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Newly Activated Users


Emily C.
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Well... err... I shared my initial update in the other thread, since it seemed like the thread for all of us 'recently started'.  I'm also the type that likes to consolidate threads instead of have so many for every little thing, but was wondering if wanted to keep that one for 'activation' info (since the title more indicates that) and make one thread for all of us getting turned on to use as the one spot to share our stories as we go and bounce stuff off each other as things go on, instead of making our own individual threads?  

That said...

So... look... I knew, going in, it would be weird at first.  Everyone says it's all 'high' at first and slow & tricky to balance out, but you'll get there, and happy it will be so much better than before.  I knew it would take practice, after years of comprehension slowly going down (although, sure, I also thought that not coming from complete deafness would give me a bit of a head start).  And it was exciting at first, sure, to get to say you can hear all those higher pitched things now!  That's not the problem.

Yesterday just was kinda 'down'.  It's been almost a week now, I've been out and about and working, still, and not going too bad.  Although yeah, I could really stand to be better at keeping up dedicated listening practice, ha.  ;)?  The 'Storyline' website is nice, where actors read kid's books, and Med-El's SoundScape page.  And, yes, I'm a bit of a geek and was trying to multi-task catching up on stuff and doing the practice I'm supposed to, and thought to myself, 'oh, hey, you can do both at once by watching the latest Elementary but with your aid off and focus on the voices!' ;)  Which I did, and it was good.  And to give myself some positive credit, I still do pretty well in-person when I can read lips.  Mostly.  But oh my gosh, I just felt physically irritated by all the squeaky-ness and emotionally worn and frustrated playing one of the SoundScape games where you listen to a narrator and answer questions and I could barely understand them.  How are you supposed to hear a word right if you don't have all the... what's the right term... nuances of tone, and it all just sounds like a high-pitched monotone?  Plus my ears just hurt.  I somehow scratched my aided side, inside one of those top little inward 'curves' of the ear, which made the top hurt from my aid rubbing on it.  And for some reason the top of the other ear was sore too, and the back, where the unit rubs against.

So I really need to clarify with my audi again, I will, but I think what she was saying in regards to adapting to volume and frequencies is that she wanted me (my brain) to get used to the 'highs' before we started mixing in all the familiar 'lows'.  Yeah, yeah, I know from listening to you guys that the mapping comes into play with that, so just keep track, work on getting used to, and don't worry.  Which makes sense (is that how they generally handle it?) but also just makes it hard to understand without the varied tones.  Combine that with my freaking h.a. side having this weird... "pressure" (?) problem going on, maybe from years of allergies, and it keeps sounding equally stuffed up and tinny until it randomly 'clears', making it harder to sound balanced.  So anyway.... thanks for listening... feel better.  Just partially venting, partially musing, partially just commentary, looking forward to when you other new users join me in this and share back in here!  (and of course our good old more experienced users!) ;)

Talk to you soon!

 

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@Emily C.

Well everyone’s journey is unique.   Yours seems to be starting off quite high pitched.

Also, CI audiologists use different approaches to activating us and bringing our levels up.

My CI audiologist is very gentle.  She brought up my levels in a way that never caused me discomfort.  I was able to wear my CIs all day long from activation onward.  I did not need listening breaks from my CI and in fact, was told to always have my CI on.

We set MCLs and if we set them too loudly, then loud sounds can be overwhelming.  That being said, in most people’s journeys at some point some sounds were difficult to get used to at first.  For me, it happened several weeks into my first CI journey and it was plates being unloaded from the dishwasher.  I moved in slow motion and gently set each plate down for several weeks until my brain got used to it.  Then I could bang around in the kitchen with no problems at all.

My right side started off sounding like R2D2.  My left side started off sounding like marimba and whale song.  It’s a crazy, wild, amazing ride.  

Communicate with your CI audiologist.  She will be able to make changes if needed so you are more comfortable and balanced.

 

Keep us posted.  

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Thanks @Mary Beth .... you always do good posts.

That's why it'll also be interesting to hear from Jewel, sassy, and Jane here when they get started!

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Can't believe that my activation is in less than 48 hours. Starting to feel anxious. Just hope all the electrodes are properly placed in my cochlea and that I hear something on Thursday. 

@Emily C.Hang in there. Remember the three Ps.... Practise, Patience and Perseverance. 

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@Emily C.  Hearing about everyone’s unique journeys is fascinating!  I can’t wait to follow the posts.

 

@Jewel  Safe travels.  I hoped to hear 12 beeps during activation and was hopeful they would all sound different from each other.  Smile.  Just remember that whatever happens at activation, it is merely your starting point.  It in no way indicates how well you will do with your CI over time and training.  Be prepared to see lots of small red boxes!

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@Emily C.good idea for this thread :)

@Jewel just remember activation is JUST THE BEGINNING:)

that said even though this is my second CI I’m still getting nervous ..now less than 48 hours to go ..I just want to hear those beeps :)

Jane

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Emily C, I quickly got bored with Angel Sounds and such and would only use it occasionally. I joined the local library and downloaded audiobooks and the corresponding e-book and read along while listening to the audiobook via the Artone neck loop. 

