Sunday, December 16, 2007


Hello Everyone,
Still alive!
Just wanted to update a little. Not too much new. Have not had a new mapping for a few months now. I do have one January 8th of next year :) Have kept most of my programs the way she set them the last meeting. Noisy situations are still hard. Have to drop the volume in some really loud places. When I go to my son's basketball games in the big High School gym, that also is a hard place to hear. Echo sounds. But the overall picture is very good. Still talking on the phone, but still mostly family members. I did place a pizza order a few weeks ago and that went well. Understanding a lot on the TV, but not enough to follow an entire movie, if I turn the volume up enough I do better, but the the rest of the family no like:) Listening to music a lot now, love my rediscovered CD player, boy did I miss that. One of the best things is how much I don't text anymore, I talk to my kids on the phone now, very seldom do I ever text anymore, saves so much time and my thumbs get rest:)
Funny thing is how I really don't give my hearing much thought anymore, I'm also a lot less frustrated at the end of a day. I actually do get a little down when I don't hear or understand something, I guess I expect myself to be perfect now, make sense?:)
Anyway, after my next mapping I will update again.
Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Hey Everyone,
Time for a little update on the ear and me:) Sorry it's been a while.
Today I had my 3 month mapping, the last one I had was about two months ago, so it's been a few. I was down to one program out of the four that I had. Program 2 was the only one that had the volume level that I liked, the others were just to low. So, program 2 moved to 4 and I was given a new program called Whisper, I think a few of you guys have this, as I did real it on a few blogs. Should help me a little when talking to someone on the golf course:).
Everything as far as hearing has been going great. I use the phone a lot now, talked to my best friend from NY a few weeks ago for about an hour. Talk to the wife and my Mom with ease. Still haven't done anything on the phone like making a doctor app. or calling in a pizza order:), but I will soon. At work things have changed a ton, no more "just not getting it", and not to long ago my brother and his family from CT came out and they said I hear a lot better. Also many people at work have said that too. So I guess my hearing has been noticeably better, and yes, I would say it has:)
My audiologist said I am doing extremely well, one of the best she has ever had, she went on to tell me that at 3 months I'm ahead of most of her patients that are at 6-9 months. After hearing all that, I'm not sure what to say, I was more like, WOW, and thanks:) Hearing that made me feel so lucky and I figure I shouldn't complain about the little things in life that annoy me, or at least not as much:), and that I'm just really lucky. Not long ago, I started to prepare myself for being deaf at a later age, at whatever age my hearing would completely go, without being able to lip read or sign, and man, I was thinking, I'm up shits creek when that happens:) So yeah, I'm really lucky and thankful. OK, enough rambling!
Anyway, I took a hearing test, sentences, words, and some beeps:)
My results with CI are:
Beeps and sounds: 25 decibels range, which puts me in the speech banana, and is considered around normal hearing :)
Sentences: 100%, two months ago 90%
Words: 82%, two months ago 66%
So yeah, I'm feeling good today
It's been a really tough month, my Dad passed away on Aug 6th and it's the hardest and most painful thing I have ever gone through, so this is good, and I know he is watching and happy happy for me, if anyone in the world was cheering for me, it was my Dad, my #1 fan. Well I have more, but this one will be so missed:(
Well, that's about it for now, I still read all your blogs, just to darn lazy to write, but I will again.
Take care,
Your friend Billy

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pony league champs

My sons team as they would say, "won the whole thing" they had one heck of a season. They started off like, this is going to be a long season, to winning the championship. My son is the catcher in the middle, chest protector on. He also made the All-Star team. They played teams from other towns, cities and they basically got blown away in that. Some great teams, but they tried.
Now a little info on the CI, I have not had a mapping in a while, was supposed to have one last Monday, but they decided to cancel that one, said I was doing ok and didn't need to change anything, but if I did feel I needed more volume or anything they would schedule me another one. My next map will be Sept. 11. So I will have a way to go before I see them again. I am running on one program right now, I do have four, but I only use one of them, works really well, #2, the others just don't have enough volume. I am starting to make out some of what is being said when I watch TV, I think with some more volume I might do better. Voices, even on my CD'S are getting better all the time. When my son plays the piano that sounds awful, not sure why. My other son play the guitar and that sounds a lot better. Can hear rain, wind, the leaves rustling in the trees. Let's see, what else, this is just a little update on what I'm hearing better and what changes I feel have happend:)
Like Yana said, I also do better if people are closer to me when talking to me, that I think would improve with more volume.
Overall I feel like I'm doing great, I kind of don't think about my hearing as much anymore. In the past at work if people talked to me, it took many, huh and what was that before I finally understood and many times I never did get what they were saying, now maybe one huh or what:) a lot better!
Anyway, that's about it here.
Hope everyone is doing good, and as we head into another weekend soon, have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mocips, Wa.

