On Friday, I had a one month post activation follow up with my CI audiologist. To start, she makes the mistake of asking me, “How are you doing?” I then express frustration, disappointment, fatigue, uncertainty, etc. All of this is interspersed with tears, some profanity, complaints and general whiny-ness. I also apologize repeatedly and I am reassured that I’m not first complainer nor the worst of her patients. Once I finish venting my audiologist says, “Well, let’s do some testing and see where you’re at…”
We go through 2 types of testing. The first where I listen to tones of various frequencies and loudness. That one doesn’t bother me too much although I confess that at times I’m not quite sure if I’m hearing the sound or imagining that I’m hearing the sound. Maybe it’s the same thing 😉
The second test is the dreaded word recognition test where I’m supposed to repeat or guess single spoken words. I’m not as tense as the last time and I feel like I’m hearing more correctly.
My results are good. I’m up to 71% in the first test and I’ve improved on my word recognition score from 20% (my pre-implant level) to 58%. I think my audiologist is both pleased and relieved, as am I. So bottom line, I am doing better and the implant is working. Because I was deaf for so long I’m not going to be an overnight success but I will continue to progress. The challenges I face in navigating real world situations should improve with time as I get more used to hearing so much more and as I improve with overall hearing ability.
I expect a lot of myself and have trouble with not knowing what’s normal, what’s possible, what can I realistically expect. I need to practice the art of appreciating the small victories and gifts along the way. Remember, now I can hear raindrops falling on leaves…