Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Riots in Greece

I did not want to post something like this..but riots in Greece are a fact just now..

I'm posting an article from the English version of greek newspaper Kathimerini , its from Nikos Konstantaras...

I quote :

The rising tide of anger and despair of the past few years now has its martyr, a 15-year-old boy whose blood will be used to bind together every disparate protest and complaint into a platform of righteous rage against all the ills of our society (endemic and imported). Andreas Grigoropoulos – shot and killed by a police officer in Exarchia on Saturday night, caught in the crossfire of indifference, intolerance, stupidity and criminal neglect that allows minor problems to grow until they come to undermine our very society – will quickly become a flag of convenience for anyone who has a grudge against the state, the government, the economic system, foreign powers, capitalism and so on. The anger that every citizen feels when faced by the death of a young person murdered by employees of the state will be channeled into the renewal of public protests for any number of social or economic reasons. Political movements will reshape their policies around the public exploitation of the cult of the innocent murdered by the state. The state and the government, their hands indisputably dipped in blood, will now devote themselves entirely to their self-preservation; they will do nothing for the country’s inhabitants other than try to placate them with many words and little action.

If Greece had already appeared difficult to govern, it will now be out of control, as we can ascertain by the government’s grovelling and the police force’s spiteful inaction in the face of widespread rioting across the country over the past two days. If the members of the government had already given the impression that they would rather be doing something other than governing (seemingly incapable of dealing with the fallout from the controversial Vatopedi monastery land swap and the country’s runaway deficits), now they will try to vanish without a trace. If self-proclaimed anarchists had acted as if they had a grudge against the state, now that their aimless rage has been sanctified with the blood of one of their own, they will rampage until the last store, the last car, the last trash can in central Athens is burned. The romance of reaction against a nebulous, apologetic “establishment” and the impunity that these groups will enjoy for the foreseeable future, will ensure that the anarchists’ ranks keep swelling. If mainstream political groupings were trying to regain some of the street credibility they had lost by being pampered pets of the system, the blood that everyone now claims as their own will again see our bourgeois intellectuals at the barricades – this time with a score to settle, rather than expressing the rapacious though vacuous dreams of a generation ago, in 1968.

If common citizens and hapless immigrants/refugees had already felt fear because of the absence of a caring state, today we all know deep down that it is “every man for himself.” Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos has already said as much: “The police will be on the defensive.” In other words, the institutional incompetence that resulted in a police officer’s criminal act will now be presented as a policy of wise restraint. We have already witnessed its results in the fires that keep springing up in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities across the country.

It is undeniably tragic that the meaningless but dangerous game of cowboys and Indians that has been played in Exarchia for decades should lead to the loss of life. It is tragic that the loss of one life should highlight so many impasses in our society and our politics. Instead of seeing that our refusal to resolve problems makes them intractable, I fear the way that we will use this death will simply make our problems worse.

I can't agree more..a child's death , is used..

Thessaloniki , were I live , the center is going brown from the chemicals , colleges and universities are shut down for the week , shops banks , destroyed..

and all these for what ? what will it achieve ?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmassy post -- part one

So , today I decided to decorate my apartment.It's almost Christmas.

It was fun!

Did you know that most tree lights have music coming out of them , even if it's tinny?

I didn't *chuckle* , but it definitely was a CI moment.I was like searching for the radio remote..was thinking I had left the radio open *LOL*

Did you know that if you hit 2 decoration balls together they clink very softly.

I did knew , I was told of it , but never HEARD of it.not until today.YAY!

Did you know that most of my christmas stuff had some sort of song?

I just got aware of that fact.

After I sat , looking at the tree..I got aware of one sad fact..I don't have any pictures to take you.My cell phone camera is pretty crappy.

So , I decided to do my wishlist.And I compared my differences.Every year , I'd have , a long list.Year after year. I'd want a lot of things that I didn't have.

