Hi its almost Christmas 2008. I find it very hard to believe that it's nine years now and things are still working great for me. I am still hearing very well and have done so many things that I would not have been able to do so easily had it not been for the implant. I am now on the National Board of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and have started a Chapter here in Nova Scotia for the CHHA with help from my daughter and other friends. We now have three AB implants in our family as both my daughters have been implanted and we are all pleased with the results of the implant. My thanks to all the great team at AB and also to the Christaine Sequin and Dr. David Schramm of the Ottawa implant team and also Heather Maassen and the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinic for their help over the last nine wonderful years.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Hi my name is Dave and I would like to begin my blog by sharing my diary of the first three months of activation. Later on I will share personal stories and pictures that I have of my journey into the world of sound.
June 7/ 1999
My activation day. I looked forward to this day with high expectations, but also was prepared to accept whatever happened. The quality of sound was not what I expected, but I feel the quantity of sound is more than I ever imagined. I am unable to tell what my voice sounds like, or any other voice, but I do know when someone is speaking. My most emotional moment was at supper. It took me quite some time to realize that the crunching sound I was hearing was from the french fries that I was eating, and not from the room surroundings. I just cried as I am thinking my favourite season with the autumn leaves will be fantastic. Sounds of plastic and the pages of the paper being turned I am hearing for the first time in years. Voices I feel will fall into place later. Time, patience and the will to hear will surely help me here.
I wake up eager to put my headpiece and connect my speech processor to see what today will bring. I hear the motor of the air conditioner in our room. The sound seems quite loud at first but soon blends in with the other sounds. My tinnitus starts up fast but this is normal for me anyway. Its loud but the other incoming sounds that the implant provides mask the tinnitus very quickly. I hear the traffic noises and can tell the difference between the sounds of the buses, trucks and cars. My wife and I go to the mall. My battery starts to fail. I have the 3AA batteries and was thinking that they would last longer. The sound is really high pitched before they finally die completely. I am concerned thinking surely this must be a problem with my speech processor. I try my rechargable batteries and once again I am hearing sounds. Voices seem to be jumbled, I hear the rustle of the wind. It sounds different in the larger trees than in the sparcely treed area. I pick up a clock and I hear the ticking for the first time in over thirty five years. Wow!!!! this is going to be great. If only I the voice would become less fuzzy. Two days so much new sound. I feel my journey has now began.
I have an appointment with my audiologist Christiane Seguin. I ask to try the second program for awhile. After switching to the second program I find the sound maybe a bit softer, but not as fuzzy. I decide to try this and the minute its on my tinnitus sounds drop to almost nothing. I am getting more clarity of sound but not the quantity. My brother phones long distance and I want to try the telephone. "Yes," I can hear over the phone. My first time in twenty five years! His voice is just what I imagined. I understand simple questions. I practice with his wife, my family and friends that call. I am amazed at what I really hear through the telephone. I pick up phrases and complete sentences from television. This is something I have not been able to do for years. I look forward to tomorrows appointment to continue towards the goal of being able to take another step into the hearing world.
I am overjoyed to share my experiences with Christiane a person that I have great respect for. She shares my joy as if I am one of her own family. We read a story first with speech reading and sound. I feel I am doing really well. Now we test without speechreading. The sounds are there but I find it very difficult to understand. I am really wrong on some of the sentences but we laugh at my mistakes and I accept that this will improve with practice. We practice short sentences where I am aware of one word, I do get some of them. Mil (my wife) and I continue to practice at home. I seem to improve. I want to test my hearing on the bush where the roar is quite loud. I hear the doors open and close and the squeal of traffic. In the mall I can tell the difference in different footstep sounds depending on the type of shoes worn by the person. I hear music as I move around the store. Finally on our way homeI hear the chirp of a bird in the trees. I call Mil to make sure this is what I am hearing.
I developed a blood clot during my trip home to Nova Scotia by train on May 13th and finally we have the arrangments made to get the testing done here in Ottawa without any problems. The audiologist and I practice with and without speechreading. I am able to pick up most of the conversation being carried on by Mil and the audiologist by speechreading. With sound alone I got a sentence or two until I was allowed to watch the conversation. After the appointment Mil and I go for a walk. I was able to hear the motor of the older or heavier vehicles before they were in sight, also the sound of a motor cycle coming up from behind us. At the mall I had a conversation with the clerk in one of the stores. Her voice was very clear and I felt great to be able to hear someone I was not familiar with. After supper I wanted to hear the birds chirping and tonight it was very clear. My emotions overcame me. My thoughts reflected on my daughters. Am I now able to hear better than them? Tears came and I had to go inside. Mil and I practiced sentences without speechreading. I am doing great.
Today I wanted to try program one again, but decided to stay with two as my sister and her husband were coming for a visit. I wanted to be my best with the hearing. I find I am not giving myself credit with the voices. I was able to understand my sisters husbands vocie very well. His voice was like I imagined. If I could see them I was getting ninety five to one hundred percent of what they were saying. We went to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. I was able to get bits and pieces of a movie on whales. My ability to use the telephone has progressed to full sentences. I had two new callers and was able to carry on short conversation with both. I went to the hospital and could hear the nurse when she explained to me about the shifts, and the reason I may not see the staff that had been there last month for my surgery. Tomorrow I will try program one.
I tried program two in the morning until my relatives left. I went back to program one in the afternoon. The sounds seem louder and the hints of fuzziness of sound is not there as much as before. I hear the clicking of the venetian blinds as the wind slightly blows through the window.
Another new sound I pick up is the sound of liquid being sipped through a straw and going back into the glass as I stop sipping on the straw. I went to listen to the birds chirping and they are louder and clearer. I carried on a conversation with difficulty in a crowded resturant. I am able to carry on a conversation with a friend as my wife talks to another person nearby. Sounds seem better than at start of day with this program. The fuzziness of the sound is much improved. Heard an ambulance siren very loud and clear. Happy to have tried this program again and looking forward to tomorrows appointment with the audiologist.
Every day seems to bring with it the experience of new sound. Today it was the cracking of my leg bones after I had been sitting for awhile and then got up to walk. The sound of my feet rubbing against the carpet. The appointment with the audiologist went very well. I was able to identify a lot of the States and other things on tape. The story also seems to show an improvement. The TV continues to be a real learning experience with more and more being accomplished with different speakers. I sometimes get most of the sentences. The telephone is also going great much better than I would have imagined. My family calling long distance are amazed at my progress. I can carry on conversations with others that I would not attempted during my first few days of activation. Coming back to program one was much better than I imagined. I look forward to any challenge in the future.
