Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013

Listening Practice - the Cochlear Way
Tuesday,  August 27, 2013

Today I spent a lot of time on the listening exercises provided by Cochlear to help me better adapt to my implant.  My perfectionism reared its ugly head.  It is so hard for me to accept not being able to tell the difference between the sounds that are played. 

I started by working on what they call "pure tones".  The program would play 3 electronic tones, and I was to select the one that was different.  As I mentioned recently, when I play notes on the piano, going up the keyboard, using both white keys and black keys, eight in a row will all sound the same.  So in these exercises, sometimes the differences are obvious, but sometimes, all three choices sound the same to me.  Playing them over and over and listening very closely, I can sometimes detect slight differences, not in the pitch, but rather in the intensity of the sound.  So, there are differences, but I don't know how that translates to me being able to enjoy music.  I will continue with the exercises and see if they help.

Then I worked on the vowel sounds.  Hot and Hat sound a lot alike to me the way they are pronounced in this program.  Pull and Pool I also managed to miss every time.  If they had someone with a Texas accent reading the words, maybe I would do better.  Again, when reviewing the errors, it was still hard to tell the difference.  I did several sessions in each category.

The final exercise section was sentences.  They would display four words on the screen and I was to select the one word that was in a sentence being read to me.  If there is any background noise, I don't do at all well.  Each of these exercises confirm the problems I have in every day activities.  The more background noise there is, the less I can understand of what is being said and music doesn't sound melodic.

I then spent an hour or more with the Immersion Reading, where I listen to an audio book as I follow along with it on my Kindle.  The reader in the book I am currently hearing, is harder to understand than the one in the previous two or three books I have done.  I did download the audio for another book.  There are several authors that I follow on Facebook.  The writer of this particular book had notified her Facebook followers a couple of weeks ago that her book was on sale for Kindle.  I had downloaded it at that time and so today, I found that her book had the audio available for the format that I use in the Immersion Reading.  Since I had gotten the book at a bargain price, I decided I could get the audio to go with it.  She is a Christian fiction writer and I know I will enjoy the book. 

Just as a side note:  Very often when I read a book, I will write to the author and tell her (or him) what I have most enjoyed about their book.  With email being so easy to use, it only takes a few minutes to do that and almost all of the authors have written back - often within an hour or two.  I have had some amazing discussions with these authors.  I recall one who had written a magazine article I really liked and I wrote to her.  It happened to be just a few days after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11.  She wrote back and we shared stories of how the events had touched our lives.  She lived in Hawaii and she said American Flags were not readily available on short notice so people took to tying red, white and blue plastic grocery sacks to fences or strips of red, white and blue fabric.  I shared how my sister and her husband were stranded in Alaska when all the planes were grounded and how people who had been dropped in the Alaskan wilderness by bush pilots were not being picked up at appointed times.  How quickly we forget those days of hurt, confusion, and patriotism.  Guess I got off the subject, but I would like to encourage you to write to an author some day if you never have done it.

A customer came in for some small items and was eager to chat.  She lives near Houston but this is the only place she can find that small item she wants.  (I didn't tell her I get mine from a supplier in Houston, but they don't sell to individuals anyway.)  She mentioned she was concerned that we could be closed since she had not been here in a couple of years.  I did tell her that we have had to close often this year for medical needs and she might call first.  I ended up telling her about the Cochlear Implant and about how my grand daughter Rachel, had prayed long for Grandma to be able to hear.  I told her how I had to go deaf before I could have the implant and now be able to hear.  She got teary eyed and got goose bumps and said, "I just have to hug you."  She was so touched by those faithful prayers of a  little girl.  I must say, I know the other children in that family also prayed for my hearing, but it was Rachel's prayers that I most often heard and heard about.

Ron was out of the office much of the day and so after I locked up I stopped at the grocery store before coming home.  I spent a while in the backyard enjoying the blooming plants, until the mosquitoes began enjoying me.  I hope I am not boring you with my hibiscus photos, but there are two huge bushes side by side and I am not sure they have ever bloomed as beautifully as they are right now.


  1. None of your blog has been boring at all. I look forward to each one to learn something new that might help me with my mama or with another of the ladies that I play cards with on Friday. I love the photos only because they are so beautifully photographed & I love the native plants best of all!! Hands together for you in your progression using the e-reader & audio books!! Hugs, thoughts & prayers!!

    1. Thank you, Dottie. I hope my experiences help you with your mom. She is such a sweet lady and I know it is hard on both of you for her hearing to be so limited. We are blessed with wonderful flowers here in South Texas. The little bits of rain we have had have made the flowers just seem to "pop" out. The town is lovely.