I’ve been using CI for almost 2 years now and there’s not much new to tell. Large changes happened during the first year and they were so dramatic I couldn’t NOT notice them. Nowadays I still discover small positive changes, at random, because I’m now so used to hearing with CI.
I still notice small, but considerable, improvements in sound perception especially compared to listening with hearing aids. Just walking out of the apartment and into our stallroom down the hall to get something out of our freeser I notice pronounced hearing improvements. Using CI I hear the difference between the sounds coming from opening doors, keys that bump against something and pushing the key into the keyhole. I can also separate sounds coming from around me from the neighbor opening his or her door down the hallway. My hearing now perceive distance! When wearing hearing aids all the sounds sound alike and are at the same volume. It was not possible to hear how far away the sounds are.
Other small improvements and perceivement in sound nuances are happening everyday. When I’m sitting at my desk I can hear the washing machine spinning at maximum (the bathroom is some distance away and the door is closed) and when it “relaxes”. A lot of people probably think this is silly or are so used to hear stuff like this that they don’t really care. But I know that I wouldn’t be able to separate the sound nuances from each other when wearing hearing aids. I would probably confuse the noise coming from the washing machine with the noise coming from my computer sitting next to me. I can also recognize sounds while I’m in another room and the door is closed. I can for example recognize the sounds when Sindre is playing a racing game in the living room while I’m in the bathroom. With hearing aids I would never be able to distinguish the difference between Sindre playing music, playing a game, talking in the telephone or turning on the TV.
Otherwise I experience better sound perceivement in noisy situations. I feel I can better hear the voices to people I’m talking to at clubs or pubs, but when the background noise reach a certain level all sound is just chaos. When the DJ turn up the volume and people are getting loud I find sign language as support for speech a good partner. But that requires the people I’m out with actually knowing sign language, obviously.
Unfortunately I have some disadvantages to tell about too. I’ve mentioned it before, and I’m saying it again: Leaning back in a chair or similar is uncomfortable during a long period of time. My CI magnet is placed pretty far back on my head, and only a small leftwards rotation of my head puts pressure on the magnet. The magnet rarely comes off and thus cut off the sound, but if I lean back too long and “wrong” I get pains in the area around the magnet. I then have to take the CI off for a while, and thus not being able to hear. This is the only case I’m a little bit worried about getting CI no 2: What if CI 2′s magnet is placed just as far behind, or even further, making it impossible to lean back at all without getting pains? I then predict future pains in the shoulders and neck area!
The christmas and the cold is lurking closer. I recently discovered that something I’ve been annoyed at during my whole life was solved with CI: I can wear a (wooly) hat without worrying about “peeeep” sounds coming from my hearing aids! I have so many times NOT put on a hat when it’s really could outside because I would then either walk around deaf (hearing aids turned off) or with constant “peeeeep”.
For christmas I wish for wooly socks and a letter from a CI hospital regarding my CI 2 application.