Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Those of you who know me personally are aware that I am -- how can I put this delicately -- obsessed with film. More than obsessed, really. For some, it might appear to be a bit disturbing. Clearly, it's a passion of mine. Next to spending time with my family, there's nothing else I'd rather be doing than watching a flick or a really good television show.

Back in college while I was learning the movie trade by viewing dozens of films a week, I started keeping a journal of sorts. You know, some jottings about the films or programs that moved me. It was an outlet, a way for me to express my undying love for the art form.

I kept up with this journal over the years. Not too much, but enough to add a fresh entry every now and then. I enjoy writing about the things that I love, though I'm not very good at it. Actually, some of it may not even make much sense, but I really don't care. It just feels cathartic to get it out of my system.

Since I've recently discovered blogging, I thought it would be a good time to reinvent my decades-old journal and display it in a format that is more pleasing to the eye than a few dozen dry Word documents. I also want to be able to update it while on the go, thanks to modern technology (i.e. my awesome iPhone).

Last month I started the process building this new blog devoted to my love for the moving images. I took the content of my old journal entries and began transforming them into readable, coherent blog entries. I've also added fresh content to spruce up the place. I still have a long way to go before everything is properly transferred, but I'm in no rush. I have no deadline. I'm actually enjoying the gradual process of revisiting my old writings and giving it a fresh look.

I'm not doing this for anyone else but me. If the site gets one visitor a year, that's fine with me. I'm not advertising it for the world to see. In fact, I may have to warn some of you to stay away. Peering inside of someone's unhealthy obsession can be a traumatic experience.

Some people collect stamps. Some build cars, play fantasy football, hike the tallest peaks of the world. Some take pictures of food, collect international pornography, watch birds, run marathons.

This is what I do. This is a part of me.

The Flickers site is live. Feel free to stop by, but remember: you were warned.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thumbprints and Dead People

The Hearing Journey website, a place where CI recipients can talk, share their experiences and practice hearing in the "listening room," has a Thumbprints Placement Test that I have been giving myself every other month to mark my progress. A word is spoken and I have to choose which of the 4 words displayed is the word that is said.

Example. For one question, the choices are: pat, pass, right and rice. One of those words is spoken aloud and I have to determine what it is. The goal is to distinguish vowel sounds (a vs i), as well as front consonants (soft R vs hard P) and final consonants (hard T vs soft S). There are 50 words in all.

These are my scores:

Oct 19 = 58%
Dec 1 = 66%
Feb 17 = 74%

That's what I call progress! It's slow-going but there is a steady improvement in how I'm distinguishing those sounds. For a while, I could not distinguish between sss and shhh (sew vs show) but I seem to picking it up more these days. My latest mapping (this past Friday) brought up some of the higher frequencies, which is key to understanding pivotal speech sounds. There are still more adjustments to be made, but I think my brain is beginning to become aware of how to listen to speech. Front consonant, final consonant and vowels.

Vowels are the hardest and most complex. You may think there's only a, e, i, o, and u, but there's so much more than just the letters in the alphabet. Look at these 15 words, for example.

meet, mitt, met, mat, cup, cop, boo, book, bought, name, mine, go, use, house, boy

Each of these words sound different. Cup and book, for me, sound very very similar. Mitt and met sound similar as well. When spoken singularly, without the aid of lipreading or context, it's like flipping a coin. I could not tell one from the other. But context is everything. When spoken in a sentence, it makes all of the difference in the world ("I need to return the x to the library".... it sounded like it could be cup, but listening to the entire sentence, I'm going assume the word is book. This is where college education comes in, folks.)

A lot of my conversations are based on assumptions of what the talker is saying. If I can't read lips or get a sense of body language or understand the topic of conversation, I have a lot of blanks to fill in. If I can pick up most of the sentence, chances are I can make sense of the entire sentence.

Before captions came along, I used to watch a lot of movies and TV shows simply by filling in the blanks. You don't know how many times I would talk to someone about the movie and discuss details that never really existed. I would make up my own damn movie. This is why I always dreaded seeing mysteries; I would make up my own clues and then when it ended with the big reveal, I'd be completely lost. It happened with The Sixth Sense, which I saw in the theaters by myself on day it came out. No one knew anything about it. I did not realize that Bruce Willis was dead during the entire length of the film until a week after I saw it. I still loved the movie anyway because, dammit, I had my own ending and it was just as good as theirs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cheerio, mate

I was taking Ryan to daycare one morning. We were in the car and I heard something fall.

