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journey from operation to switch on


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Heya everyone.


I have migrated from the A.B. forum as i thught that was the only Cochlear forum floating around, its safe to say im new here also.

I came to share my journey so that those looking to be implanted could have some insight as to how everything went.


First off I'd like to say GOOD LUCK to all those that are about to undergo their operations prior to writing this.


Well lets start off this journey going through the follow ups then the op and then the switch on.


I started my follow up appointments early this year, April i think it was, and at this point i was all too keen on the idea of an implant, my first initial thought was to just check it all out and see what they all say about it, i had very high hopes for the implant but i kept that in the back of my mind and tried to keep everything realistic about it which was hard.

I asked a LOT of questions etc i wanted to go as in depth to everything as possible that when i came home from appointments i even did countless hours of research on the implants, at this point my expectations still remained high for it (i dont think they ever went lol) i must say though one of the hardest decisions I've faced was choosing the implant.

It took a little while to make my mind up as i was thinking about an implant that would be beneficial for my music taste rather then speech, i chose med-el because i liked the fact the wire goes further into you're cochlear.

The appointments got boring in the end, i really could'nt wait until they gave me a slot for my operation.

12th of July came, it was my final appointment and i was so excited at this point because i was off to sign forms, meet my surgeon and get everything finalized. Mind you, the nerves for the operation have not sunk in at this point and also this was my first operation I'd ever had.

Now with my op date 2 weeks off (27th July) i was going about life as if it was the last 2 weeks of my life (you can understand why lol) there was no nerves kicking in at all right up until the operation, i kept asking other C.I. users what the op was like as i was worried about pain etc.

A lot of people came to me told me everything to help keep my nerves steady and to help keep my from going insane thinking about the op.

Finally the night before the op. I was getting all excited i couldnt sleep i was watching the hands on the clock, surfing facebook to pass time etc finally before i knew it i was woken up by the doctors, i was happy that the time had arrived. At this point the nerves kicked in and i sort of had a lump in my throat, i was feeling shaky etc but i kept my smile for my mother, i was walking down to theatre and gave my mother a farewell cuddle and a kiss, told her I'd be back before she knew it, now inside this room getting prepped for theatre was the worst 10 mins of my life because all the thoughts i was having in my head at that point was getting me all worked up. Doctors were lovely i praise them for their jobs couldnt ask for better. when i got a shot of the anesthetic i was like WOW best feeling ever. every negative thought or whatever i had was replaced with happy thoughts positive thoughts, i went to sleep with a smile and boy didnt i wake up with an even Bigger smile! all i felt at that point was a tightness around my head, i felt it and it was the bandage and hey presto.. no pain whatsoever i just felt like ME :-) from that whole day onwards i was asked if i wanted morphine and i said no because i was seriously in no pain whatsoever i just didnt need it, instead i just took the regular doses of paracetamol for a few days to stop any pain in case there was any, during my recovery period over the next weeks i jsut felt slight dizziness but nothing major.. in fact stupidly after about 4 days after the operation i was playing football with my little brotherr and i forgot i had an implant fitted so i ended up head butting a football haha, its all good as i didnt have any pain and didnt do any damage etc.

Now switch on was amazing, have you ever heard voices in your head? how about this for an excersise, in your head say your name. dont say it out aloud just say it in your head, thats what the activation sounded like. by golly the simulation was enough to knock your socks off, it was amazing. about an hour or so after that the sounds were starting to become like normal hearing sounds, i experienced a lot of high frequency hiss, a lot of beeps etc but seriously it doesnt take much effort to get used to :-) its going to be AMAZING i recommend all you record your initial switch on day so you can look back on it :-)

Now heres the INTERESTING part. 9 days after switch on, i was back in Southampton University taking hearing tests, i passed my first 2 begginer tests with a score of 100% the Audiologist was impressed so gave me the 1st months advanced test, i did ok with a score of 50% on it.

Heres my trick to learning to hear, just listen to music as much as You can, learn from that use lyrics to follow along to if you can. I constantly listen to Rap, Hip-Hop and songs like that and by golly music actually sounds better then it has done in the past!

