eyes update

Standard

Well, a little tardy in updating my last post.

The eye thing was ok. Not very pleasant but tolerable. The blurb said that it wouldn’t hurt, that some patients felt a burning sensation. This patient found it painful and more like a blunt knife sensation. Next time I have to have this I’ll be prepared and it won’t be as bad.

Two friends came along with me as MLM had to be somewhere else.  They had to wait in an outer waiting room while I had to wait all alone in an inner waiting area. Standing room only for the first 40 minutes.   Drops applied to the eyes then into the room. Explanations in a dimly lit room followed by another wait in a brightly lit room for an hour before they could check my intra-ocular pressure. 

I wore sunglasses in the bright room and was so thankful  that I had my implant in the dimly lit room. Explainations and lipreading and nerves are not a good combination. 

So, my post laser eye pressures were OK and now I’m waiting for a follow up appointment in January.

 

a little nervous

Standard

I’m feeling a little distracted and nervous today. Tomorrow I’m booked in for laser trabeculoplasty for glaucoma. It’s a short, painless out-patient procedure to relieve the pressure in my eyes.  It has a 75% chance of working and if not then there are drops that will work. So I suppose it’s no biggie but, but I guess it’s the whole idea of damage to my eyesight.

Hey ho.

How about a photo?

hearing impairment does not affect my physical enjoyment of…..

Standard

This post goes out to Ontario Parks who tell me that

A Regulation approved by Cabinet under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act 2006 defines a disabled person as a resident of Ontario who holds an Accessible Persons Parking Permit issued under the Highway Traffic Act, or a National Identity Card issued by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.   The Ontario Parks disabled persons discount applies only to those who meet this definition.  Ontario Parks does not limit use of parks by other disabled persons, but we clearly restrict eligibility for the fee discount.

Discount rates are offered in recognition of the fact that persons in the above mentioned two categories cannot fully enjoy the majority of the facilities and programs offered by the park, such as trails and beaches; their physical disabilities do not allow them to do so. Other agencies and governments may recognize a wider range of disabilities, such as autism, diabetes, epilepsy, learning disabilities and hearing impairment, depending on the organization. All of these disabilities present daily challenges to disabled persons but they do not significantly affect an individual’s physical ability to use provincial park facilities. These discounts are not based on financial hardship or other financial tests; they are based solely on the physical enjoyment of the park.

Good to know.  Hearing impairment does not affect my physical enjoyment of the park.

That means there’s no joy in hearing birdsong, cicadas, water lapping on rocks, the powerful sound of a waterfall, chipmunks, woodpeckers, coyotes yipping, wolves howling, owls hooting, leaves rustling, the wind in the trees, gravel underfoot. the squeak of snow underfoot, a campfire crackling, a campfire singalong….shall I go on?

Beautiful isn’t it? Mazinaw Rock at Bon Echo Provincial Park. It’s 100 metres high rising straight out of the lake. It’s called Bon Echo as there is an excellent echo from the sheer face of the rock. Apparently.  Good job hearing impairment didn’t affect my enjoyment.

260 First Nations pictographs adorn the rock face. I would like to tell you what this one is off but I couldn’t make out what the tour guide was saying. I had asked her to slow down and she did for a couple of sentences. You don’t like to go on about it and make a fuss though do you? A leaflet would have been handy. What a good job that hearing impairment didn’t affect my enjoyment.

There are a few beaches at Bon Echo Park, this is one of them. When you swim you remove hearing aids and speech processors, of course this would not affect my enjoyment of the beach.

There are many trails to walk on but no one would be interested in hearing the sounds of nature, which is good because if they were  in anyway beautiful, haunting, melodic, frightening, amusing, atmospheric, then of course my enjoyment of the park might be affected. 

Sitting round the campfire is always fun, even if you can’t see faces to lipread.  Who enjoys a sing song round the campfire? Good job hearing impairment didn’t affect my enjoyment.