"What was that, bud?"

"I dropped my Cheerios."

I pulled into the daycare, looked at the floor behind my seat and, well, there was a lot of Cheerios.

"That's ok, pal. I'll clean it up later."

That was three weeks ago. The Cheerios are still there.

The point of this story? It's cold outside, I ain't cleaning up no fucking Cheerios.

Monday, January 24, 2011


In the past few weeks, my kids have reached pivotal birthdays -- Ryan turned 3 and Emma is 6 months -- and the changes that came with those key celebrations are just plain adorable.

Six months. Sure, Emma is still an infant, one who eats, poops and sleeps most of her life. I'll be honest -- babies are cute and all, but damn, they are boring. There is no personality, no joy in their lives, no purpose. But now, at 6 months, the kid is pure sunshine. Her recently discovered laughter is nothing short of infectious. All you want to do is make her laugh, all day and everyday. She even knows when you try to make her laugh -- she'll laugh in anticipation of your efforts. And even if you are not funny (it happens -- babies are notoriously tough critics), Emma will shoot you one of those half-smiles that is basically saying, "Alright, I'll smile, but please, for the love of all things holy, just stop." See, that's love.

I was cleaning the house the other day and had her strapped onto my chest in the Baby Bjorn. She was a willing student, soaking up every cleaning task I was doing. Hell, she was reaching for the mop more times than I can count. She looked in amazement how much pet hair was picked up with the swiffer. She was practically salivating at the mouth. Most would say she is teething, but no, she was just aghast at how much of a mess Parker leaves behind. Five years from now, that little girl will be on Parker's ass, making sure he cleans up after himself. Yep, that would be my daughter.

And Ryan, coming out of his terrible twos and heading straight into the even-more-terrible threes, has all of a sudden turned into this adorable, heartbreaking, affectionate little man. Of course, he still has his whiny breakdowns and temper tantrums, which comes with the territory, but suddenly, he's morphed into this mushball who will give his mother a good night kiss, walk away, and then stop, turn around, and decide that he wants a hug too. How do you not melt when something like that happens?

A couple months ago, we used to say, "I love you", and he would repeat it back verbatim. It was almost like he was imitating you. But now, he personalizes his affections. I'll say, "I love you, buddy," and he'll reply with, "Daddy, I love you, too." That sound you hear is my heart breaking into pieces.

He's finally wrapping his head around the potty-training, becoming a willing participant as opposed to a stubborn toddler who collapses on the floor at the mere sound of "going potty." There's still a ways to go, but he's finally learning how to relieve himself in the toilet. Just last night, he peed as he should have for the second time that day, and he was truly and utterly thrilled. You know that look little kids have when they come across something so awesome, that so-amazing-I've-got-to-have-it-now look? His whole face transformed into a euphoric freeze-frame. "Yaaaaaaay!!! I went pee-pee in the potty!"

These are the things that make the little ones happy. It just goes to show that we adults take things for granted. Really, wouldn't it be great if we stepped away from the urinal/stall, with a grin from ear-to-ear, and exclaim with absolute glee, "Yay, I just went pee-pee!" Your co-worker at the sink would give you a funny look, but who cares? Dammit, you went pee-pee in the potty, and that. is. awesome. You deserve a treat.

I'm telling you, peeing has never been so beautiful.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm not dead

Wow, it's been almost 2 months since I have last posted. Well, no worries, you haven't missed anything. I'm making progress with the CI, albeit very, very slowly. I think I may have underestimated the pacing of this adventure. The first month or so were filled with surprising revelations about my new hearing. As noted in earlier entries of the blog, I was picking up new sounds left and right -- some clear, some not -- and the power and sophistication of the device was instantaneously recognized.

After my last post, things have cooled down considerably. I'm not going backwards, but more like going uphill. The incline is higher, so to speak. The path to better hearing is getting harder and harder to climb, and for a while, I was beginning to resist the effort. Maybe I was resisting because I didn't expect it to be so challenging; I didn't realize that I needed to make this many sacrifices to get where I need to go.

See, in order for me to hear voices more clearly, I need to hear less. Sounds contradictory, I know. My hearing aid allows me to communicate with others more than the CI. Voices are clear with the HA. Not so much with the CI. In order to hear voices better with the CI, I need to take away the HA, to lean on that CI so that it's being used. My brain needs to figure it out. Like a puzzle, you need to work at it until it all finally makes sense. Puzzle pieces don't fall into place automatically. Once voices make sense to me with the CI alone, I can go back to using the HA and the two can work together to create better hearing.

