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Lori Martin

Surgery on November 19 cochlear implant

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Hi to hearpeers

Getting somewhat nervous but trying to be with excitement aling the way.

I do have a question?

Any one here ever had implant failure?

I will be diffiently keep all in the loop.

 

Lori

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@Lori Martin

It is getting close to your long awaited CI surgery date.  Feeling anxious is normal.

I was anxious leading up to my first CI.  But the morning of my second CI surgery, I jumped out of bed singing Happy Birthday to my second side!

Hang in there.  It’s almost here.  

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 I just went through the 4 appts at IU MED CTR (Riley Hospital) in Indy.  I qualify, but very nervous!!   I am a 76 year old male and have lost 80% of my hearing.  The audiologist tried to explain what the sounds that I will hear sound like.  She said robotic and that I will never hear NORMAL sounds like voices, etc and that I will have to "learn" what each sound means.  The CI would be in only one ear for now.  That sounds like A LOT OF WORK!  At my age I don't know if I can do it............VERY NERVOUS!!  Almost ready to cancel.  Is what I just described accurate??  Where can I get down to the nitty gritty of what to expect??

 

Thanks,  Don

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Hi @Don V and welcome to HearPeers!

It would be wonderful if there was some kind of crystal ball that could show us how our life will be with cochlear implants before we have the surgery.  Smile.  But unfortunately there isn’t.

My life is so much better with cochlear implants.  Best hearing I have had in many decades.  Best decision ever.

I will start with what things sound like now.  I was implanted 5 years ago.

Music is amazing.  I enjoy the different instrumental sounds and the lyrics.  I sing along to old favorites and new songs.  I even enjoy singing along to the car radio with the windows down.  I enjoy going to live musical events in small venues, Broadway theaters and huge arenas.

Speech is unbelievable.  Everyone has their own natural voice and I can even tell when they have a cold or an accent or are playing with their voice.  I understand young children, deep male voices and female voices.  I have become addicted to audiobooks and podcasts and listen to them everyday while I go about my day.

Now where did I start?  Well at activation of my first side (which had not processed any sound for 24 years before being implanted) I heard beeps and static.  Then it started matching up with syllables and five hours later speech started to emerge.  At first the speech sounded a bit like R2D2.  Smile.  Every single day it improved.  Every morning I woke up eager to put on my processor and see what I would hear that day.  Smile.  It was so amazing.  Life changing.

I did aural rehab activities everyday to help train my brain.  You can find lots of aural rehab suggestions in our topic called REHAB.

 

Wishing you the best.

 

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Here is my story if you are interested @Don V

 

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Don V, I don’t know how to tag you for this response so I hope that you see this. Your story is almost identical to mine. I am male 79 years old. I had lost 88 percent of my hearing and on the speech understanding test, I got a big fat 0 percent. I was using hearing aids that was doing very little for me but I could get by with them in quite conversation. I could hear TV with the use of head phones. I had to use an FM receiver with ear buds to hear Church Services. I could not participate in conversation at family gatherings or other groups. I had been this way for about seven years and not much better for 10 years before that. I finally decided that I had no choice but to start looking into a implant so I started the process of finding a facility and doctor. 

The first place I went to for consultation gave me the same information and expectations that you experienced but did tell me that it would be better than what I had. They started the process by sending me to a psychologist and then a speech therapist which gave me about the same expectation as the audiologists had. I have a pacemaker so I had to get a release from my cardiologist to clear me for the surgery. I was experiencing a lot of frustration trying to get the required paperwork between the two Doctors. Like you, It was flustrating for me and I was about ready to cancel the whole thing. My Daughter suggested that we go to another facility and Doctor for a second opinion. The audiologists gave me the same pessimistic expectation that I heard at the other place but the Doctor told me that I had 12 % of my hearing and he thought he could give me 65, maybe 70%. I was still very undecided about going through with it.

I then reached out on our Nextdoor neighbor forum to ask ask if there was anyone I could talk to that had a cochlear implant. A lady responded   That knew of a lady that may be willing to talk to me. I met her at a Starbucks and she put my mind at complete ease. You could not tell that she was deaf. She had two implants and being a lady with long hair I could not see the processors. She answered all of our questions very positive and her Doctor was the second Doctor that I went to. So with this I got excited and it became a go for me.

I was implanted on August 29, 2019 and activated on Sept 11, 2019. When the audiologists turned on the processor, (Rondo 2) I could hear sounds, tones and buzzing but nothing I could understand. The session lasted about 1.5 hours and by the time it was over I could understand the audiologists, sound funny but I could understand. In two days I could carry on a conversation with my wife, she did not sound normal but understandable, 10 days and she sounded normal, some other people had a robotic sound but a few days later they were sounding normal. I went to Church about a week later and could understand the sermon with the processor and my hearing aid on the other side, no more FM receiver and ear buds. I have had three mappings since activation and I am to the point that I seldom use the hearing aid in my other ear. As the volume has gone up on the processor I feel that the hearing is not helping. Everything sounds normal with just the processor. The only things that could be better is TV off the Speakers is understandable but does not sound good and events like football games crowd noise over comes everything else.

i am very glad that I did not cancel it. Everyone’s journey is different but my experience is very similar to the Lady’s that,I met at Starbucks.  Oh I forgot to mention that at my last appointment with the audiologists my speech understanding test was 80%,  I believe it is better now. 

 Sorry for the long story but I hope it helps you in your decision making process.

Good Luck

 

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@Don V

@Tommy C wanted to tag you to see his response above 

 

( to tag someone.... type @ and then immediately type their username.  A window will pop up.  Select the user.  Then it will display in a blue box in your post.  The blue box means the person has been successfully tagged)

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@Mary Beth Thank you so much for that training. I have just about exhausted my old brain trying to figure that out.

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Hi @Mary Beth

Holly Molly!

Got the tag thing down!

At any event thank you for getting back to me so quickly.

I am activated now and going into one month, I have completed level one and two.

I most definitely done a happy dance at that time.

Currently working with level three and four but four is somewhat overwhelming.

So I am going back and forth with this.

My team mentioned to me that I should gain clearily hearing within twelve months.

That's a long time!

But overall I am hanging in there.

I believe where I stand is before I had the CI, I was in rough shape due to previous surgery for I lost my hearing.

So some of the questions I would continuously ask is will I  regain the process Brain back. They say to me they are unsure for I was extremely traumatized.

It appears that my process and hearing working together isn't working as it should.

I do become frustrated for I am working harder with all my daily living and become extremely exhausted.

My team sees all for my eyes are my compensation and have been for it will be two years as of the end of January 2020.

I am most definitely trying to keep the faith and in hopes I will regain some. 

For they team is saying I probably won't be 100 per cent.

I have excepted this but at the same time somewhat upset.

I have lost a lot in my life but I am gaining my hearing back slowly.

I realize everyone's journey is different and I can't thank you all enough for being there.

Lori

 

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@Lori Martin

Your journey has been incredibly challenging.  We are here to support and encourage you.  So happy that things are progressing!  Yay!

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