Of course Park Canada and the Cabinet must know best. But then if hearing isn’t needed to fully enjoy a Provincial Park one wonders why they put on events such as the Wolf Howl at Algonquin, or campfire singalongs at Presqu’ile. Or put on theatrical productions, or music event, or have speaking “models” at their museums, etc etc

Once again hearing loss is misunderstood. This blog has many examples of my longing to hear noises in nature. I still haven’t really heard a loon, nor the coyotes and I’m sure there are other noises that I haven’t listed here as I don’t know what I’m missing

CI success, helpful hints. Part 1

Standard

These are my thoughts on why a CI has been successful for me, by sharing them they may be helpful for others.

It goes without saying that you need a good CI team especially the surgeon and audiologist. Not everyone has a choice in this but look into it, their success and failure rates. Chose a team you have confidence in.

The audiologist is the person you have an ongoing relationship with so my advice there is trust them, do what they tell you to do.

Every time I have a new map I come away thinking that I don’t like it, that it will never work. I console myself with the idea that as Amy has left the previous map on my CI I can use that one if the new one doesn’t work but usually after an hour or so I’m used to the new one. If I switch back to the old one then it’s not so good.

Have some method of measuring your progress that isn’t numbers and scores from your CI clinic visits. Mine is a piece of music. Before I was implanted I used to listen to Holst’s The Planets  in my car. I couldn’t hear much of it but my brain would remember the music from when I could hear and so fill in the gaps. The day of switch on I listened to this in the car on the way home and was so surprised that I could hear more so soon. Now after each mapping session I listen to this on my drive home and can hear just how much my hearing has improved. It’s a wonderfully encouraging thing to do.

I’ve been to performances of the Planet Suite and have never been able to hear the  chorus on the Neptune The Mystic piece, even back in the day before I was diagnosed with a hearing loss. The chorus is hidden off stage so as I didn’t hear them I didn’t even know that they were there. Duh. Anyway, now I can. Here it is.

And Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity. This is the louder piece that I could hear before hearing loss and, in my memory, after. Stirring stuff especially if you are British

Anyway I digress. Pick a piece of music and listen to it on the same music machine in the same conditions. Mine was playing it in the car on the way back from my appointment.

the difference my CI has made for me

Standard

It’s coming up to my two year anniversary and so time to reflect on the things I do now that hearing loss prevented or had to be done with help or gadgets or made so miserable it wasn’t worth doing.

These days I………….

Take painting classes

Go to Tai Chi

Line dancing

Listen to the radio

Go to the cinema/movies

Go to gardening talks

Talk to friends on video calls

Use the phone

Participate in meetings

Go to lectures

just a few things there. Not so bad eh?

finally!

Standard

One of my post cochlear implant ambitions was to hear the call of a loon again.  For those of you not in north North America the loon is a bird, it’s formal name is great northern diver and it’s known as the loon because its evening cry sounds like a lunatic laughing.

This morning out on my walk I heard the morning call of a loon. I wasn’t sure that is was the loon as it reminded me of a seagull’s cry but I came home and checked with my birdsong book and yeay! The morning call of a loon is like a yodel.

Here’s a photo of my loon

back in Blighty

Standard

I’ve recently returned from a holiday in England, back home in Good Old Blighty. This was my first visit since cyborgdom so there were many people to impress with my new hearing.

I think I did impress them too.  Some accents were difficult to follow especially those that came with mumbling and speaking through what seemed to be clenched teeth.  I’ve often thought that it was easier to lip read in Canada and now I’m certain. That legendary British stiff upper lip is more a lack of facial movement that is very hard to follow.  Still – mustn’t grumble;).  I even managed a couple of phone calls and some TV without captions. 

My implant did me proud. I could hear the announcements on the tube and in railway stations, have easy conversations in crowded restaurants, and city streets.  On the plane I put the headphones over the speech processor microphone and I could hear well enough to follow some of the TV.  I didn’t bother with the movies -my attention span isn’t long enough to deal with them.

Catching up with family and friends back home is always lovely but this time it was especially lovely to be able to hear and join in just the same as everyone else.