Most of you people are wondering what its like to hear on the phone? well around 11 days into wearing this implant i scored a rating of around 85-90% of listneing to a conversation over the phone with my stepdad, i was using an Iphone 4s at this point.

I've already been for my 3rd tune up and got another in a couple of weeks with another hearing test.

so far things are getting better and better and i keep shocking everyone, the amount of things i can hear now, its amazing i jsut wish i had all this done years ago.

As you can see its been a rock star acivation! things keep improving all the time, im already looking forward to the rest of the days, if you have any questions regarding anything on this feel free to drop me a line or comment on this :-)


I hope all of you have the same success or better!

this is just my short insight as to how things went for me,

hope it has been of help and most importantly

GOOD LUCK to everyone else going through it :-)

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Awesome story! Thanks so much for sharing! It's very encouraging to hear a story of someone with quick success! I was implanted last week on Tuesday. I also chose Med-El because I liked their longer electrode, plus a few other reasons! I have my appointment for activation Oct 10 and can't wait! I'm nervous about and and trying to keep my expectations realistic, but it's hard. I don't want it to take forever to begin to understand speech! I lol'd at your comment about living as if it were the last 2 weeks of your life. I felt the same!

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Wow that's great I hope I have the same success

I am also being activated on the 10th October with another appointment on the 11th

So fingers crossed it goes as well as yours I am trying not

To get my hopes up but it's not working just the thought of being able to

Hear my kids is keeping me awake at night. I would be happy with just that

Though if music I'd possible then watch out my house will be full of it :)

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Thank you for the replies.


Sarah rest assured its worth the wait its going to rock your socks off. mind you though at switch on the clarity is not going to be brilliant, its ur first mapping this is to allow you to get used to the sound, dont worry trust me you will hear things in good detail, only thing is the next few mappings you go for the volume will increase each time and things will start getting louder! mind you the only thing thats a pain is each time the mapping is different and it takes about a week minimum to get used to the new mapping. i wish u all the best with yours, feel free to inbox me with questions regarding anything if you need answers. i find as soon as i got used to the mapping i can hear great again. mind you i was profoundly deaf at 4 and half years old, i was hearing well with aids up until age 16 then from there everything went downhill, im 26 now, its just great to get everything back. no doubt things will be excellent for you too :-) let me know how it goes :-)


Karen its fine to get your hopes up as i kept my hopes up and they are still held high, just pay no attention to the first mapping if it sounds dodgy tinny or whatever dont worry about it, thats just the starter program to help you get used to the sound. if u get used to this program then its even better as then ur next mapping will be even better then the first... i found with my mappings the audiologist gave me 4 mappings on my remote in terms of loudness, he told me to take my time and get used to it gradually, but my ears are like a sponge they just want to absorb alll the information all the time and they keep screaming for more sound all the time so it wasnt long before i found myself picking up the remote and just chucking the top program on the implant, mind you though ive never had sound as loud as what im getting and by golly some sounds do startle me now, its all good tho i feel part of a hearing world now. im sure you will as well :-)


as for music it sounds great, i can follow lyrics easier sometimes i just pick them up unaware, pitch remains a problem so listening to songs i know DOES help with the learning process but theres no pitch or timbre, but that dont mean you cant enjoy it, it still sounds beautiful in its own sense. i find the implant is now starting to sound a lot like a digital hearing aid on steroids, but the good things i like about the implant is the fact it doesnt mess around with the sound too much like a digital hearing aid.and by messing around i mean huge amounts of compression to a point where u can notice the sound being compressed.


i have no regrets on the decision i made with my implant :-)


GOOD LUCK with yours guys let us know how it goes :-)

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I look forward to hearing tinny echoey sound hehe anything like that will be great

Though I bet my own voice is going to sound very loud i have been told i shout alot by my kids

Mostly,future plans if successful are taking my daughter to London to see a show

I wanted to take her when she was older but then lost my hearing

So fingers crossed I will be able to take her for her birthday next year.

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hehe it wont sound echoey, if anything it will sound tinny. after i had my implant switched on my voice became quiet and deeper instantly... i have not trouble hearing myself speak nowdays which is all good :-) u wont be shouting for much longer rest assured, ahh dont worry im sure u will be attending the show ;-) u will have a great time believe me :-)

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