I would go to a noisy coffee shop, and at first would put the Sonnet on Telecoil and barely be able to follow along reading the book. The narrator was robotic, I didn’t even realize for the longest time they would switch male/female if the dialogue demanded?  If I lost my place reading along I was completely lost. I’m talking a month activated or so.

I gradually progressed to where I was was following along easily, voices sounded more normal, hearing and understanding whole paragraphs at times! I got to the point where I would switch to MT and try to read through the noise of the coffee shop. It’s still a real challenge but I find good practise. You’ll be surprised how quickly you start to pick things up, I laugh now at how befuddled I was and continue to be at sounds I had no chance of hearing before. It’s quite an experience and it will only get more amazing.

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I posted on another topic but now I’ll post here also ..I was activated today and all went well?I think it being my second CI and my better ear it made it easier to know what to expect and hear speech..and right away it felt so great to have sound in both ears ..speech is very robotic but with the other CI it sounds more normal..it is fun again to be wowed by what you can hear ?

Jane

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I can hear in both ears! My activation was great and I feel on top of the world. I was given a hearing test at the conclusion of of my activation. My audiologist said it was a baseline test. When I finished I was given my results and I am already where she wants me to be  30/40.

At this time I am on level 1. Iam hearing bells and a harp in the background, feels like I am in heaven - just kidding. I can hear my spouse, talk on the phone, even hear my cats purr for the first time. Everyone I speak to and even the tv, sounds like a computerized voice and very monotone. But, I am happy to be able to hear. 

Rehab is my next step. I have tried doing med-el soundscapes but it wont load. What do others use for rehab?

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Terrific! @DarlaHS

 

download AB CLIX if you have an iPad and ignore the test.  Begin at level 1 and work through all the levels.

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Hi @Emily C.

How are things going on your end? I am finding that some days things sound very clear and other times they are muddled. Have you done any further mappings? All my programs are just for volume. Is that how yours are?

Looking forward to hearing from you. 

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Aww... hey @Jewel....   Thanks!  I know... despite being an online geek, I commented before that I tend to waver between being chatty, or lurking, especially when distracted/busy or with something that's so up and down, like this is.  But it's been good!

Frustrating a little tinnitus still, and still sheepishly bad at dedicated 'practice' time, but hey, been working and constantly interact there, and trying not to look at the captions right away for my shows, so... yeah... sounds better, I think!  You?  Sounds like have had quite a few moments!  :)

I've only been back once so far, and she adjusted the volume of pitches as I got used to it, but that's pretty much all she did.  I guess I thought there was more to it?
Anyway.... up too late again and too-early morning shift, back to enjoying all the little sounds that are 'filled in' now....  see ya!

 

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@Emily C.

I try to use ABCLIX and iAngelSounds everyday but sometimes it's hard during the week as I am so drained after work. But I think as long as we are immersing ourselves in sound and figuring out the sounds, that's rehab too. I still can't make out what people are saying if I'm driving and they are in the back talking among themselves. I hope I can someday. 

How are the voices to you? 

I have my third mapping this week. Hopefully Hurricane Michael doesn't mess things up. 

I'm sure your audi is doing things gradually. I too thought that more would be involved in these mapping appointments but apparently not. Have you tried out the Roger Pen yet? I haven't but hope to do so tomorrow so I can report to my audi how I doing it. 

Does the Sonnet stay put on your ear? If so you're fortunate. 

Enjoy the journey. 

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Hey!  Thanks... yeah... similar here.  Glad to hear from.

Not excusing myself, but in the beginning when I dabbled with the things that sounded the most appealing to try - the easy kid's narrative games on MedEl's Soundscapes, an ESL site that speaks various English sentences and quizzes you, listening to StoryLine, where actors read kid's books, and an app called Hear Coach, I kinda gave up after a week or two.  They're great, really!  But at that point, everything was _so_ high-pitched or mechanical, it was all I could do to even make out only two or three words and get frustrated.  :P  And yes, I admit also got lazy, and busy catching up on a bunch of stuff, and hey, like I said, even two weeks was enough to go from tinny-sounding emotionally-mixed state of plodding along, to emotionally feeling more 'normal' and "oh hey, things are sounding a bit better".  People's voices a tad less tinny, although still a mechanical 'echo'... digital apps and tv another story.  Ha, I'm sure you guys know what I mean...  ;)

In the meantime, I stayed in the middle ground of at least watching my shows with hearing aid off and trying to not look at captions, and honestly, just day to day at work and getting out and about was good.  Oh, and a couple times of watching the news while focused on the newscaster's face/voice.  Huge difference between that and straining to hear the already digital-sounding voice on the app sound even _more_ mechanical, with no visual cues like the ones you know we people rely on.  ;D   I can't use AngelSounds (Mac), but I hear you guys talking about ABClix, and I think I'll try in a little bit to start up using those again.  And yes, the Roger pen, too!  Felt a little silly, thinking some people would be excitedly all over that stuff, but like you, I decided I wanted to get used to hearing first, and then start adding on stuff like that (same goes for the phone).  I worry sometimes I'm doing my same old previous habit I do with awkward new things and just cautiously plod along instead of more actively throwing myself into it and progressing as well as others, but then I catch myself and say it's not a race/no comparing, and remember I'm doing okay.  Maybe you do, too....  that's what the forums are for.  ;)

