This was three years ago with some experiences over the first few days with my first aids. It takes a while to get used to things. But you do. In a while it will just be normal.
The sound is “bright” to put it musically.
It’s a rainy day so I wore a Gortex rain jacket which I took off for the fitting. When I picked it up to leave it sounded like someone was crumpling paper right next to my ear. The audiologist saw the look on my face and laughed.
I stepped out of the clinic into a heavy wind and a pouring rain. I stood there for what must have been 5 minutes astounded. The wind was a non issue for the aids. The rain on the other hand sounded like a monsoon beating on the cars, on the overhead canopy and in the puddles in the lot. I could hear the traffic on the street several hundred feet away like it was next to me. I heard a car start on the other side of a very large parking lot in spite of the storm noise. It was cool and I got a chill and sneezed several times. It was a life changing experience. LOL The unlocking of the car door, the closing of the car door, my pants sliding on the seat all seemed in your face loud. I had to take the rain jacket off. It was too much. I turned the radio on still at the volume I had it at when I drove out there and GOOD GRIEF, no wonder my wife complained. I couldn’t believe it. Turn signals do still make noise. I heard fire trucks on the freeway fercryinoutloud long before I could see them. My wife called me on the phone which is synced with the sound system. It took a few minutes for the adrenaline to pass from being hit by the ringer. Yes, road noise IS noise. I flipped on Mozart’s 40th and was delighted. I had to reset the balance back to normal for I had it weighted to the left to compensate for the left ear. It sounded a bit bright but quite nice. Facial movements make my glasses rub the aids which I can hear but it’s not bothersome. My wife always complained about the whine of the rear wiper on the car calling it annoying and I thought her ridiculous. It IS annoying.
I got home and climbed the stairs to the door. While I was fumbling for the keys my wife pulled the door open and gave me a hi honey! Between that and the phone ringing in the car my body has been depleted of all it’s adrenaline. Being greeted by the dog was a gas. I could hear all her whines and snorts—and her nails. We have wood floors and I could hear every nail clicking as she walked across the floor. I can hear my pant legs rubbing together when I walk.
I followed my wife into the kitchen. She was flying around cooking dinner. Frying something, banging pots and pans around on the stove and counter, opening and closing the refrigerator, running water in the sink, in and out of the cupboards slamming the doors----it got to me. Sensory overload. I had to leave the room.
We sat down to dinner. Forks and knives on the plates were annoyingly loud. On the other hand I could hear every word she said and I didn’t have to be looking at her. I heard her talking to me from the kitchen while I was in the living room. Right now I can hear her typing on her computer in another room.The dog is sleeping and I can hear her breathing. I like it.
I am already starting to adjust. Things are not so piercing. And I am beginning to notice some things about the aids. When she was fitting me I tried to get the volume balanced between right and left. My loss is asymmetrical so the domes are different and the gain is different for each ear. Now I think I may have to have the volume upped a bit on the right. Then again it may be because I am hearing things now with the left ear that have been missing. I can’t tell for sure yet. After about 1/2 an hour the domes were itching and it was unpleasant. That seems to be gone now. I’ve heard some folks here say that their tinnitus subsided just by wearing the aids. Mine is still here. She only activated one additional program to start and that was the music program because of the symphony on Saturday. She had two monitors–one facing me so I could watch as she programmed. Saw the changes in gain as she switched back and forth from the auto to music. Interesting stuff. We spent some time listening to recorded speech and sounds in two modes–one bright and one softer/warmer. I picked the crisper sound which I’ll try for a couple of weeks and then I may try the other to compare. Listening to Mozart on the way home I felt like backing off on the treble. But there are things I’m hearing in the upper register that have been missing for who knows how long.
Lunch yesterday was intense. Typical coney island (around these parts anyway) with the grill behind the bar counter and tables packed as close together as possible with just enough room to squeeze in and out of your chair. It was packed and it was raucous. We grabbed one of two open tables and sat down. It was close to the middle of the place. This was basically day 2 with the aids. No speech in noise program activated yet. I turned on the decibel meter on the iPhone and it floated between 78 and 81. If the waitress had been a few seconds longer I would have left. I SHOULD have left.
Two normal hearing persons with me had to speak in elevated tones to hear each other. I had no trouble hearing them but they were loud. I had to raise my own voice to be heard and I did not like the sound of it. I could hear the waitresses calling out to the short order cooks and I could hear them banging stuff around on the grill behind the bar. The sound of chairs with metal legs on the tile floor being pushed away from tables was grating. I was not wearing the streamer. If I had been I would have turned the volume down as low as possible. I ate as quickly as I could and got out. It was absolutely obnoxious. We were in there barely 30 minutes but it seemed like FOR EV ER. The two men with me found the place really loud. For me it was almost intolerable. I will not repeat it if I can help it. Still, in spite of it all I could hear what was being said at my table. 3 days ago in that environment I would have been a non participant.
I hear everything now–never miss a word and I hear things in music that have been missing for who knows how long. It’s all there now, at least insofar as hearing everything. Even the tiny cymbals are there. BUT–you knew there was a but coming right? And perhaps having only been in aids for 3 weeks this might be a bit early though I don’t think so. I hope so but I don’t think so. In spite of hearing everything it sounds a bit empty. It isn’t bad, it’s just not mellow–it is not full–it has lost its warmth–it’s thin–it doesn’t quite get there if that makes sense. It’s a cup of coffee that’s not quite strong enough. It’s a big strawberry that’s not quite sweet enough. It doesn’t quite make it. And though I like everything else about these aids I’d be tempted to try something else if I thought that I could have a little bit of that “warm by the fire” sound again. Maybe it’s one of those things that you just can’t have. I can live with it. The benefits of aids far outweigh it but oh how nice it’d be to have it back. Has anybody found it? If so let me know because I have till Friday next week to try something else.