A couple of people have asked me how I am now coping with listening in background noise. The answer has to be miles better than before but not as well as I hope it will be.
At work I can deal with background noise from the machinery and air conditioning. Before they were intrusive, the noise from them was overwhelming and tiring, having to listen over the noises. Now, I barely notice them. We have some construction going on on the same floor, major stuff with demolition and drilling. This is just in the background. It’s there but it doesn’t interfere with my listening
Last weekend we went to a house warming do at a neighbours house. Most of the people were gathered on a covered deck at the back of the house, (overlooking the river – very lovely). The roof was tin and so extra echoey. It was very hard to hear but I could make out a few words and so could cope. I think I coped better than most of the middled aged people there- judging by the craned necks and tilted heads. Again this was much better than before. With my HAs it would have been impossible and the level of noise would have been painful and distressing. We didn’t stay long, I’m out of the habit of social chit chat and didn’t really know what to say to people.
In the cafeteria at work we sit on a long table for maybe 8 or 10 people. Pre CI I just used to sit and eat. Occasionally a thoughtful and informed person would tell me what people were talking about. Mostly I just sat and ate. Now I can join in, as long as there aren’t too many people talking and they aren’t too far away. I try to sit so that the others are on my CI side, otherwise it’s pretty much impossible to hear someone on the HA side. When there is a group of 4 or so then it’s not really that difficult. The CI deals much better with the background noise from the fridges and serving equipment.
I find it hard to filter out all the extra noises I am hearing. For example the people at the next table in the cafeteria. If I hear a voice then I don’t expect it to be someone behind me, or in another group so I often ask the people I am with what they said, when they haven’t spoken. I will get used to this though, it just takes time.
Voices are begining to sound richer and more real, though each time I get a new map then some more squawks are introduced and my brain needs to accommodate them.
I can recognise individual voices when people are reasonably close to me, say 3 or 4 feet but further away then they become more electronic.One of the delights of the CI is that when I get home my first action isn’t ripping my hearing aids out. How I hated those things, so noisy, so tiring, so painful. Every noise an assault, but an assault that you grab out for simply because you want to participate in life. Now, when my CI battery runs out I change it, I wear my CI from getting up to going to bed.
This morning I went out for a walk and took these photos. I wore my CI so that I could hear and enjoy the quiet of the river.