A Day of Wonders (Cochlear Implant activation)

Tuesday, July 31st, I woke up to this beautiful site:

Tulips from my hubby! What a wonderful surprise!!

I had an appointment with Dr. Kaylie to check my incision at 1pm, and then I saw the audiologist immediately afterward.

Dr. Kaylie was pleased that I didn’t have as much pain or vertigo with this surgery.  The incision looked great, and all was a go for activation….well, to get my processor.  Dr. Kaylie already checked to make sure the Implant was working when I was in surgery, so that wasn’t a worry.  The implant was already working, but I couldn’t hear anything without the processor.  It was time to get the processor.  So off to see Sara, my audiologist.

It was very interesting to have the processor hooked up.  At first I just heard a series of beeps, (that’s what I was supposed to hear).  She was determining the volume each frequency should be. Then I was able to hear speech, and when I first heard her talk I busted out laughing!  She sounded like a cartoon, then I heard Stuart speak, and he sounded like a cartoon…heck, I sounded like a cartoon.  I kept giggling every time someone spoke. Everyone still sounds cartoonish.  A very silly cartoon, like on Rodger Rabbit.  It’s amusing but also quite difficult.  Sara reassured me that all of her patients tell her that it gets better, but everyone is different.  My brain has to be trained to hear a different way.  Now I’m not hearing as a normal person, I’m hearing by having my auditory nerve stimulated.  That kind of blows my mind. (I know my hearing will get better and better as time goes on, but I also know I may never hear like normal ears hear any longer.)

You would not believe how much stuff I got with my processors. Two HUGE boxes full of stuff.

These are the boxes all the parts came in. The coffee cup is in the picture to show scale. It’s a regular sized coffee mug.
This is some of the pieces for the Harmony processor. Yes lot’s of extra stuff. I’m so confused by how I’m going to organize all of this stuff….just look there’s even more in the next box…and this doesn’t include things I’m using, like the processor, and the battery chargers…ect.
This is some of the items that came with the Neptune processor. This is the processor that can be waterproof, and it clips on instead of going behind the ear….but all this stuff, I have to figure a way to organize it, and understand it all. : )

I was joking in the last picture, I was shown what everything did, I just need to work with everything to make sure I understand how it works without anyone telling me, or me having to look it up.  Especially all the connections to hook the processor straight up to the iPod, or things like that.  The different ear hooks for different things with the Harmony.  All the accessories just to make it different looking and some to clip the Neptune on to me, like an arm band and a lanyard…ect.
I have a drying box to keep the processors free of dampness.  Each processor came with one, but I like one better than the other.  There are different carrying cases, but neither will help organize all the pieces.  I feel like I got some very useful items, some fun items, and some useless items.  But it’s been like Christmas for a couple of days just playing around with all the pieces and figuring out how to wear them.

Here’s some photos of me with my CI hooked up with the different processors :

Me with the Harmony processor on….I was playing around with the different colored pieces you can snap on to it. The part that hooks to my head….by a magnet…that’s green, I have that in white, black, red, brown, and light brown….and of course lime green. Where the blue is, I have some funky snap on parts there, they are all silly – stars, rockets, rainbows…ect. Or I don’t have to wear one and it will be a light brownish beige.
This is the Harmony from the side. I have the larger battery on the processor in this photo, so the back part (where the blue is snapped on) is longer than it is with the smaller battery. Of course the larger battery last longer than the shorter one….about 4-5 hours longer I think.
This is me with the Neptune on. I just clipped it to my shirt to show what it looks like. When it is waterproof, it’s actually smaller (you take the controller off, so you can’t change the volume or anything when you are swimming, but who would have time?)
Please excuse the way I look. No makeup, in a sloppy t-shirt…and taking photos of myself. How atrocious! haha

So there you have it.  Me and my Cochlear Implant with the 2 processors I picked out.

Remember, picking out a processor is a very personal thing.  I would never say mine is the best, if you are getting a cochlear implant, do as I did, read up as much as you can on all the ones available, then decide which one will fit in you the best.

Also.  Everyone has different experiences with their CI.  I’m hearing words, some people do not hear words when it is first turned on.  Others hear words that are much clearer than what I am hearing.  Some of it depends on how long you have been deaf, I don’t know the other factors…I just know we are different.  So don’t think my experience is the same experience you will have.

The wonders continue!

OH….I did hear my cat purr last night, and it sounded like purring!  I was thrilled!  The one sound I’ve had a hard time getting used to is my own breath.  I feel that’s strange….hopefully I’ll get used to it soon.  Breathing shouldn’t be this loud….should it?  I’m sure it’s something that will end up just going into the background.  I remember when I got my hearing aids the sound of my hair brushing against them drove me crazy….later I didn’t even notice it.


10 thoughts on “A Day of Wonders (Cochlear Implant activation)

  1. This is AMAZING!!!!! I am so happy for you and of course, it will get better with time. Imagine, hearing purring again, or your own breath. I am absolutely filled with joy from this post. You deserve this and MORE!!! Congratulations, I am so happy for you. p.s. the yellow flowers from hubby, seriously nice touch. Well done! Love, Laurie


  2. Wendy,

    What exclusive news! It’s just the beginning to your new hearing world. Just the fact you are able to hear and understand words is amazing! Clarity will improve as your brain is retrained. I love your hubby’s comment about “Tweety Bird and Porky Pig”…that’s so sweet!

    I certainly would believe background noise will be eliminated as time goes on. If you start feeling tired quickly, it’s most likely related to the amount of information your brain is trying to process. Sound, when it’s both voice and all the background noise can be extremely overwhelming. At this time your brain probably doesn’t have any filters, to filter out and eliminate hearing every noise you hear. Get plenty of rest and sleep.

    It’s good that you are breathing! Thank goodness for that! Most of us can’t hear ourselves breathing, but it’s been so long since you’ve heard anything … what amazing sounds and purring…is perfect! At least you can identify the purr versus cartoon sounds. Now I know if I pick up the telephone and there is a heavy breather on the line … we’ll all know it is you! lol

    You have such a delicate and dazzling smile and did a great job at taking your own photos. Tweety Bird and Porky Pig must have been busy! lol

    I love the eye-catching and Fashionable hardware. Wear those bright colors, it’s appealing and fun! You’ve made this a wonderful day for me! I’m so delighted to read your post and see your pictures.

    I was overwhelmed at looking all the stuff you were given. That alone would take a year to get through, so you’re ”moving right along” as Kermit the Frog would say.

    Get plenty of sleep and it will all come naturally in a short time.

    Take care and stay safe,


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