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Three Year CI Anniversary

Posted Sep 13 2008 11:48pm
Three years ago today, the remnants of Hurricane Katrina blew through Knoxville, knocking out the power in our area. Three years ago Steve was trying to get home from a business trip to take me to the hospital for a life-changing surgery (he didn't make it - Marissa had to miss school that day and took me instead. Steve did make it in time to be there when I woke up in recovery.) Three years ago today I received my first cochlear implant in my left ear. These last three years have been an incredible discovery of new sounds and new joys. I know I've said this before but will say it again. . . I am forever grateful for those who made this technology possible to give the gift of sound to the deaf and hard of hearing.

Below is my most recent hearing test (click on test to view it bigger), which I had done a month ago at my last mapping appointment at the UT Audiology and Speech Pathology department. I tested NORMAL across the board with both cochlear implants, which is even better than the last hearing test I had done a year ago. (That is the C1 you see across the top of the test.) My audiologist also tested my residual hearing to see if I had any left because I told her that I can "hear" certain sounds at a certain range. (Those are the X's and O's you see near the side and bottom of the test.) Cochlear implants usually destroy what residual hearing is left but my doctor used the latest technology, which tries to preserve it. And sure enough, I do have a little bit left. But it is not really usable. It is nice to know that it is there and not just my imagination!

Julie also surprised me and wanted to test my word recognition (HINT=hearing in noise test) score. She used her own voice instead of using a recording and repeated sentences to me. She asked me to write them down and told me to write whatever I heard, even if it didn't make sense. My score was 63%, which is just a slight improvement from my score of 60% last September. But, she tested me BEFORE she remapped my processors. I think I would have done better AFTER the mapping session and with a man's voice. But that is okay. 63% is better than 0%, which was my score three years ago. My score is higher (100%) when there is no noise around me, which is why I prefer to talk on the phone in a quiet place with no distractions.

Tonight is the annual fireworks display in Knoxville for the Boomsday festival. I'm hoping to go see and HEAR them with TWO ears! Have a great Labor Day!
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