My Cochlear Implant (Part 3)-Third Activation

December 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

Tony listening to his colleagueIt seems like there should be only one activation of a CI, and I guess that technically you’d be right for calling the title of this blog post inaccurate. However, that’s my title because every time the processor part of a CI gets programmed even slightly differently, it’s like a new activation and requires some adaptations on my part and plenty of patience on pretty much everyone else’s part.

When I got to the Listening Center at Johns Hopkins the first thing I did was take an audiology test. It was a standard type of test — where you hear beeps and buzzes in your ear and raise your hand when you do — and I did it once with my CI and once without. That was to measure my hearing with the CI and without it. The test showed that my hearing with the CI would now fall in the category of a moderate hearing loss whereas before it would have been a severe/profound hearing loss!

This is, of course, a significant improvement for me. As I said in a previous entry though, my biggest problem was not just my hearing but my discrimination; meaning that I would oftentimes hear that people were talking but the sounds were all jumbled together and I did not understand the individual words. And a good pair of hearing aids and, indeed, even a good FM System, oftentimes simply made those things into a louder jumble. Several people that I have frequent contact with have told me that my understanding is improving and they have to repeat themselves less often.

My disability (Friedreich’s Ataxia), is the main cause of my hearing loss and as it (FA) is a progressive neurological condition, there are some days that are better and some days that are worse. This seems to be true for my hearing with the CI as well. But I am still feeling cautious optimism.

Update: The day after my last appointment, I got a FedEx delivery from Advanced Bionics, the manufacturer of my CI. I figured it was a welcome-to-the-family-type of letter and I didn’t even open it until the next day. It turns out that it was a notice of a recall of the type of implant I had gotten. Apparently, adverse issues have been found in 2 out of the 28,000 implanted devices and apparently the adverse issues begin to take effect within 8-10 days after initial activation. I haven’t experienced any issues thus far and because my initial activation was 21 days ago as of this writing, hopefully I’ll be OK. My fingers are still crossed though!

By Tony Trott, ECNV Peer Mentor & Editor

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Entry filed under: Deaf/HoH -- Vlog. Tags: , .

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