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Pre-2004 Update

This year is coming to a close. It’s been a roller coaster of a year between having a baby, Paul getting laid off, getting the cochlear implant, and managing three kids. Health-wise, it was rough and I hope 2004 will be better and healthier.
I was invited to participate in a study that requires going to Southwestern twice a week at two hours each visit. That means about six hours of my time between the commute and the time spent there. The study involves free auditory training, something I need. But I just can’t sacrifice six hours a week when I’m barely staying above water. 🙁
Hearing-wise. People often ask how I am doing with the implant. This is what I say as of today:
I have adapted to it and use it as well as I did with my hearing aids. I still rely heavily on lip reading. New sounds or louder sounds I hear: the laundry washer and dryer from the living room when previously I had to be IN the laundry room to hear the sounds; hard-boiled egg buzzer; microwave oven beeping; Paul’s PalmOS alarm (just discovered this one yesterday); and the baby crying from more rooms than previously (sniff, sniff).
The doorbell is still a trouble spot. I can probably hear it when the TV is off, but when I am not expecting it to ring, I miss it.
The nuisances. I mentioned before that sometimes I forget I have it on or it doesn’t stay on because of my thick, curly hair. When I listen to music, I hook a cable to the behind-the-ear (BTE) device and the computer. I have to take the BTE out to plug it in since it’s small and not easy to find without looking.
With the hearing aids, I just put the headphones on, but it hurt sometimes as the headphones pushed the hearing aid harder against my ear. With the cable, it doesn’t hurt, but it pulls my ear down unless I use a paperclip like a lapel to hold the cord in place and taking the weight off the ear.
When I put the BTE on telephone, the buzzing sound is loud and awful, making it hard to hear anything on the phone even the dial tone. I have to adjust my head like a TV antenna to find a spot where the buzzing is not as loud.
Battery guzzler! The BTE takes three batteries as opposed to the hearing aid’s one. The body processor takes two double-A batteries and the rechargeables barely lasted 12 hours, so I had to change and recharge every day. The BTE batteries last about three days and aren’t rechargeable.
The one BIG plus! No more squealing or beeping. It was embarrassing whenever a person let me know my hearing aid was whistling. Oh, the person is means well. I was embarrassed that it was happening and I couldn’t hear it (sometimes it was high pitched or too soft for me to hear). More embarrassing was when I hugged a friend and it would squeal. No more of that.
With the hearing aid (before I got the digital ones, which warned me with a beep), when a battery was going bad, it would slowly get softer and sometimes I wasn’t sure if it was me or the hearing aid battery. With the BTE, it completely shuts off rather than gets softer. Can’t go wrong with that and you know the batteries are gone, gone, gone.
Have a wonderful holiday and may 2004 be peaceful and happy for us all.