It has been three days since I have had my Cochlear activated and I have to say I am shocked to how I am reacting. If you remember just a few months ago I was overcome with stress, negativity, and worry regarding this choice. I was fully expecting to cry or be depressed when activated, instead, I smiled.
That day was a crazy one. I was doing really good with just one ear and felt like I could survive if I hated the CI. Chris had his Tough Mudder that day so we were outside in the heat all day, rushing to get home to shower, eat, and get to my appointment. We got there on time, and only then did I start to get anxious. Something about being in that waiting room, I couldn’t stop pacing. My audiologist fully prepared me for possible reactions. She said most people cry, they get really overwhelmed,, they get disappointed or sad. She went on for several min explaining how I may not like it. In my mind I started to think “it really cant be that bad”. But I stopped my self mid thought and said I am going to be different. My audiologist gave me a count down and 3 … 2 …1… Sound.
It was a lot of noise at first. Sounded like feed back from a hearing aid. My audiologist kept talking, giving me examples of what people say it sounds like when first activated. Some were right on the dot others were a little far fetched. After the initial blast of feedback I started to hear a Alvin the Chipmunk on Helium (not just Alvin but Alvin on Helium) voices. It was not that bad. I new this was what it was going to sound like. This was one of the biggest reasons I didn’t want a Cochlear. This was my biggest objection. But because I was expecting it, it wasn’t so bad as it was made out to be. The next nerve racking moment was what was Chris, my Fiance, my Best Friend, was going to sound like. He handed my audiologist the phone to record my reaction. 3…2…1… he started telling me about how we met. He told me how he fell in love with me after 3 days in High school. He sounded like him. Nothing had changed. Just a few sharp SH CH sounds but he was still him! I was so excited. My Audiologist covered her face and said some colors. I could get most of them. Turquoise was the only one I didn’t get. Chris called me from another room once we set up my Bluetooth. He said some colors and stumped me at Aqua Marine. My Audiologist was very impressed and excited for how well I was responding. After my appointment, Chris and I experimented with new sounds the rest of the day. Crinkling paper, dropping pens, clapping, dog tags jingling, all sorts of stuff. My favorite sounds from that day are kisses and crinkling paper.
The next day I put my CI on and it was a long time before the feedback buzzing sound subsided. They say this is my nerves just reacting to being stimulated. Because they are not used to it they freak out and cannot make since of what is happening. Eventually it subsided and voices sounded more robotic less chipmunk. We had apples for breakfast and OMG that is a weird sound. I have heard this sound before but imagine it sounding like the crispest apple you have ever had in your life with every bite! My sister got me one of those kid toys where you point the arrow at an animal and you pull the lever to make the sound. HA that was interesting. Mice and rabbits apparently make some interesting sounds. I listened to some A Capella music through my CI. I could pick out songs I new but not one I didnt know. Towards the end of the day my head ached from the magnet but all was well.
Today is my first day back at work. I am trying not to wear my Hearing Aid and rely just on my CI. I brought it just in case I needed to have a important work conversation. My office is very open and we have concrete floors. I felt like I was yelling. I couldn’t quite get my pitch right. I could hear everyone’s steps. People sound like the dog from the move UP, (Alpha) when his voice processor breaks. It is quite entertaining! I put my Hearing Aid on for a one on one meeting with my boss and I felt like my hearing aid was plugged. It didnt sound like it used to. It is so weird. Every day, every situation, every moment is different. My brain is trying to make sense of it all. I am so excited I want to expose every sound to it! However, I dont know how much or little I should do.
I have so many questions, so many possibilities, so many opportunities for success!
I new this would be a good thing for me but I never expected to be so excited to re train my brain to hear! I didn’t expect me to be so optimistic!
Thank you to everyone for their support, advice, and recommendations!
I am so excited to document this adventure!