Today I was fitted with program three. I felt at ease with the program from the start. The voice seems to be clear and every thing seems to be going very smoothly. I am now more aware of the sounds of traffic and can sort it out from the sound that the winds make. I continue to hear one sound when I enter the main building here. I also heard the sound when I went to the mall today in one of the stores. I think this may be the buzz of the flourescent lights. It tried different types of music from a music display. I was not able to distinguish certain types but found out the accordion music was much like I expected. I liked the piano and also the nature sound tapes. The sound from the tape called "Thunder" was hard for me to put together as useful sound. I really enjoy the telephone and also the TV as I can't remember just when I lost the ablility to hear the voices enough to know what was being said. I will go to program three after my long distance calls from my family and friends tonight.
My appointment time with Christiane is getting short. Her professional but always cheerful and friendly manner will really be missed. Today we did words that sound alike ans alos some story. Although the story without speechreading is difficult, I am able to grasp some of the information, more on the second attempt. I picked up a sound of Mil pressing the buttons on the telephone to make a telephone call. I also picked up the hammering of a construction worker in downtown Ottawa. I knew what direction it was coming from although it was quite a distance away. My phone ability continues to improve as well as the TV if I can see the speaker. It will be a big and difficult decision to choose which program I will use most as they all have provided me with so much needed sound. I feel so much more at ease when carrying on a conversation as I do not have to use the amount of concentration as before. It feels that a new life has already opened for me.
Today was my final appointment with the audiologist. She made sure I understood all that was to be known about the speech processor and gave me lots of papers to practice with at home.
I was very sad and cried when I had to say good-bye as I felt I was leaving a very good friend behind. She has brought me so far in such a short period of time. During my ride by cab to the train I was able to pick up a few words from the radio announcements. The train station was a place for new sounds such as the wheels of the luggage carts being pushed over different surfaces. The noise of the air conditioning units overhead and the announcements over the public address systems. I am looking forward to tomorrow and hearing my familys voices and those of my friends in a much different way.
I could hardly believe my ears when the train started moving. The sound was so different, sounds that I had not noticed before were coming through clearly, the clunking and clanging of the wheels in motion weere really louder than I expected. Again I can hear the public address announcements and can tell male and female voices but cannot make out the words that are being said. Rick a friend of ours met us in Halifax. His voice was so clear. During the drive over I could hear the wipers as the sounds of the windows of the car being lowered. My daughters voices were much like I imagined and I am able to understand most of the conversation. I went out to supper with my friends from K-Mart and enjoyed it so much as conversin was much easier than with the hearing aids.
A start of a new beginning with family, friends and neighbours. I am so happy to share my accomplishments. One of the funniest expereinces of the day was when I walked up to Penhorn Mall with Tracy (my daughter). I had just gotten to the top of the hil and was hearing a new sound but could mot fit it into my auditory memory. I thought it was a small dog barking. I said, "Tracy, do you hear that dog barking." She said. "Dad, thats not a dog barking its a crow calling from the trees." It was very amusing but when I listened more closely I could hear the caw sound clearer. Mil and I practiced sentences also Tracy helped us as well. All seems to be going great. On television they were discussing Prince Edwards wedding (England accent) I was able to make out most of it. My brother called and he talked to Mil after talking to me. He said to Mil after that tonights call was not like talking to a deaf person when talking to Dave. Another day of edging back into the hearing world.
Today has been an emotional day for me. We went to Church this morning. I could not make out the organ music as I thought it may be, but the speakers were more than I ever imagined for my first try at our religious service. The sounds were very clear. I could follow all of the regular service and also got ninety five persent of the sermon for the first time in about twenty five years. I did use my auxilary microphine and found the sound great. I also went for a walk on the waterfront. I could hear the waves breaking on the shore. It was different when the waves were disturbed by the Harbour Ferry as it arrived Dartmouthand departed for Halifax. I can tell when a car is approaching from about two to three hundred feet away.
I could hear the sound of our feet on the pavement and gravel was so different. I plan to switch back to program two within the next couple of days. Program three has more than met my expectations especially on the phone.
Today I had to see how I would manage on my own in a hospital situation. I had blood work and had to be called by number. All went well and the conversation with the receptions was perfect as well. I talked to Cindy at the Society of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians and Linda at
Deafness Advocacy Association Nova Scotia. They were very pleased and excited about the way things have improved for me. I went over to my workplace and talked with all the staff as well as others from Queens Printer. I am so happy to spread the news of my success with the implant. On the way home I went to the Public Gardens and the new sounds of duck, pigeons and other small birds sort of made me lose track of time, as I really didn't realize how long I had lingered soaking up the new sounds. Justin a two year old visited us and I can hear his voice very well. Although just two he said, "That's Dave's new hearing aid and it has wires too." he went with me on the bus this morning and was talking quite a bit. Being alone on a walk this afternoon I heard sounds that I cant think ow what they were.
Since returning home I ahve been able to sort out traffic noises much better as this is a very quiet street. When I go down to the main street I can really tell the difference in the noise of traffic. I heard a piece of heavy equipment coming long before I was able to see it. This was a bachoe being driven on the street. I also pick up the sounds of sirens. These are very far away as we are at the top of the hill and quite a distance from the main street. I got talking books from the library and was able to follow very good without looking at the words. The sounds of the waterfront especially the waves. I feel so very fortunate to be able to hear them again.
Tonight I had my first experience with the plug in for the telephone. I had missed my bus connection so called home to let them know I would be a hour late. Another great day!
I slept in a little bit this morning. Justin has been quite talkative this morning asking all types of questions and wanting to go on another bus ride with me. Hes just two and its so great to be able to hear him talk. Had doctors appointment today and she is also amazed at my progress. I also visited the audiologist office that I have been dealing with for over thirty years and she also cannot believe the way my communication has been made so much easier with the implant, and how relaxed I seem compared to when I wore the hearing aids. Also had quite a conversation with my barber when I went for a haircut. I have spoken to many strangers and friends with no difficulty at all. The sound of dishes when washing or drying them were so much different than I could ever imagine. Returned some of the talking books to the library as I found them very easy. Will pick up some others to try out tomorrow.
Today I saw friends that I havent spoken with in years. We had a short conversation. I am very pleased to know I have gained so much confidence in my hearing with the implant. I will sort of try to converse with anyone. I tried the talking books I find some authors are much harder to follow than others. The books were more advanced, but I could follow along if I had the printed word to read. Then I would re-do the whole book for practice without the printed word. I get out quite a variety of my old records and found the music sounds really good. The Ventures (music only) was much like I remembered I could folllow along with most of the songs if I could remember the words. I did find Charlie Rich and Loretta Lynn a bit difficult to follow. Mil said, "the Loretta Lynn record was not sounding correctly." I played Reveen the hypnosist and could follow along about ninety five percent of what he was saying. I feel great to be able to play and hear these records that have remained dormant for decades.
Today I had an appointment with the students and professor at Dalhousie University. They were all excited to see the improvement with the implant compared to the hearing aids. I scored forty percent up from twelve on word recognition. I am planning to switch to program one tomorrow and go to two after a few days. I can carry on telephone conversations with ease with my brother and sister when they call long distance. I love to listen to the sound of the waves coming in on the shore. I also spend time listening to the birds as this has become sort of a ritual for me almost daily. I am quite pleased with everything that has happened to this point.
