Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Hearing Aid- Unitron Max 6

I got my new hearing aid on Friday.

First impressions:

  • My audiologist Beth Muller is just plain awesome for more reasons that I can post here. She is great.
  • The sound is louder than what I had before and I don’t feel like I am straining to hear something.
  • The balance with the cochlear implant is much better. My CI doesn’t overpower the aid like it did before.
  • There is a harmonica sound when there are loud sounds. I am not sure the reason for this yet. When I whistle, for example, it sounds like a chord instead of a pure whistle. I do not like this.
  • Overall, I am hearing better and I am not sending out feedback whistling from my hearing aid all the time.
  • Very Satisfied! (I am sure we can fix the harmonica sound with an adjustment)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Still Training my Ear

A few months ago, I had my speech processer remapped. The last one I had gotten before leaving Brazil was not a good one for me, the impulses were too strong and it was uncomfortable to wear the CI even after trying for weeks. I’d given up wearing it for a few months, as my natural hearing had strengthened to the point that I could get by.

Now I am wearing it, but not turning it on all the time. I sometimes turn it off to hear from my right ear better, and forget to turn it on. The mapping is much better, but I took a few steps back from not wearing it for a few months. I am just getting back to hearing speech with great concentration using my CI.

I am trying to balance my hearing and use both the hearing aid and CI, but the CI usually overpowers the hearing aid.

I will also get a new hearing aid in a few weeks, a unitron max 6. It is a very, very strong hearing aid. I am pretty much at the upper limit of sound amplification, but at least I won’t have to wear my aid on full power all the time. This will reduce the feedback and squealing I get from my current aid.

Sorry for the long delay between updates.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I need a Mapping

Long time with no update. Basically, since about 2 weeks after moving to the US, I have not been wearing my CI. The last mapping was just way too loud. Even the softest of sounds sound like loud collisions.

The good news is that my hearing in my right ear, assisted by a hearing aid, has been sufficient for me to work and get by. My hearing has gotten stronger and much clearer since going deaf for the 4th time nearly a year ago. (you can read about that on this blog)

Still, I have almost no distance with my hearing, and my CI was fantastic for that. Still need to train my brain to hear more clearly with the CI, but I haven't been wearing it. Sad.

I found a clinic in Baton Rouge that might be able to map my Opus 2. If not, I will look for one in New Orleans.

That is all for now.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Big Change

We are moving from Brazil to the USA in just a couple of weeks. This is the reason I have not been updating regularly. We are in a whirlwind of change.

My hearing with the cochlear implant is still improving, to the point that I am feeling more like I hear and less like I am deaf. I did have another mapping done and, to be honest, I am not sure it was the best.

On the other hand. I left my remote control in the USA during my last trip and I can’t adjust anything. That may be part of the problem. Everything is just too loud right now.

My natural hearing is getting a little stronger as well, to the point that if I put on my hearing aid and you speak pretty close to my ear, I can understand. I need the cochlear implant to hear far away, however.

I will write another post soon to talk about our move and why. I got a job that has a pretty strong hearing requirement. That is worth a post in itself. Until then…

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bible Storying for the Deaf

Deaf with a capital D. That is, those who were born deaf and have committed to using non verbal means of communication, like sign language.

I only learned a little sign language at my church when I was a young teenager, and refreshed a bit in college. Both times it was out of a desire to communicate with Deaf friends. Though I have been deaf on 4 distinct occasions in my life, I have always relied on speech for communication. (I was suddenly and unexpectedly deafened when I was 11, again at 21, another time at 32, and yet again at 36.)

That being said, I am a missionary and a Bible storyer. This video, from one of my latest facebook groups, is just beautiful to me. I hope it encourages someone who stops by my blog here.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Ran into a Deaf Friend

Yesterday as my wife and son and I were walking down Rio Branco Avenue, here in Juiz de Fora, I saw a young girl smile at me. I kept thinking, where do I know her, then I remembered. I called my wife to stop walking and we all turned around. The girl and her family turned around too.

We had met several years back. She was unable to hear much and her speech was extremely limited with a strong deaf accent. She was about 8 years old at the time.

Now, she is fourteen. She looked at me and saw my cochlear implant. Then I saw hers. She smiled and spoke in a very clear perfect sounding Portuguese. Her hearing seem effortless. (My hearing comes with great concentration, frustration and repetition). After our families caught up, I asked her how long she had been wearing a CI. Turns out it’s been 2 years since her activation.

She said the first year was a big struggle, but now she hears very well and dominates nearly every social situation. Wow. I am so pleased for her.

I am still in the first year. I’ve made amazing advances, but I also have a long way to go. I do hope to be hearing as well as she is soon.

Both of us have MED-EL Opus 2 processors and were operated by the same doctor. Neat.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Listen and Read

Listen and Read

Listen and Read is a website intended for elementary school children learning to read. It features a picture and a text, with a button you can press to hear the text read aloud.

This is exactly the kind of resource I was looking for a few months ago to train my listening skills. I have graduated beyond this to not needing the words right in front of me for comprehension, but I wanted to put this up for others who might need training resources while learning to hear again.

Related Posts:

Another Step towards Speech Recognition 
A Social Network for Cochlear Implant Users