The CI device itself is primed for optimal hearing. My mappings are occuring less frequently because my brain needs to begin to picking up the slack. It's ideal to get mapped every 3 to 4 months at this stage, and eventually, it becomes an annual visit. My brain will continue to adjust to new sounds so mappings are always very much relevant to a CI user.

I had a 3 month evaluation last week. I will post the results once I get the paperwork, but I am definitely progressing. It doesn't seem like it, but I'm actually hearing more now than I was pre-CI. The actual numbers will be interesting to see.

For now, it's time to roll up my sleeves and take the hits. We've still got a ways to go.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shh Up!

I'm posting far less than I was at the beginning, and that's because...well...there really isn't much to report. I have definitely peaked as far as volume is concerned. Most sounds are coming in loud and clear from an ear that never really heard all that well to begin with. That's all peachy, but some of these sounds are so different from the other ear. It makes localization very, very difficult (i.e. where was that coming from? Who said that?).

It's also disorienting to hear what is essentially two different takes of the same thing. I need to work on lowering or turning off the HA and leaning on the CI more, rather than having them both at equal levels. It's a constant daily assault in conflicting sounds. A duck may sound like a "quack" with my HA, but it'll sound like "quick" to my CI. Hearing both "quick" and "quack" at the same time at equal volume makes me want to strangle the damn thing. :-) Anyway, the reason I'm not turning off the HA in everyday situations is because voices are still very mushy to me. If I turned off my HA and functioned on my CI only, I cannot carry a conversation with someone unless I'm looking directly at them. So I kind of feel like I need to get the voices cleared up first. Once I can close my eyes and carry a conversation with someone with my CI alone, then I'll be much more comfortable at adapting to the environmental sounds and eventually getting my CI and HA working together.

Understanding voices is a huge hurdle. My speech therapist told me this week that my last mapping made my speech comprehension even worse than it was 2 weeks ago. See, during my last mapping, the audi lowered the high frequencies and raised the low frequencies for better balance of sound. I had complained that certain noises were too loud, drowning out more essential sounds, such as the TV or a person's voice. After he made this adjustment, I instantly noticed that sounds were coming in at a more equalized frequency. One sound didn't overpower another. I was confident that this was what I needed. Of course, little did I know that this messes up my ability to comprehend speech patterns. For instance, I can't detect the difference between shhh and ssss (like shed and said). This drop in high frequency is making me miss out on certain pronunciations and patterns. So not only do voices still sound mechanical and muffled to me, but some words just don't make sense whatsoever.

My next mapping on the 13th. I will be armed with knowledge about speech recognition for this visit, and have my audi adjust my settings so that I can find that elusive balance of speech recongition and comfortable sound levels.

So until then...there isn't much else to do but continue leaning on that CI as much as I comfortably can. Just, well, don't talk to me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Powering up

After a rather uneventful end to October and start of November, I had my one-month mapping session this week and received a much-needed kick in the pants. I had a lot of trouble dealing with volume in the past (the highs were too high, the lows too low), and couldn't quite find a happy middle. Well, all of the levels were re-adjusted yesterday and evened out. Then the overall volume level was kicked up a few notches, while the IDR was boosted to 70 db (as opposed to 60). The world of sound has increased dramatically, and I think it's an important step in my ongoing journey to better hearing.

In order for me to comprehend and understand sounds and speech, I need to hear it, don't I? Well, now I can hear it. Though they still sound mushy and computerized, I can definitely hear voices. Down the hall, in the TV, a few rows back on the bus, etc. I can also hear the hum of my computer at work, sneezes from coworkers down the hall (though sometimes I can't tell if it's a sneeze or a cough. In which case, I don't say "bless you" in fear that it was a cough. Is that rude? Discuss.), the keys jangling in my pocket, my wife tapping on the keyboard of the Mac 10 feet away from me as I watch TV, all that fun stuff. I'm picking up sounds I would never have heard in that ear on its own. That's power, that's how strong these CI's are. Much stronger than the hearing aid ever will be.

Now it's up my brain to pick up the slack. It's time to interpret these sounds, make sense of them, comprehend what the sounds are and what's being said. I'm feeling more comfortable lowering the volume of my hearing aid and letting my CI do some heavy lifting. I need to start leaning on that CI and not be so dependent on the hearing aid. That's a tough thing to do because I hate asking people to repeat things, I hate not knowing what certain sounds are around me.