I switched back to program one after using three to talk to my brother when he called. I find this much louder but I do not have the clarity of sound that I had with program three. I am able to converse with this program but not as well was with three. Television and everything seems to show improvement with my recognition of full sentences, plus full news cast on certain subjects. Mil read me short stories from our practice sheets without the topic or speechreading. I am able to answer any question if the story is read twice. One of yesterdays topices I forgot to mention was I have been waiting anxiously for to see if I could hear my best friend's voice. When they visited I just couldn't wait for him to speak. I can hear him clearly and I was so overjoyed as now I'm sure our conversations will be like in our younger days when we first met.
After using program one for one day I have finally decided that program three would be my main means of communication. I do like the other programs but find its program three that gives me the greatest clarity and telephone ability. We went to Church and our regular priest Rev. Marion has returned. I heard her voice really well and was able to follow the other readers without watching their mouths or reading from the papers provided. We visited friends from home and had friends drop in here for a visit all went well. I still find I may use the other programs in different situations and cant wait to attend an auditorium or small meeting to see if my expectations will be met. Regardless of what happens. This has been one of the happiest months of my life. I feel like I'm at a new beginning point.
The world of sound continues to grow with every passing day. I am constantly picking up new sounds. Today it was the sound of doors squeaking and the different sounds they make when opening and closing. I had not noticed the refrigerator door made such a noise when it was opened and closed. I also had the experience of the Metro Centre this place is not good for aucoustics. I really enjoyed the musical part of the Nova Scotia International Tattoo but found the speakers very difficult. I did manage to grasp a few words when I could see the speaker. I find now that if things around me get too quiet I tend to want to be able to be hearing sounds all the time. It seems so different to return to the world of silence when I remove the speech processor and microphone at bedtime. My tinnitus has shown improvement since I had the implant activated.
Today I visited a deaf friend of mine. Her voice has always seemed very high pitched and I had problems understanding her with the hearing aids. I was amazed at the difference in sound with the implant and the understanding of her vocie was so much easier. I also found her husband much easier to understand. I had a long conversation with her daughter during our drive back to Dartmouth. I used the telephomne without the attachement in Haliface to call home. I received a lot of stares using the phone receiver up so high on my head. Guess some would be wondering just what is this guy doing. I can even pick up the panting of a dog in the heat wave we seem to be experiencing.
Today I felt I was really going to put this new way of hearing to a test. I have never been able to converse freely with our director at work. I went over for a visit and talked to him with ease. He seemed so pleased with my progress and told me anything I needed to help out at work could be obtained by just asking. I also visited five friends with whom I had worked or will be dealing with when I return to work. All conversations went very well. I continue to enjoy the singing of the birds and often stop to just listen to them. It seems the sounds of sirens are heard from so far away. The sounds of the train whistle on the waterfront was one of the newer sounds I picked up during my walk downtown today.
The sound of childrens voices playing in our back yard, and the sound of their game pieces on the pavement in the driveway. They are playing a game where you have to throw a piece of plastic to know over your opponents game pieces. I hear the sound of this sitting a few feet away from where they are playing. I pick up hammering sounds from half a block away and dogs barking four or five doors down from where I am sitting. I carried on a conversation with a young man I had never met before as he drove me to pick up a rental car. My first experience of driving myself since the implant, I hear the air conditioning unit in the car, the click of the signal lights, the sound of the ignition when you turn the key to start the car. Everything is so different than it sounded with the hearing aids. One sound that still seem wrong to me is the caw of the crows. I just can't seem to put this sound into my auditory memory the way it is right now.
Today was another exciting day. We went to the Canada Day celebrations. The Dixieland Band played at Sullivans pond. The music was great. I enjoyed the trumpets, flutes, horns and piano accordions. At the waterfront a more rock and pop style music which I also enjoyed. I was able to tell some of the songs that were being played. At the hospital today while waiting for my blood work, I could hear the sound of the beds being rolled over the Emergency Department floor. The talking of the patients waiting in the next cubicle. The sound of childrens strollers and carts being pulled over the pavement. I heard the sound of the wheels of the roller skaters on the waterfront and also the sound of skateboards banging on the pavement. I stopped to listen to a new chirping sound for awhile on my way down the street. I am looking forward to the difference I will experience in my work place.
It seems that each day bring new sounds that I have not noticed before. During the day I noticed the sound of the air brakes on the bus and more squealing of the doors and the surrounding traffic. I took Justin to the playground and the sound of the chain of the swing and creaking noise when I pushed him was very clearly heard. The sound of the loading doors on the ferry and the engine when on our way across the harbour. These sounds are much different than with the hearing aid. I feel I am hearing sound from quite some distance away. I pick up the sound of cars awhile before I can see them. I hear people coming up from behind me much better and this is making me much more confident in my surroundings.
I find the sound of the clock ticking very loud when I put on my speech processor in the morning. It sort of blends in with the rest of the sounds in very little time. I get out more of my records and listen to some of the new ones as well as going back over otheres that I have played before. I am really thrilled to be able to listen to music. I am understanding better than on my previous attempt. My brother called and we had a nice conversation. One word of a town that I had not heard of before gave me a little diffficulty. I could tell the word began with a "c" but could not fill in the rest of the word until it was spelt to me. I am looking forward to the church service tomorrow to see how I make out of if I am able to follow any better than last Sunday.
Mil and I went to church this morning . Rev. Marion had the sermon typed for me and asked if I needed it. I said, "I would rather have it to follow if I meiised some words. The piano music seemed to have improved as well as voices from the choir seemed to come together clearer. I just used the auxilary microphone when the speaker was farther away. I shed a few tears of joy again as all sounds seem to be improving around me in ways I never imagined. I seem to be pulling the microphone from my ehad at times. I did remove a magnet last week. I am experiementing on the best way to place my wiring. Placing it through the tag on the back of my shirt seems to hold in in place better than with the clip.
Its return to workd day for me. After being away for two months I was a bit nervous as I have to be late due to my blood work. All went well at work. I was really surprised to hear the sound of my work shoes on the floor. It seemed that they squeaked when I walked. At first I dodn not notice all the sound from the air conditioning and fans that supply the two top floors of the building. These sounds were noticed more in the afternoon. Travelling on the crowded bus was a bit different soundwise as well. I find that I pick up very many new sounds and can't identify them just the direction which they are coming from. Tonight the sound of the sea gulls on the waterfront were clearly heard. Checked with Christiane to make sure what the up coming appointment was for as I am very happy with the program that I am using and would not want to lose this through reprogramming..
There are many sounds at work that I never noticed before when I wore the hearing aids, that I seem to pick up so clearly now. One of the sounds was from the incoming faxes on the fax machine that I never noticed before, but pick up the beep quite clearly now. I also hear the closing of our filing cabinets with much different sound quality that I was not aware of before.
