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Introduction


Hicksy
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I have posted a few times and guess I should introduce myself. I live in the greater Toronto area, am mid 50's and was first diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears in public school. I coped as best I could but as I got older my hearing decreased and this forced me into an early retirement about 5 years ago. Yeah! In case anybody feels bad for me. I was more than ready to retire. 

I started trying hearing aids in my teens and probably went through at least 8 different types over the years but would generally wear them for a few months and then quit with the feeling that they weren't helping, just make the din louder. I can't describe the emotion I felt when the first audiologist at Sunnybrook tested me and without any prompting accuractly described my situation. After trying to describe my loss to others it was a real revelation to have someone else understand what was going on. He even said unprompted that I probably only used my ha's for a few months and stopped using them cause they only made the noise louder!

I would score about 95% in the booth via lip reading and about 0% with the mouth covered and I wouldn't have any idea which direction sound was coming from. Loss was about the same for both ears so I decided to go for a left implant. 

Then came the choice. Once I mentioned that I loved music, then Med El was pushed to the forefront and also the EAS model perhaps if residual hearing remained in the left ear.

I'm just over a month post activation and what a revelation. The surgery recovery was more a bother than an ordeal, I'm hearing sounds I probably never heard (birds drive me nuts right now) and I am so glad that I was able to go this route. 

So that is the introduction and I look forward to hearing from you and contributing to the forum best I can.

 

 

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Welcome and it sounds like you are off to a terrific start!  That's great!

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Welcome to Hearpeers! I live in the GTA  as well. I go to Sunnybrook as well! I have one implant the sonnet and I am so happy with it! Glad to meet you and best of luck!! 

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Hicksy

welcome to hearpeers!! As you can already tell, this is a great group of people

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  • 2 months later...

I guess I should update this as I lurk a lot but seldom post. I had my 3 month appointment a few weeks back and was surprised I scored a little over 80% in word recognition, up from basically zero. Another thing I have noticed lately is that there is not the constant background noise and at times I have to stop and wonder if the implant is working when things go quiet. Still can't understand speech without lip reading which frustrates me a bit but I'm working on it. I spent the last week with a group of friends who all commented on my much better comprehension in a noisy setting.

Although this seemingly goes against the grain, at my last appointment I requested that the 12th electrode be turned on for a test. What an amazing difference. Speech immediately lost a lot of the "metallic" component and I find I much prefer my setting with it on.

I did end up losing the residual hearing on my implanted side but truthfully this doesn't bother me at all. I initially dreaded the thought and am quite surprised by my subsequent reaction.

Music is funny. Some songs I know well I have no problem following but other songs I know equally well remain incomprehensible. I did have the good fortune to go to a Tom Cochrane/Red Rider concert a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I spent a lot of time listening to the albums prior to the concert which no doubt helped.

So at the 3 month mark, I am completely satisfied with how the progress is going. Sure I wish it was faster but even if I never make it to my goal of talking on the phone I am so amazed and so happy at where I stand now on the journey. I still get a few of those "wow" moments that near move me to tears. I'm sure those implanted know exactly what I mean!

 

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Awesome!  I encourage you to keep your goal of using the phone and actively train to reach it.  I keep setting higher and higher goals and then train to reach them.  So far, these CIs have met every goal.  I am 2 years post activation of my first CI and there is still progress happening.

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Hi Hicksy,

glad to hear that music is getting better for you. I went to a big outdoor world music festival a couple of months after activation and it was total sensory overload but I loved every minute of it.

Keep us updated.

Matt

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Hi Hicksy,

Sounds like you are doing great. You did mention that you got 80% word recognition score yet it is difficult to understand speech without lip reading. Are those words you recognize in the testing booth just difficult to comprehend in the real world?

Also do you know why the 12th electrode was initially turned off. Open or closed circuit?

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Thanks for the replies.

to Matt... I spend a lot of time daily listening to music and I am noticing improvements. I've even scored Gorillaz tickets for July which I'm really looking forward to. Imagine, 58 and excited to go to a Gorillaz concert!

 

to Hadron... I've had the problem of not comprehending words without aid for 40'years or longer. The best I can describe it is I may hear the first word or two and then it's like the brain gets tired and just gives up. But give me closed caption or read along with an audiobook and I get almost if not 100%. Lip reading fairly to really good depending on the speaker. Hearing aids were useless in this respect also. I have noticed slight improvements and am now only approaching 4 months so I expect great things yet ?

As for the 12th electrode, I understood it to be generally too high pitched for most people immediately after activation, either irritating or of no effect. I'll try to remember to ask my audiologist when I next see her. I'm not sure what you mean by open or closed circuit.

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Hi Hicksy,

Thanks for the quick response. Sounds like with some dedicated training you will begin to understand sentences. Impedance testing reveals open and closed circuits.

The definition of OC and SC differs slightly across manufacturers; however, a SC is characterized by low impedance (~1 kilohm or less) and an OC is very high impedance (usually >20-30 kilohms). Abnormalities are often managed clinically by disabling electrodes from speech-processor programs.

 

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Try to work on some auditory only training each day too.  Check out AB CLIX app if you have an iPad.  It's free and a great app to begin with.

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Thanks Mary Beth. I simply can't get ABClix to work on my Air2. I use iAngelSound sometimes and I read audiobooks everyday. I also listen music and talk radio as much as I can. I am starting to pick up the odd sentence, especially if the speaker has a real low voice. I'm hoping it just takes time. (and practise).

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On 4/26/2017 at 10:16 PM, Hicksy said:

 

to Matt... I spend a lot of time daily listening to music and I am noticing improvements. I've even scored Gorillaz tickets for July which I'm really looking forward to. Imagine, 58 and excited to go to a Gorillaz concert!

WOW! I'd love to see them one day - the visual stuff looks amazing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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