Processors and Improvements

3 days ago I was not only implanted with my second implant, but I also received a newer processor for my new ear, and it came with a backup processor that I’m also using to upgrade my old ear’s processor. I’ll keep my old processor, just in case. My left ear, my old ear, is 6 years post-op, and although I qualify to upgrade it’s processor on it’s own, without using my right’s ear’s backup processor, I’ll wait another year (or two) for Bluetooth.

Below: On the left is my old Nucleus5 Cochlear America’s processor.
On the right is one of my new Kanso processors.

CI

One thing I found the very first day was that I LOVE not having an over-the-ear device anymore. It’s been wonderful. I honestly forget that I have it on now, and my over-ear portion doesn’t slip off my head or skew at funny angles when I have sunglasses or prescription glasses on. It’s a win!

At the audiologist the other day, she recommended I take my left processor off for a few hours ever day to boost progress on my right ear. I’ve been doing that as often as I can, when I’m not working or really needing my left. I’m having major deja-vu with my right ear on. Constantly, I find myself stopping what I’m doing because there’s some noise I’m suddenly picking up, and I have to figure out what it is. Refrigerator, air conditioning, water running, any number of sounds I don’t understand with my right ear. I find I’m re-learning every sound. Fortunately my brain does remember what sounds I heard first the last time around, so I can use a process of elimination to figure out which sounds I’m hearing at the moment.

Over the past few days, I have noticed some small progress with my 2nd ear. I was in a loud noisy restaurant with a large group on Sunday, and I could understand conversation without a huge amount of effort, unlike it used to be. The people to the direct right of me (where my new ear is), I had a lot harder time with, but if they were in front of me or anywhere to left direction, I could clearly understand their speech in this noisy environment better than before.

As for the people to direct right of me, I know that I failed to understand them as much because I didn’t have my left ear as my primary ear picking up the sound. It could only slightly compensate. Whereas with people in front or to the left of me, my left ear primarily was in use, with my right ear compensating. It’s imperative that I get my right ear to understand speech better, so that with a minimal help of my left ear, I can only image how phenomenally well I will do in large loud noisy settings.

Something else I learned? I’m SO EXHAUSTED by the end of the day! I forget how much brain power I use when I’m trying so hard to learn new sounds. I’m thankful though, and I know all these new sounds are worth every effort!

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