I picked up the sound of a saw at the end of the bridge from a construction site. This was quite a distance away. I am able to identify sound shat I have heard in the past month much better than I was at the week of activation. I am checking on new job listions within the Government as I feel more confident to start over in a new working environment.
I find I am having more contact wtih outside visitors in the workplace as I am hearing them approach much easier than before. I hear a strange noise and ask "What is that new sound?"
Staff do not notice so I think that it may be my tinnitus but I have doubts and investigate. I find its louder as I move form the main work area. I finally realize the sound I am hearing is a repair man working on the elevator outside the work area. I drop into Tim Hortons for a coffee, the staff are really amazed at the difference in my hearing. I also pick up noises from may types of fans outside the work area and the sound of our carts moving over the floor.
Some of the new sounds that I experienced today were recognizable from my past auditory memory. I pass a garage in the way to work and was aware that they were changing the tires as the sound of the electric drill was very noticeable. I had the experience of an ambulace up close with the sirens going, One of the passengers on teh bus had to be taken off the bus due to illness. The sirens were quite noticeable even from quite a distance away. My co-workers seem much easier to understand. We are very busy and I find the constant chatter a bit annoying when I am not part of the conversation due to the workload. I try to see if I can get parts of the conversation withouth looking at them. It is a good practice for me as they are across the room. I do pick up a few things.
A visit from outside staff from other departments of the Government. They start talking at the entrance and I sort of miss out at first as I am not in visible contact with them. A co-worker tels them of my cochlear implant and they look towards me. Conversation now flows smoothly, I find myself feeling an "uplift" as this would have been very different just one month ago. After work I hear a sound while I was walking and it too me quite some time to realize this was coming from above my head. It was a helicopter whirrling type of sound as a helicopter lifted off from the coast gaurd base that is just down the road from where I am walking. I hear the creaking of the stairs as I go downstairs. This is something I was unaware of while wearing the hearing aids.
I hear the music from the public address system in the stores. It is very clear and I want to move with the music. The cash register keys are also very clearley heard. I get my daughter Tracy to do some practice with sentences at home and realize her voice is so much different than Mils. The practice goes very good although its a different type of voice. I dialed up different telephone recordings on the telephone and after listening to them over for a second time was able to make out most of the recording. A visit from Terry my best friend seemed to be so much different as now I can hear him so much better. I really feel this will help a lot. I make my first long distance call on my own to my brother in Newfoundland. I hear the tone and the rings go through and know when my sister in law answers. I recognize her voice.
Today we had company and I was surprised to find out that I could hear an eight month old child laugh when I played with him. I can now hear the planes going into the airport nearby more then I noticed with the hearing aids. When I use the TTV to call my deaf friends I hear the dial tone when I put the call through. I also hear the keys quite clearly, every letter seems to have a different tone. I enjoy going to the waterfront to list to the waves breaking on the shore. It makes me feeling I am going back to my younger days in Newfoundland where this was so common as we practically lived on the ocean. I really feel the implant has opened so many sounds that hearing people just take for granted. When you lose those sounds and have them restored afte so many years its sure appreciated.
Another workday. I went to the hospital in the morning for blood work and I seem to be doing great being called by number. There was new receptionist and lab workers but I still made out great in conversation. I can now hear the beep of our scanner as I scan in the files returned to the record centre. I took my telephone attachment to work, but was a bit scared to use it. Guess, I just need to build up more confidence in talking to strangers at the workplace by phone.
The sounds of a cran lifting an airconditioning unit on the roof of our building was very loud, but I continued to carry on a conversation nearby. I find I really get a few stares from some folks while travelling to and from work. Guess. they are not aware of the cochlear implant and wonder what the device is doing for me.
The sound of the birds in the trees was very loud when I walked down the street this morning. On the bus that I use to travel back and forth to work on daily, I can tell when someone puts change in the farebox at the front of the bus. I hear the tingling noises of the coins falling from down the back of the bus where I am sitting. My dog panting in the hot humid weather we are experiencing is very audible to me at the door when I return home from work. I heard the sound of a speed boat motor from across the harbour. I could also identify the direction where the sound originated from. I continue to improve in my conversations with strangers arrinving at my place of work for information.
This week particulary today my thoughs returned to the days I used hearing aids. I sort of felt thankful that there has been so much of an improvement for me with the implant. I really feel that this has opened up my life in so many ways. One thing that I have noticed with the staff on the upper floor of the building where I work, is that they are talking to me a lot more than when I had the hearing aids. I feel better knowing that I will hear someone coming in at work even with my back turned towards the entrance. I heard sounds from inside the buildings where people were working (machinery noises) over in the industrial park when I took the dog for a walk.
I had my appointment with Casey Statch the audiologist in Halifax today, all went much better than I would have imagined. My sentence discrimination from the compact disk was eighty three percent and I was very pleased with the results. We worked on program one to see if any of the noise that I hear on this program could be eliminated. The conclusion was to put it back wehre itw as originally programmed as if the noise was less the voices became more robotic. We worked with single sylable words and short sentences with noise induced in the background. I feel the results were good. Visited my sister in law in the hospital and talked with her friends with ease although I did find the mans voice harder to hear than the ladies.
I kept hearing some sounds on my way up the street. It took me awhile to realize that I was hearing voices of people from inside the homes. The weather is very warm so the windows and doors are open, therefore more sound coming from inside than with the doors and windows closed. On a walk downtown I heard someone calling for help. This was a lady walking with here mother and the mother had fallen. I responded to their call for help which I am positive I would not have noticed with the hearing aids. I enjou trying to place together the conversation of others carrying on a conversation behind me on the bus to work. This seems to be great practice. I succeed in getting some of the conversation. Terry and Eleanor were here when I got home. My emotions sort of acted up again from hearing my best friends voice. I feel so happy to hear him again. During my years of hearing aid use he was impossible to speechread
and no I don't need to do this to hear and understand him.
It's so warm today that I left the speech processor off for most of the day as I was scared I may get perspiration in the microphone. I was not feeling well and stayed in bed until early afternoon. We went to a friends home for a game of cards after supper. It was so good to follw the conversation around the table with all of them. The sound of quite a few people with different types of shous on walking in the hospital was a new experience with different sounds together all at once. The sounds also gave me an uplift as its something I would never have noticed with the hearing aids. One sound thats still differnet is the caw of the crow, I just can't seem to place this in the memories that I have. I recognize it but it just don't seem correct.
We went to church this morning and I find that all seems to improve each time I attend. Rev Marion spoke about me from up near the altar and I was able to respond to her question. I still experiement with the auxilary microphone to see if sounds are different such as when there are more than one speaking at the same time during the service. The sound of thunder was heard for the first time in years. The sound was a little different than what I imagined it to be. I could hear the sound of the rain dropping on the plastic that I held over my head on the back patio to sort of take in another sound that I had not experienced in many years.
