Are you keeping track of what day we’re on? I called Switch On Day, Day Zero so although today is the fifth day, it’s only day four… confused? Me too.

Ah well. So of I trotted once more to another appointment. I am still struggling with the distortion, the biggest problem is that it sounds like I might as well have my old hearing aid in – if it sounded awful, but a different type of awful, I’d be far more accepting of it. This I wanted to make sure I portrayed over to the team frankly and come away with answers, or information.

Firstly, I had a hearing test. Guess what? This is the weird bit. When you have an operation for a CI, they do try, but most of the time, cannot avoid destroying the cochlear and therefore destroying any “natural” hearing you do have in that ear. This is partly why, it is such a HUGE decision to have a CI, because if it doesn’t work (not that it wouldn’t) there is no hearing aid that would work in the ear again.

However, my hearing test showed that my implanted ear is still functioning the same as it was pre-op! Wow! It’s still no use, as the distortion would still be there should I put a hearing aid in it, but that’s interesting nonetheless isn’t it? I did wonder if it might explain my distortion with the CI – perhaps it’s the same distortion? But the audiologist didn’t say anything of the sort, and just promised me that it will get easier so I will choose to go with what he says and not my random theory.

One excellent point my lovely husband made though – today I had the sound levels increased once more. This means that my brain has adjusted to something, the levels have been increased twice since switch on now and I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the volume of sounds that I am now getting, on Monday. This perspective made me feel much better, even after the programming changes that he made had no effect on the distortion.

I had another chat with the hearing therapist again as well. She gave me some more homework to do. This time focussing on S sounds. For example, the words “Sought” and “Ought” are on the page, the other person says one of them, I have to work out which was said. This highlighted that I am particularly sensitive to the S sound at the moment – the distortion is pretty much putting an “S” sound around every sound I’m hearing. The best way I can describe it is like a cling film of static (like what we used to get when the radios were in-between frequencies, or perhaps when the really old television wasn’t working and it’d have a screen of busy black and white pixels) is wrapped around every sound I am hearing. So every time the hearing therapist said the Non-S starting word, I still thought she had said the S-starting word. So that’s something to work on, and more information for me to walk away with.

She also informed me that I am the first person that she has known, to say that the CI is just like putting my old hearing aid back in. But I know, that the distortion, and the type of distortion I am getting is to blame for that. She has a theory, that some people find it harder to get used to their CI more than others, if they have analytical brains. Oooh, I am forever analysing everything, perhaps there’s a hint of truth in that. If I am analysing every single trickle of sound that is coming through to my brain, from the CI, then it’s going to be pretty heavy on my poor brain to tackle. So I am going to try and be more relaxed about it. The Audiologist did point out that the CI affects everyone in many different ways – there is no telling AT ALL how it will affect someone and how long it’ll take for them to love it, but he’s not known it to fail yet.

Oh and the cutting out that it was doing? We think that the pad on my head just wasn’t sitting properly. We had started with just one standard magnet on Monday. By Friday we are now on TWO double strength magnets and finally, the pad clunks! It actually goes clunk as it hits the spot! So we think that will solve that problem.

So I walked away feeling far more positive than how I felt walking in. I am going to wear it as much as I can with the hearing aid in my other ear to help me tolerate the distortion and get through it easier. I am going to give it plenty of time, I will get there.

We spent the afternoon looking at the perfect house as we outgrew this house about 2 years ago. We can definitely afford the mortgage. It’s the perfect size for the perfect price, the perfect location for the perfect schools, the perfect walking distance to family nearby, the perfect distance to the train station and town, the perfect easiness of friends to reach us. Did I mention it was perfect? The only trouble is the 15% deposit they say we’ll need to put down on it (or any new house for that matter)? The equity on our house only meets about 7% of that… who needs the recession eh? Hmm. But that’s an issue for another day and perhaps another blog. For now, The Deaf One signs out again. I’ll write once more in a few days time x