Well, it's been a bit. Between Thanksgiving and some personal bad news, I've not been much in the mood to write. But I've been keeping track of my progress. I mean, how can I not, with every sound in the immediate vicinity requiring my attention immediately. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Since my last update, the drive back home on Thanksgiving Day and the day after was largely uneventful. I'd begun to notice a little bit more clarity but didn't really focus much on it because of the aforementioned bad news and decisions I had to make. But, oddly enough, as the driver, sound tended to be quite a bit more chaotic as opposed to being the passenger. As the passenger, my CI is closer to the passenger door. I would think that'd make for problems but it was "quieter", for lack of a better way to describe it. In those quieter moments, I could hear things a bit more clearly. Plastic rustling in the backseat, luggage shifting, wife making her unique sounds, clothing rustling as we moved around to get comfortable, and what not. Oddly enough, road noise was always "background" noise and easily ignored. Susie talked to me some, worked her paper some, listened to books on tape via her headset and what-not. All of it contributed to a pretty nice little nugget of auditory training with very little stress. πŸ™‚

When we got home, I started to realize "old" new sounds: dog drinking from a bowl of water (whoa, that's sloppily loud!), the dog's collar knocking against that metal bowl of water, Susie's phone buzzing while sitting on the couch, the dog trying to bury bones... What I hear most especially is how loud other people are in other rooms. Not to say that they are actually loud. It's just that, as a life-long deaf person, any sound that I can perceive is seen as "loud". LOL... So it goes.

I was still overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that have sounds and the depth that sound comes in. I went to a wedding for a couple of great friends and that was a revelation. While there were elements of tweety bird present, the lovely guitar music was a little bit of an epiphany all by itself. Rather difficult to describe. I could hear the pastor and the couple...and even perceive what I think were whispers. So very cool!

That night, though, I had a bit of a let down. I went dancing. It was awesome to be surrounded by such awesome folks! But I ran smack dab into a brick wall on my journey. I thought I was ready to get back on the dance floor and it turned out not to be the case. While I could sometimes recognize the music, I couldn't seem to keep it. Music didn't sound like music...and that was a bit of a struggle. It had nothing to do with the venue or the people or the music. It's just that, at this time, in this place, I've still got a bit more learning to do. Sigh...

Today, I went for my first mapping. I struggled to convey to the audiologist my disappointment. She reminded/corrected me on several fronts:

1. Input at this stage is limited. I'm not getting all sounds
2. I'm not getting much in terms of bass input yet! I thought I was but I'm not. That was a bit of a relief.
3. My brain is so busy with processing overwhelming, new input from the CI, it can't yet take as much input from elsewhere. So, I haven't lost those hard earned adjustments that I've built up over the past 30 years in order to enjoy music. It'll come back. It just means that it'll be a couple of more months before it comes back.

And with that part out of the way, she added me 4 new programs to work through over the next month. πŸ‘€ She upped the input more than she had planned to because all of the tests showed that I'm doing far better than expected! At least in terms of speech perception. She also gave me homework: spend more time talking to people. πŸ˜²πŸ˜²πŸ‘€ Apparently, in order to speed this process up, I have to spend more time listening to speech. My wΜΆiΜΆfΜΆeΜΆ'ΜΆsΜΆ mentor's suggestion of getting audible books is sounding like a good idea. I'm unaware of anyone, including the wife, who would want to talk to me for hours at a time so...audible books it is. πŸ˜πŸ˜„πŸ˜ Anyhoo, on to the next round of exhausting learning with the CI!

Thanks for all of the support and encouragement, y'all. It's truly appreciated! Makes a li'l deaf guy from small town America feel like he has a place. πŸ€ͺ