I've been wearing my hearing aid in my unimplanted ear along with my CI. You will recall that I "saved" my good ear and implanted my worst ear. The last few days I have noticed that the sound quality in my hearing aid side is not as good as it has been in the past. Sometimes I cannot even tell if the hearing aid is on or if the batteries are dead. I'll even wear if for a few days before realizing that the batteries are dead and that I've been relying on my CI. The only way I can tell is if I turn off my CI and try to listen with the hearing aid. Even then, it doesn't sound right because of the poor quality of sound (I cannot believe that I was able to hear with it all these years but the brain does adapt.) There is no way I will be able to "get by" if something happend to my CI side. The only explanation I can think of why this is happening is because my brain can no longer make sense of (or will no longer pay attention to) the distortion it hears through the hearing aid side compared to the clarity that it is receiving from the CI side. I have read about this happening to other CI users who have this experience after several months of activation. This isn't always the case with those who wear a hearing aid in their nonimplanted ear, but it does happen. I know of another gal in California who still wears her hearing aid with her CI and she has been implanted for over three years and is doing fine with both. My formerly "bad" ear is becoming stronger with the CI and my formerly "good" ear is becoming weaker with the hearing aid. I am beginning to understand speech better with my CI alone compared to the CI and HA together. I called Brad and Steve the other night with just my CI and I heard them just fine.
I've decided that I really don't need to wear my hearing aid so I leave it off when I am at home. I still put it on when I am around other people because it seems to pick up the lower frequencies better than the CI. It is nice not to have to wear it all the time. The nice thing about my CI is that I don't have to worry about feedback or deal with an ear mold!
The other day I swam for an hour in the pool after work. It has been over two months since I've gone swimming for exercise and of course I cannot wear my CI or HA in the water. For the first time, I noticed how deafening the silence was as I swam my laps. In the past, it was not that dramatic to go from hearing just a little bit to nothing when I took my aids off. Now it is like night and day when I go from a mild hearing loss to NOTHING! I am reminded of how deaf I am when I don't hear anything at all. (But I sleep good at night!) It's a little scary because I don't think I would like it if something happened to my CI side. We take things for granted and I love being able to hear just the normal sounds of life and music every single day.
God is so good. I am so grateful that we have Him to thank and praise for all the wonderful blessings that we have in this beautiful world. "God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you are ready for anything and everything." 2 Corinthians 9:8 (The Message)