Ok… so yesterday my CI was turned on. The video, yes there was a video, will be coming, eventually, I’ve got to edit it and caption it (meaning I may need some help with understanding the words that are said).
But… the activation process went well. I am hearing things, I can not understand the words coming out of people mouths, but I am hearing things.
The activation process was… interesting. I still had my stitches in during the process of getting my CI activated.
They started with Alison putting it on me, they had to switch the magnet from a number 2 to a number 3, because it wouldn’t stick on my head. My black processor is my main processor, and the white one is my backup. There was a cable that went from the processor to the computer. She started out testing the individual electrodes, and all of them showed green on the computer, this is a good thing. Yellow or red mean something is possibly wrong. Then she tested my resistance to the electrodes, and told me that even if I am sick and don’t wear the processor for a while, my resistance will go up, and this means things are much too loud, and I will be reluctant to wear it.
Then we went to actually testing to see what I could hear with each 22 electrodes. It was really weird to actually hear something… and know… no one else could hear it. I started getting good at it, but then “lost” it. She had me count how many I could hear, and they would slowly go down in volume, this told her were my threshold (not sure if this is the right word or not) levels were. Some of the sounds were ones I don’t remember hearing before… I don’t remember the scary high pitched ones… but everything went well and we got the initial program. She put 4 different programs on there for me, program 1 is the quietest, program 3 is the loudest, program 4 is for noise. The goal is by my first mapping session (Aug 8) for me to be at volume 10 on program 3. (there are 10 different volumes in each program). I don’t think this will be an issue, because I have already made it to volume 10 on program 2. There are times when I need to turn it down… like when I’m chopping up food with a food chopper, but that is a different story.
after the testing of the electrodes to see where I could hear, she turned it on… its a scary feeling it being turned all the way on. theres a bunch of noise all at first, and its just… weird… its a little uncomfortable at first… but then things settle down and its fine.
The first voice I heard was my loves voice. I couldn’t understand it, but i could hear it. My pastor came with us, and I heard her voice too. I couldn’t understand their words, but I could hear them. I am so very happy the interpreter was there, because I could actually understand what was being said. The audiologist also tested a a ling sound with me… and that I didn’t like… it was sh… its a very harsh sound right now. The 6 ling sounds are “mmmm”, as in mom, “ah” as in bath, “ee” as in bee, “oo” as in boo, “sh” as in fish or shushing a child, and “s” as in splash. I haven’t tested them all yet… I might try and have my love do it when I get home.
during the activation process, I laughed, and that scared the living daylights out of me. I actually got very frightened and kinda climbed in my chair. One thing you may need to know about me… I can be a bit dramatic, especially when experiences are new. Alison then tested my resistance to the electrodes again, and they were much lower, this is a good thing she says.
Once Alison was done setting up my processor, the student (I think her name was lauren) showed me some of the stuff that came in my kit (I took pictures of everything, and will post that in a different blog post). she showed me how to connect my processor together, how to put the batteries in, how to connect the coil, the coil cable and the magnet. She showed me how to use the battery charger and the remote assistant, how to use the drying box, and gave me a choice of a couple different covers for my processor. They didn’t have the one I wanted, but I found one anyways. The only thing is that they cover the standard size battery, and I think I really like the compact battery better.
After she showed me some of what was in the suitcase (really it is a suitcase) we were done for an hour. My love and I went to lunch, and I discovered new sounds, some good some not so good. I learned very quickly a few things. #1, when I put the remote assistant in my case on my pocket, make sure it is locked, or it will change programs on you and scare you. #2, Ice machines at SmashBurger are very loud and uncomfortable, the toilette on the other hand, much better than I expected.
We had to go back to the office for my actual post op appt, so the doctor could check my progress and take out my stitches. He said my head looked great! The stitches came out easy, only hurt a couple times when he was cutting them. He told me I needed to see him again in 3 months, and we discussed the possibility of getting a second CI. I am tolerating the CI much better than I expected, and if things continue to improve, I wouldn’t mind getting my left side done too. He said normally he likes to wait 6 months before doing the second implant, but he thinks that if i continue to wear the implant (and I plan to) he would be fine with implanting me in December after school gets out for the semester. This is good news for me, with how my insurance works, if it was after January, I would have to pay a $3000 deductible. Granted, with the mapping sessions, I will still have to pay quite a bit, but at least the surgery will be covered.
So that was my activation, and as soon as I get the video edited, and under the hour it was… I will post it. I did try to understand Alison, but it was much too hard. I was only lipreading, so I went back to watching the interpreter.
I was so excited as well to see Destiny, she has been my lifeline to the office for the last few weeks, letting me know of any changes, answering my questions, everything! She was amazed I wanted a picture with her!