I am experiencing quite a problem with the microphone falling continuously from my head. I have tried different wayus to improve the way the wire would attach to my collar or placing the wire through the tag on the back of my shirt. I find this very annoying. I am hearing part of a sentence and then I am cut off. It may be the humidity from the heat wave we have been having this past week. I stilll enjoy listing to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore and all of the other enviornmental sounds around me. Somehow it doesn't seem right that after awhile you can sort of place all those sounds in the background and you hardly notice them at all. I guess its just a part of hearing better that you can do this.
I picked up the sound of a bicycle coming from quite a distance behind me the sound of the pedals going around. I had no idea of what I was hearing at first. I am now using the phone quite often whenever I want to call outside of the office. I usually talk with someone whose voice I am familiar with. I noticed the sound of the smaller rocks moving around when I walked along by the train tracks along the waterfront. The sounds were quite a different mixture of sounds which I had not heard for years. I really wonder how I could have possibly missed some of the sounds at work as they sound so sharp but not uncomfortable, such has the beep of the fax machine. The noise from the moving of metal cabinets seem so loud as we moved them from one room to another.
I picked up the sound of an alarm form a car parked across the street. This was quite a distance away but I found out it was an alarm from a hearing person that was looking in the same direction. My head is a bit sore on the implant side. I think it may be from placing the microphone on so many times when it was falling off during the day. I stopped to listen to the sound of the birds on the way up the street after work. They are very noticeable tonight. One type seems to be trying to out perform the other in their constant chirping. I really hope things will improve with the headpiece as its annoying and also a bit embarrassing to have to constantly be placing it back on especially when we are travelling on the bus.
I took the harbour ferry across tonight the sound of the motor when you are inside seems to be very loud. It is much louder when you are sitting inside than when you go to the top deck. Theres a car on our street that surely needs a muffler replacement. I can tell when this car is going up and down the street by the noise that it makes. I pick the sound up from quite a distance away. I am interested in sharing my good fortune from the implant and often write a note on the forums of answer questions of give opinions of the implant to others that may be interested. I still feel there are many sounds that I will hear that I will have to concentrate on to tell just what they are of where they are originating.
Today I had my appointment with the students at Dalhousie University. I knew I was making some errors in the single words that they are asking me to repeat. I realize that the second word sometimes sound like the first that I have circled on the sheet. The students noticed this by my reaction to some of the words. They are using me to try to find out the difference that the hearing aids and the cochlear implant makes in my speech perception and the way that I pronounce the words. I have been part of this project for awhile. The headpiece may need the magnets replaced that I had taken out around two weeks ago. I got in touch with Christiane in Ottawa and also the clinic in Halifax to get their opinion before placing them back in the headpiece. Terry picked me up at work with his grandson. Its just great to be able to hear and understand the little boy. It will be another great experience to be with them over the weekend and to be able to understand them all.
Wow! The sounds of the birds in the country are even more loud than the city. Guess its because we are away from the city sounds. I could hear the hum of their ceiling fan. The sound of the dishwasher was a new sound for me. I had never heard this sound before. The sound of Amy playing the piano from another room was picked up very clearly. We had a long talk about how much the implant has already changed me as a person. My friends wife Eleanor said, "It will be great to go dancing again now that you can hear the music." My headpiece is staying on great guess it may have been a bit of swelling at the implant site. Hopefully things will be fine from now on.
Went to church out in the country with the McKiels in Windsor. I found the sound system very good, but the priest talked very fast. Great speed up practice! I found the church bell sounded much different than I thought it should be. When the bell and organ were both going together I turned down the volume on my speech processor. Saw one of my deaf friends and had quite a conversation. I sort of felt a bit guilty hearing so well and telling him about it as he is unable to have this surgery due to Acoustic Neuroma operations in the past. Removed my speech processor and head piece for a ride on an all terrian vehicle at another friends place as I was scared that I may get it damaged during our ride. It sure was different to experience the silence for even a very short time.
Seems the story of my success with the implant is getting around here in the city of Dartmouth. I have had other people preparing for the implant come for a visit to my home in order to chat about the implant. He is scheduled for surgery in London Ontario in September. I feel great being able to share the difference this implant has made in my life with others. My thoughts often wander back over this last few months so often, as I think of all that has happened to make my life so much more comfortable, and the stress of trying to hear seems to have disappeared completely.
The weather was not too good to-day. We experienced a thunder and lightning storm. I was nervous with the implant walking home with the groceries. My tinnitus have almost been zero since the second day of activation. This has helped me considerably as I had tinnitus very loud for most of the day before the implant. Sitting here I hear the budgies really going in a constant chirping from downstairs. You realize just what you have been missing for almost twenty five years of hearing aid use when your progress has been as fast as mine. I am still using the telephone recordings for practice and will call anyone I feel like talking to from home. I carry on telephone conversations with ease with most of my friends.
I hear the sounds of traffic from a distance and know when its safe to cross the at the end of
of our street. Its a very dangerous area there as theres an incline much line a blind hill and the cars come over the incline so fast at times. I have been asked to get in touch by TTY with another deaf person that is thinking of going for the implant to explain the procedures of pre-surgery, and the follow up visits. I am happy to do this and find it quite an experience to talk to someone and try to explain what I have gone through in the last few months. There seem to be so many questions that I can help them with. I was excellently prepared for my surgery by Christiane the audiologist in Ottawa.
The sounds around me at work today seemed so different. I was alone from 3:30 to 4:30 and found myself hearing sounds of voices from out in the hallway. I would not have noticed them with the hearing aids. The implant has given me so much more awareness of the sounds around me. Coming home the sound of a car with a faulty muffler sounded so much different than the other traffic. Workers at a construction site removing gravel from a truck was very different than I expected. The sounds of the small rocks striking the pavement was much louder and of much different tones than I ever imagined.
The sound of the door at the grocery store was a very loud scraping sound. I really had to open and close it twice to make sure the sound was coming from the door. I stopped on the way up the street to listen to the sound of the birds chirping in the park. There weremany different pitches of sound. It seems this is becoming a habit of mine to listen to the chirping of the birds. Talked to a friend by phone for quite some time. It was challenging as it was my first time talking with her this way. She used very long sentences and sometimes asking me two or three questions at once. I was so pleased that I didn't have to ask her to repaeat very often. Captioning on television sometimes confuses me now, asi it is either behing or ahead of the speaker and if you are hearing most of it and try to go back to read what you have missed it is very difficult.
I find my self confidence has increased since I had the implant. I feel I am ready to face further challenges in order to get ahead in life. I have applied for another position within the government. This is something I would never have done before I had the implant. I find there is a bit of interference with the phone system at work, but I do not have this problem at home.
