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??


7 responses »

  1. Well, I’d say copy mp3-files from your computer on your blackberry (cable or bluetooth). As you are wearing a hearing aid in the other ear I would suggest a simple patch with whatever plug your blackberry needs on one end and induction earhooks on the other.

    • Thanks NQLB. As I am not used to listening to music I will have to download some music to transfer across. I can use induction earhooks for the implant too. so will look out for them.

      Where do I start with music!

  2. Does your system have a direct connect for phone, blackberry or anything you might use earphones with? I used a direct connect with my phone my first year and I have also used the direct connect to listen to music on a boombox.

    As far as the cell phone, I remember trying to find the “sweet spot” for holding the phone next to my microphone and then causing a disconnect when I got it too close to the magnet. It can be challenging. AB then came out with their T-mic and it is great with the phone.

    I have had both long and short hair and each has advantages and disadvantages. Currently I’m back to short, but not real happy with the style so I’m going to grow it for awhile. I will probably settle on the medium length I was wearing last year. I don’t think there is an ideal style.

    I started buying only coats with hoods after I got my CI. I was never much of a hat wearer, so the hood works well for me.

    The aches and twinges will diminish. I also wear glasses and since getting my first CI, I have had 3 pairs of rimless as they are light. I now have a pair of more modern half rimmed with a bow that starts wide at the temple and then thins toward the back. Surprisingly, these are more comfortable as they lift my CIs a bit and actually take some weight off my ear. They have a longer bow that spreads the weight out a little back further behind my ear out onto the bone back there.

    For really irritating tender spots due to rubs from the CI or glasses, I have used moleskin during the adjustment and it was great for some relief when needed.

    I tried the progressive contacts and didn’t find any that I could wear. I hope you have better luck.

    • Hi Glenice
      Thanks for such a detailed answer. My Med-El thingy does have a direct connection but I think that using the T switch on it would be more convenient, saving having to connect and disconnect all the time. For the phone I can use the T switch, or T with microphone, or just mic. So far when practising I have just used the speaker phone and mic succesfully. I have either knocked the coil from my head, or missed the sweet spot- I like that phrase- which has sent me off into a panic. I tried the phone a work but that wasn’t successful with all the background noise. More practise I think

      How cold does it get where you are? I have hoods but feel the need for hats, or ear coverage at least. I wonder if ear muffs would work? Minus 5C tonight, Brr

      Your specs sound good, I’m not sure I follow your description of the bow though. I tried the moleskin but that extra few millimetres meant that the CI didnt stay in place well.
      The progressive contacts dont seem to be great success for many people. I’ll give them a go though

      • We had snow this week and still have spots of white. It has been in the high 30’s F and low 40’s F. It is suppose to warm up to the 50’s this weekend. You never know what you are going to get in Minnesota in October. We have had years with summer temperatures and others with horrible ice storms and this year we had snow on the 11th!

        Regarding my specs, you know how sometimes the technician will bend the bow to curve around behind the ear – these bows don’t curve around and instead go straighter back and kind of settle on the big bone behind the ear. If you are still curious and not quite understanding what I mean, I could send pictures or a diagram.

        I sometimes wear fleece headbands over my ears. They are wider and soft and don’t put pressure on all the ear gadgets. I didn’t like earmuffs. I found them hard to get on just right with everything else.


  3. Hi
    I know someone who uses a direct input lead from his CI into his music. I have a pair of these leads for my hearing aids and they cut out all other sound (optionally you can choose ones that don’t cut out external sound) so they work like a loop. I use an ipod or MP3 player and it sounds pretty good.

    I’ve had gas permeable contact lenses for 20 years – they are brilliant. Glasses hurt!

    I love hats and hate umbrellas. Hope you find something you like 🙂

    • Hi, thanks for commenting. I haven’t tried anything with music yet. I should but put it off. I don’t like the idea of the direct link, it seems a hassle to unplug yourself all the time. I’m looking for earhooks that work like a loop so I can use them

      I have my appt for contacts tomorrow. I used to wear them until a few years ago when I needed the varifocal/progressive prescription, so I am hoping that they work for me again

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