Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rebuilt, By Michael Chorost

REBUILT, by Michael Chorost

I am reading a book by Michael Chorost - he has a CII implant (as shown in his xray image of his head on cover). He writes as he describes his experiences of having a computer inside him and how it changed his life forever.

I am on chapter 3 now, and I am really enjoying reading it. He has a wonderful thoughts and brilliant perspective that I can relate.

A must read!

Author's website

Read first chapter (pdf format)

Purchase at Now!

My Comments on this book is coming shortly... ( still reading!!!)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Been only 18 days being bilaterial... and it is working!


It has been only 18 days since the activation of my left implant - and things are getting stranger and more interesting. Read on:
  1. I can now understand some of words in the song - which I never heard that before.
  2. I can understand more new words over the radio, which is unexpected to me.
  3. I can understand what people said, more than ever.
  4. Even in extreme noisy places, it is so unreal to hear and understand people talking very clearly and without any problems...
  5. I cannot use one implant anymore - I believe that my mind gets frustrated when that happens. Ergo, I have to use both implants all the time. For example, several times as the power in the left implant battery ran out, I get "weird sensations" inside me as if my body is telling me to change out the battery fast, fast, fast!!!...
  6. I really can locate the source of sound much better than ever - and I just spotted a noisy cricket in the dark tonight.
  7. I really can "see" the room of people talking with my eyes closed...
  8. I have never felt this confidence this huge ever before in my life...
  9. I am talking and listening more over the phone than ever, too...
  10. The noisy places like Wal-Mart, HEB Grocery Stores, downtown, airports, and many more are no longer distracting anymore and was able to take more time there...

The best part of all, is that the sounds around me are even more pleasant and sounded very natural to me all the time!

Thanks for reading this blog!


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ultimate 3-D Surround Sound System... in my head!

I just had a second remapping of my left bionic ear and 23rd mapping of my right bionic ear ( I think so) - and my hearing is much better than before. I am no longer hearing any beepings in my left ear, but now I am trying to hear more new sounds. But -

The best thing of being a bi-lateral is hearing the world in 360 degrees and 3-D SURROUND SOUND. Whoa!!! This is way better than anything else I have tried before.

One night, I had a dinner with a large group, I learned that I can hear lots of people talking around me - my mind was able to tell me where they are, how far they are, and more. Then I closed my eyes for a moment, I still can see the whole room just by hearing. Even they moved around, I still can follow them, too. Whoa. I did not even realize to experience that. It was one wild moment for me.

One time, I heard the incoming footsteps in my left ear - and I went to that direction to check it out. But I passed the stairway and then I can hear it again in my right ear as it was from the stairway. I didn't trust my mind, so I waited to see if my mind was right. Yes, these footsteps was coming down from the stairway as a gentleman was stepping down. It was only 6 days of hearing with my left ear and as bi-laterial.

I am learning that I can hear many more by being bi-laterial! Whoa. Sweeeet!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Back from Advanced Bionics


I am back from California - and I really had a blast being with Advanced Bionics staffs and also with volunteers like me!

I am an volunteer with Advanced Bionics - the reason I am doing this is that I am giving back to the company for everything they worked so hard for my hearing. And the best thing of all is that staffs at Advanced Bionics are are SO COOL!

The volunteers who came to the meeting are from Canada and United States - and they are awesome! They really gave me lots of pride in being a volunteer. Some volunteers have own cochlear implant and some are parents of children with their own cochlear implants. All of volunteers really enjoyed doing helping patients and parents with cochlear implants and more.

We had a presentations, meals, dinner, beers, and even we had a tour of the plant where they manufacture every piece of implant and processor. These were handmade, done American Way, and often labor intensive. The production staffs do have pride in every single cochlear implant that goes into every patient like me.

It was a great experience being with Advanced Bionics. I am still thinking of it, too.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My left bionic ear, day 6

It's been only 6 days of hearing with my left cochlear implant and it's great. The hearing is still coming, still beeping. It is time for another cochlear implant re-programming (aka re-mapping) - and it gets better with every re-mapping.

This afternoon I am flying to Valencia, California for an advanced volunteer's meeting with Advanced Bionics, the maker of my cochlear implant. I look forward to meet the company staffs and those volunteers who are invited to come. The purpose of this meeting is to extend our skills and share experience among other volunteers for helping bionic cochlear candidates and patients.

Also we have an opportunity for a tour of the plant where they manufacture the cochlear implant, too.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Listening to the Mass Media...


Today is my second day of hearing with left cochlear implant and 435th day (1 year, 2 months, 9 days) with my right cochlear implant... and I really enjoy listening to music more than ever.

The "Great Hearing Adaptation Process" is underway for my left ear. I still hear all those beeps and booppps in my left ear.... very nice, very sweet. SWEET!!!

I always know that hearing the music can help me to learn more of what these the beeps, beeeeeeepppps, and boooeeepps represent... so I can get more out of my bionic cochlear faster and much sooner than I want to. (Being in silence won't do any good!) I listen to many downloaded MP3's, radio, CD's, TV's and more. (try without closed captioning,too!)

Also I like to listening the talk shows - it does not matter if I misunderstand some words I heard, but it helps me to understand the differences between musical and voiced sounds. This is very important and critical for better listening skills.

Someday soon, all these beep's will go away in my left ear, but I will be hearing normally as much as my right ear does. Our minds are so adaptable!


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hearing Downtown San Antonio

I work at headquarters at world's largest communication in downtown San Antonio, right on the Riverwalk. I decided to take a long walk at lunch break because my doctor advised me to work on my balance by taking long walks.

The cochlear implant surgery has affected my balance in a small way, but it is "recoverable" by doing more activities like walking and exercising. It is no big deal, and what a great reason to spend the lunch hour by walking on the Riverwalk.

As I went outside on a sidewalk I can now tell where all the sounds is coming from! I can tell a incoming motorcycle on my left side, behind me, and is approaching very fast. Cool. I guess I really can see everything behind my back by hearing!!! And the buses are noisy - and even worse when it brakes to a stop.

When I was on the Riverwalk, I can hear and spot the crackles, mallards, and robins... hearing people talking around me and everywhere is great, and it gave me a new sense of perspective about my surroundings... And I can hear tapping of feet and clatter of dishes in a diner... and too many to pay attention to!

I think I am going to learn more about my hearing perception than hearing the new sounds!

Second Sounds!!! (Left Bionic Implant ACTIVATED!)

Beeeeooppppp..... beeeeeeoooooppppp!

I just got my left implant activated this morning. Wow!! It is so nice to hear it again, too. It is so pleasant to hear, and no more virbration at all. The sounds (actually "beeps") are smooth and crispy to hear it. It is very different from what heard the first time on my right ear a year ago. But I really like it!

My daugher, Sophia, almost 8 months old, has been very helpful with me with my "Second Sounds" experience. She made lots of voices, clapping, and banging to be sure that my implant is working. She is right! She smiled big, too! And my wife Lizzie videotaped this moment.

Wow, I really like to hear both of my bionic implants at same time... wow... and I can even tell where all the sounds is from... and I am very pleased. In my left ear, I am still hearing beeps, but it does not matter today because I am learning to hear all over again, with help from the right ear... and I am not yet overwhelmed, but I think I will be very pleased all the way!

I am ready for hearing new sounds!!!