Sunday, October 5, 2014

Can You Hear The People Sing?

It has been almost 10 months since my last post. Life has been happening! At my last CI Mapping in August, my audiologist said I was doing great and we could go to every six months for my mapping appointments. Yay! I still love this little miracle in my ear!

Several awesome things have happened since we last chatted. I got an upgrade to the Nucleus 6 processor, I got the Aqua+ accessory and used it on our vacation to Walt Disney World, the telecoil setting is actually working for me, and I have started singing in the choir again!

I will post for each of those little bits of joy, but today I want to share my excitement about singing!
I love to sing! That was one of my biggest heartbreaks when I lost my hearing almost 2 years ago. I really struggled with hearing the higher frequencies and being able to sing along, learn new tunes, and pick out the harmony parts.

This fall, when our church choir started back up, I decided I really wanted to try it again. It is still hard sometimes, but it is getting easier each week at practice. I have really had to play around with the settings on my processor to find which provides me with the best hearing for music situations. Listening to music requires different settings than singing. I really have no problems any longer singing a cappella, but singing with accompaniment is more challenging. The more layers of sound that are added makes it harder for me to sort through the sound and make sense of it all, while trying to sing along. So I have not attempted to get back into the groove with the praise band. I think five or six "plugged in" instruments and in-ear monitors are too much at this point. Baby steps!

My CI ear really hears in music situations fairly well, but the hearing aid ear struggles. Sometimes I have to take it out and sometimes I have to turn up the volume and sometimes I just don't know what to do with it. The CI sound is just so superior to the hearing aid that it is frustrating. I have had the settings tweaked in my hearing aid several times this fall and the sound has improved, but in noisy situations (music included) I am still not happy with it.

One little truth that I have learned from this whole experience is that the only way my hearing sounds better is when I keep putting myself into tough situations and "practice" listening. I've got two different gadgets that work in different ways. It's amazing how the brain can adapt and learn. It's often frustrating, but it does get better. I have to just jump in and keep listening!

Keep listening, because I'm going to try my best to make a joyful noise!