Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Audiologist in Training?

A number of you who follow me on Facebook might recall that I had a special day trip to Vancouver with my oldest, Rachel. It was such a special experience for both of us as she'll be heading to Kindergarten this Fall! I thought to take her along with me to my annual Cochlear Implant Checkup so she would have a better understanding of how I hear.

Heather, my audiologist (or audie as many call it for short) was delighted to have my 4 year old join us! 

Rachel 'assisting' my audie Heather!
Let me paint for you a picture what an audiology check up looks like for me. First, my electrodes (inside my head) are tested for low and high frequencies, ensuring that all is working correctly. Next is fine tuning my three CI programs. I actually have them set to what my day is looking like. I usually go from Program 2 to 3 and then to 1. You'll see why:

The Hard of Hearing Mommy's Rules to Hearing

Program 2 - My quietest program: before I've had my morning coffee I am on this setting (because my brain just CAN'T handle a barrage of noisy kids first thing).

Program 3 - Slightly louder than Program 2. My adjustment period to my daily dose of coffee and giving my brain a chance to wake up. I usually turn this off as soon as the kids are buckled in the van, ready to go.

Program 1 - My normal, everyday program. When I have a headache for whatever reason, I'll go back to Program 2 or 3, depending on how bad it is. (or if the Ibuprofen hasn't kicked in yet)

Next is sound booth time!
I will admit, this is my least favorite part of any CI checkup. Simply because I know that it takes a great deal of concentration on my part. Another reason why I need so much coffee in my system. Although sleep would be a better alternative - but sometimes I just can't sleep.

Where my hearing capabilities are tested - I've spent up to 2 hours in a room like this before!
(the audie is usually behind the glass window)
The whole process this time was way more enjoyable as each time I repeated back words or sentences correctly, my girl would be giving me a big thumbs up. However, whenever I gave incorrect responses, she would be looking at me going "NO MOMMY! It's (whatever word it was)". She was very cute and I could totally see her being my future audie at some point - if she wanted to.

Some really good news though! Last year when I did the hearing test with my brand new hearing aid, I scored only 51% in bimodal mode (hearing aid + CI). This year, however, that score went up to 77%!!! Squeal!
She asked me if we could do a mother-daughter day everyday!
In celebration, I shared Poutine with Rachel as part of our dinner - a real treat as I only have this very Canadian dish once every three years. 


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