Sunday, November 9, 2014

Playtime with...

Ringo is like Onyx extra special I had to trained him for deaf people commands with snapping fingers sounds and signs... Why? Because sometimes when my alarm clock might not work (my husband) and we need to wake up to get ready to work (BTW: my husband is not deaf, it happens that some days he's tired than usual) here's when Ringo's training pays off. When he was just 2 month old my husband and I decided to train him to wake me up like Onyx does. 
First, my husband wanted to see to what song of the alarm clock Ringo will react better and that song will be the chosen one for the training. Ringo liked the Star Wars soundtrack he reacted like as if a bomb went off inside the house! He sat down like a soldier with his ears pointed up so high we thought he was about to board the Death Star!Therefore, my husband set up the alarm at 5:00 am everyday when this alarm started ringing Ringo immediately woke up and sat down in front of us, with this behavior, my husband gave him a treat. As a second part of the training I was part of this Operant Conditioning experiment; my husband woke me up after Ringo was awake by the alarm and I had to call Ringo snapping twice my fingers and giving him a rub in his head. We repeated this exercise for a month until the behavior we wanted to reinforced was consolidated. Nowadays, when our alarm clock starts ringing at 5:00 am Ringo wakes up with a big kiss and leaves his head in my pillow for a while, like if he is saying to me: five more minutes with you... Literally he don't give me enough space to put my head on my pillow... LOL!. For me is important that my dogs know the basics commands sit, down, stay, come in signs and snapping fingers because you never know when you can run out of batteries and you are at the dog park needing they come to you. They also know those same commands in the ''normal way'', they know how to work with an owner who is deaf and cochlear implant user, and can talk to them most of the time but when it is need it they are my other set of ears.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nucleus Support App by Cochlear™

If you are a Nucleus recipient like me you should try this app, is like having the manual in digital with instructional videos on cleaning, troubleshooting, upgrades, basic care of the sound processor and more. It comes very handy if I'm having troubleshooting with my sound processor I go to my app and learn how to fix it, there are cases when you have to seek help from your audiologist.

You can download it to your iPhone, Ipad, Android. Here's the link to the app:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Scanning soccer game part 2

Check out @jagapitz's Tweet:

Scanning.. on a soccer game

Check out @jagapitz's Tweet:

Friday, October 24, 2014

A quiet moment

I am enjoying a quiet moment before my classmates and teacher arrives... Later everything will be Noise or speech in noise. Love how my Scan IQ works!

Friday, September 19, 2014

My special friend!

Check out my articles: My story and Service dogs for HOH or deaf people, so you can know more about us!

PS: Onyx send you a bunch of kisses for watching!

My favorite sound

For every person, who loss hearing and eventually had the chance like me to ''recover'' in someway hearing thanks to a medical electronic device that is a cochlear implant. You have gained not just hearing, but confidence, you gain your independence back, you gain more awareness of the sounds around you and the ability to control the volume. That is powerful, and those things are unavailable it completes you as a person, and it doesn't bother me to have lost hearing because with Cochlear™ latest technology I've been able to be a hearing person again. Of course, I'm deaf and bionic and by day I consider myself a hearing person, I don't have any limitations in comprehension, listening or speaking... The only limitation I have is I have one CI, so, my orientation in certain environments can be compromised a little bit.
With that being said, having the power to control the volume, to enjoy the sounds, to feel a great sensation of wellness when hear I my favorite sound; I just enjoy my life with my CI and I can't imagine my life without it. That's why I want to talk about my favorite sound! The airplane engine sound! When I travel I just love to hear it! I feel so relaxed hearing that ''noise'' as some people call it, as soon as I hear it I fall asleep. One day I was talking to a friend of mine, and I told her about the airplane engine sound, how much I enjoyed it, and the noise it does when the airplane takes off the runway. She recommended me an amazing app available for Apple: Soothing Lite, that has the Plane Cabin sound and other sounds, you can choose the sound you like the volume, intensity, and keep doing other thing with your iPhone or iPad. I really like this app and since I have it, I never stop using it, specially when I have to concentrate while I study or when I want to read and relax. Here are the pics of the app if you are interested:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

N6 activation

Here's the video from my N6 activation, sorry it doesn't have subtitles in English or Spanish. In this video you can see, my reaction at the very first moment when my audiologist turn on the sound processor. It is important to let you know that there were two audiologist with me, one of them is a Cochlear specialist so she gives all the technical support my audiologist needed it, but also test my hearing with the N6. She asked me how I felt, I said I felt different, but in a good way, and as I always share with you in my previous posts I told them that my voice changed, I could hear myself better and more clearly than I used to be.