It's almost like I'm doing those trust exercises where I fall backwards and hope someone catches me. Turning off the hearing aid is like closing my eyes. I'll be saying "What?" a lot, and I'll be doing a lot of double-takes and second-guessing (wait, was that a sneeze or cough? or neither? uh, what's that smell?), more than my daily quota. I need to trust the CI, and someday, sometime, the sounds coming to me will be as clear as daylight.

So do me a favor. If you fart, and I say "Bless you," just say "Thank you," and walk away. I'll figure it out in a few minutes anyway.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blast off!

Just learned a little something today about hearing loss. Those with CIs are not prone to (further) damage due to loudness! You know how advocates are saying that constant exposure to loud sounds - whether from blasting music, elevated street noise, and the like - is a very serious cause of hearing loss. Well, this excessive noise causes damage to the hair cells in your cochlea, which down the road may prevent sound from transmitting to your brain.

We bionic folks are immune to this because our hair cells aren't used to transmit sounds to our brain. We have electrodes! Fancy schmancy!

So it's nice to know we can blast away and not have to worry about destroying our ears in the process. Does this make us superhuman? Well, not quite. We are not immune to headaches.

So somebody please, for the love of all things holy, turn that $&@%#ing thing down?!!!

Laying down the tracks

Now this is where things get tricky.

You know it's time for a new mapping when you are kind of stuck in hearing limboland. This is neither a good thing nor bad, but it is frustrating when you are an impatient person. Though I do consider myself patient, I should note that I am also greedy.

I want more, dammit! But whenever, no rush. :-)

Here's the issue. I'm at a point where I can pick up a lot of sounds at a comfortable level, mostly environmental. You know, the door closing, keyboard clacking, car turn signal, brakes squealing on the bus. But some sounds are too soft to register or make out. Voices are the hardest, while music and tv are wildly mixed. If I turn up my volume so I can hear the voices better, the other sounds get too loud. I'm stuck in a position where I'm ready to hear more, but my current volume control is too sensitive. Too loud when I turn it up, too soft when I turn it down. The middle ground is just not working.

Think of a music editor in the sound room, laying down several tracks of a song one at a time. Each track consists of a single instrument or vocal. I got drums down right off the bat. After the next mapping and some time lapse, I was able to pick up the piano, maybe trumpet or sax, and some higher-pitched vocals. Then, after more time and mapping, I was able to hear the guitar strings and more of the softer vocals. I'm still missing some key instruments and vocals to pick up the full song. It doesn't sound complete. After the next mapping and additional time lapse, I'll be able to lay down more tracks.

I was supposed to go today for my one month mapping (one month! Yeesh!), but it was pushed back to next Wednesday. Meanwhile, I have auditiory rehab on Monday (and at my current settings, I don't imagine it will be fun!), and am working on nursing myself to better health. Since my surgery 2 months ago, I've been hit with a series of colds and stomach bouts, struggling to keep my energy up and just feeling good again. Gotta build up that immunity! Time to get back to the gym and start eating better.

First order of business....birthday cake, and lots of it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


"Hello. My name is Dave and I am ... bionic."

The group shouts in unison. "Hi Dave!"

Ok, maybe that's not what really happened at "rehab," but dammit, it should have! I wanted the donuts and bad coffee and anonymous strangers congratulating me on my 3 weeks of new hearing. Unfortunately, if I want *that* kind of a rehab session, I'll have to start drinking or taking illegal substances.  Oh well...there's always next year.

So, I met with a speech therapist today for an initial auditory rehab meeting. She just basically assessed my speech hearing, more or less. She didn't care about music or sounds or noises -- she wanted to know how well I can comprehend speech with my new CI. And I knew from the get-go that speech was going to be a really big challenge.  Voices sound terrible to me -- an annoying garbled, underwater sound comes out of everyone's mouths when they speak. Volume is increasing, but clarity is still questionable. But I can pick up syllables, beats and pitches, and that's why the therapist thinks I'm on the right track. The clarity of voices will come naturally over time.

She said I scored about 50% on some unofficial assessment tests she gave me. Not bad at all after 3 weeks of activation. She was impressed, but noted that more work needs to be done. My brain is doing what it's supposed to do, it is still adjusting to the new sounds coming in. But I have to keep at it!

