Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Approaching the ONE YEAR mark!!

Wow doesn't time fly when you're having fun?? On the 29th September it'll be my one year anniversary of having my C.I activated.. I'm so glad I've kept this blog going because already I'm forgetting how I felt in the early days of this experience and things are still changing and getting better. I haven't been to hospital much in the last few months which is such a contrast to the early days when you're pretty much there every week! I had a new hearing aid called Phonak Naida fitted on the 21st July and I got used to that pretty quickly and I was so happy because it boosted my hearing up in my left ear. Going from hearing not very much speech to hearing the gist of everything (with lip-reading) again was lovely. Put that together with my implant and I was very happy!

Things have been quiet on the audiobook front because I've got out of the habit of doing it before I go to sleep at night and because most nights I'm so tired I just want to turn off the light and sleep so I've hardly done any listening practice.. Once I'm back into a proper routine I'm sure I will continue it!

The best thing about this implant recently is hearing what people have said without lip-reading in a quiet situation (one situation in a car!!) and this is such a good feeling because it makes me feel like a 'hearing person' haha.. I heard my boyfriend's father (sitting in the front driver's seat and I was sat behind him while the car was moving) say: "If there's nothing there, we'll just go to Ikea!" before we all went for a walk around a park.
Last week while sorting files and catalogues with a colleague we were having a conversation and I spent most of the time looking at what I was sorting, not at her lips!
I'm finding most of the time that if it's a quiet room and what the person says is in context to what we're doing - be it cleaning, talking about a topic or 'pass the ketchup' at dinnertime - then I can mostly hear what the person has said. It's great to not look at the person who's said something/ asked a question, give an answer and then look up to see their astounded face when I've heard/ answered correctly! Tee hee! However, none of the above applies when I'm tired or in a noisy situation - this is where lip-reading comes in very handy.

My only complaint about the Advanced Bionics C.I brand is their batteries. As I've completed my first summer holidays with an implant I'm now aware of a practical problem. My batteries only last for 9 hours which means I need two batteries a day (more, if I'm going to be awake into the early hours at a special party or up early for a long day). As AB only give you 4 batteries to rotate this means I need to charge all of them every other day or charge two every day. Sometimes (and I've done this twice now) I forget to put the charger on at night to charge all 4 batteries and so I wake up in the morning and I have no charged batteries to wear! Luckily I'm peripatetic and spend a good hour in my car first thing so I can make use of the in-car charger which plugs into the cigarrette lighter compartment and I can charge maybe one battery. Also, I went away for 4 days and took the charger but OH NO I forgot thee three other batteries which were at home on my bed in the little black zip up holder and which blended in with my black duvet cover so I didn't see them and forgot them! I had to spend 4 days charging the battery overnight, not wearing my C.I until after breakfast at 9am and then charging the poor one battery whilst I was eating my dinner at 5pm and then I could hear for the rest of the evening. I do wish I had chosen Cochlear or Med-el simply because of this battery practicality as they use disposable batteries. Why did I have to be so vain (with the colour caps) and environmentally friendly (with rechargeable batteries)!? When I go travelling or camping in the future, charging my batteries is going to be a problem that needs to be carefully thought about... grr!! Advanced Bionics - change to disposable batteries please!!


Katie-Louise's Cochlear Implant Blog said...

Advanced Bionics are looking into getting batteries that are usful with camping and other hoilday trips. They looking into it, just taking a bit of time and research.

Solar power batteries could be, who know, will have to see.

Join C'network and u'll know more!

Congrats on ur one year mark!

Laura's medical journey said...

congrats on your upcoming CI anniversary!

Sarah C said...

Thanks Katie-Louise, I have joined Contact Network so let's wait and see! x

Sarah C said...

Thank you Laura :o) x

Laurie said...

Happy CI-versary! It's amazing how much can change in a year. I have the Cochlear Freedom & love being able to use disposable & rechargeable batteries since I travel quite a bit.

Sarah C said...

Thanks Laurie, my mum has the same implant as you and I wish I'd thought about it a bit more but with luck AB will do something about it soon!!