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.

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