The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

Speech Therapy Videos On The Web Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Allison @ 1:39 pm

Had a impromptu speech therapy session with Karen and another student of hers today.  While I was there, she reminded me that the videos of the two of us are up on the website, so I got to see them!

Here’s me talking and working at speech therapy (for those of you who are curious what I sound like!) (Three Videos In All)

Voiceless fricatives and coarticulation
As students view the spectrograms they can clearly see the energy distinctions for the /s/ and /sh/ and coarticulation.

Contrasting sibilant fricatives and affricates
Students can see the differences between the continuancy feature of /s/ and the stop plus the continuancy feature of /ch/.

Consonant blends
Students can clearly see and listen for both phonemes as they practice consonant blends.

Courtesy: NTID Speech and Language Department

If there are any problems with the video, let me know, and I will upload them myself.

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First Day Back At School With The CI Monday, April 6, 2009

Filed under: 120-channel processor,itching,listening,observations — Allison @ 3:39 pm

First day back at school with the cochlear implant on.  It’s very…interesting.  I’ve been switching back and forth between using Fidelity 120 and the regular programming.

Irritated with myself because my alarm clock didn’t go off this morning, so I missed seeing Laurie.  I didn’t wake up until Marvin jumped up on my bed, pushed his way into the crook of my arm, sitting on my shoulder, and stuck his wet nose in my face, while purring madly.

I have to turn up the volume on my CI when I’m listening to it with Fidelity 120, as it’s softer and more distant.  But so far, I think I like it better without Fidelity.  I listened to Steve and Sheila talking over the weekend, and tried to get an idea of what voices sound like.  At this point, everything is very mechanical, but it’s just the edges of sound that’s bugging me.

My ear is hurting and my skin is getting very itchy, but I’m trying to suffer through wearing it for as long as I can.  Can’t wait to get home and take it off…but I have a feeling that it will be coming off before then, as I have to finish my Flash animation for my class.

 

Heart-Stopping Moments Friday, April 3, 2009

Had my appointment with Catherine today.  And we came up with a plan of action.

  1. Borrow the battery from them, to see if it reduces the itching/redness, and if it’s my batteries that are causing the problem.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try out a body processor.

So that’s where we started.  We went into the CI booth, plugged me into the computer, with the intention of changing my MAPs because I cannot handle the intensity of the old MAPs after a year of inactivity.

So here I am, hooked up to the computer, watching the screen, and the first thing I see is red over the internal part.  Everything was recognized and green, except for the internal implant.  Checked it again, made sure everything was connected properly.  No luck.

It was time to call Advanced Bionics for troubleshooting.  Catherine found the “dummy” internal parts, and tried it with their processor.  Everything worked.

I held my breath.  This was not looking good.

We took my processor and attached it to to the dummy.  It worked.

I started to cry.

Crying because my internal processor wasn’t working.  Crying because at the thought of having to go through a third surgery in less than 3 years.  Crying because maybe that’s why my CI wasn’t working back in January.

Catherine picked it up to take it off, and then the computer recognized the internal part!  It was a loose wire.

Talk about a heart-stopping moment.  A huge sigh of relief.

So now I’m sent home with MAPs that are more than 100 points below where I was, and with my IDR reduced to 60 from 75.  One has Fidelity 120,and the other doesn’t.  I’m going to try both, as Mandy said in her last notes that I may do better without Fidelity 120.

30 minutes into wearing the CI, my ear was red and itching, and Catherine confirmed it by seeing that there was a red spot where the CI was.  So now it’s time to find a solution.

It’s amazing how quick the brain adapts to using a CI after not wearing it for so long.  I’m missing it…..and feel like I’m re-experiencing activation day all over again…in the sense that I’m discovering sounds that my hearing aid definitely did not pick up on.

 

I’m Back Thursday, April 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Allison @ 5:55 pm

Back…and going to be wearing my CI for the first time since….last spring, really.

Correction, I’ve made a few attempts to wear it over the summer, and most recently,  in January, when I had a dinner date.  I wanted to be able to have a conversation in a loud restaurant, with a person who was hearing and did not know sign language.

It was a disaster.  The sound kept cutting in and out.  I kept adjusting it.  Finally, I sat with my hand over the magnet, elbow on the table, wondering if it was my hair that was causing it to possibly slip off, or if it wasn’t strong enough.

Finally I just ripped the processor off my head in frustration, and said “to heck with it.”  First, having surgery twice.  Then the rashes/redness, the itching, not being able to see Mandy, and now the processor wasn’t working properly.  What else was going to go wrong?  Maybe I was just not meant to have a cochlear implant.

In short, I gave up.  Nobody seemed to care, so I stopped caring.  Course, other things were going on in my life at the same time which didn’t help the situation.  Lack of support from the people I needed and craved it the most was one.

After several trips home visiting family, and fights with my mom over my lack of using the CI,her disappointment with me for not wearing it, and the fact that I hear much better with the CI, than with just the hearing aid alone.

Graduation looms in 7 weeks.  So time is running out.  So I took action.

I made an appointment today, and was able to get in and see Catherine tomorrow.  I’m not able to see Mandy, as she’s had no room for me for the last year.  I’ll be working with Laurie next, starting on Monday, to ease myself back into this whole CI thing.

Let’s see how it goes.

edit: the correction is that my mom was upset with me because she felt like I was not wearing my CI because I didn’t want to, not because of the issues I was having. If I had made an effort to resolve the problem, with no luck, and then finally made the decision that it was not worth pursuing anymore, then that would be a different story.