Alice Posted July 13, 2016 Report Share Posted July 13, 2016 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. Alice rodearly and Ms_D 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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