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(NL-0029) CI and Voice Telephone Calls

Posted Apr 06 2009 6:45pm

It seems odd to me that my CI package did not come with anything that I can plug directly into a cell phone or land line telephone. There's not even an external suction cup t-coil.  The BTE (behind the ear) has a t-coil settingbut my cell phone and regular phone seem to make a lot of racket/static and I can't follow any audio information. 

I signed up for Skype service (Internet Telephone Service).  I can plug a cable directly from the BTE to my laptop to hear audio and my laptop already has a built in video camera and microphone.  Since I could understand the Yahoo news videos wellI figured I'd try and see if I could make a few Internet calls. I was hoping it was worth the $10.00 fee to sign up. I was not disappointed. 

I first called my sweetie Roxanne (who was out on some errands).  As is typical for hershe wasn't impressed that I was calling her. I think because I do call her every now and again and just to give her a one-way-message to ask that she bring home a grocery item or other.  I can't understand what she saysI only know she answers her cell phone.  But todayI was able to understand her. She soon told me to "hang up" because she was "standing in line at the bank" and would chat later.  Oh well ;-) She does the same thing on relay calls too. 

Called up my Dad's house in NCbut no one homeso left a message for my Mom. I could understand the message machine.

Called my pal Will W. in California.  Was able to understand him well enough. I could identify his voice when he picked up the phone. I had some sensitivity issues on the BTEbut made an adjustment.

Called Bob S. in Alabama. Also was able to instantly know who has answered the phone and I could pick out his New York accent very well. That was the longest call I made and it was almost flawless listening to him. Wayway cool.

Also of noteI was watching a news report and it dawned on me that the news reporter had an English accent (British).  Turns out I was watching a BBC news brief.  I am really amazed that I could identify the accent with out lip reading.

Mind youpeople still do not sound the way they should or at least the way I remember they should sound; they still sound like a 1930's radio broadcast.  HoweverI can UNDERSTAND the voices I hearand that's something I haven't been able to do without intense lip reading. It seems that I've gone from 0% speech discrimination to near 100% in four days. Wow.  

I also think that sounds are starting to become more recognizable and easier to identify.  And some voices (like my wife) seem almost natural again.  ButI think I will still be learning to listen again for a good long time to come.

Tomorrow I'm going back to the audiologist and see if I can get a "bass" boost and I hope to figure out how to cut off the external microphone of the BTE while I am plugged into the laptop. Then later in the day I'll be off on a flight back to San Jose. 

Drat. 

I have to go back to work.

...dan...
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