Upgrading...The whole N6 experience

This is my third sound processor, I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced the benefits of older processors and what each one has contributed to the recovery of my hearing. 

My Nucleus 6 was activated last year on November 6th, and it was extra special for me because I’ve been waiting for so long for it and I had all these emotions contained in me. Usually, when I suppressed my emotions, I stay quiet like I was in That moment. What were my expectations? So many, what more can I hear? Is there any chance that I still don't remember a sound and this SP would give me the opportunity to hear it?, the sound of my voice would improve? The sound quality will improve? .... Anyway, a ton of questions in my head!  

Once I was activated, I felt something weird... not in a bad way at all, I remember my answer to my audiologist question what am I feeling?, was: something weird, but good eh! that first activation of the N6 was like I relived my life as a hearing person, not a deaf person, it  took me a few minutes to absorb what was happening to me, it was a unique moment because I never thought I would feel that way again. My voice has never ceased to amaze me since it's been the hardest thing for me discriminate, with this sound processor it got better. I'm comfortable with it. 

The first week was full adaptation to the new system the Scan, IQ, this system automatically analyzes the sounds of the environment and changes in your sound processor, it took me days to get used it, specially to not to reach my control remote and change program myself. For example: if I was walking down the street and it was windy, or was listening to music, or was talking to someone in a noisy environment I feel how it changes to wind, to noise,  to speech in noise, music, quiet, speech, without pressing a button. This smart system allows me to feel in a certain way like the hearing person I used to be.

The first week my husband bought a new iPod speaker, and he turns up the music in the living room, I'm like 2 feet away from the speakers and I felt that something change in my sound processor; when I check on the remote control reflects the symbol of music on the screen. Amazing! Talking on the phone exceeded my expectations I have no need to use speaker to talk anymore because the voices sounds very clear, without interference, echoes. 

To have a pleasant conversation has become, without limitation, the I feel like the background noise is suppressed and my voice when I'm talking increases its sound quality and very nice sharpness or when the person are speech or two when they are talking in a group experience the optimization of the voices of others and also noise abatement without external deprive me of what happens in the atmosphere is awesome. Allowing me to follow a conversation in large groups, to understand what they are talking about and participate. It makes me feel like a person with bilateral hearing, despite my deafness. Was a very nice feeling.

What can I say about my dogs barking? Oh dear…! Another awesome thing, and I can clearly distinguish the barking of my german shepherd Ringo from my Labrador Onyx. And it’s not only my dogs barking that I can hear, it’s their growling when they are playing with anything they took from the laundry caddy, and even when they are walking behind me very quiet and I hear their paws; there’s no way now they can surprise me without me notice it. When we play in the backyard, I'm very comfortable with the breeze blowing my hair, and as it does I can see how my N6 control remote shows the Wind symbol, nothing sounds distorted and playtime is more enjoyable.

Now for my second week being in the classroom, at work, at home, was the time for me to get used to the automatic changes in programming. 

Another improvement is that while in class I can project my voice better despite the background noise of people talking when I was doing a presentation, and also the acoustic of the classroom improve because taking notes while the teacher speaks wasn't that difficult anymore.

It’s been 9 months now since I have my Nucleus 6, and my hearing gets better every day, it has amazing features that I enjoy, like for example the cable coil is much easy to handle, so it won’t break. The coil, don’t have that rubberish material around the magnet, it won’t melt with the sun (happens to people who lived in hot weather), they make it of resistant material, so far so good! 

Of course…. I'll tell you more in my upcoming articles and videos!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A promise is a promise

Today I was checking my blog and I remembered I made a promise to share my experience at the beach from a preview article that I wrote, textual quote: I know that for some people or hearing people may think it’s silly, but I have a dream and that is to hear the sea again and the sound of waves breaking on the shore. It will be very rewarding for me because brings me so many beautiful memories of my childhood, when my father used to take my brother and I to the beach to enjoy those sounds and relax. I'll tell you my experience about this in an upcoming video. I was able to make my dream come true after 6 years since the last time I went to beach and 4 years of being deaf.