I will meet with her 4 times in the next two months for some rehabbing and further assessments. I'm doing my own rehabbing as well, from the AB's Listening Room exercises.

No wonder I've been skipping the gym lately. Though I'm hardly lifting a finger here, these auditory work outs are exhausting enough!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stepping it up!

I went for my 3rd mapping yesterday, and what a step up! I knew I was ready for another visit. I kept increasing the volume over the weekend. I was at the point on Sunday where I couldn't raise it any higher -- I had maxed out my current settings. My brain wanted MORE and I couldn't give it more.

But yesterday....I got more.

Prior to the tweak, my audi's voice (like all voices) was muffled, sounding like it was underwater and very computerized. He boosted my volume and gave me a higher IDR (from 50 to 60). Instantly, I was able to make out his voice. I was able to determine that it was male and make sense of some words. It's a bit clearer now. Don't get me wrong, I still have a lot of work to do, but it's definitely a step up. He covered his mouth and said 5 sentences. I got 4 of them right. He was impressed, and quite frankly, so was I!

So I am happy that my brain is soaking it all in and craving more. With my new settings, I will have more work to do in the next two weeks. I can make it louder, but right now, my brain is telling me to slow it down. The new sounds are still a lot to take in. Not only am I not used to such high volume and the amount of sounds coming in, but my brain is also dealing with competing ears! One ear is normal-sounding (the HA) and the other ear is completely alien and distorted. It can be very overwhelming sometimes, so I have to tread slowly before I continue to raise the volume.

My current programs are:

Pgm 1 = HiRes-S with Fidelity 120, IDR 60, 50/50 External Mic and T-Mic. This is for my everyday, quieter situations.

Pgm 2 = HiRes-S with Fidelity 120, IDR 50, 50/50 External Mic and T-Mic. The lower IDR is for noisy settings. It decreases the window of sound.

Pgm 3 = HiRes-S with Fidelity 120, IDR 50, 30/70 External Mic and telecoil. This is for my looped system, for listening to the iPod, DVD player, computer, etc, while also hearing the outside world.

My audi wasn't keen on trying 100% t-mic yet, and he also thought it was too soon to try IDR 70. I'm going again on 11/12 for my one-month mapping, and maybe we'll try those settings out then. In the meantime, I'm soaking it all in one day at a time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bits and Pieces

--One day at a time, I've been alternating HiRes-S and HiRes-P (singular electrodes vs paired electrodes). There is a resounding difference between the two. S is softer and gentler to my ear. The sounds aren't as shocking and abrasive as P. So on the days that I leave it on P, I find myself reacting strongly to certain sounds -- doors closing, toilets flushing, babies crying. It's not because they are loud, per se. Just very coarse, with a little bit of an echo trailing behind it. It's hard to describe the unpleasantness of it. The S setting is so discreet, sometimes I don't even know I'm wearing the CI.

If I had to make a decision today which program I like best, I would choose HiRes-S. But I have until Tuesday to continue experimenting. On Tuesday, the audiologist will build onto the program with the setting I'm most comfortable with.  As we get more advanced and add more power, things will get louder and clearer.

Hopefully. :-)

--I want a wider IDR! IDR (Input Dynamic Range) measures the amount of sound coming into the processor. A wide IDR would be 80 or 90, while a lower IDR would be 30 or 40. A fellow CI recipient explains it best this way: To best illustrate this think of a window - a window opened 60 inches shows you some of the beautiful sights outside the window - a window opened 80 inches can provide even more insight to the things outside that window too (maybe adding the flowers at the bottom of the window that you could not see at 60 inches).

With that scenario in mind, I feel like I'm missing the bigger picture. I'm hearing sounds around me (even if I may not know what it is I'm hearing), but anything beyond 20 feet from me are too soft to register. A wider IDR, I think, would pick it up. The sound of my voice is at a comfortable volume, but everything else is drastically reduced as it inches further away from me.

--I'm playing my own version of "Name That Tune" with my iPod playlist on shuffle. I try to recognize the song that is playing, and most often, I get it right. I can hear the bass and drums really well (which gives the song away, for the most part), but I can't pick up the strings at all. It's like hearing music with only half of the instruments playing. I can also follow the lyrics of the songs I know best. None of the lyrics or music sound "good," really. It's all so very muffled and tinny-sounding. But the fact that I can recognize them and follow along are very positive signs.

It may not seem like it, but I'm making headway, slowly but surely. The changes in my hearing since I last posted are so subtle, but definitely existent. It's only been 9 days!

