I really feel like I made the honor roll yesterday! I went in for my two week visit and my audiologist decided to test me for sentence recognition. First we played with adjustments. The newly implanted ear is still higher pitched than the other ear so we tried adding some bass to it. It gave it more resonance in sound but I still have the original and another setting to play with. We went into the booth to try sentence recognition. My previous score with just my right aided ear was 15%. With my newly implanted ear alone I scored 83%. She even asked me if I had my other hearing implant on but I didn’t. My last sentence test with the left implanted ear was 79% so I’m wondering how that all happened so fast. I was able to use the telephone on my new ear too today but it needs more volume. Never the less I could hear what they were saying.
On Jan 21st I had my second implant. Today is day 3 since the surgery and I have been surprised at how well I feel. I remember taking a nap the first couple of days last time but haven’t needed to this time around. After the first night which was pretty daunting between the pain and a -20 degree temperature outside the pain meds became a huge help and I ended up sleeping well later into the night.
I feel pretty fortunate to have gotten this surgery. Two weeks before the scheduled date my insurance wrote to say they were denying the request. The surgeon had a peer to peer review with the medical director and they ok’d the surgery on Friday before the scheduled Tuesday date.
The surgeon told me that the second implant, once activated, doesn’t have as profound an impact as the first. I’m anxious to see how well it works in the classroom since my right side had become basically deaf. The surgeon feels it will help a lot with background noise.
This was a busy day with a long series of listening activities then a visit with the surgeon for my one year and 2 mos. checkup. I’m hearing the sentences a little better now but things are basically leveling off. Without my hearing aid on and just using the implant I am scoring about 80%, like a mild hearing loss. I still have trouble with the test that says: Ready: baseball, Ready: duck, etc. I get about 50% but of course she has the volume very low. With my hearing aided ear added I get 64% and 82% of the sounds which means I make a close guess. Her reasoning is that she wants it to be like everyday conversational speech. My audiologist is very happy with all my scores and so am I. The other news which didn’t surprise me is that my right ear now is severely/profoundly impaired. When I was tested for sentences with only my aided ear I only got 20%. I also attribute this to brain chemistry, just my theory. My brain has gotten so use to using my implanted ear that my right ear is not getting any practice anymore. My audiologist suggested I go for another implant and my surgeon was very encouraging about the idea. He said that I’m a very good candidate and that I have done very well with my current implant which is a good predictor. He also said that they like to do bilateral implants within a close period of time. Apparently your brain and hearing pair up better than if you want 10 tens years between implants. I wasn’t totally surprised at this opportunity but didn’t think it would happen quite this soon. So, I’ll be using the next couple of weeks to think about this but will probably go for it. I think its a great opportunity. I just need to acclimate myself to the idea of surgery.