UPDATE: WEEK 2 – ACTIVATED COCHLEAR IMPLANT – Garry Armstrong

I feel like I should be singing “Getting To Know You” as I write this update.

It’s the beginning of the second week, wearing my activated cochlear implant.  It’s Saturday,  the first day of the 9th month.  If you sing “September Song”, I could probably hear most of the lyrics.   Maybe I’ll listen to Walter Houston’s memorable rendition of that melancholy song later today.

September is usually special because we celebrate our Wedding Anniversary and granddaughter Kaitlin’s birthday along with keeping eyes (and now ears) on our Boston Red Sox, hoping they can finish their 6-month marathon with a pennant championship en route to the World Series.

This September Sabbath began on a down note.  Blame it on the weather.  I’d planned on taking in a town event, “Uxbridge Day”, which figured to give my cochlear implant a public test,  mingling with dozens of people on our town square. Between the hot weather, an Excedrin Plus headache, and general fatigue from this long week prompted me to cancel plans.

We’ll hold off on the cochlear implant public début for a while.

Yesterday,  I received my first evaluation on the cochlear surgery and performance of the week-old activated parts. Marilyn and I shared our response to how I fared during the first week of my new hearing.

They were mixed reviews.  The audiologist did some tweaking, essentially giving me more volume. Now, I’m hearing louder bells, whistles, chimes, echoes and other “ghosts noises.”  I’m told these noises will fade in 3-months to a year as I adjust to this new way of hearing.

I’m from Missouri.  I’ll believe it when it happens.

Marilyn and I have discussed how we communicate with each other. This is a bonus because people with normal hearing have similar problems but rarely discuss it for fear of marital discord.  Who’s at fault? No one.

I feel as if I should be singing “Getting To Know You.” No, I don’t feel like Yul Brynner, King of Siam. I’m becoming more comfortable with my cochlear implant exterior parts. It’s somewhat awkward for me connecting the battery to the transmitter which sits atop my head and sends signals to “base headquarters” inside my head.

Usually, I need Marilyn’s help.  Today, I did it MYSELF!  Hallelujah!  It felt so good. I patted myself on the head, careful not to dislodge the transmitter.  Marilyn cut out a piece of my hair so it would be easier to find a landing spot, making it easier for the magnets inside the transmitter to secure a spot on my head.  Like a spaceship landing on Mars.

As I write, I’m getting mostly “ghost chimes” in my brain and ear. It’s peaceful.  The dogs are not barking. The TV is in repose.  All is calm.

So far, so good.

Author: Garry Armstrong

As a reporter for Channel 7 in Boston for 31 years, I was witness to most of the major events affecting the region. I met a lot of people ... politicians, actors, moguls, criminals and many regular folks caught up in extraordinary situations. Sometimes, I write about the people I've met and places I've been. Sometimes, I write about life, my family, my dogs and me. Or what might otherwise be called Life.

43 thoughts on “UPDATE: WEEK 2 – ACTIVATED COCHLEAR IMPLANT – Garry Armstrong”

    1. Actually, he isn’t patient, but this is one of those times when he has to be patient or it won’t work. I think he’s doing very well — better than HE thinks he is doing. He knew going into this it was going to require a level of patience he has rarely displayed, but he’s doing really well, all things considered 😀

      Liked by 3 people

        1. He has learned patience and he was always able to exercise it. At work. Most of the time. I think you learn a lot about “patience” watching someone drive. He is, even now at 76, still a pedal to the metal kind of guy. Slow drivers make him crazy. He feels he should be able to drive as fast as he wants, as long as the road is open — which I basically agree with, but I see traffic tickets and huge insurance bills if we do that. So I don’t drive like that and lately, I just plain don’t drive at all., although I’m considering re-entering driving again after a year’s absence. I had the world’s LONGEST commutes and I think I drove myself to death.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I am pleased to hear that things are going well. Garry I think you probably made the right call not to go out today. When you do give the implant it’s first public outing you should enjoy it not endure it. Are you making a list of pieces of music you would like to listen to? I guess it is a good thing that we’ve mostly learned to be patient even when we don’t want to be because we always seem to be waiting for something to get better don’t we?