Monday, October 18, 2010

5 Days Since Activation

It's been 5 days since I've gotten the hook up, and I have only just scratched the surface. Here's what went down since activation day.


More or less the same as Wednesday, the day of activation. Replay after replay of Road Runner cartoons. Beep-Beep, Beep-Beep! And what's really a series of beep-beeps without a million whistles? Good times!


Friday began the next step. I met with my audiologist and did some more "mapping." He did a few volume adjustments, in addition to adding three new program settings. The first program is Hi-Res S (which means the electrodes are fired sequentially), while the second program is Hi-Res P (the electrodes are fired in pairs). From what I have gathered, neither is more superior than the other. Since Hi-Res P has electrodes firing in pairs, the sound input is stronger and more immediate. But strong and fast does not necessarily mean high in quality. What is best is merely personal preference. By next week, I'll need to determine which of the two I'm most comfortable with, and then he will build on that particular setting. The third program is strictly telecoil in the Hi-Res S setting. Telecoil means I can hear sound via a special signal and use my ear hooks (specially designed headphones that can pick up this signal) so I can use my ipod, DVD player, or any other media player. Telecoil is also used for telephone, but I'm not there yet with my CI. Not even close. I believe all of these programs are 50/50 T-mic and microphone, but I am unsure. I requested my audiologist to send me program reports, and I'll be getting them shortly.

After my visit, I experimented with all 3 programs interchangably, especially number 3, with listening exercises on the computer and an episode of Glee. Glee sounded junky - like everyone in the cast had a cold. Voices sounded extremely nasal, and the music was muffled. Sound effects were louder overall - the rustling of paper, the keyboard clacking, etc. The beeps and whistles were decreasing as muffled voices and music were beginning to take form. Since the overall sound was louder, it was starting to compete with my hearing aid. I had difficulty functioning with both the HA and the CI at medium-high levels. I knew I needed to work on favoring one or the other until both units are able to work together.

Needless to say, I was exhausted after assaulting my ear with all of these sounds. There were so many differences with all three programs and I was overwhelming myself by trying all 3 too quickly. I have decided I will alternate program 1 and 2 every other day. This will leave me with a full day of experimenting with a single program, before trying a different one. I will do this for the next week and a half, alternating days, until my next mapping session (on the 26th). Program 3 can be used only via telecoil, so I will use this while on the bus or during breaks at work - listening to books on tape or watching DVDs or doing listening exercises. I will attempt to use program 3 a little bit each day.


Program 1 only, which is Hi-res S. The only thing I adjusted on my processor was volume. I had experience at the mall, at a restaurant, and in my home when it was both quiet and chatty. In all situations, I tried turning off my HA for several minutes, picking up sounds through my CI only. Though I am still unable to make them out, I was able to pick up voices and music. Ryan's voice was the closest to "normal." Most impressive to me was the sounds of ice clinking in the glass in the loud restaurant. Very crisp and clear. I never would have picked that up with just my HA in that ear.

This was a comfortable setting. While I am still struggling with dual competing sounds - one from my HA, the other from the CI - I was beginning to feel at ease with having the CI on me. I had it on all day long, and didn't experience headaches or overwhelming whistles and beeps. I kept everything on a softer volume level so I can get used to the sounds coming in. Of all of the days I've had my CI, it was the least "mechanical."


Program 2 - Hi-Res P - and boy is it stronger! It's very disorienting, and I must say that I don't love it right now. I kept it on all day but found myself lowering the volume a lot. The sound of doors closing, babies crying, me chewing on food were all followed by echos and the occasional whistle, even at a lower volume. The sound of my voice was extremely powerful, but the sound of other voices were very very soft. It was tough finding the right balance.

One unique moment was when I was sitting in the relatively quiet living room and Mara was clipping Ryan's nails 10 feet away from me. The nail-clipping sounded like it was happening right next to me. That was cool. However, it didn't sound like snip-snip-snip, as it sounds through the HA. It sounds more like clink-clink-clink. It didn't quite sound normal to me, but the fact that the sound existed is a good sign!

The Week Ahead

The week ahead will more or less bring me the same results, I'm sure, as I alternate between the two programs. I have a quiet work week ahead of me, so I'm not sure how much environmental practice I'll have. Today, I'm back to Program 1, and it's definitely softer and more comfortable than Program 2. But let's see what the week brings us.

To Be Continued....