The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

Mapping Session #3 – What’s the difference between rat and dog? Friday, August 11, 2006

Today I had mapping session #3 (and it’s only day 4 of activation!)

I showed Megan yesterday’s entry and she was laughing at the different sounds that I was hearing. We started off with the beep test again, and I was able to better differentiate the frequencies between the beeps. My threshold has also gone up. I heard the most beautiful beep, that I absolutely loved out of all 16 beeps. Turns out it was electrode #13! My lucky number!

It was tricky today because I would reach the threshold where I thought it was loud enough, and then I would think we had moved to the next electrode, and I would tell Megan that it sounded soft. Turned out we were still on the same electrode, and my tolerance for that sound had changed during the testing, so we came back to it later. It was interesting cycling through/jumping from different frequencies. The most difficult part was determining if the volume across all the electrodes were the same, because loudness versus frequency seems exactly the same to me.

After that was done, we did the animal words instead of the months. I can’t tell the difference between dog/rat and horse/sheet (yes, I said sheeT, not sheeP). I got fish and cat right away. We tweaked with the program some more, and then I couldn’t understand cat, but could understand elephant. It’s frustrating when you can understand something with one setting, and then no longer can understand it. The other problem is that with one program, I can hear Megan but I can’t hear myself/sounds close to me very well, and then vice-versa with the other program.

I’m still having some crackling sounds, but not like before. It’s possible that it’s environmental sounds that I haven’t identified yet, but it is annoying to me because it overshadows everything else. Electrode #16 is the only one turned off now, because it seems to help reduce the crackling. After we were all done, and I was ready to go, I started to have trouble with hearing, so we had to hook me up again and do some more tweaking. I can’t wait till speech starts to sound so much better and not so distorted.

Megan is tricking me because I know that program 2 is the new one, but program 1 she will not tell me how it is different. I have a feeling that it is the one that I came in with, just louder. My homework is to experiment with both programs until I see her on Tuesday, and tell her the differences between the two of them.

The other part of my homework is to be listening to speech instead of music. It’s hard for me because I am more familiar with music than speech, so I would rather be listening to the music. I need to find some simpler audio books like “Cat In The Hat” and read along with it. The Harry Potter I checked out from the library the other day is not a good idea because it is read with a British accent. No wonder why I was having a difficult time following along with the words in the book. That and I didn’t have the DirectConnect 70/30 mixing program in my processor yet, which didn’t help with understanding sound.

I found a fellow CI user’s website in which he posted sound files on the differences in sound between normal hearing, hearing aids, on activation day, 2-3 days later, and 2 weeks later for him (doesn’t mean it applies to me). I know my hearing friends would appreciate this.

I went to drop something off at my mom’s work today, and her coworker Doug wanted to try placing magnetic objects on my head. Oy vey. That makes two.

I wish I could find my Touch&Tell from when I was a little kid. I kept some of those toys that I used for listening therapy, and donated the others for other deaf kids. This calls for an attic-raiding this weekend, I’m positive it’s up there. If not, I’m going to buy it off of eBay because I loved that thing.

Some resources that I found online
Auditory Training Resources and Guides (gonna get started tomorrow)
Mapping Sound Descriptors

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I now officially love my cochlear implant. Today’s Adventures In Sound! Wednesday, August 9, 2006

As of 9:22 pm Mountain Standard Time, I now officially LOVE my cochlear implant.

I’ve had it on for almost all day, except for about an hour where I took it off to let my scalp rest for a little bit. The “pulsing/shocking feeling” that I had been complaining about in my last entry doesn’t bother me as much anymore, and is almost at the point of being non-existent. Instead it has been replaced with a “crackling” sound. I think Program 1 is my favorite, and I’ve got it turned up all the way to max, because I’ve outgrown the limits already.

Tomorrow I meet with Megan again to do my 3rd Mapping session in 4 days! And Susan (the speech therapist) emailed me today, and I am now going in for a post-activation evaluation and starting therapy next week because I can do it now.

This morning I came downstairs to get some juice. I pulled the glass out of the cupboard and set it down gently on the granite counter, and I could distinctly hear it go “clink”. Mom was happy, because that means I will stop banging her poor dishes onto the counter!

After that, I ventured out to the public library and got some audio books and CDs to practice listening with. After that, I came home and listened to music all day. When I first started listening to the music (I got tired of NPR for today), I swear that everything sounds like TECHNO! At one point I heard this noise that was different from the music, and realized it was the phone ringing, and right after that, I heard the clock started chiming at the hour! And then there was the clacking of the keyboard keys and the clicking of the mouse buttons. That was VERY exciting.

