Thursday, November 8, 2012

Questions from Readers

I love reading comments on my blog, but I am never sure what the best way to answer questions is. If you leave me a question, are you going to check the blog every day until I answer it in the comments? (If that's you, I'm sorry for not being responsive.) Do you want me to email you the answer and risk everyone else who has the same question not knowing the answer?  So, I thought it would be fun to answer some questions that have popped up recently right here in the blog!  We'll see how fun I thought it was after I'm finished writing this post.

From Liz H.: are there other cochlear implant patient blogs out there?
Amy sent me the link to this one, which partly inspired me to start my own. This one hasn't gone much beyond the implant activation, and I thought it would be useful to record what life is like post-implant.  I haven't looked for others, but there are lot of Activation Day videos on YouTube, mostly for little kids.

From my mom who is very funny: Maybe all those years dots and dashs [meaning Morse code beeps] from Dad's ham radio kept those aural lines open. Is hamming in your future?
Nope. If my dad's experience is any indication, ham radio has got to be maybe the most exasperating hobby of all time.

From Farrah (who just had a baby and I'm still waiting to find out what the baby's name is. Maybe she will tell me in a comment!): Do you turn [the implant processor's volume] up incrementally or do you go back and they do it for you? How often will the volume get cranked up? 
At my appointments with Amy and Ashton, they fiddle around with the programming of my processor to make the sound quality and volume level more suitable. My next appointment is in a week, and after that, they will probably start to get further apart as I become more proficient at hearing. I hope. The processor came with a remote control that looks a lot like an old school iPod. The remote allows me to adjust the volume and sensitivity (meaning how far a way a sound is before I can hear it) depending on the listening situation. It is programmable, and right now, the programs are an "Everyday" program that picks up all sounds and a "Noise" program that picks out speech. I don't play with the remote too much, but perhaps I should. Good reminder.

Another one from Liz H.: so how does your hearing today compare to the hearing you had in your right ear when you had a hearing aid? 
This is an old question from Activation Day, but the answer is still interesting two weeks later.  My hearing is not where it was with a hearing aid. Right now, the implant is mostly acting as a "Hey, there's a noise in the environment. See if you can tell what it is."  It is picking up sounds that I couldn't hear before, like the fan in the baby's room and the beeping on my crockpot, but I'm still having a hard time telling where the sound is coming from.  So, I spend a lot of time listening and wondering and looking around to figure out what something is.

From my sister: Can I help you practice your z sounds?

There, I think I'm caught up on answering questions. Keep them coming! (And those of you who sent questions for Amy, thank you!  I'll send those her way and hopefully, we'll get an interesting guest post from her soon.)


  1. awesome! thanks for answering! :) we're rooting for you! sending love & prayers from chicago.

  2. I just want to share that I had a very panicky moment when I reached into Rebecca's purse and accidentally pushed a button on her remote. I was very glad she didn't grab her ears screaming, "IT'S SO LOUD!!!"

  3. Good post. New questions for your follow up Q&A post: can you submerge your implant in water, say, at the Schlitterbahn next summer?