On last December I went to Cancún-México for the GICCA(Grupo Iberoamericano de Implantes Cocleares y Ciencias Afines or Iberoamerican Group of Cochlear Implants and Related Sciences)  Congress. I was there to  promote the N6 sound processor and myself as a N6 user, it was a great experience and an opportunity to meet the physicians from all over the world and share experiences, updates about the Cochlear brand, and how this sound processor makes a positive impact on me.

Here's a pic...


Now about that paragraph I quoted, let me share with you that moment at the beach. So, here we were at this stunning beach my friend and I, and I heard shhhhiuusushh shhhiiiuuushhhs over and over again, the breeze is messing my hair, I feel this energy inside me and started running, play with the water, stomping the sand so hard with my biggest smile. By that moment I was the child that used to go to beach with her dad and brother to have a relaxing day, it was a special moment for me.  

I enjoyed those sounds so much, I wasn't able to relax at all; because all my senses were at high functioning, specially my hearing. To be able to hear the sound of the waves, of the breeze, of my stomps in the sand, of our laughs has no comparison. Maybe that’s why I waited so long for this moment and didn't take the chance with my 2 previews sound processors, because I wanted to really enjoy it with this smart sound processor the N6.

Nothing compares to having all your 5 senses at 100%, it was multi-sensory experience. My CI completed it.

Here’s the video!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What’s new? It's been a while since my last post

So we meet again, after 2 years since my last post, a lot of things have happened and I would like to share it with you.
In 2011 I got an amazing job as an adviser at a local Cochlear distributor in my country, Adrial Médico Quirúrgico. Main part of my job is to guide cochlear implant candidates and recipients based on my experience as a CI user and the training that I have in the area given by Cochlear.
When I first meet a CI candidate that is going to buy an CI to our offices I don’t try to be like a salesman: if you buy 2 cochlear implants the third one is for free, no! Is not like that at all… I am familiarized with the prices but I do not talk about any topic of the sales department, that just would send the wrong message to the candidates and their families and I’m just an adviser, a guide in this amazing journey they are going to begin.  My work is based on 3 steps:
  1. Getting to know the person in front of me: what is his/her story? How old is he/she? Who is his/her family? And…. Let me stop right here! With this I’m trying to know what happened before they started losing hearing. Or he/she was born deaf? How this hearing loss or deafness affects the family, friends, co-workers, but most important himself. What are his/her expectations about the CI? What are his/her aspirations in life? And if it’s a child that I’m trying to know depending of his/her age I try get the answer my strategy change, I love to to some playtime, if it’s a toddler again, like I said before I change my strategy and try to get to more the mommy this time. That’s how I get to know the real person in front of me!
  2. To know the exact diagnosis of the candidate: a toughy one, oh yeah! Because you have of this medical terms and also, you have to have some knowledge in the field of audiology. I’m not an audiologist, but been able to work in this company has bring the opportunity to learn the diagnoses for hearing loss, I've been in CI surgeries as an observer to learn the surgery process live, and being trained by Cochlear also completes me in a way the I can at least understand what the candidate are talking about when they share their diagnose with me.
  3. Cochlear implant introduction: Based on the information I have now from step 1 and 2, here comes the basics of the cochlear implant Nucleus 6 or CP810 the latest technology and how this is going to change his/her life for good. In this step I see how after I present the CI information to them how their expectations take place and as adviser try to give them the best guidance so those expectations don't sabotage their hearing learning experience.
What about recipients? Well, I have a volunteer network and we work in Cochlear Awareness across country so the information about Cochlear CI can reach to those who need the most. And also I give them training in: how to use the remote control, how to improve hearing in noise environments, to use the phone, to keep clean the sound processor, to improve hearing when listen music, and the list continues because it depends on what the recipient needs.
It’s been very rewarding to do what I do in Adrial, I can continue typing of what I do there and just be happy to do share it!
Here are some pics of my job! He he! As working lady!


But, that’s not all… I started studying psicopedagogía it’s similar to educational psychology. I’m now 2 semesters away from graduate! It’s wonderful to study this because completes what I do at work. Sure, you’ll know what is psicopedagogía? Well, is a branch of psychology that studies the cognitive and emotional development of individuals from infancy through adolescence and how this affects their learning acquisition process.  It is able to detect early signs of learning difficulties in their schooling.
I guess, I miss something very important to share with you… Last December I upgrade to Nucleus 6! :D I have a story for that! he he!

Stay connected to my blog and I’ll share my upgrade experience very soon!