The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

The Two-Week Mark: Itchiness and Mapping Session #5 Monday, August 21, 2006

Dr. M says that the itchiness is a result of the humidity/heat that we’ve been having here the last week. Of course, having something new and foreign next to your skin doesn’t help. I took off the interchangable accent colors for a few days, and it seems to help with the itchiness. The redness comes from me scratching my pale skin, and I’ve been trying very hard to avoid doing that.

I’m loving my CI more and more each day, as it starts to sound more realistic. I’m still missing details, and I can’t wait till I start to hear sounds in its “wholeness” instead of in its current state, which is hard to describe.

I’m starting to be able to hear/understand what the captioning doesn’t cover, like on TV commercials, where they say “Monday at 8 pm” or have a graphic with the words, but don’t caption what is being spoken. The other discovery is the huge lag between what is being spoken and what I can read on the TV.

Last Friday, I went out to the Yard House with my mom and her coworkers to celebrate Brian’s graduation from the MBA program. We sat outside by the entrance, and I could still hear the invididual voices at our table with the CI, as compared to hearing one big glob of chaotic noise with the left ear.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been exactly 14 days since I’ve been activated. Today, I had my 5th mapping session with Megan, and instead of doing all the beep testing, we focused on fine-tuning the implant. I wanted to get more clear speech sounds, so we spent today’s session working on that. I had to sit and listen to her read from a list of words, with her face covered by a black screen, so I couldn’t lipread her, and didn’t have a piece of paper to read off of.

We started with the animals, and I did pretty well with that (Except for tiger (was only getting the “ger”)). Then we did fruit, and I got almost all of them right, except for Mango and Blueberry, which was stumping me for awhile, because it sounded like “rooberry” (that should have been a clue right there!) My problem with a lot of the words (such as peach, cherry, blueberry, mango, tiger, cat, shee/p/t) they don’t sound right, but I can hear enough of the word to tell what it is.

During the mapping session, I could hear Kim out in the hall, her chair moving around, talking on the phone, going through papers at her desk, and was amazed, because each time I come there, I’m hearing more and more of the little sounds that make up the real world. Eventually we had to close the door, because it was too distracting for me to be able to figure out speech sounds and filter out the real world. That’s going to be a big challenge for me. The other thing that I learned is that people are lazy with their speech! “Button” is a perfect example of that. There are words that I know they’re supposed to sound like this, but when I actually hear them, they don’t sound like it, because people leave sounds out! It’s like the dialect of different areas, and ways of speech!

Music is starting to sound much more real to me (pre-implant). There are several songs that just don’t sound right, and others that sound like they did before, if not a tiny bit better. I’m hearing more of the vocals in the song as opposed to the melody, which is cool. I’m excitedly anticipating what the 120-channel processor is going to sound like, if I’m getting these results with the Auria.

Today’s random link
Dangerous Decibels: How Loud Is Too Loud?

 

2 Responses to “The Two-Week Mark: Itchiness and Mapping Session #5”

  1. Allison Says:

    Kris,

    you’re very welcome. I am enjoying it too, and it makes me happy to know that others are learning from it and are enjoying what I have to say.

    I was just floored to discover that with the closed captioning. I knew that others have said that the closed captioning was spotty, but I always figured that maybe it was a rare occurence and so on. I was more inclined to trust what I could see for myself, than what others could hear for themselves, because what I *thought* I could hear with my hearing aids matched up with what I was seeing on the TV. I’ve only been frustrated when it’s slow in bringing up the words, or when it gets all garbled, or it’s not there.

    However, when I was able to hear all the words, that’s when my jaw just dropped open and I went “wow”. They were right. It really is bad.

    Who knows, the technology might change. But we’re pretty lucky to have what we have, even though we want it better. It certainly could be a lot worse.

  2. Kris Says:

    This has all been really interesting, thanks for sharing your CI journey with us. I didn’t really know very much about the whole process so its very cool to read.

    I thought it was interesting that you mentioned the closed captioning – I have always thought that it was amazing how much that it misses. Especially on live TV, where things are spelled wrong, put out in an incohesive manner, or completely omitted. I dont know much about closed captioning technology, but it seems to leave much to be desired.


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