I had my second mapping completed last Thursday, Aug. 14th. It has been a improvement to be able to finally hear words and be able to figure out sounds better. All four programs on my remote are brand new. I have Program 1 and Program 2 (a little bit louder than the first) and there's two different programs, so they are now known as "CAFE" and "Music." The "CAFE" is when I go to Starbucks, or to a bar/restaurant to help me to drown out the background noise a bit. The "MUSIC" is obvious - It's for when I want to listen to music on the iPod, on iTunes, on the radio, wherever, really. I am able to tell the differences between the 4 programs - so I am surprised about that. It means I am getting better! So currently, my remote looks like:
Of course you can see it's on "MUSIC," and that's not a big surprise. I absolutely love being able to listen to that. Pretty much 90% of the time, that's what I'm doing.
What I really enjoyed at that appointment was seeing the pie chart of how much usage I am using with the new cochlear implant. I was able to see when I had it on, when it was off, when I used it for music, when I used it for sounds, and when I used it for speech (basically when I talked/when people talked to me). I got a big kick out of it because all of that was from the remote I use to help figure out which program/volume/sensitivity suited me best. I guess you can't lie if you have been "learning how to use it." It's a good thing.
The best part during the appointment was that I was told this - I was well ahead on the progress of adjusting to my new cochlear implant. That is exciting to hear. It was a short appointment, about a hour long. So it went well!
On Aug. 18th, I had my first speech therapy appointment and that went actually really well. All good praises and I was given homework until my next appointment on the 26th. Mostly new words and type of strategies to train/help my brain to recognize sounds better. I think it'll be a bit harder at the next appointment because it'll be focused on words that I struggle with trying to recognize them, especially words that starts with "C", "K", "B", "P" "T" and sounding the same, like "Cat", "Pat", "Bat", "Tat", "Hat," and so on. But since I grew up having speech therapy, it helped me a lot and will continue to help me still while training my new cochlear implant. I was able to do well on hearing these sounds that make up a word and know what it is, but with these letters I just listed, those I have to work on. I do also struggle with hearing "C" "M" "N" "R" and "Z." So it's definitely a lot of work to do! I have the patience and time to do that so bring it on.
Something random that I noticed a couple days after I had my second mapping was that I could start recognizing songs on the country radio in the car, first song? "Drunk on a Plane" - Dierks Bentley. A couple others I recognized here and there: "Drink a Beer" - Luke Bryan, "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock, "Springsteen" by Eric Church. So I'm getting there! SLOWLY. Not 100% clear, but I recognize the music part more than the words. :)
Just the other day, I was told that I am starting to speak bit more clearly. So that is very positive and a great encouragement to hear that also!
Today, I forgot to pack in a couple batteries for my first cochlear implant, and guess what? It died so I had no backup. So I was forced to use my new cochlear implant for most of the day. I was a little upset about that but no excuses and I wanted to work on getting to hear better. Still a struggle and I admit I get really frustrated but I try to remind myself not to. It is really, really difficult trying to hear something when there's noise in the background and I can't drown it out. When I'm wearing both cochlear implants, I hear so much better and very clearly. So I am thinking that tomorrow, I will just wear the new one and work on it again. I'm supposed to do that daily but I just actually get into the habit of wearing both when I get up in the morning.
So that's about it. I promise I'll try to update within a couple days! Just have a lot going on especially with wedding planning! :)