Today I had listening therapy with Laurie. I got set up with the CKatz system and was doing the test for it to establish a profile for me.
After listening to the warmup sounds, I started the test, with both my hearing aid and my cochlear implant on, and had to identify all the consonants. I was doing okay, and then I started getting everything wrong. “Incorrect.” “Incorrect.” “Incorrect.” the words kept flashing up on the screen.
Hmm, I thought to myself, there’s something odd here. Are they getting harder, or can I just not understand anything anymore? After getting like 20 in a row wrong, I said “Okay, there’s something odd here.” So I turned off my hearing aid and clicked “next”. No sound. That’s when I figured out that my cochlear implant battery was dead. Great.
It’s one thing to have a map that’s quiet until my brain readjusts, and it’s another thing to be listening with both the hearing aid and the cochlear implant, and not being able to know that the cochlear implant has a dead battery. I was extremely humbled by the fact not only is my current program quiet enough that I can’t tell that it’s not on, but that it’s powerful enough for me to be able to pick out the speech sounds that my hearing aid is in no way able to detect.
Having a cochlear implant really changes how you hear speech. It was incredibly powerful to me, to have that realization hit home again just how amazing the cochlear implant has been for hearing speech.