Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hearing a Distant Sound While Cross Country Skiing - 2/24/2008

The family all went cross country skiing today. We were stopped for a few minutes, enjoying the peace and quiet while the kids were taking turns skiing down a little hill, taking a jump at the bottom. I was waiting to take a picture of the next run down the hill, and Nichole was standing at the top of the hill, about 40 feet from me, just resting after her last trip up, when I heard a snowmobile start zipping across the neighboring lake. It was about 3/4 of a mile away, through a line of trees. About a second after I first heard it, I noticed Nichole turn her head left and right, trying to see what she was hearing. She quickly spotted the snowmobile moving across the open lake, and returned her attention to the skiing. It was cool to see her being tuned in to the sounds of her environment!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hearing with a CI on a Noisy Chair Lift While Skiing - 2/20/2008

We were skiing at Sugarbush today (February Vacation week). I was riding up the chair lift with Nichole and her sister, Corey. I was sitting between the two of them, turned so that I could face Corey while I told her about a conversation I had with another skier on an earlier lift ride (when I was just with my son Mitchell). The snow guns were running (for non-skiers, they sound like jet engines, though a little "deeper" in tone). The wind was blowing at about 30MPH (yes, it was *very cold). These are about the worst conditions for listening. When I finished relating the story to Corey, Nichole asked me "what was that?". I turned around to face her, and stared to retell the story from the beginning. She interrupted me, and said "I heard all of that. I just wanted to know the very last thing you said". I was amazed. With my back to her, over all that noise, with her wearing a helmet, and my voice muffled by a neck warmer pulled up to my nose, she had heard and understood a one or two minute story, only missing the very last sentence! She certainly never would have heard *any* of that with just her hearing aids. From past ski trip experiences, Nichole usually would just space out and turn "inward" on the lift rides, never even trying to participate in conversations, since she couldn't hear anyone, and with face masks on, couldn't read any lips.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Nichole's "Bilateral" E-mail to her Audiologist

At dinner tonight, I told Nichole that I had exchanged e-mails with her audiologist, Marilyn, regarding Nichole getting her other ear implanted. One thing Marilyn noted was that with two implants, she would not hear *anything* when her processors were removed. Nichole then sent the following e-mail to Marilyn, copying me. For those with very young kids, who can't really give you feedback, this is what you can look forward to as they get older.

Hi Marilyn,
My dad asked me if I was willing to give up my remaining hearing in my left ear for a second implant. Definitely!! I would give my residual hearing in an instant because as my little investigations have shown, a CI is about 100% better than a hearing aid. The only hearing (without the hearing aid in) I would be giving up is:
-hearing the water hit my ear in the shower
-myself humming with my hands over my ears
-an MP3 player on Volume 30 (maximum volume setting-I can barely hear it)
So I wouldn't be losing anything really except the title of having a hearing loss.
Thank you for the tip on how to turn off the FM microphone but keep the CI one on. It has made school life a lot more tolerable than before : D