One Week After Activation

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I understand how Sandra Bullock felt inhabiting her gravity-free environment.

I’m still dizzy. Getting around the house is like inhabiting my own gravity-free zone and I am reminded of  Sandra Bullock in the film Gravity where she spun out of control and propelled herself through space, one hand-hold to the next.  I’ve been walking around with my hands out to ground myself on walls, handrails, and husband.  Dr. Peters said it might take a few weeks to resolve but the best way to work through it was to stay active.  As in, don’t lie in bed and wait for it to go away.  No problem there.  I had scheduled my son’s wisdom teeth extraction for a week after my surgery, and just as soon as he was recovered enough to bite into his chocolate Easter bunny, my mother fell and broke her arm sneaking out of church early.  I will not be indulging any all-day morning sickness!  Mashing bananas for my son and driving my mother to her orthopedist made me forget all about my hot flashes, achy scar, swollen head, and my tendency to list to starboard.

My One-Week post Activation Appointment. 

If there is one thing I hate it’s a hearing test and Leslie, my audiologist, said I could opt out and take it later, but I soldiered through.  This is my result:  The hearing in my new ear is equivalent to the hearing of someone with a mild hearing loss.  That is, I can hear about 80% of all sounds. My understanding is 40% which, if you consider it used to be 6%, is astonishing.  And Leslie reminded me it was only two weeks post-op; I wasn’t even supposed to be turned on yet.

Life-after-activation was like having my own personal Festival of Hearing:

  • My first morning out at the dentist’s office was challenging and full of new listening exercises but already I could tell my new ear was carrying some of the hearing load.  I never felt overwhelmed or wanted to take it off for a rest.

I wore my black eye to church on Easter Sunday and in spite of arriving late, sitting in the back, and being totally distracted I kept hearing fully-formed words like EaSsster, DamaSssscuSs, and diSsssciple. The words came to me clear and precise, I didn’t have to strain, especially the words with Ss.

  • I actually heard the warning sound when the batteries were going out on my device (Leslie said I might not).
  • I cranked up the volume. Leslie gave me four programs of increasing volume and said I would move up as my brain made progress learning to hear electric impulses. I discovered that when I started to strain to hear, I could switch up to the next program and get a fresh boost of sound, a great feeling. So I’m a volume junkie.  Yesterday’s hit of sound isn’t enough.  I need more and more to get the same great hearing. The good news:  there seems to be an endless supply of volume.
  • If endless volume isn’t good enough, there is no feedback and no plugged feeling that I got from hearing aids.  All that stuff is so last ear.
  • I no longer hear the snap, crackle, pops that were going off in my head before activation, however, sound does seem to be wearing chain mail, with cowbells attached.
  • I heard everything said to me in my mother’s doctor’s office, from the check-in person to the nurse to the doctor to the check out person who did not move her lips when she talked. The words came and found me and I didn’t have to work.

I asked my husband if he could tell a difference in my hearing and he said, yes.  His life is easier, too.

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4 thoughts on “One Week After Activation

  1. Karen Vaughn

    The first place I realized how well I was hearing was at church. It was out reach Sunday and we had arrived to the packed sanctuary late. We sat on the side back steps. My daughter sat in my lap, I was looking down and realized “I can understand Pastor Gary’s words”. I am not reading closed caption or reading lips! It is if I came up from being underwater. I was too busy to realize it.

    • Hi Barb,
      I still have trouble in noisy places, and my otologist says that I always will. All sound is amplified, so it can be hard to distinguish the voice talking to you from the other noises in the room. Some noisy rooms are worse than others, but my old coping skills still come in handy and the energy freed up from the overall improvement in my hearing sends me into those situations with more confidence. Instead of dealing a death blow to my struggling social interactions, noisy rooms are simply a nuisance to work around or avoid. In reasonable settings I can hold my own, socially, and that makes all the difference.

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