This year seems so different.only 4 or 5 things are on my list.and most are things that WILL make my life easier. Like some door alerting stuff , as when I'm in my apartment , I have CI off to relax after college.Like the FM system.Or the rechargeables.Or like a good replacement camera for the stolen one.

It is a short list.

But year after year , I always hope I would have them.This year, I do know I won't have them.Not unless I do it myself.

But I wish , there was some christmas magic, to find some unknown pressies under the tree, just for having some of the magic.

I need that magic.But everyone says that I'm an adult now and have to behave accordingly.And adults don't have magic.

So I'm looking and looking.When someone sees me looking at these things , I always say , they're not for me.For a friend.Lie.But , I don't want for once to say that I need or want these things, as when I told them I was always admonished.

So , I just go along , try to find myself.But sometimes a little magic help is appreciated.and needed.

Sorry if this post is a little upper or downer, you choose.

Or maybe I read a bit too much Harry Potter books and fanfiction.But it's a proud addiction of me.Fantasy and sci-fi books enthrall me , bring me to other worlds , that my problems simply don't exist.

But my secret wish is this.To wake up in Christmas , and find presents under the tree.And they will be just *what* I need and want.And even that , to find that happiness , like a child , is just invaluable.

My baby pictures

Today I grew somewhat pensive...and found these baby pictures of me...

Here I am 15 months old , just looking at the camera.Lol.I miss this innocentness I had , till a few years ago.

Three years old..I wanted to watch Charlie Chaplin , my mom says, and I wasn't smiling for the camera , she wanted to get a picture with this outfit I wore.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A year ago today...

I just realized something.

A year ago today , I was run off my feet ..Doing all the req's exams for insurance approval to get implanted.

A year ago , I was wondering how it would be , to be implanted.

A year ago , I hoped my insurance approval would come through.

Also , six months ago , I was just waking up from operation.

Six months ago , I felt scared shitless before I was put under..it was my first operation generally..although I had cut it close to some other totally unrelated..

Six months ago , give or take a few days , I was activated ( I was activated within the week. )

Six months ago , I was getting my first taste of pure sound.

And for six months , I've been amazed , thankful.

And also , I began being greedier.I was reading some of the other blogs.Most are abroad , and are bilateral users.
I was thinking "why can't I go bilateral too ? " . I wanted to hear better.I wanted to feel fulfilled..

And , yesterday..I started thinking.A lot.Not only for CI issues, I have a LOT of other issues.

For better or worse , I am Greek.Greece doesn't approve for 2nd implant.Doesn't cover for all the things that could go wrong.Doesn't have the rechargeables with the box.

But you know what ? I'm also not rich.I live moderately well , yes.

I must be thankful, for having at least this one implant.For being able to pay for AVT therapy.For being able to scrape some money to fork over for rechargeables.For living in my own apartment.For having mine and my family's health.

And , anyway , I wasn't missing much , as the last 12 years , I was unilateral HA user, and I implanted my "good" ear.

I always was an unilateral kind of gal anyway. I'd love to go bilateral though , and I *would* do that in a heartbeat.But I can't.Not unless in some magical way , have all the required amount to pay for the 2nd surgery and implant.

I should start enjoying life as it is , unilateral. and it's good enough.And anyway I might still wonder what's so big to go bilateral , I will also try to thrive.

I will try to purchase one set of rechargeable batteries.One boot for FM system for college.And guess what ? that will be enough.For now.

I'm lucky enough , and I shouldn't be so greedy , or so sad about the whole business.Or about the insurance . I shouldn't grumble anymore , that is my lot in life.I will try actively for change , but not grumble.

And I should mention that I have a terrific family ? No, they're not perfect.We bicker all too much.I live alone in another city.I have a dysfunctional family, but , hey , nobody's perfect.

Maybe some day , I will be able to go.it's my secret wish.But , alas, it is not to be .

And I should be acting like a responsible adult , and face life , not grumbling like an spoiled child.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Battery Compartment issues!

Everyone that has CI made from Cochlear Corp. , knows that particular CI has an ridge round the battery compartment for easier removal.
But lately I had seen some drop in quality of sound.I thought I needed another mapping.

