One of the most frustrating and difficult moments for a parent is the activation process, because your child cannot tell you what he hears and how well he hears each sound. Jordan is improving in this process and watches the computer screen as the audiologist does his maps. He'll say, "Raise this two levels" or "Lower this three levels," etc, but what about the babies? This is why it is so important to have your children mapped by a trained audiologist with a great deal of experience and for the parents to observe their kids to see what type of results they are having with the implant. I met Jen from Tennessee when she left a comment telling me about these videos on another post and they blew me away. Ironically, she wrote how the second video was boring because she spent the entire video saying, "This is too loud or your voice is too soft..." this was the part that interested me the most as a parent of a child who was unable to make such clarifications at his first activations. Perhaps by watching Jen's videos, parents will have a better idea of what questions to ask their children and their audiologists. Jen writes a blog about her cochlear implant experience, I am including a post under the videos about what exactly she has been hearing with her cochlear implants, this woman is beautiful...
You'd be surprised. I can't believe what I'm hearing...it has just been so incredible. I think I'll just make a list:
*Tuesday I heard my kids talking. I could understand the three oldest ones well, and could understand hubby fairly well.
*Wednesday I woke up early...at 7:30. Might not seem early to everyone else until you consider that I usually sleep in when the kids don't have school...but I wanted to put the processor on and start listening! When I was cooking Ellie got some sugar on a styrofoam plate and was shaking it about three feet away and saying, "Can you hear this, Mama??"...and I actually could hear it scratching on the plate. And...this was with Hannah Montana on the TV in the next room! Incidentally, I haven't ever realized how loud the girls keep the TVs...but I can hear them ALL THE TIME.
*My mom texted me when she arrived at the airport in Houston. I was in the middle of washing dishes and I abandoned the sink (left the water running) and went to try to call her. I locked myself in the bathroom and dialed. I heard the phone ring and then I heard her say "Hello, Jennifer!" Right about that time the processor shorted out. As I mentioned before, it has issues, and at that particular time, the current issue was shorting out every time I switched programs. Anyhow, realizing that I couldn't talk to Mom anymore, I took the phone to Katie and she finished my conversation. It would have been a very difficult call anyway...she was in the airport and her cell phone connection was terrible, so it was probably for the best...but I called her...and I understood her...for all of about three seconds :). (I was relieved to find that while the sink was overflowing when I got back, it was thankfully overflowing into the other side, and not overflowing all over ky kitchen floor.)
*When I got a shirt out of the closet to get ready for church, I heard a tinkling that I hadn't heard before. I looked and located a few hangers at the end of my closet that were bumping together and making that tinkly sound!
*At church, the preacher's wife said that she wanted to test me, so she had me look away and then she asked, "How are you doing?" I grinned and looked at her, and said, "I'm fine, thanks!!" :) During church I deliberately looked away from the speakers several times to see if I could hear them without looking. I could nearly always pick up a few words here and there. The singing in church was astonishing...several voices actually sounded just like I remembered them from almost 18 months ago, before I started losing what hearing I had left. I had not at all set my sights on getting music back...but if it sounded that good at just over 24 hours...wow, I can't imagine what it will sound like in the next few weeks and months!
*We went to my mom's after church on Wednesday to see them (they got in from Nicaragua while we were at church). Mom presented me with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "A New York Christmas" CD...jazz Christmas music!!! It doesn't sound just right yet...but, ya know...I think that it's possible that by Christmas it may be great :).
*Thursday morning when I woke up I didn't put the processor on right away. I have always had a hard time putting Thing 1 on due to the vibrotactile problems...when I put it on, I always get a head buzz that's mildly uncomfortable. I'm having a hard time getting adjusted to the idea that Thing 2 isn't the same way...I can just slap it on, it gives me a few little beeps, then comes on...just sound, no discomfort. When I finally did put on Thing 2 I was in the bathroom, and the noise just about blew me away. I headed out the bathroom, down the hall, and there was the TV again...the squawkbox...with a football game blaring. I could hear it all the way in the bathroom...and it was LOUD! I could hear it well enough to know that the captioning didn't keep up with the game ;).
*We went to my mom's for Thanksgiving lunch and after lunch I went back to get a refill on my Coke. Then men were watching the football game, and as I poured the Coke I heard a "pshhhhhhhhhhh". I asked hubby, "What's that noise??" and he said, "I don't hear anything!" About that time it faded out, so I turned back to pour some more Coke, and the second I did it started again. I realized that I was hearing the fizz of my soft drink...over the sound of the men talking and the football game!
*When we went to the in-laws' for dinner, we were in line fixing plates and I heard my mother-in-law call my name. I turned and looked and she was grinning. It's a new thing to be able to just call me...I don't usually respond...and the whole family has gotten in the habit of flapping their hands to get my attention...a habit that it looks like I'm gonna have to be breaking them of soon ;).
*Ellie came and sat with me on the bed last night and was watching Disney Channel. She was about to ask me something, and I said, "Wait!" and turned my head so I wasn't looking at her. She figured out pretty quickly to talk slowly and loudly, but I heard every word when she said, "I just brushed my teeth, and I've been eating M&M's. Are my teeth dirty? Do I need to brush them again?" (talk about unpredictable...there's no way I could have guessed any part of that sentence!!)
*Claire and I were on the bed this morning and I asked her, "Is the phone ringing?" She waved her hand and said "No" ("Bummer," I thought to myself) and then I heard it again, and asked again, "IS THE PHONE RINGING?" This time, she said, "Oh! Yes!" and dashed off to get it. A big deal...I've been hearing the phone ring this week, but before that, I haven't heard it in nearly 18 months :). One of these days, I might just answer it ;)!
*Today hubby was outside banging and clanging and chopping leaves with the mower...and I could barely think for all the noise I was hearing up here in the bedroom ;). His work is LOUD!
*and the icing on the cake...tonight we were on our way to grab dinner, and were in the dark little car. I was driving, and hubby started talking, and I decided I'd just listen instead of turning on the light to try to lipread. We did that all the way to Nashville...about an hour...and I was able to understand at least 90% of what he said to me. I did have to listen carefully...and when he was talking to Katie in the backseat I didn't pay much attention and I didn't catch much. We went shopping after dinner and I heard several customers in the store talking to their kids, on their phones, etc. and was able to understand a lot of what they were saying when I concentrated. It's amazing how loudly people talk in stores!!
I've heard lots more sounds, and will hear more...but this was just a few (I know you're glad I'm done ;) ). I'll list more in the next day or so...I'm just so amazed at my newfound capabilities!! This hearing business is rather incredible!!!!