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.

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