On vacatin this week. Spending a few days in Moclips, Wa. Small town along the Washington coast. Will post some pics when I figure it out:)


Friday, June 29, 2007

Hearing Test w/CI

I had my first hearing test with my CI at my one month mapping.
I scored a 90% on hint sentences (example: "The orange is sweet") , 66% on words, and 81% on phonemes (sounds).
So, at one month she said I did really good.
Considering I was at 24% with my one good ear, and with hearing aids, yes I did good :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

One Month Mapping

Hello Jerry!
My one month checkup is coming up on Tuesday, hard to believe it's only been a month. For some reason it feels longer. I guess I've gotten accustomed to my new ear and it feels like we've been together longer :)
As far as change, it seems to be a little slower. The sound quality has gotten better, just a little of the Mickey Mouse sound is left, I still hear it on the radio and some of the music I play. Last week I went to my Nephews high school graduation and for the first time in who knows when, I could understand speech from a speaker on a microphone:) Understood a lot! But,,,I also went to my son's 8th grade graduation and understood very little, my son's was held in a gym compared to my Nephews which was held in a huge stadium like building, I'm thinking maybe better equipment or that the gym was more echo like.
The tinnitus that I was talking about in my last post is gone, haven't had that sound for over a week now, keeping my fingers crossed.
Talking at home has become easy, very good at understanding my wife and older son, my little guy is a litter harder at times, I guess it's because he has a higher pitched voice.
So that is about it as far as news, sometimes I feel to busy to take notice of all the new sounds that I hear. Sometimes I don't think I hear that much, but when I really listen and take time out to listen, I'm amazed at what I hear now, just hearing the wind and the leaves in the trees is incredible. The rain on the leaves, talking on the phone, someone mumbling something as they walk off, I me going, "I heard that" :)
Anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend, school is finally out here, time to plan the camping trips and all the other activity stuff.
Take care,

PS---I think Yana get's turned on this week! Wish her luck!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tinnitus anyone?

Hey All,
Went for my one week mapping on Thursday, added a new program channel and some volume changes on the other ones, a few different settings here and there. Nothing much different.
One thing of change for me has been a huge amount of tinnitus. It started about four days ago, in the middle of the day, a loud sound started in my head, like a fish tank motor running, that best describes it for me, or a plane in the sky, humming from the engine sound, from what I remember as far as sound similar to this one. The sound also starts off low and gets louder, lasts for about and hour, then goes away. Anyway, I thought something was wrong with my processor, but when I took it off, I could still here the sound, then I thought something was wrong inside my head. I emailed the hospital and they said it's probably tinnitus. It made my own voice very loud to myself and all the other voices loud, too loud. Made it harder for me to understand things, made things sound muffled. I get them everyday, 3-4 times. Very annoying! They said it might last for months, but should go away. Has anyone had this? Just wondering, and how long.
But everything else is about the same, going good. Been talking on the phone more and more, not understanding everything, but lot's :)
That's about it for now.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend, rainy here in Seattle.
Take care,

Monday, June 4, 2007

Here's What's New

Well, it's almost a week now, not much has changed as far as the Mickey Mouse sounds in all the voices. I met a man at the hospital that has had the implant for about a month and he said his mouse voices almost all went away after 2-3 weeks. Even if they didn't, it's still better then what I heard before, zip.....
Today I talked to my Mother- in-law on the phone, understood very much, was able to carry a conversation, we talked about 5min. Can't describe how I felt after that, but in total shock would sum it up, shocked that I could actually understand on the phone. I talked to my wife in the morning for a minuet or so, and understood some of the things she was saying, that was on my cell phone. When I talked to my Mother- in-law, that was on the home phone, understood better on that. I think the reason was the home phone is a little louder and bigger, fits around my speakers better. Talked to my son yesterday and understood a bit of that too. It is one of my practice exercises that I have to do this week, talking on the phone, in a short amount of time. All I can say is, it's been a miracle as far as the phone. If I had to pick one thing that I missed the most, due to my hearing, it would be losing the phone. I have lost contact with many friends and some family members by not being able to us the phone. It's been many years since I last used the phone, and actually heard and understood someone. But I am taking baby steps with it. Can't get over excited:)
Today was also my first day back at work, I deal with many people at work, and today was the easiest day I have had in years. Lot's of work and practice remains in this area, but it went very well. At work there are many background noises which make it difficult to understand, but I did good.
Last night we had rain, first time since I have been turned on. I was able to hear the rain on the leaves, and the wind blowing. A little muffled, but I heard it anyway. I sat out on my chair and just listened. I find myself doing that a lot, just sitting or standing somewhere and listening to what I can hear. Sometimes I feel like a kid with a new toy :)
I have also be practicing with the CD player and playing music, very hard to understand the words. My Audio told my to go to and print out the songs words, which I have done, and read the words while listening to the song. I have done that and it seems like the words come out a little more clear and I can follow the song quite well.
I'm hearing things everyday, new and old, but by no means is my hearing cured, it will never be the same, but this is not bad. Even though many things don't sound right, or simple things that get in the way like the wind, I find myself happy again, (hard to drive with the window open and listen to the music) lol.
I do a lot better in quiet conditions and I probably always will. But, this has been worth it already, and it's less then a week.
I could go on and on, but that's about it for now.
Thanks for all the nice comments.
I'm always here checking my blog and yours :)
Take care everyone,