Perhaps not.

As I was chatting tonight with Greek friends on MSN , my nail had touched the particular ridge.Just touched.Suddenly CI turned off.No sound, no beeps , zilch , nada!
So I remove it and I watch for myself that tiny screen which is blank.Batteries were fresh , as of this morning.and they don't expire for a few days.Overcome with curiosity,( Yes , yes , I know , curiosity killed the cat supposedly ) I tinker with CI for awhile.Every time I put my nail, simply put it without pulling the compartment down , my CI just like that , blanked out! Opened it and tried it on..Definitely a decrease in performance there..

Hmm , so I go and find my Cochlear nifty bag , where I've put everything that is assiocated with CI, and I rummage around for the spare battery containers.I pull one and switch the batteries..and that time , however much is tinkered , my CI just stays turned on.As an added precaution , I switched the GoRex mic cover , and try it on ..

Ohhh yes , a definitive increase in performance and sound clarity.

And I wonder ...Are all of these battery compartments having these issues ? It is normal? How often other users have to switch them ? I'm five month and two weeks old , give or take a couple of days.What about mic covers?

Hmmm..there is a LOT of things that supposedly , did not know!

Or maybe I'm still thinking in HA terms...even if haven't worn my HA in the last six months.

What do YOU think? Please tell me! :D

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm not proud anymore..

I'm very frustrated with the current way that things are here in Greece.

Since CI , I wished I could move away from Greece..For the first time..I am ashamed to admit , that I am ashamed and disgusted and frustrated with the prices here.

Once upon I was proud.Proud of my country , of my heritage.Not anymore.

*rant ahead*

OK so I will vent it out!

After an conversation with CyborgQueen and seeing on other blogs what they are given , makes me feel like my portion was really measly. And it might seem childish at the very least , or ungrateful , as I'm thankful for CI .

Take for instance rechargeable Lithium - Ion batteries for CI.Most American citizens if they're implanted , receive them without much fuss.Two for each ear.They have the option to try either rechargeables or disposables. Some choose to use only the one or the other , or a mix as their schedules allow .

Well I don't.and seeing that I'm already in a strop for money as everything is expensive here , I thought to ask to the representative office that represents Cochlear ( it's another firm name here though ) for a price quoting for at least a rechargeable to use and have handy. It would sure come handy if I had it , last week had been an absolute nightmare and was rationing my CI use to see me end to end till next paycheck arrived!

Well the initial price in $$$ was brace yourselves now - $1,280 ( 1000 Euros for the European like me ) for just one measly battery , plus the charger etc!

ARE you kidding me?

I was already in a strop and instantly searched an online shop for at least seeing what the prices abroad are.Found one that quoted a price of $583 (455 Euros)for one battery again.

Much better. I was still a lot curious , so I plugged 24proxy.com and logged to the american Cochlear Store and the price was $550(430 Euros ) for TWO batteries ,and I got still more stroppy.

All these without any shipping fee of course.

That sent me over the edge.I am jealous for any one living in the States.Or UK.Or generally abroad.

Greece is the heaven of all rip offs!!!

*end of rant*

well the rant hasn't helped a lot..I'm still green for Abbie , CyborgQueen and a lot of others.I know they're been having their own challenges to face..but sometimes from my perspective , I see that they have it easy.

They're doing bilaterals, granted , after sometimes of a battle.Here to do bilaterals u have to put everything in a loan or be filthily rich.No insurance even if u switch will do your 2nd implant.
Insurances pay for everything , even if after a fight.Mine doesn't . Others here are a little better , but they pay back usually a year or two late.lots of bureaucracy.and u can't switch , unless u switch jobs.and I'm still a dependant to my father's insurance.Brilliant.
The only advantage in Greece is that AVT/SLP sessions in private sector , are relatively cheap..I'm charged by the month , 8 visit per month , every month costs me $320 ( 250 euros ) , and I read in the States they are quoting per hour almost the same money!
They are given even a back up device , for each CI.Here we don't.I constantly live with worry and fright "What if I lose it? What if it fails? " It gets old fast! When it rains I always remove it.When I'm in the bus and see someone that could be a thief I remove it.Same when bus is too full.Same when I'm running to catch the bus.

