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A Brief Cochlear Implant Update

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Very brief, very, very brief cochlear implant update.  I'm finally seeing the end of this whatever it is that I've got, either this allergic thing -- people have been telling me, "You know, there's a lot of pollen out there." Or else this has been a six-week version of just a plain old chest cold, but whatever, I'm finally on the downside of it. 

So I went back to the ear clinic, the audiologist on Friday, with a scheduled appointment, scheduled on Thursday and scheduled on Friday.  And the reason is, you know, you do your original programming, and you go back the next day and do it all over again just to make sure that what you got the first day was close to what you get the second day.  And if it's a difference, if it's a wide difference, then they do it a third time until they get enough times to average it out to where they think they got it down pat. 

The news on Friday is that on the right side, the new implant, they were able to double the volume without any distortion, which is huge.  That's massive, massive improvement.  The speech compensation didn't change. The chipmunk effect is still there on the right side.  It's just that the volume -- which is an important thing -- was able to be doubled. So we have scheduled more appointments even sooner to accommodate what appears to be a rapid adaptation. 

So it's all good.  I was able to actually listen to some music.  I was able to play "Name That Tune" for the first time in 13 years on Friday night. Normally the only music I could listen to was that which I had known before and heard before I went deaf, and even then I had to know what it was.  Well, I was able to make out lyrics of songs.  Look, this is key.  I had to know what it was, 'cause I really wasn't hearing it.  My memory was working in conjunction with what I was hearing, the noise I was hearing, and my memory supplied the melody and the tune aspects of the song. 

I was able to hear the lyrics once I knew what the song was.  If I didn't know what the song was I was hopeless, even if I had heard it before.  But Friday night I was able to identify music no matter whether I knew what it was or not.  Some songs I was able to get in five seconds, some it took me 20 seconds.  But this bodes well, too.  That was a major shift.  I haven't played "Name That Tune." That's been an impossibility.  New music, I tried listening to some, and I don't know how close I was 'cause I'll never know what it really sounds like.  But, I mean, that was pretty big. 

So that's the update from Friday.  I scheduled a couple more real quick because the adaptation, as I say, seems to be happening pretty rapidly.  You don't know that's gonna happen until you do it, 'til you get the implant in and start working with it. For some people it doesn't happen that way.  Everybody is different. So I continue to be blessed and have good fortune with mine.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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