July 26, 2007 - Mapping
Wow. What a great day!
Nichole had her day-2 activation session this afternoon with Marilyn (her Audiologist). She modified Nichole's processing to reduce the "chirpiness" of voices. Where yesterday she could only hear the SSSS and Shhhhh Ling sounds, now Nichole can hear all six (though the sss/shhh appear to be the same, as does eeee/mmmm). But she still hears them! I have posted a video on youtube.com of this part of the mapping.
We then put Nichole in "the booth" so that we could compare her CI hearing with her pre-implant hearing aid results. Back then, her right ear was about 105dB. Today, with her implant, she was at 20dB across the board (except 25db at 250Hz and 4000Hz). AMAZING !!!!! Her (hearing) little brother Mitchell was in the booth with her and said the sounds were *very* quiet.
We can almost watch her mind as it gets used to the new sounds. At 10:30pm tonight, Nichole wanted to see how many letters of the alphabet she could detect. It was a "closed set" game my wife started with her this morning (thanks to a session at Sturbridge). Nichole was 6 feet from me, facing *away* from me when she asked to "do the alphabet thing". In a normal voice, I said I didn't know what "the alphabet thing is". She immediately started explaining it to me. I stopped her to point out that with her back to me, she had understood my question, and had proceeded to answer it !!!! Whoohooo.
So we played the game. I sat 6 feet from her, in our kitchen (with the fridge running in the background, so not "sound booth" listening here), with only the CI on, and her facing away from me. Of the 26 letters I randomly said, she correctly said back 15 of them (that is 58% correct).
We have a toaster oven in one corner of our kitchen. When set to "toast" it ticks like an old egg timer. With her hearing aid, she needs to be about 3 inches from it to hear the ticking. With just her CI, she walked across the kitchen, into our living room, turned and went to the far corner of that room (so a wall between her and the oven). She could *still* hear the ticking 40 (serpentine) feet away!!!
She is totally psyched. She knows she still needs to work to understand speech fluently, but she is thrilled with the first 30+ hours with the implant (less sleep time last night). Her younger brother Mitchell (9) asked her if she would ever want to get the other ear implanted. She said YES, and that she would even elect to get it done NOW.
As a few people on the list pointed out to me yesterday, it is nice experiencing this journey with a young woman who can articulate what is going on, what she hears, and what she feels. Nichole even insisted on us carrying this electronic waterfall scene "thingy" (like a big picture frame) she had received for Christmas, to her appointment with Marilyn today. It plays an electronic rendition of a waterfall/burbling brook with birds in the background. She wanted Marilyn to hear it, because that sound, as she hears it with her hearing aid, is what she heard with her CI when it was first activated yesterday, and we tried talking to her. A cool way to get the point across to us.
Well, that is all for tonight.