Different traffic noises seem to be picked up with ease from quite a distance. I really can tell the direction in which a car or motorcycle is travelling before it comes into sigher. The noises at one of the malls in our area is much louder than when I had the hearing aids.
August 1st/ 1999
Attended church this morning and seem to pick up more and more of the service each time that I attend. Some voices are much clearer than others, but I seem to hear or understand better if I am not looking at the speaker. Guess this sort of comes with the listening to the voice more often. Our minister announced that she was leaving our parish. I just couldn't believe that I had heard this correctly. I was assured that I had when I started looking around at the faces of the congregation. I continue to practice with the phone recordings, and have branced out in more directions for a variety of them such as movie listings, weather announcements, lottery numbers to give a few additions. I think that this should help me improve my word recognition. If I cannot get every word I would get Mil to listen and then practice until I got every word being said.
This is a Civic Holiday here in the city, "Halifax 250th Birthday" I went down to the waterfront and listened to some of the bands that were playing. I really enjoyed the music and I can actually get some of the wordss of the songs that were being played even though I have not heard them before. Went to Halifax and could hear the sounds of the crowd gathered around one of the Buskers that had arrived a little early as the " Busker Festival" starts in a few days. I find sound sort of feels like it bounds off the walls in some buildings and is clearer in some inside enclosures than in others.
I hear staff from other divinsions moving pipes to look for plumbing parts outside of the working space that we occupy. The sounds of metal clinking and clanging together is very clear. I can tell when the pipes are heavier than others by the sounds they produce when being moved. Someone, rings a doorbell in an area of the office that is no longer used. I hear and respond to the sound. When I go outside on break I can hear the sounds of a truck being unloaded a few doors down. Its quite a distance from where I am sitting. The sound of and ambulance startles me when they put the sirens on unexpectingly during my way home from work.
My thoughts still return to the past and the years I wore the hearing aids. We are planning our vacation to Newfoundland. I will have to pack the hearing aids to take with me. I sure hope that I have no problems with the speech processor there as there would be no places to get service on them. I sure would not want to rely on the hearing aid as I would find life so difficult even for a short period of time. I feel that I can accept more sounds through the speech processor. I will check with the audiologist in Halifax to see if the PPS program can be checked to see if my tolerance of sound has increased. I have been searching the internet to see if I can find more information on this strategy.
My excitement of the upcoming vacation after todays work is finished, along with the new world of sound that I can take with me really makes me happy. I wonder just how I will be able to understand the speech of Newfoundland as their accent is much difference than those of us that have been away from the province for awhile. It seems the more new sounds that I pick up sort of places others in the background and unnoticeable unless I want to concentrate on that particular sound. I was so happy to hear the ticking of the clock at first, but at the moment the only time that I really notice this is when I place the speech processor on in the morning.
The first day of my vacation. I get a call from the job I applied for and Mil answered the phone. I feel annoyed that they did not use the relay service for this call as I had clearly stated in my resume. I know I could handle the call normally at home with a little preparation. I feel my implant is the main reason I even thought of applying for this position. I am overjoyed that I have an upcoming ineterview and hope I am successful. We start our journey home to Newfoundland by bus and I hear the sound of the motor clearly and conversations from the front of the bus. The ferry trip across the Gulf is another expericned of new sounds as cars are secured to the loading area and the public address announcemtnet are sometimes understood. The new volume of sound is very different than what I was expecting.
The previous night I had left my speech processor connected but turned it off at around two in the morning to try to get some sleep. The boat trip is about seven or eight hours but we try to get some sleep lying between the seats on the floor as we do not get a cabin for the crossing. My brother and wife and another friend and nephew meet us at the ferryt terminal in Port aux Basques. It is so overwhelming for me to finally hear them face to face and to be able to converse with them so much easier than my last visit. We carry on conversations in the car which would have been impossible to do with the hearing aids. We stop in for a visit with other friends in the area for a few minutes before beginning our three and a half hours drive to my brothers. One hundred and forty six kilometres of this drive has no highway services. My friends are amazed at how well I can communicate with them. We will stay over in my brothers home in Burgeo tonight and get another ferry down to Mils home in the morning. I am so happy to hear everyone so well.
The voices are much better than I ever imagined and I seem to be doing great with almost everyone. My brother told me of the conversation that they had before I arrived. They were discussing that they would not need to stamp their feet of touch me to get my attention now and they would try to avoic doing this. Guess the old habits are difficult to break as he soon finds he is the first to try to get my attention by touching me on the shoulder. This did not bother me as I was used to this method of people trying to get my attention with the hearing aids. All of my family and friends had used this for years. The small boat we had to take to Mils home is filled with people that we know. Conversation was flowing quite easily. Most are aware of my implant as my family had placed an article in the newspaper about it. There are still lots of questions to be asked and answered as it has generated a lot of excitement. We had a church service to open the come home year week and I feel great to be able to follow the whole service. After the service I have my first square dance for years at the reception in the hall.
We returned to my place of birth that was resettled in 1969. The motor on the boat was very loud. I am albe to carry on conversation even with the motor going and enjoy a chat of at least half and hour with a very good friend of mine from my younger years. I feel I am doing much better than my daughters who both have a hearing loss and are finding the Newfoundland accent very hard to understand. I enjoy the talent night at the Community Centre and the Newfoundland jiggs and songs sure seem like "music" to my ears a feeling I never would ever bee so powerful and intense part of my life. My thoughts return to the implant team of the Ottawa Civic for making this possible for me.
I am doing great with the new voices accomplishing much more than I ever expected. Some voices are not as clear as others, but I think that can be expected. They have a concert at the school and I am able to get the words of the songs that I knew from years ago. The music is coming through really good. I feel the speech processor surely had quite a testing with all the volume from the music. I am carrying on a conversation with many new people that are visiting the community for the come home year celebrations. The motors of the boats on the harbour and the helicopter taking off within the community seem to echo in the surrounding hills.
The sounds of the coastal boat coming in the harbour is quite a different sound for me. I pick up this sound from quite a distance away. We were visiting different families that I have not seen for quite some time and I do just great communicating with most of them. I sure feel the implant has made quite a difference in the way I can now enjoy things in this new world of sound. There have been many people that I have been able to converse with on this trip that I would not have been able to do so with the hearing aids. Looking back over the last two months makes me feel so fortunate.
This is a big day for the community celebration. It will be an all day experience. The dory races in the harbour is another expereince so new sounds as I hear the noises made when the paddles are replaced in the boat or the sound of the paddles as they are striking the water as the propel the boats along. The excitement of the crowd as they cheer on the teams and the whistle blowing to start the races. The day goes great I join in the fun, but have to take the speechprocessor and headpiece off as I take part in the "Dunk Tank" game. I sure miss being part of the world of sound even though I know its just for a few minutes as I take part in the game. The whole community is alive as the people take part in the singalong taking place outdoors near the community centre.