Too much pressure for me.As if I hadn't already some to start with.

and to sound such more childish, I've been secretly wishing that I had a pink mic cover! LOL!

Sometimes I dream that I've found someone , and he's been an American , so we move there..And I wake with a smile..Till I get the next frustration with CI.But I love the way I hear.I love that in Tuesday , my mother has her name celebration , and as an surprise , will call her to wish her.It would be her biggest present so far.I love that I can hear as good as my brother.I love that I'm between silence and sound.

But it's also sometimes too much stress.Too much of a financial strain.I'd love to have lots of money to dish out for rechargeables , an backup device , an FM system with Smartlink SX.But I don't.I barely have the money to switch my glasses' frames , as the thick ones I have are bothering my scar , not to mention they're too weighty now that I've added CI.

It's a long post..Sorry for anyone that has to read that missive.But right now I feel my chest lighter.Better.

I just hope everyone else is just well.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cochlear Store US

Shouldn't there be an international Cochlear e-shop for at least the more trivial things like Koala bears , toy proccessors , stickers , coils batteries , etc?

I'm feeling a bit down..Greece doesnt offer 2nd implant..doesn't offer replacement proccessors..doesn't offer much at all..and one coil per x years , the x number depends at the brand of insurance you have..And the shop that has Cochlear products ( under a different name ) sells some of the products in double price..

and for the international CI users that they'd like to browse the US store there is a solution.Just paste the link of the US store..And voila!!

I was pushed from this post to look for a way to be able to see the US store..but , you can't buy from there.At least you are able to browse.

What you'd love from there ? I'd love the toy processor ( the kid I'm looking after is always taking off my proccessor to wear it herself..LOL! and she's hearing! ) just to have some peace..and the CI stickers..and the rechargeable batteries ( in pink please for some variation! )

I'm expecting some comments..

Friday, September 26, 2008

CI concerns

I'm a bit frustrated..and concerned..

First...in the computer labs..so many noises..25 computers going on..my classmates clicking their pens on/off..teacher is rumbling his papers ..mutters..cellphones ringing..with HA never bothered me...but with CI I was pretty overwhelmed!!And all these before lesson even started!!!

Then the professor started talking..his voice was loud and he always spoke loud , slow and clear! but my CI was centering into the cacophony not in the voice! And what's more..I did not even THINK to change into the BEAM map..I was too used to my mono digital HA ( had it 9 years ) so I just popped the coil off after 15 mins!!that on Wednesday! argh! must remember next time..

When I recounted that to a friend..she said...what about BEAM ? duh! I can't believe I forgot!

Second...got a bit frustrated with my audie..he's a good doctor..but I couldn't get ahold of him for an appt for a new map and I feel like I need one!! when I'm free , he's busy..when I'm busy , he's free..I can't blame him really , he tends to a lot of people..

Oh and today as I returned from AVT I climbed on the bus home , and I heard something..like a tiny cry/mewling..And I was all like what was THAT? And I was in the front of the bus , almost upfront with the driver...I tried to investigate what it was..But I did not had any localization..ugh..so out of pure curiosity ( curiosity killed the cat, I know! ) I investigated..I walked a bit farther down..and in the way back , I discovered the source..was an grumbling , but sweet baby!!A little boy..and he was pretty quiet..I'm a bit amazed..there was all the presumed noise in a bus pack full of people and of all these things I could've heard..and it wasn't like very clear, more like an kitten meowing..LOL!!

I've been busy researching some options/plans for me , plus college and AVT..