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Is that a lawnmower?? I'm ON!

Hi All,
Sorry I didn't post last night, it was a long tiring day. Both my kids had baseball games in the evening. By the time we got home, settled down and finish up everything, all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch a little TV.
So, here goes:
Had a 1:30pm appointment at UW and after running some test and listening for beeps and sounds (kinda like a hearing test) to see if all my electrodes are running and working, and they were, I was turned on. Turn on time was about 2:45pm.
The first thing I heard was my Audiologist, (I think she is a Audiologist, or I should say, mapping girl:)) Anyway, I could understand her very well, caught most of what she said. The only thing odd, which a lot of people have said, the voices sound robotic, and everyone sounds the same. Robotic meaning, like Mickey Mouse, or someone just inhaling helium and then talking. That is still going on now and probably for some time. But I am understanding! They gave me a little hearing test as far as understanding words, I would look at a group of words, four of them, all sounding similar, my Audio would say one, with her mouth covered and me looking down and I would have to repeat the word she said or the word I think she said, and also some sentences tests. I scored 25 out of 35. Said I was doing very well. YESSSSSSSSSSS!
After all that, they did a few settings and volume controls, showed me how everything works and so on. Then off I went into the hearing, or I should say, noisy world :)
I heard many things, but it is hard to make out what it is. At the office I heard the computer running, the pen clicking in and out, my hand running across the table softly. Many more things, but think about that, my hand running softly on the table and I could hear that, totally awesome.
I have many sounds going on, some seem in the way of hearing others. It is sometimes like a little chaos going on inside my head, but I just keep reminding myself, it's only day one, and it's the long run that will be different. A few sounds that I found funny. Running water and a motorcycle engine sound like popcorn popping in the microwave :) Heard a bird chirping outside, thought it was a crow, my wife said no just a regular bird, he kind of sounded like a duck:) , but I heard him! Heard the lawn mower guys today, not just outside my window, but a distance away, that also has a popping sound, even as I type the sound is popping. Remember, all this is with just my Cochlear, not wearing my hearing aid anymore, which is what did get me by, if that did anything as far as understanding things. So it is pretty amazing. One more thing that I found truly incredible. I have not understood anything on the radio as far as commercial talk, sometimes I even thought there was a song going on, but my son would say, "it's not a song, it's a commercial", feeling stupid I would go oh.....:) But yesterday on the way to baseball, I put the radio on and listened to a song, sound pretty good, but could not make out the words yet, but a commercial came on, and I knew it right away that it was a commercial, just sounds different, someone was talking. The amazing part was, I understood him or her, not sure :) saying "tomorrow from five to seven", I sat there and smiled after hearing that.
Today at 1:00pm I go for my second mapping, adjust a few things. I had to write down what I heard and recognised and describe the sound or anything unusual. Right now someone is outside with the weed whacker as I call it :)
Anyway, thanks so much for caring and waiting to hear from me, it is really great that you guys care so much. Your are all becoming my second family, and we are all really like family in a way.
Well, that's how I feel anyway:)
I will let you know how it goes
Talk (type) to you soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In a week!

