Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First day in 11th grade for Nichole with Bilateral CIs

Today was Nichole's first day in 11th grade after having gone bilateral this summer. I asked her during dinner how school went. She said it was pretty good, but ... her right (older) CI wasn't working for the first two classes. Arggg.

She has Freedom FM receivers for both ears. During the first two classes, her older right ear was not picking up the FM signal, nor was it picking up sounds of the other students using the processor mic. But her newer left ear was working. She said she could hear the teacher clearly through the FM on the new side, and best of all, she understood almost all of what the teacher was saying (though she did say she supplemented with reading their lips). Not bad for just two weeks post-activation! But the point is, if she hadn't had the new implant, she would not have gotten much out of those two classes.

Between her second and third class, she removed the FM receiver from the old ear, and re-installed it. This brought it on-line. She guessed that the FM insert was not properly seated, thus not working. Whew!

So for the rest of the day, she had a clean FM signal to both ears. However, she said she still couldn't hear other students around her in her right ear. It wasn't until she got off the bus after school that it occurred to her that the night before, she had been playing around with the FM-only program her audiologist had put in P4, so she could listen to music from an MP3 player. That setting cuts the mic input to 1/9th the FM or direct audio input. No wonder she couldn't hear her class mates on that side. She will remember to user her regular P1 program from now on.

So all in all, going bilateral was a good thing, since it gave Nichole a "backup" hearing capability over last year. And her brain is re-wiring nicely to utilize the new implant.

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