And I'm a bit sad that in Greece don't offer 2nd implant..I'd love an 2nd one..I've been mono since 11 , but I always felt a bit dissatisfied..So when a few months ago , I learnt of CI eligiblity , I had decided to implant my bad ear..they did my good after all..a decision I dont regret in the slightest , but I'd like both ears...No , I wouldn't like it..I'd LOVE it!!And no..I'm not going to do any commitee..we do have a group for CI people , but it's not really active where it should , which is a shame..I spoke with other members , and most mentioned only one meeting and not a really important..So I do consider the money I have to give into the fee..if it's not active..

I'm so insecure sometimes..but that's another post altogether...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pictures and news

Last weekend , I went to the fun fair , and I was speechless with so much assault! I could hear the screams, the music of the games , the screeching of the games when they strained , voices of the kids that were playing and talking etc..and I was speechless with the panorama of the view I was seeing...I could see even the sea when I was on the ferrywheel! Whooooo!!

Here is the ferrywheel..terrific!!

I loved it , and I climbed almost everywhere..and I wondered if there is a similar thing in London , or if I ever will visit the fun fair of Athens..

In a previous post , I had promised some pictures...of my new haircut..so...voila!!!

Here I am !! does it suits me ?

On another note , I was not very pleased with my responses in the AVT training , as I was confusing a lot of things! I got pretty frustrated and I tried to concentrate..at the start of every session, takes me at least 15 mins to start 'listening' properly..even if I wore my CI all day..if I've worn my CI just 10-15 minutes before AVT , my response varies to 5-8 minutes..it's a bit distracting though , as I want to wear it all day...

I need to train harder!! And maybe I'm due for another mapping , so , next Friday I'll go in the hospital to monitor that..

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Haircut and Blinged CI!

I've been having some problems with CI , position-wise..I felt the CI too heavy , my ear tired too quickly , CI fell oftentimes..I determined it was not a magnet problem..

So I researched at the AllDeaf Forum if it was better for me to acquire the babyworn..

Most proposed to me to get an earmold , a thing that I want to avoid..I after a while determined that probably was the wisdom tooth..and decided to wait off till the tooth decides to settle down..Boy , it sure did , and it popped up a little peak next to my molar! Probably because it decided to announce its presence so close to the surgery , affected my whole side..So I was spared off a ripping! So now I quite dread the next time my wisdom acts up..but at least I know what to expect! The newness is still taking off with me..

So the problem persisted a little..so I decided ..a haircut might solve it , and anyways , I wanted a change..( my old haircut was 3 months old , but I've sported the same for a while now! ) So I cut them short , like when I was younger..after returning from the hairdressers, I put on the CI..and voila! Blessed sound and NO discomfort..so I guess..I have really thick frizzy hair , and I also wear thick rimmed glasses that don't help matters..and I had an habit to tuck my hair behind my ears..so the CI got displaced most of the time I moved..With the new haircut..no problems at all..no tiring..

And the day I got the hair done , I had a little outing with a couple of friends , and for a while when I was browsing the mall with them , got a little panic attack! I was thinking 'ohmygod ohmygod where's my hearing aid?I don't have the earmold ON!!' before I realized that I was hearing , thank you , and I did got an CI operation and everything..and I had actually FORGOTTEN that I was wearing it!! So I thought that it was the best trade off !! to have my hair cut! and quite a few people say that it suits me..most of my friends grieve the loss..I'm not bothered in the least when I remember the trade off!!

Also I want to get more blings for my CI..but I cant find any!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Progress..or not?

Haven't posted for a while..

I've had a few problems with CI..Haven't been wearing it due to my implanted side face hurting because of the stupid wisdom tooth..And today that I wore it again after a long while , I discover that my tolerance levels are lower..Grrr lost progressions..

So now I'm back at Volume setting 1 and increase it slowly over the next few days..Hoping I will be again on track before my speech therapy starts!

But I love that I *can* hear the warning when battery is dying..I feel more secure knowing it! It annoyed me to no end when I couldn't even hear it and suddenly my CI died..But I wish the warning was more than three beeps before it went out cold! with HA had at least 2-3 hours beeping which was more often before it died out , giving me a lot of time to change it..There are situations , like at college , that I can't just afford to lose a word..so with HA , I usually changed when the teacher was not talking for a few minutes..

