So, I had my Cochlear Implant Nucleus 7 activated at the end of May. Typically, it takes three to six months to adjust to the sounds of the implant.
The implant does not translate sounds the same way ordinary people hear sounds. Since it is an implant and uses electromagnetic waves, sounds will be different than those with natural hearing.
Sound Variation and Differences
So far, beyond the robotic sounds, I think they are very similar. Typically, the robotic sound goes away when I am familiar with regular sounds from wearing the implant regularly. Overall, I think it is worth it as the sounds are not so different that you do not benefit from the implant.
Now that I have gotten past most of the robotic sounds, I can hear variations, such as if a speaker is male, female, low, or high tones. It is incredible how well I can listen to letters such as s, t, ch, sh, and th using the implant. Some of these sounds I have never heard until now with the cochlear implant (CI). The sounds are clear; they are rarely mistaken. I depended on lip-reading to clarify if someone was saying specific words with these letters. Let’s say it was rarely accurate. I can also hear my speech on how well I am saying these particular letters. A few people say my speech has improved more in this letter sounds. What a difference this makes!
I am still working on music, and each day is different. I am not sure why sometimes I hear music more clearly on some days and not others. When the music is unclear, it sounds distorted (robotic distortion). There are some days I can hear the singer’s voice and sound. On other days, the music and singer sound robotic and distorted. Even with the distortion, I can identify 90% of the music on my playlist. When I first started listening to music, I only remembered 50% on average. My conclusion with the CI is that it is worth it. The music may not be precise what hearing people hear, but it is enough I can enjoy listening again.
Recently, I have been experiencing dizziness. I will speak to my audiologist
next week about it. I am not too concerned, and it has affected my balance a
bit. I have noticed that I mostly experience dizziness when I am not wearing the device when I have worn it all day (around bedtime) in the morning, and sometimes I experience dizziness during the day.
The dizziness has not affected my ability to walk, stand, sit, or do daily activities. It has also not caused me to feel nausea like it did when I was recovering from surgery.
I am still working through the Bluetooth connection issue while playing music. I have noticed that sometimes the signal is strong, and other times it is weak. I have noticed that I cannot put the phone in my pocket, which causes the connection to become weak. I have not had any issues with the TV adapter so far. The connection seems more reliable with my TV adapter than with my iPhone.
Medical and Physical Impact
There have been some side effects due to the implant. My taste has changed, and I experience random daily dry mouth syndrome. As for taste, it is weird because the taste of food is vivid. I am not complaining, as I had a weak taste bud before the surgery. The dry mouth syndrome is a downfall but has not affected me to the point I would complain.
I am making some quick progress. Some things I have done in the past month that I never did before are:
- Video chat or conference. These used to make me so nervous! Now I enjoy them, and they have become a great alternative to the phone.
- I noticed lyrics in music I had never seen before! I was listening to Bob Seger’s “Shame on the Moon” and never noticed or heard him say “Shame on the Moon” towards the song’s end. I am not talking about the chorus but him randomly saying, “Shame on the Moon.”
- I can still hear the obnoxious crickets in my backyard, and they would be the main reason I would want to remain deaf.
- I can now hear my cats purr!
- It is unfortunate I can hear the obnoxious dinging in my car. The wiring must be messed up because the oil light keeps coming on even though it has oil.
- I have been able to understand what is said without lip reading occasionally. I cannot hear complete sentences and still need the training to become less dependent on lip reading.
I do apologize for the late update on my CI progress. I have undergone life changes that have detracted from my web world. I am proud to say I am now part of the school district’s computer technician team! I am excited about this opportunity and feel this is a much better fit than web development.