I hear the sound of the brook that runs through the community quite loudly even before I can see it. The sound of the flags blowing in the wind is another new sound for me as I have never heard that sound. They are just small triangular shaped flags of plastic that are flapping in the wind throughout the community. Many people have noticed and commented on the way I am hearing compared to my last visit before I had the implant. I am asked many questions about the whole implant procedures. My daughter Beth and her boyfriend left this moring to travel to Burgeo, we will meet them there tomorrow. The quietness of the community at 7:30 this morning was almost total silence as many had celebrated until three or four.
The silence in the community in the mornings seem so peaceful. There are no cars or trucks so the only vehicles are the all terrian type. The sound of the birds seem so much louder than in the city. Today we start the boat ride back. I hear the motor of the boat before it enters the harbour. The sea is a bit calmer than when we arrived, but I still hear the sound of the waves hitting the side of the boat and the difference in the sound of the motor when we increase of decrease speed. The concert last night was very enjoyable and I was able to follow quite a bit of the conversation and singing. It felt so good to be able to hear and do this well on this visit to Newfoundland.
We are now back with my brothers family and I can carry on conversation with them easily. Beth, Trevor and Tracy are returning home tomorrow. My brother Bert and I will drive them to Port aux Basques a three and half hour drive. Again around the little town its very quiet as although they are connected by highway the traffic is very light. We carry on conversation in the care and too and from the ferry terminal. I find this much easier to do when Bert is driving as I have a old habit that I don't talk when I drive. During the coming week I am sure I will have lots of opportunities to enjoy my improved hearing with so many friends and family that we will be visiting.
The sounds of the waves coming in on the shore when we visit a large beach at the Provincial Park seems so much louder than they were in Nova Scotia due to the quietness of the surroundings in Newfoundland. Clothes flapping on the lines outside is very noticeable and I am able to identify that sound clearly. The oven element burned out and my brother is replacing it. I hear the sound of the turning of the screws and the scraping sounds as he removes the oven door. I hear the sound of the tools being placed on the metal. I pick up the sound of a sea gull as its schreeches while flying near the shoreline. The silence around is what you really notice here its just broken by an occassional car that may pass my brothers home.
We visited some friends around town and had quite a conversation woth them. They are all amazed at the difference that they can see in my hearing and my ease of conversation. My nephew is much easier to understand than I would have ever imagines. I hear the sound of the smaller fishing boats and when we visit the place where the fish is unloaded I can hear the sound of the fish being put in the weighing area. The sound of the somw being shovelled on top of the fish for their shipment to another place for processing. I hear the water being scooped from the boats and the sound of it hitting the ocean as it is thrown over the side of the boat.
Today we took a long drive to Stephenville. The sound of the people working on the cars in the garage was clearly heard. The drive following took on many different forms of sounds in regards to the ocean waves coming in on the beaches. I could tell there was a difference in the sound of the ocean when there were large rocks or small pebbles being moved by the waves, or if it was sand being moved by the strength of the waves. It is all so different than I imagined it to sound.
I really pay attention to the new sounds that I pick up where they are getting a boat ready to launch into the sea. I hear the scraping of the boat on the rocks and the soand above the sound of the waves coming in. I also call my daughter Tracy its her birthday, and although the phone here is a different model than the one I have at home I have no problems with communication.
Seems the rain doesn't want to stop at all today. I hear the sound of the rain falling on the roof poof the car, and the sounds of the rain on the umbrella and also my coat when I place it over my head. We visit a few of the elderly friends from my home that are in the hospital. I hear the sound of the people walking around and the conversations going on by others nearby are clearly heard. I carry on conversations with many of the patients. One ninety two year old man really amazes me. I ask him many questions about our ancestors and he is able to give me a lot of information that I had not known before.
One new sound that I could not identify today was my brother cuting up onions. I knew he was working on preparing something for dinner but had no idea what it was. I had to ask him what the new sound was that I was hearing. We went to the beach in the afternoon and walked through the woods the sound of the breaking of small twigs as we walked was different. The sound of the ocean continues to be something I really enjoy. I think the sounds are different depending on the strenght or size of the waves breaking on the shore. There were birds on the beach that I had never seen before and the sound of their calls were really sharp and high pitched sounds. The sound of the childrent swimming and playing in the water at the lake were nice to listen and hear so clearly again.
Today we start our journey home to Nova Scotia. My nephew Neil, is going to take us to different areas we have not been in Newfoundland before we board the the ferry at 11:30 tonight in Port aux Basques. We start out early and there is hardly a car moving for the first one hundred and forty six kilometres. We do a lot of talking on the way and I am able to converse with ease. The traffic gets more heavy as we go on the trans-canada highway. I can hear the different noises of the traffic very clearly. Friends we visit are amazed at my new hearing, and have lots of questions for me. I really enjoy the point that I do not have to rely on Mil to get the conversation topics. I have really enjoyed the trip home to Newfoundland and my cochlear implant is the reason that it has been so enjoyable.
The trip over was the smoothest waters I had ever experienced. The sound of the boats enginge was sort of soothing with the calm waters. There are many passengers and the conversations are going on from every direction. I am albe to make out some of the public address announcements fully which I feel is an improvement. The weather is not so co-operative as its pouring rain all the way home. The sound on the highway is so different with it raining so hard and the passing traffic. It seems to make the traffic noises another pitch of sound altogether. I guess this would be from the heavier rain. Its a little better when we arrive home. Our dog is so excited to have us back. I hear her bark and she pants so heavily with excitement to see us again.
Today is back to work again for me. The traffic seems so noisy and loud. I guess this is because of the peacefulness in Newfoundland. All the surrounding noises at work seem to have blended in for me. I have a quiet day as we are checking the aisles manually. I spend most of my day writing information from the front of the cartons that we have in storage. My co-workers ask about the vacation and I have so much to share with them. So many new experiences due to the cochlear implant in regards to sound. My testing with the students at Dalhousie University on one word recognition has improved. Professor Campbell is going on a trip to Newfoundland. I warn her of the caribou that jump out from the side of the highway. Share a few jokes and we talk about the accent of the Newfoundlanders.
The chirping of the budgies downstairs seem to be so clear here in our dining room on the main floor. I think back just a few months ago I would not have even noticed this sound as I was unable to hear it. Everyday while travelling back and forth on the bus, I pratice trying to hear what is being said by the people sitting behind me. I do get quite a bit of their conversations but find that I hear some voices better than others. I know I may have mentioned many sounds before but I feel the sound of the little children playing outside many feet away seems to be heard so clearly. I can hear their voices long before I can see them.
We are moving cartons about at work today and I found the sounds so different when we placed the cartons on the steel shelving, it sort of rang in vibration tone when you place the first carton on. The sound of the boxes just hitting together was a lot different than what I had experienced with the hearing aids. I realize now how loud the sound of me just dropping the wooden pallets on the floor must have been to the hearing staff. I'm sure with the cochlear implant it would sound so much different to me as well. I go to the store in Mic-Mac mall to take some films in for develoopment. I have no problems at all communicating with the staff at the store.
