ABI


Laughing at myself here:
I’ve been wearing my ABI for hours and just now realized I didn’t turn on the power. So I’ve had no sound and didn’t realize it. I was about to make a phone call, then needed to look up more info. At least I wasn’t surprised it wasn’t working.

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and ye shall receive.

Visited Indy for a routine ABI reprogramming session today. Um, surprise: My beloved Nucleus Spectra 22 speech processor (circa 1995) is obsolete. We ordered a Nucleus Freedom (sing it baby…) behind-the-ear (BTE) speech processor. I also get a body-worn processor, but it’s much sleeker than what I have. Kind of like buying a new car with all the color and accessory choices.

The BTE processor fits over the ear and is rechargeable, or can use three hearing aid batteries for back-up. The bodyworn processor could be concealed in a fist, and uses two AAA batteries. (“about the size of an iPod® Shuffle,” as described by the website and demonstrated by my audiologist–I commented that Cochlear and Apple should have package deals, an opinion strengthened by the description of SmartSound capability.) I’ve been casually contemplating a direct hook into a musical audio source for many years now. Although, I must say, that I did achieve a great deal of background sound masking, for understanding someone right next to me, aided by lipreading, in very noisy environments, using my S/squelch setting. That changed in the last couple years. I’m curious whether the new SP will match or exceed that performance.

I’ve been unlike most of my friends with ABIs: I’ve never minded the pocket-sized speech processor or wire going from it to my ear/head for the transmitting coil. While many Cochlear Implant (CI) recipients, and even friends with ABIs in Australia have enjoyed BTE models for years, I was always of the mindset that processing power and performance were far more important than aesthetics. Plus, basically, “I love my ABI,” and all the crazy experiences I’ve had as a result of the sounds it’s restored, and the adventures along the way! It looks like Cochlear may have succeeded in bringing the best of both worlds.

The experiment continues!

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Cochlear Nucleus Upgrade page:

http://www.cochlearamericas.com/Products/1802.asp

Freedom Upgrade FAQ:

http://www.cochlearupgrade.com/faq.asp

Payment Options:

http://www.cochlearupgrade.com/payment.asp

Or, it should be something like, “All or Nothing,” but I actually had a day of balancing activity in there–getting things done without burning myself out. (My personal chef and trainer has not turned up yet.) In any case, my anticipations of actions haven’t been very accurate–not for lack of motivation or mental planning. But I’m making progress.

Quick ABI/Captel update (since I’ve been terrible at follow-up):
The clarity of voice coming through the receiver was great today. Better than face-to-face conversations.

I don’t think I’ve been situating myself close enough to people to isolate their voices. I miss the effectiveness of my pre-2007 programs in filtering out background noise (on the S/squelch setting). I think that will just take time and use to regain. I’m receptive to that happening. (It’s been nice this week to realize my mind’s bringing out old coping techniques, potentiality language and such.)

The notable quote from the week: “This is not a mooning contest.”

The frequency of the geese is perfect for me to hear. When there are bird sounds, I’m not picking up hardly anything in the range of normal speech.

I didn’t have time to test any music today. (When I was in a vehicle, I had the window rolled down a good while, thinking the radio wasn’t on. When I finally rolled the window up, the radio was the main sound, but the ride was short and I was “looking around,” so not really focused on testing… Oh joy, run-ons are back…)

It’s ok, though, because the spontaneous funnies have returned verbally!

We’ve got a Father’s Day special post coming tomorrow.

Have fun!

I switched to my own speech processor today. We’ll see how things go!

She said she needed to run home and change between work and the performance because her colored pants might lead her to be “mistaken for a stage hand.” She opted for black.

Just before the start of the show, a couple dudes came out to do mic checks, place water bottles, and other last-minute things. They looked a lot like her in that they were wearing all black.

This was my first live musical event since reactivation of my ABI. Great act!!!

(This is part 1 in a series, but I have no idea how many parts it’ll have. “Parts is parts.”)

… Again.

Sort of familiar scene, although I did not come so close to tears (those overwhelming physical feat/happy-yet-guarded ones) the first time, and I wasn’t hooked-up to an EKG machine this time.

I have sound once again. Wild! The elation of signals still getting piped through is tempered by how we’ve had to pull back quite a bit on my comfort/tolerance levels. I have a good deal of adjusting to do. Like I said yesterday, throw it in the pot and stir gently, patiently.

Still exploring what’s possible here. The roller coaster continues.

So far (a couple hours):
My voice irritates me. Quite a bit. Physically. I’ll need to practice talking to myself, which has never been a problem.

Paul Simon’s Graceland CD passed the basic recognition/enjoyment test in the car. Its not where it was, quality-wise, but much better than I expected!

I’ll have to relearn environmental noises, I think. Keyboard taps are easy to recognize, but I thought a motorcycle was behind me, while I was waiting for the parking garage’s elevator. Instead, it was a woman talking on her cell phone.

So much more going through my head, this fine May day. What’s new?

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