Well it's less then a week before they turn me on. Love that saying!
For three weeks after the surgery I didn't feel great, not bad, but not great. On and off ear aches, and some head aches. When I did overdo it, like walking to much:), or playing some sport, afterwards I became, light headed, nauseous, and tired, w/ pain around my ear area. Most of those symptoms have now gone, just some light ear aches. Can do pretty much what I want now, but I try not to lift heavy or do a lot of bending over. I guess I was one of the slower healing cases:) But everything is cool, less then a month after having a hole drilled in my head I'm feeling ok, I guess I can't complain :)
I posted a picture of my family and I, dog too. It was a self portrait of us down on the Washington coast, Moclips, Wa. to be exact (last year) kids are bigger now. We love to go down there, not too many tourist:)
We also love the Oregon Coast, I highly recommend Cannon beach in Oregon if your ever looking to get away to a beautiful place. Haystack Rock, awesome!
Anyway, hope you are all having a great week, and ready to have a awesome Memorial Day weekend, anybody camping?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

One week checkup

Day 8,
Hard to believe it's already a week.
Got the rest of my stitches that didn't dissolve taken out today. Doc said everything looks good. Feel a bit better too. I also found out today that the reason for my ear being so numb is that when they made the incision, the cut a nerve, a ear nerve I assume :) and they said that my numb ear will stay like that. Bummer. The lob itself has felling, just the top half of my ear is going to be numb. Oh well. Could be worse.
Anyway, everything else is cool. Hope your all having a good week. Friday tomorrow, yeah baby!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Day 6, after surgery

Hi All,
Ok, this is day #6. Almost a week already after my surgery. How am I feeling, here's the word that most properly fits the description, "crappy". I'm still feeling like I just drank a quart of Jack Daniels, meaning light headed, dizzy (sometimes) and my right ear is just a bit bigger, making me look like Mr. Potatoe head, It's still very bruised and sensitive to touch. My taste buds are not the same and most food doesn't taste to appealing at the moment, hoping that changes back to the way it was. I'm overall in a edgy crabby mood as the wife says:) Always tired and hate the fact I need to sleep so much. I guess the weather has a lot to do with that, looking out the window and seeing a nice sunny day with temps in the 70's. I have slept a little outside on the lounge chair. I feel in no way ready to go back to work, which was supposed to be next Monday, I think I will take another week off, especially considering my work has a lot of lifting and bending involved. How much work did the most of you miss, just wondering. I guess I can't get a grip on the fact that I just had MAJOR surgery. The head is a delicate part of the body, probably the most, never realized how sensitive it is.
Overall, I guess things are going as planned. I get my stitches taken out on Thursday. Hope that doesn't hurt too much:) I'm a baby!
Anyway, that's about it for now, just sleeping, watching TV, taking my pain killers for the many ear aches I get, and doing some more sleeping :)
Thanks for looking
Billy g

Friday, May 4, 2007

Cochlear implant in

I'm a bit sore but I'm gonna do a quick post. Surgery went great, I am now a cyborg :) Had it done on may 2
went home same day, but have been very light headed and sleepy.
Will post more w/some detail.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Pre- Tests, Balance test

OK, first post, will be short and sweet.
Just a quick note about the post and why. I will be getting my CI on May 2, and I will try to post and keep everyone up to par with what's happening. I really enjoy reading every ones blogs and all the reading helps a ton. Makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing here. Your stories and journey are incredible and you are all an inspiration to me, really!
So after being qualified to get a CI, I go to Wednesday the 18th
On Wednesday I had three different appointments that took up most of the day, first one went great, about 30 min. Second one was bad, the balance tests. Everything was going along great until they used a instrument that blew cold and hot air into my ears while I was pretty much blindfolded, but they were really goggles that I couldn't see out of. To make a long story short, my head started spinning and I did some serious vomiting that day and just started feeling better today, two days later, not sure what the points was about that. Passed everything else I guess. Was waiting for a phone call to tell me you failed the balance test and will have to wait as far as surgery, but I haven't gotten one, so I guess everything is a go!
A little about me, I'm a 44 year old boy :) Started to loose my hearing at or around 18-20, not even sure anymore, some family members think earlier, I guess I just didn't give it any thought as a kid, did bad in school and some think because I couldn't here as good as everyone else, who knows, but I listened to lots of loud music in my teens and not my parents :) though many doctors do not think that is the cause of my hearing lose. Have had several hearing aids and now have phonak hearing aids. 0% understanding in my right ear and about 30% in my left, if that. I do not lip-read or sign and I work in retail sales, figure that out, I wing it, as I like to say.
Married 15 years in June. Have two sons 13 and 10 and a dog, let's not forget the two turtles and one goldfish :)
Happy in general, love life and just thought I'd like to understand a little more, tired of being left out, or I should say, tired of avoiding everyone and every get together or events, etc... you know what I mean.
That's about it for now, I will post again soon, update, pictures (maybe :)
Thanks for reading,