never had 30 years ago. (Could REALLY have used  that in gradschool!)


I just want nonCI users who may be lurking here to know that this kind of success IS possible...though unfortunately not predictable ( I guess) -- I really do feel for the ones that have to struggle more. To those: don't give up! Realistic  expectations  are as important  as  never giving up.




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Hi Alice,

I'm happy to read if your excitement with your CI. They are amazing devices.

As far as hearing better- time is the best answer. Everything sounds better and better over time.

Aural rehab for speech, speech in noise and music really helped me a lot in speeding up the process. I posted a group file about what apps and activities helped me in the FaceBook group

Med El Cochlear Implant Discussion Group

Search for it and ask to join. Then in the logo box click more info, group info and then files. You will find 2 files I uploaded. One on aural rehab and another on Med-El info.

Check out Jeff's Hands On Hearing website for help with assistive devices that may help you in okay situations. He also has a YouTube channel called LifeWithMyMedEl. Great info in both places.

Welcome! And I'm glad things are going so well for you so quickly.

Mary Beth

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