Music To My Cochlear

I’m going to start out with the cliché saying that music is an influential part of my life. It goes for anyone because music help us process all of the feelings and meaning in life. So yes, music is awesome.  When I got the Cochlear implant turned on, I didn’t expect it to become a more meaningful element in my life because it was already significant enough. The changes came to me slowly in the past few months and took me a while to recognize them. I found myself cooking more often since I would always play music on speakers. I found my taste of music expanding more then ever. My roommate is a big Elvis and doo-wop fan and I found myself enjoying that type of music even more. Not that I didn’t enjoy it before, but it the rhythm and sounds are more catchy to me then before. Even some songs I didn’t like before I was get a big “A-Ha!” moment realizing why people like that song so much. Music is literally making more sense to me now more then ever!

Before the surgery, sounds were heard through the ears of hearing aids. Now I get this unique combination of hearing aid and Cochlear elements to enjoy different sounds with. Although through my Cochlear, music sounds a little distance, but the components of the songs would reach my brain subconsciously and I think somehow my brain is appreciating the sounds on a whole new level. For example, the basic beats of songs are more clear to me now then before. As for lyrics, I still have to look up a lot of the words to understand it. Though we never know, my cochlear may hit that point one day when I wouldn’t have to look lyrics as much. Just like what I’ve said with my brain not working as hard to listen, music is coming to my brain more naturally. Not necessarily that the electrodes are processing the most natural sounds but the method of listening to music is more organic. This grants me the ability to appreciate music more deeply then ever in my life.

Another thing that I started to experiment with is my sensitivity setting. Thanks to my speech path friend, Mandy, for reminding me about this feature. With this setting, I can adjust how far my Cochlear can receive information. So if I increase the sensitivity, I would hear more things further away. Decreasing the sensitivity would allow me to hear sounds closer to me more clearly. For example, I would decrease sensitivity to hear a group of friends in a noisy restaurant. So after playing around with this feature, increasing the setting does help the music “feel closer” to me. Though it’s still not there yet but that may something to consider increasing next time I visit Maegan!

Some of you may already have known that I was at the Coldplay concert in Philly over the weekend. Let me just say that it was AMAZING. The sights and sounds were a once in a lifetime experience. If you could, I would highly recommend seeing them live. Even if you don’t like them. I experimented with turning off my hearing aid and leaving the Cochlear on and it’s was a little distance even with the sensitivity setting all the way up. Then again, all of the sounds are being processed to my brain more organically and I could literally feel the music all inside my head. So, I don’t think it’s about the volume being on the same level as my hearing aids. The music did sound like it’s more inside my head with the Cochlear whereas the hearing aid sounds like it was coming from outside my ear. Looking back on it, this concert was definitely a great experience to test out my new way of hearing!

 

View of the stadium as the band started playing Charlie Brown!

Going forward, as I adjust more with the implant, it’ll be fun to monitor how well music works with me amongst hearing other things. I will be sure to keep everyone up to speed with music in future blog posts to come!

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Back In Action

Hi all! 

I apologize for being off the grid lately. I’ve hit a point where my improvements are slowly progressing and I’m not noticing the difference as much anymore. It have been a slow process and that’s expected at this point. It’s been a little over three months since activation and I’m feeling great about my implant. There are still bumps on the road every now and then but what is life without challenges??

Before my surgery, I used to wake up in the morning and put on my hearing aids immediately before I get out of bed. When I got the Cochlear activated, I would take my time in the morning to put them on because it sounded so different and uncomfortable. Now, I recently noticed that I would put them on at the same time as my hearing aid. This is a big deal because this means my brain is starting to get used to the sound going through my inner ear! 

Another thing I’ve noticed in the past month or so is that my brain isn’t working as hard when I’m listening to other people. With hearing aids in both of my ears, it would take a lot of effort and energy focusing on what my hearing aids are feeding me. However, with the Cochlear implant, the information is already inside my head (literally). So, my brain is processing the sound more naturally and effortlessly. With that said, it’s exciting to think about how well I hear six months from now!

Sometimes when I turn off my hearing aid to exercise my brain with the Cochlear implant, I noticed that it’s picking up on the natural sounds very well. I can have conversations with people in noisy environment a little better than before. The only thing that I’m still struggling with is digital sounds, which is mostly music and TV. For example, last night, I was on my back deck with a couple friends while there was music playing. I could hear my friends clearly but the music on the speakers were very distance and hard to distinguish. So hopefully my brain will catch up with the digital sounds going forward!

I will be seeing Coldplay this weekend so I’ll be sure to give you guys an update again soon on how well I hear them with the Cochlear!