The CI rehabilitation period isn’t all about learning to hear again. There are a few hassles.
For me they are;
Hair style. Is there an ideal CI wearer’s hair style? My hair is thick and unruly. At the moment I have a shortish spikey do, thinned out to get the coil on easily. I have a habit of running my hands through my hair so I tend to knock the coil off frequently. To get around this I use a hair grip to secure the wire that goes from the speech processor to the coil. I’m thinking long hair tied back in a pony tail is the answer. Not very flattering for the older face but it may be the easiest solution.
Behind the ear ache. I’m still getting used to the speech processor behind my ear. It’s slightly wider and longer than my HA and those few millimetres make a huge difference to comfort. You start to wear the speech processor a few weeks after the surgery when the area is still tender, I think this contributes to the discomfort that I have now. I also wear spectacles and have a high/complicated prescription so they are heavy. The last pair I bought were comparatively cheap and hurt my ears, they seem to have deformed the shape of the mastoid cells too leaving a dent in the skin. I have an appointment for a new eye exam and look at progressive contact lenses.
Skull ache. I still have a tender area around where the CI is embedded in my skull. When I am tired I feel a sharp twinge. My outer ear is still tender too and sometimes it’s too sore to sleep on my CI side
Security As well as knocking the coil off with my hand, I sometimes dislodge the speech processor when I lean my head over to the CI side. Usually it just hangs there from the coil but I worry about losing the whole thing, or it falling into water or something. I’ve bought a cover for the speech processor that clips onto your clothing and have used this a couple of times.
Hats. It’s coming up to hat season, You need your ears covered when its 15C below. The coil gets dislodged when I take the hat off. I’ve been using a pashmina wrapped loosely around my head, but I will need more than this, or maybe a better pashmina.
Umbrellas have to be used on the non CI side. I tend to pull the brolly close by my head and the CI coil magnet then attaches itself to the metal shaft of the brolly.
Telephones I’ve been practicing but I keep hitting the coil with the receiver and knocking it off, or not finding the right place to hold it. I think I may have to use speaker phones only. It’s early days yet for this.
I’m pretty sure all of these will get better with time . It does seem churlish to complain about anything to do with the CI but in the spirit of warts and all full disclosure I am bringing them to your attention.
Now all I need is someone to tell me how to get music onto my Blackberry and then into my head. Any suggestions??