A Little Bit of Life With a CI

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Sound to me now is a very conscious thing.  My brain is telling me when it is around and when it is not, and it is always hunting—craving—for the “feel” of it.  So, my Cochlear America’s implant has become my own personal backup generator to provide electrical processing of sound vibrations now that the main grid is in a permanent blackout.  Correction – my left ear “hears” but not well enough for my brain to comprehend the sounds with much meaning to them.  So I guess it is more like a blackout but with all the pool lights still functioning (get it?).  I can have spoken conversations with a hearing person that resembles ones in the past as long as I control the environment somewhat.  An example would be in doctor offices and I have been able to request a doctor to please look directly at me when s/he peaks; I must still combine sources of information.  Other times it could be that I’m with a fully capable hearing student here on campus and I can participate in the conversation with them while looking away every so often.  It’s nice to do that sometimes even if very seldom.

Some of the funnier things that happen with a CI involve the external magnet (on the coil).  The gauge for my CI magnet I am not sure about but I can tell you some the things I have stuck to my head so far:  key rings, paper clips, pens, metallic buttons, bottle caps, and other stuff.  Good party tricks.  Well, at least it is enjoyed among those persons not weary or in dislike of the presence of a CI, which I have learned is something that can be encountered every so often in the Deaf community.  Even funnier, though, is when I’m moving around there are metallic surfaces around me.  The other night I was packing things, going back and forth under my lofted bed every few minutes and if I stood up a bit too much, “Schtick!!”, the CI says back to me as it snaps off the side of my head when I move in a direction away from this metallic surface.  Sometimes I’ll get caught up in the esoteric weirdness to the situation:  CI processor resting on my right ear, cable from the processor to the magnetic coil that is now found stuck to both my head on one side of the coil and to the base of the bed frame on the coil’s other side, and then me caught listening to whatever sounds are picked up while knowing that when I move from this position the result will be like a telephone cable suddenly pulled from its wall jack.  Here is a question, Doc:  “What sort of signals is the bed getting in this arrangement?”

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