Day 114: I Love Being Bilateral

I know I haven’t posted in a while. Life has been keeping me busy. Between school, work and catching up with friends, I haven’t had much time to actually sit down and write a post. I’ve started around 5 different posts since summer started but haven’t gotten around to finishing them. Once I have some free time, I’ll get around to it but for now, they are sitting on the back burner. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on the blog and there is still a lot I’d still like to write about so keep watching this space for more posts.

Now for the update!

I absolutely love having two ears. The sound quality is much better than hearing with one ear. I can hear the melody in music better with two ears whereas I could only hear the bass or the beat with just one. I also can hear much better in noisy environments and being able to localize which direction sound is coming from has been my best friend these past few weeks. Before with just the one implant, I could hear fairly well but compared to having two implants, everything was quieter and more monotone. I can definitely hear the difference between hearing with two CIs versus with just one. In fact, when I’m hearing with just my right CI (my first CI), everything sounds off. It seems like my brain has started to switch over to hearing with two ears instead of just relying on one. I knew that having a second CI would help me hear better but I never imagined it would help me this much! I heard rain clearly for the first time the other day and I was blown away. It was such an amazing feeling– I almost cried!

My new CI is slowly coming along. I had my fourth mapping appointment at the beginning of June and by the end of the appointment, I could hear the difference between a male and a female voice. Speech through my left ear is still robotic but there is now a bit more colour in peoples’ voices. Auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) is still going well. In fact, my AVT therapist always covers her mouth with a sheet of paper now to prevent me from relying on lipreading, even when we are not doing AVT exercises! Although I struggle a bit, I can still understand what she is saying. That’s huge progress considering less than four months ago, I could not understand a word she was saying without having to put my other CI back on. Now during sessions, I only wear my new MED-EL CI.

I’m starting to only wear my MED-EL CI more and more to help “jumpstart” my brain into hearing speech more clearly. I pretty much have environmental sounds down-packed so I’m just waiting on speech to make the switchover. Everyday, I listen to vocal music while only wearing my MED-EL side. Music sounds horrible through this CI but it’s a great exercise to help train my brain to make sense of speech. I can hear the bass underneath all the static and the robotic-ness, and if I’m familiar with the lyrics, I can hear them too (otherwise I just hear someone singing a bunch of unrecognizable words). My audiologist thinks that it won’t be too much longer before I start to hear speech clearly. She says that I’m progressing a lot faster than she ever expected.

It’s amazing to think that I could only hear “bleep, bleep, bub-bleep, bleep a few months ago!!

Oh, and to all my friends in Canada, enjoy the long weekend! Happy Canada Day!

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