Wow... wait, three already?  Is that because you're trying to maximize your trips there?  Because I've only been back once, like I said, and yeah, was a little curious/uncertainly puzzled/amused/etc about that, after reading some comments about people 'adjusting' irritating buzzes/pitches or whatever.  Huh.  Ok.  But yeah, it's otherwise good!  Ha.. funny you mention the physical side of things... I notice you have long hair like me, and lol yes!  Once in a while, it's a pain, isn't it, moving around, you brush your hair back, and knock it a bit.  Not only that, but it's still sore wearing my glasses with the darn chafed spot at the top end from the incision!  Pain in butt trying to cut down a thin enough piece of gauze and roll it around glasses to rest there, but it helps... and things pretty much stay in place.  Still funny hearing all the dang high beeps and squeaks that hearing people do... even hear my coworker's scanner beeping at work from two aisles over, now.  How about you?  :)

 

 

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@Emily C.

Sorry I thought I had replied. I was told that my CI mapping schedule is just like all the other patients at that CI center. I had my third mapping on Thursday and I have more mapping appointments up to February. So I fly to the US once a month. When is your next mapping? Did you get a six month schedule too? Are you making note of what problems you're having, what sounds you're having difficulty making out? 

I have my own office at work but I am hearing other people's phones ringing and I also hear people talking in the office next to mine but I can't make out what they are saying. I think that when your audi adjusts your programs on the next visit things should be better for you. 

Today I heard the rain falling and the loud thunder. I'm really enjoying rediscovering sounds I haven't heard in a while. I could always make out the thunder though. I also heard someone slurping soup loudly but it may be loud to me due to the CI. 

Of course we have a lot of rehab ahead of us but in the end it is so worth it. 

Yes I think it's my long hair that pushes off the earpiece. Also when I chew the earpiece falls too! I'm using magnet no. 5. Audi adjusted it to negative on the last visit. What strength magnet are you wearing? 

Have you tried moleskin by the earpiece area? It can lessen the irritation. Idk what I did with the pack I used after activation and forgot to buy when I was in the US! Argh! 

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@Jewel

Just don’t want you to run into any problems........check this out.  Magnet strength 5 (max strength magnet for the Sonnets) can only be locked into the + position.  I don’t know if that means it won’t stay locked into the - position.  I have read several posts from people whose audiologists did not lock their magnet into the + or - position (all different strength magnets) and the magnet moved which cracked their DL-coil covers.

 

Maybe this rule about magnet strength 5 has changed.  But in case it hasn’t changed just want to let you know.

 

 

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@Mary Beth

Oh no! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. How am I gonna check this? I mean my audi might just say not to worry. When I saw how hard it was for her to open the cover I don't think I can open the cover. I certainly can't afford for the cover to break! 

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@Jewel

The DL-coil covers are tricky to remove but they can be removed.  Did your kit come with a spare HIGH DL-coil cover?  Magnet strength 5 uses the HIGH DL-coil cover.  Maybe check to be sure you have a spare before you try to remove your cover.

The trick to removing the cover is to get the 12:00 position to disconnect and then go from there.

Let’s ask @MED-EL Moderator to clarify......when using magnet strength 5 in DL-covers, does it need to be locked into the + position?

 

I think that rule still applies as Med-El states that there are 9 magnet strength options with the DL-coils (1-,1+,2-,2+,3-,3+,4-,4+,5+).

I will see if Med-El has a video showing how to remove that cover.  I have done it several times.  But it is not easy.

 

If magnet strength 5 does need to be in the plus position, you may want to check with your audiologist on whether to stay with 5+ or move to 4+ since there must be a reason she adjusted your magnet strength.  

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@Mary Beth

I told her that sometimes I feel like blood is rushing to the magnet area. So she decided to change the position to - 5. She did that on both DL coil covers. 

I hope @MED-EL Moderatorcan advise on this.

I was hoping the audi would have tried a 3 or 4 on my head on this visit. But I think she tried a 2 which definitely couldn't stay on. 

 

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@Mary Beth

Thanks so much for this. I think the cover came off easily in the vid as it was already open so that it would look like an easy task! Can you imagine if they showed the woman having difficulty opening the cover? That would be hilarious! ? 

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@Jewel

true!  I think we could have a Med-El competition.  Sit three of us at a table and see who gets the DL-coil cover off first.  I am telling you, it would not be me!  

 

You will feel the cover disconnect at the 12:00 position.  Then slide your nail around to the side until a second area disconnects.  After two areas disconnect, you can lift off the cover.

 

 

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Hi @Jewel

Mary Beth is right - the Magnet Strength 5 should only be locked towards + with the DL coil. If you are unsure / worried about taking the cover off yoursefl, I would suggest asking your audiologist to adjust it for you. 

Kind regards, 

Mary 

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