Ok so had what I think is my 4th MAPping today, and I don’t have to go back to see her for that CI until January unless something comes up… but I will see her before that for the other ear. She said she will probably leave the MAP alone on my right ear for 3 months after my left is activated… so it should be more like end of feb for alterations on the right.
anyways… I got some pictures of my MAPs, and the testing process (the intern who was testing me, his name is Tim… and I don’t think he knows I got the pictures). So this is how my MAP went today…
first they tested my impedance levels, which are being kinda funky… and my audiologist Allison said they sort of look like what they expect with people who have meniere’s, which I don’t have. when they test the impedance levels, they are also testing to be sure all the electrodes are functional.
then they did what was called autoNRT, which is an objective test of where my levels should be for my CI. They take 5 electrodes and test to see when they get a neural response We couldn’t finish my autoNRT because, with impedance levels as odd as mine are right now… it doesn’t tell them much. electrode 1 refused to get a level, same with 2. (This happened last time too).
so at that point Time brought up my old map, and started playing the torture game. Really,
I count the beeps and it helps them figure out where my threshold levels are. This game is highly frustrating, especially when I see him click the button (the screen is turned away from me at this point) and know I’m suppose to be hearing something. They go through each electrode, figuring out where I need to be and where it is that I can hear. The t levels are known as the threshold levels, meaning the softest sound that I can hear. My CI is plugged directly into the computer at this point, and obviously is still positioned on my head.
after we work through all the electrodes, it is time to balance them. This means the C level, or the comfort level (the loudest sounds I will hear), all sound the same. This way one frequency is not louder than the others, and things are suppose to sound more natural. As we started, the first 3 were balanced, but the 4th was much louder than the others, but was a more comfortable volume. But because we were going for balance, instead of raising the first 3, he lowers the rest following, until they are all balanced. He also had to raise a few to be sure they were the same volume for me. I was kinda frustrated at this point, because that, to me, meant that it wasn’t going to be loud enough for me. But in reality, after they were balanced, he raised all the frequencies until I was comfortable with the volume. At
this point unfortunately 2 of my electrodes, 11 and 3 I believe were out of voltage compliance. Meaning they were using more energy than they should. This also means that once an electrode goes out of voltage compliance they aren’t sure if raising the T and C levels will actually make it louder. So what do they do? they change the Pulse bandwidth… which is the layman terms, allows them to make it louder, while still being in voltage compliance. the Pulse width was changed from 25 to 37, also something that on some electrodes had to be done last time too. If you look closely at the MAP, you will see little lines above the top ovals, those are where my C levels would be out of voltage compliance. I have 2 electrodes that the C levels are sitting right on the voltage compliance lines, 12 and 1. If the volume on those needs to be turned up any more at that point, we would have to up the Pulse width. 12 is already at a PW of 37, but Tim said if we needed to we could go up to a PW of 50.
Next… next we did testing. an audiogram using “white noise” rather than the standard pure tones. I’m not sure why they do this… but it is really interesting. I learned how my angel sound program that is suppose to give me some example as to my audiogram is wrong, or rather might be wrong… the audiogram on the left is the audiogram AngelSound gave me 12 days ago… the one on the right is from today. I think I might have to test it out by doing another AngelSound Audiogram today, so that I can see the differences in how 1. the MAP is helping me, and 2. how off set Angel Sound is from real life.
After the audiogram, we did sentence tests. They test to see how well I am understanding. We are using the standard tests, forget what they are called, right now. They are Sentences like “The boy ran away from school” and “The train went down the tracks”. So sentences that actually make sense. I did REALLY well with these, especially with only being 3 months activated. I got about 84% (43/51 correct). Then we did word discrimination. These aren’t the normal “hotdog, baseball, airplane” that have been used at almost every audiology appointment I have had in my life, but things like “duck” “fire” “mouse” “death” that sort of thing. there are 51 words, and I have to listen and say what the words are. He told me that if I got over 80% right, Allison, my actual audiologist, wanted me to do the harder test… the recorded word list. well… I got exactly 80% right. so that meant that I had to do the recorded word list. That thing was HARD… the guy on the recording talks fast, and isn’t clear… but I am proud of myself I got 36% correct. After talking with Allison and being told how wonderfully I am doing (I am giving most of the credit to Harry Potter Therapy, which I will explain later) she asked if we could do the recorded sentences, which would most likely be easier for me than the word list. Back into the booth we went, and I got 86% with the recorded word list! I was shocked! Tim told me next time with this ear we are most likely going to have to do the harder sentence lists, to see how I am actually understanding because I am seabring out (VERY sure I misunderstood that). Because those sentences make very little sense. He told me a few of them, just so I could see what they were like… the one that sticks in my head is “They had to put a padlock on the fridge”… wonder if they live with kids… or if a thief comes into their house at night and steels food.
All of this, the appointment took just over 2 hours… I really hope they don’t always take this long… but right now, I’m happy for getting the attention that I deserve and am paying for.
on another note… I’m scheduled for surgery in 43.5 days. I’ve been fighting with my insurance trying to get them to keep the stuff Rocky Mountain Ear center has sent them, rather than pretend they don’t know what I’m talking about… seems like we made a little headway on the 17th (after fighting with them for a month), but then when I called to check on it the 25th, they acted like I was insane again… and finally said they didn’t have enough “clinical information”. after a good chat with Destiny at RMEC, she sent my information off again, and after a phone call this morning, they said they received the information! the guy I spoke to also told me the reference number, this way I don’t have to fight with them saying they don’t know what I’m talking about again. I will call on thursday Nov 1st and figure out what they said… I’m really aiming for a yes.
but… my Harry Potter Therapy, which i briefly mentioned earlier, that is the only real auditory rehab I am doing, and it is very easy on me. I am a PotterHead, I will admit, and I love the books, know them very well. I figured since I know them so well… why not just try and listen to them, see if I can figure out where in the story I am at. I know people say that you should be following along in the book at the same time as listening to the story, and I shouldn’t listen to someone with a british accent since I live in the US… but I love Harry Potter, it is the one book set that I can read over and over again, and never tire of. It is also the only book set that I know so very well, a few words here and there I can get a picture as to where I am in the story. Anyways, its been getting easier and easier to know where I am and follow along in the story for the past month. I’ve been doing Harry Potter Therapy for about 3 months, but within the last 2 weeks, I’m really knowing where I am. I listen on average of 3 hours a day, my drive to work and my drive home from work. I am contributing this to my comprehension scores being so much higher this time than last time. Last month my sentences or my words (don’t remember which) was only at about 40%… so this 80% is a HUGE improvement.
Granted, this will not mean I do not need or want interpreters or the Deaf Community, the only way for me to be sure I have 100% of the information is through using an ASL interpreter at doctors offices, as well as school. So I will still happily have my interpreters and my wonderful Deaf world! speaking of school…
I have to get to class now… will update again soon.