Lipreading Practice

Switch on!

29 August 2017

I woke and realised that today was the day that I have been waiting for, for what  seemed like ages but in reality it was only a few weeks.  Today I would be switched on.  I was excited and nervous all at the same time.

My husband came with me and we arrived at the hospital in good time for my appointment. Everyone was very friendly and reassuring.

When my cochlear is switched on I will be working with my tutor to learn to recognise what I am hearing. She came out to tell us what was happening now and what would happen later.   At last the time came for us to join her, together with my consultant and the specialist who would tune my cochlear implant.

All the parts of my processor were shown to me and then I put them on. The receiver over my ear and the coil attached to my head.  Then the specialist began to tune the cochlear.  At first I thought that it hadn’t worked as I couldn’t distinguish any sounds, then after more tuning by the technology expert I began to hear noises – I can only describe it as a cat’s whiskers radio that many people made after the 2nd world war. My uncle made one and there were lots of squeaks and whistles.  It took a little longer for me to suddenly realise that the sounds were beginning to sound like speech in the distance and then to my delight to sound like my tutor speaking. I could hear her speaking!  It was and still is very tinny!!   The sound was modified to give me volume and comfort.  That was enough for now!   Grateful that it had gone well and aware how different the world now sounds I was full of mixed emotions. We said our good byes and laden with all the component parts in large bags, my husband and I set off for home.

Home! and already being asked how it went. The switch on went well although there is a long way to go!  I can’t hear speech very well yet – everything sounds like its tinny and men and women sound the same.  They sound as if they have a speech impediment.  I sound very strange too. 

I managed to hear Jamie (3 years) say the name of two of his friends when my son popped in. – Freddie and Madeleine (I HOPE).

I have lived in a very quiet world for many years, although I thought it was noisy. I have now discovered, the world is a much noisier place. I can hear cutlery scraping on the plates;  the paper wrappings rustling; keys jangling and every little tap or bang sounds like thunder!!  I can even hear the tap running so no more floods hopefully. I can hear the keys as I type on my computer!!  I can even hear noises behind my back. How Amazing is that? 

This evening I was very tired and fell asleep and when I woke up I couldn’t hear a sound!!  I THOUGHT EVERYTHING HAD GONE WRONG and then I remembered that the specialist had said the battery was only 40% charged  - It had run out.  What a wally!

I put the batteries on to charge and the processor in its pot to dry and so to bed. Tomorrow will be my first training day tired but very happy!!!!