Today the new sound that I experienced was the sound of a small plane taking off from an airport that is a short distance from our backyard. I knew it was not the sound of a helicopter and that it was coming from overhead. I felt so good to look up and confirm my suspicion that it was not a helicopter. I seem to think I still have the hearing aids on at times and will reach up to take it off especially when I get into the shower. I can't wait for our group meetings to start up again in September. I am sure that it will be so much easier for me communication wise and the stress of trying to communicate in a group situation will be so much easier.
August 27th 1999
I was talking to the audiologist in Halifax today. I may get reprogramming done on September 13th. I would like to place the present PPS program in slot one and get others for the other slots to compare the new programming with the older one. I have accomplished so much in a short time with the cochlear implant. I am looking forward to any challenges that may arise in the future. I have been thinking of getting a portable battery charger to plug into the cigarette lighter in the car when we go on camping trips. Most of the campsites that we tent at would not have electricity to charge my batteries. Guess I can stock up on the AA rechargeable batteries for the weekend and not rely on the regular implant batteries. I sure would not want to miss out on the sounds of nature at the camp grounds.
I am experiencing a different feeling in my ear on the implanted side. I have had this feeling for a little while. It seems to be a feeling of life returning to the ear. I find when I place my finger in my ear, I feel it in the tip of my tongue. It does not bother me at all, I really just notice it when I place my finger in my ear. An abulance gives me a bit of a scare today when comes up behind the bus that I am riding home from work and starts its sirens. My life has been changed in so many ways due to the operation for the cochlear implant. I often wonder how did I ever cope with not being able to understand clearly what was being said at work.
I was looking forward to attending church this morning but I am not feeling all that well so I decide to sleep in. During the day I watched television without the captioning. I find when the camera is just on one person I can understand very easily. I use this for practice as its gives me a wide audience of voices to practice with. I am very pleased with being able to follow the speakers so well. My tinnitus has been so much different since the implant. I do have short periods of tinnitus sometimes, but find it is mostly when I have no sound coming into my implanted ear. When I remove the headpiece at night, I get a buzzing sound that last for approxiametly twenty minutes and then stops completely. This sound is in the left ear the implanted side.
Program three (PPS) seems to be the one for me. I think back on my first week of activation. I had no idea of which strategy that I would really use. All strategies gave me more sound than I ever expected. The thought that I can hear with all of them gives me a great sence of security should program three fail some time. I am looking forward to an interview for a new job in the morning. Normally I would have called an oral interpertor for help with communication. I have no concerns that I will not be able to hear this time. It gives me a great boost in confidence. My friends visited and we talked about our vacation. I find I can get in on all conversations so much easier even when it it not directed at me during group meetings of friends and family.
My interview went very well. Three people did the interviewing, dealing with different topics of my past work experience and what I could be expected to do in this position. I am really looking forward to the outcome and will be notified within a week to ten days. When I look back over the months since my activation it give me quite an uplift to realize just how much more I have heard in new sounds and also the difference there is in hearing aids and implants. Sitting here listening to the budgies that we have in the basement chirping really makes me feel that I have missed a lot in terms of the world of sound around me.
One of the sounds of today that really made me search to find out where it is originating from was the sound of a blue jay. It was a really screeching sound. I just could not believe at first that this sound was coming from a blue jay. I find the captioning on the television really annoys me at times due to the speaker being either ahead of behind the captions. I also find that some words are not being typed that are being said. I realize that this was not a problem for me before the implant has it was my only way of following television. I am very thankful to have been able to hear and understand most of the news-cast today. I am looking forward to reprogramming to see if it will open up more new sounds for me.
I often find myself walking to the shoreline of the ocean especially if I visit my friends that live more on the open ocean that we do here in the city. I love to just sit and listen to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, and the difference iof the sound on sand and rocky shorelines.
Usually there is a few sea gulls which also add sounds to this experience. Today when the tide was out they were picking up shells and dropping them on the rocks to break them open to retrieve the contents. To watch and experience this sound made me realize more than everjust how much more sound I am recieveing with the implant. I really enjoyed the evening with my freinds and I feel the ease of conversation with them makes me really feel good.
I received another call from another division of the government that I have applied for a position with. I am really looking forward to may be able to start with another department. I feel so trapped in this position as there is no chance for advancement and the working conditions are not the best here. I see some friends that I have not had contact with for quite a long time. They are really happy to be able to converse with me so much easier. They also comment on how my voice has changed and how I look so much more at ease. I continue to use the phone as much as I need to use it. I now feel more confident to make a call to someone that I may not be familiar with.
I hear the sound of a chirp coming from near my feet on the front lawn. I am unable to identify his new sound. So I get Mil to come to listen to the sound with me. The sound is crickets chirping in the grass. Its my first experience of this sound. I am amazed at how much sound these small things can produce. Mowing the lawn I strike a piece of plastic with the lawn mower, and I really notice the change in the sound that the lawn mower makes when this occurs. I am thinking of going to a movie soon with Mil to see how I would do following conversation this way. I have only been inside a movie theatre once in many years. We went to see the "Titanic" as it was especially captioned for a deaf audience. The sound was great another experience I will surely try again soon.
We attend church and I seem to improve with each service. I don not need the typed sermon anymore as I can follow along very well on my own. It is still given to me in case I need to refer to it during the sermon. I practice with tapes and realize just how far I have come in terms of new hearing. I find it very hard to believe I am really hearing these tapes without the printed word to follow along with. I hear the sounds of the children playing outsied the window or near our lawn. Their voices seem so sharp at times. I can make out some of what they are saying if I am near the open window. I am looking forward to our meetings starting up soon to be able to practice with a variety of voices in situations that will be different from home.
Today was a day off form work. I enjoyed the break as it was a busy weekend for us. I went to the sportsplex for a swim and found th sounds of the lockers being opened and closed quite a bit loudere than it had been with my hearing aids. I was down town for a walk and experienced the sound of the train moving through the downtown area as it passed a park on the waterfront. The sounds of the different motors of boats on the water in the harbour was also clearly heard. Traffic noises sond different than at first. The sound changes depending on the type of vehicle that may be passing by.
Today my three months of keeping a diary has been reached. Im sure I will still continue to be able to build on acomplishments that I have been able to make so far. It has been quite a period of change for me. It has really made me realize just how much I have been missing over the last twenty five years in the workd of sound. I feel the change had been very positive for me and I hope for more improvements with practice. I guess we really don't realize the meaning of sound until we have lost and then regained some of it through this great technology.
My thoughts often go back to November 1998 which I feel was my starting point with Dr. Caissey then to Ottawa in February with Christiaen Seguin and Dr. David Schramm, May 4th my operation and June 7th the first step into a world I never dreamt would ever be possible. I will always be thankful and continue to keep in touch with those who may this possible for me.