Day 3 of being bilateral is now in the books and I must say, I’m so happy with how far my left ear has come in just these few days. I have spent at least 2 hours each day with just my left processor on and have used a variety of “active” training activities during this time. I use a couple of iPhone apps; Hear Coach & Angel Sounds; and listen to a couple of good, clear audio, podcast channels. The podcasts are more challenging as I don’t have texts to verify what I’m hearing so when I started, I just tried my best to understand what was being said. I could actually catch about half of the words at the beginning. Then I’d listen to the same podcast again. This time understanding a bit more. It took me about 5 times of listening to the same podcast but I actually understood it. With my left ear! Just my left ear!!
I also spent a lot of time running through my playlist on my iPhone. From the get-go, I could identify the song and understand a lot of the lyrics. I’m still shaking my head at this one. Music is SOOOO much better this time around. I also try to keep my ear passively engaged too – so if I’m not actively listening to something, I stream music to my ears to keep it working.
Now all during my training sessions, my right ear would throw a hissy fit and crank up the tinnitus on me; like a jealous sibling trying to sabotage the other. Good ol’ lefty persevered though and I’m happy to say that I am now acing all my rehab words in quiet! I can also listen to an entire podcast with just my left ear and catch the whole thing. I might miss a word here or there, but with the context I’m good.
This does not mean that I’m able to stop my training. Lefty still sucks in noisy settings when flying solo so that will be my next phase of training. I’m floored at how quickly the left is catching up with my right. Thrilled would actually be a better word.
I had my first mapping post activation yesterday. We cranked up the “volume” level as I was already bumping it up to my max level on the processor. I think Sylvie said we went up 20 points. It’s still a flat map where my right has each electrode tailored to my preferences. With that said, my left is almost at the same level as my right which is surprising it’s that close already. Next mapping we’ll tweak each electrode. Oh! I also got one of my switched off electrodes turned on as when the impedance was ran, it didn’t show open anymore. This gives me hope the last one will get to be turned on too. Admittedly, I didn’t really notice anything different.
I finally got to bring home my backpack and all my cool accessories. It’s funny how the audis don’t like to give you everything on activation. I’m trying to decide if it’s to keep the excitement high or simply not to overwhelm. Could be both! Anyway, I got the myriad of cables and t-mics and my most exciting accessory – theAquaCase!
Tonight I tried out my AquaCase in the shower. I will argue that it was to test it to make sure that everything works properly before my camping trip next week; but let’s face it, it’s a new gadget and I just couldn’t resist any longer! First, I have to say it is really easy to set up. Except opening the dang thing. I swear you need 3 hands and 6 toes to get the little locking mechanism held back to flip the latch. (It does get easier once you’ve done it a couple of times.)
I got it all hooked up and then triple checked that I wasn’t wearing anything NOT waterproof (like my left processor). What a weird experience. The shower has always been my cone of silence. Stepping in and HEARING the water hitting my head was surreal. The strangest thing was when water hit the mic and slightly muffled the sound, I actually had the sensation that I had water in my ear! I probably won’t be using the set up in the shower again, simply because it’s a bit of a pain to wash your hair with a headpiece on. I knocked it off 5 or 6 times. I can totally see kids using in in the tub though and I’m really looking forward to going swimming with my kids and HEARING them.
Since I only have one AquaCase, I set it up with my right processor and obviously can’t wear my left processor into the shower so I had just my right ear for that brief period of time. Well, I felt so lopsided with only my right ear! I am amazed that I experienced that so quickly. I think my left ear really likes hearing again. I know I certainly like having two ears!
My first 3 days of 2 ears have far exceeded my expectations. I hope things keep progressing and that I’ll gain even greater clarity in noisy surroundings. I am also looking forward to testing out my spatial awareness to see if I am able to tell what direction sound is coming from. I’ll have to devise a way to test and hone that ability. My new super powers! It’s amazing what you can do with 2 ears!