Thursday, August 25, 2005

More random thoughts, this time while watching the Yankees and waiting, somewhat impatiently, for my first mapping session...

Sam and I are both healing up steadily, if slowly. Both of us can still only sleep on one side, and Sam occasionally reports feeling like he has a football in his ear, but we're definitely improving. Tuesday is turn-on day for me, which sounds sexual but actually refers to the day I enter a new world of sound -- the world where, as mentioned before, everyone sounds like Mickey Mouse.

Some more explanation of getting turned on: A cochlear implant processes over 80,000 pieces of information a second and sends that info to the hearing nerve via 16 to 22 electrodes. The hearing nerve sends it to the brain. When the brain first tries to understand this new, electrically generated information, it has trouble so everything sounds the same, like Mickey Mouse. The challenge of hearing with an implant is not to hear "loud enough" but to retrain the brain to interpret the electrode stimulation.

80,000 pieces of information a second sounds impressive, but is nothing compared to what a regular ear can do. In his book Rebuilt (which, as I mentioned, is THE book on Cochlear Implants), Michael Chorost explains this really well.

Meanwhile, can't wear an aid in either ear these days, so the world is pretty quiet. The right ear, the one that was operated on, is so silent and surreal with tinnitus sounds it's as if it is wired to listen in to a different planet. Tinnitus is hard to describe, as it always changes. I took some notes on it last night and came up with this:

8-9pm: Three Arias from Don Giovanni mixed with the song of the Southern Pacific blue whale.
9-9:30pm: Trucks downshift while warm rain falls.
9:30-10pm: A rainbow unfurls and flaps in the wind. Japanese geishas titter.
10-11pm: Sound of waves receding. A woman walks by in a dress made of string. Did I forget to turn off the dishwasher?
11-11:30pm: Music for giant space babies.

Off the topic, I noticed during a Yankee rain delay that you can look up Joe DiMaggio's nose all the way to his brain. Also, does anyone know what the difference is between a checking card and a debit card?

In a pleasant coincidence, my work placement for school this year will be at the League for the Hard of Hearing, which happens to be the best place in New York to do auditory rehabilitation following an implant.

On another note, hey uh Becky? It's kinda hard to make a movie without a director and a camera.

Finally, a few people asked, so here is the website of Michael Chorost (author of Rebuilt: THE book on Cochlear Implants). It's www.michaelchorost.com and you can read the first chapter there.

Have a great weekend. Back on Tuesday.

3 Comments:

Blogger UncaJonny said...

for me, the world often has a background sound like hissing steam. i usually tune it out, but once i notice it's there i can't get rid of it for hours.

11:41 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

ok, ok - i know i've been missing the past week or so. Work got hectic. But i'm through the worst now, so you can indulge your inner diva once again and smile pretty for your close-up.

3:12 PM  
Blogger UncaJonny said...

belated happy annie's birthday uncle nephews.

7:53 PM  

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