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    1. Tas, I have a “playlist” in my head. Marilyn’s son, Owen has offered to play music for me on his (Memory pause…) record player. He has a nice collection of classical music. It’ll wait til the “ghost” noises leave me alone.

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  2. Congratulations!!! Welcome to the World! I find this whole process fascinating and so very positive. Thank you for a welcome bit of good news! We need more of those kind of stories and less of what we get. Here’s hoping things continue to improve and that in December you’re sharing stories of no ghost sounds, bells OR whistles, but are able to listen to carols as they are sung! Mazel Tov!

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    1. Melanie, I’m TRYING to adjust to the new world. It’s very complex. Thank you. I can hardly wait for the “ghost sounds” to ride out oif town.

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            1. We work at it. Sometimes it’s easier than others, but we both have a temper and we both have a lot of hot buttons and there’s a lot of “treading softly” and avoiding those buttons. What’s nice is that we forgive each other for being so much like each other. Where we butt heads the most is where we are more alike. A lot of arguments end with “Well YOU’RE a fine one to talk.”

              Oh, well, yeah. There’s that.

              We’ve also known each other a REALLY long time, through very difficult periods. His and mine. We have forgiven a lot and been forgiven a lot. There are “absolutely no you can’t ever do that” stuff — and we don’t. Then there’s the endless quibbling over stupid stuff (I was SURE that was Looney Tunes, but it turned out to be Disney) or whether a particular movie is total drivel or is such complete drivel that it’s actually funny. And my fascination with the medieval period and his total lack of interest in it. I learned to like baseball. He learned to love photography.

              I doubt we could live without each other. We take care of each other in a million tiny ways that seem like no big deal but are a very big deal.

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  3. It is indeed spectacular and wonderful. I’m thrilled it’s working. ghost noises or not. You are awesome. THIS is awesome. Hearing again for the first time as it were. I’m thrilled for you. I would be tempted to sing but I might break your implant, smirk smirk. Not really, I was a very good singer, I just haven’t sung in awhile. I can’t imagine the joy of hearing sounds you’ve long since forgotten, a renewal in fact.

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    1. Covert, thanks. Last night, I clearly heard a downstairs “room gate” open and close for a visitor. I heard it separate from the TV audio and barking dogs. A small but key moment for me.

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        1. Marilyn, it was a “cool” moment hearing the mouse click. I heard it. then, my brain registered hearing it. or, maybe vice versa. Guess it’s part of the relearning hearing for me.

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  4. Sorry you are still hearing bells and assorted other sounds but bravo on connecting it yourself! I volunteered in a school for the deaf and I remember that feeling of searching around for the magnet in a child’s head and the satisfaction of making the connection as it grabbed hold. Your post brought that memory of many years ago back to me. I also remember how he hated the magnification sounds which was why the implant was often off his head and he chose to sign instead.

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    1. It is stressful. By the end of the day when he can take it off, it’s just a big sigh of relief. Until it “cleans up,” it’s work. But the thing is, he can hear better from “the bad (implanted) ear” than he can from the other one that just has an updated hearing aid. HE CAN HEAR. It is working. But it requires a lot of patience and he isn’t really a patient guy, so it’s hard.

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    2. Daily, it’s a stressful but rewarding process. Right now, I just have echoes as I write. It is what it is. I hope the updates don’t sound like whining as the rehab proceeds. I’m just relating how I feel as I do the rehab. I understand how that child felt but I, allegedly, am a grownup.

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  5. that was for Marilyn’s first comment….
    AND Hero Husband and I have long ago agreed that we (generally, the world) should seek more often to be united in our diversities….

    (sorry this was meant to go out yesterday but stayed stuck …..)

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