Throughout the day, I kept telling Jen that the song that just came on sounded like 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready 4 This”, and that I was positive it was the song. (wrong on all counts!) I finally gave up because I was starting to be able to tell the differences between songs. I also tried to listen to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but I was having a hard time hearing the words, because I need more clarity/definition in sound. I was also holding Benny today, and he was complaining (quietly) and I was able to hear the quiet meows as compared to yesterday’s loud meows.

When Mom came home from work, I told her about thinking that every song was sounding like the beginning of “Get Ready 4 This”. She wasn’t sure which song I was talking about, so I attempted to imitate the beat and tone that it sounds like. And then I put the song on for her, and she was surprised, because my imitation was very close! I’ve never been able to do that. I think this will help me tremendously with my piano playing and any other instrument that I decide to play.

While we were talking and eating dinner, I heard this sound coming from the other room. I asked mom, what’s that sound? She wasn’t sure, so I was tapping in rhythm with the sound, and it turns out it was the dog drinking water from her bowl! I couldn’t hear that with my hearing aids either! *lap lap lap lap lap* Mom looked so happy and like she was about to cry!

I’m listening to music again, with my favorite songs (250+) on shuffle. I was able to get 3 out of 5 random songs (in a row) correctly identified by artist and title! Some of the songs I was able to identify by the words (Jimmy Buffett’s “Apocalypso”)! Others I was able to identify by the beat and some of the melodies that I can hear. I was a little disappointed when I couldn’t recognize Groove Armada’s “But I Feel Good (Audio Bullys Dr. Feelgood Mix)” (mp3) because that’s one of my most favorite songs.

My other favorite sound discovery for today is the sound that toilet paper makes when you wipe yourself. I didn’t know the paper rustled that much!

Other than that, Jen is in trouble with me because she is on a mission to collect and find magnets that will stick to my head. She’s obsessed with the thoughts of magnets (other than my CI magnet) having the potential to stick to my head. ^.^ I didn’t even think about that till she brought it up! :-p

I’m amused and grateful that my friends are taking such an interest in this whole thing. Not only that, they are willing to help me in whatever way they can. I can’t even REMEMBER the last time that I’ve had hearing friends actually take the initiative to learn more about it on their own, without me having to explain it all to them.

And I got the best email from Dad today about this whole thing, which made me cry. Dad, I love you very much and thank you for what you said.

It wasn’t till 10:09 pm that I finally identified “Get Ready 4 This” correctly! I knew it as soon as it came on!

The Discovered Sounds List
Aug 7, 06 – Mom + Dad’s Voice
Aug 8, 06 – Benny’s (cat) Loud Mrrreeow/”talking”
Aug 9, 06 – Glass Clinking On Counter
Aug 9, 06 – Clock Chiming at Hour in Office
Aug 9, 06 – Phone Ringing
Aug 9, 06 – Keyboard clacking/Mouse clicking
Aug 9, 06 – Elizabeth lapping water in her bowl (from the other room!)
Aug 9, 06 – Hearing myself whistle
Aug 9, 06 – Starting to recognize some favorite songs
Aug 9, 06 – The sound toilet paper makes when you wipe yourself

Songs That I Recognized Today (When I First Started Making The List)
* the first 3 were out of 5 in a row
* All-4-One – “The Bomb”
* Green Day – “Burnout”
* Everclear – “I Will Buy You A New Life” (words)
Jimmy Buffett – “Apocalypso” (words)
S Club 7 – “It’s A Feel Good Thing”
Rage Against The Machine – “Bulls On Parade” (the trigger point for me loving the CI due to the intricacies in some of the notes)
Bowling For Soup – “The Bitch Song”
Van Halen – “Jump”
Sublime – “What I Got”
The Bloodhound Gang – “I Hope You Die”
Vengaboys – “We Like To Party”
Rick Astley – “Never Gonna Give You Up”
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – “Zoot Suit Riot” (words)
KC And The Sunshine Band – “Get Down Tonight”
The Prodigy – “Firestarter”
Smashmouth – “All Star”
Lenny Kravitz – “Black Velveteen”
Queens Of The Stone Age – “Feel Good Hit Of The Summer”
Boz Scaggs – “Love Me Tomorrow”
Foo Fighters – “Everlong”
*NSYNC – “Bye Bye Bye”
Vitamin C – “The Itch”
The Refreshments – “Down Together”
Jewel – “Who Will Save Your Soul?” (words)
Lou Bega – “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)