Any feedback?

I also have an extra battery holder..I always carry batteries with me , but if I have them pre-loaded and just change battery holders?would it affect the battery life considerably?

I've been using a bit of Rayovac batteries , and they're no worse than Powerone , although I feel with Powerone I have clearer sound..or it's maybe I'm back to square one? Who knows? I will keep a six-pack back and try it again when I'm up to gear..

I also had an CI moment..I heard the neighbor's phone ringing ( yes, the neighbor's , I actually live in a flat ) and thinking it was my phone , I run to see who it was..I still can't talk to the phone yet , but it's out of habit , and wanting to discover something new..

While I was back at my parents' place , we all went for a swim at the sea ( my parents have an fishing boat that also use for getaways ) but my mother insisted that I shouldn't get water at my ear , and made me wear an yellow plastic bag on my head , that removed my peripheral vision , and made me feel downright stupid...LOL..

Thank goodness that I don't live with them anymore..I love my folks to death..but they can be overbearing and overprotective..and since my activation..always annoying me to hell with sounds!

So , when I got back , I lived for a week with my lovely big brother! I *LOVE* him , and I like a lot his current steady girlfriend , we went together shopping and stuff!
The girlfriend also introduced me to literature that I loved!! Like Betsy the Vampire Queen (I've also started the Mermaid stuff of the same writer..Hilarious! ) , or Harry Dresden the Wizard( I also downloaded the TV adaptations) and Anita Blake the Vampire Slayer..I always had a liking for the different!Right now I'm eagerly anticipating the Brisingr from Christopher Paolini! My sweet brother , intoduced me to Bone Comics which I also enjoy and find a lot humorous!! I also continue with my avid reading of Harry Potter fanfiction at 3 - 4 sites and visiting other CI blogs regularly to take some ideas of what to expect..Most of the other CI users in Greece aren't going much public , and prefer to express themselves only to family , or some forums..Right now I'm a little bit jealous of most of the CI users I know through AD forum are bilateral..wish I could do it!!

A friend asked me over MSN what are my two top wishes...and they are..

1) to go BILATERAL!!
2) to get Kindle from Amazon...LOL!!(does it make apparent how much a bookworm am I?)
3) to get FM system..

Okay , they're three!! But they are my top of the top of wishes!!

I also am aware that a few of the blogs added me , and I will add them back here..when I'm not so sleepy!! ( it's late hereeeee )

So! Goodnight for the time being!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sometimes I still miss my old steady Hearing Aid , or HA for short..

I have been wearing HA since almost a year old , it helped me me tremendously , and although I've had changed a lot of brands , the latest I had ( Widex Senso P ) was a digitalie and it was my companion for almost ten years straight from the moment I woke to the moment I went to bed..

I miss the feeling of the earmold..I still feel strange without it..But..no more ear infections!!

But I've been hearing for almost 3 months with CI and mostly I love it..Only problem is the morning jolt that makes me really grumpy..

I've tried the strategies the audie mapped..

First slot is ADRO which I used consistently , but it's very crisp..helps me when I'm driving , or am talking with a bit of people more than two or three..but I don't like it too much although I admit it helps me in some situations..B/c my parent's house is mostly marble floors and pretty large , makes a bit of an echoy sound.So no more ADRO till I go back to my apartment!

Second slot is Auto sensitive , LOVE it.Makes the morning jolt more bearable!I've been trying it the last few days ( hadn't thought of it before , as I'm used to digital aid with only one mapping , plenty changed for me , I still adjust! ) and so far , I love it!!Softens some sounds and focuses to others..Only problem that I find is that either with ADRO or Auto , I'm still annoyed with the damn clock!It's driving me bonkers!

Third slot is Focus..It'll be useful to college or too noisy situations but I haven't had cause to use it much, not even to noisy caff's for the reason that any map I use, I can't bear music..makes me feeling soooo breathless!!!I absolutely LOATHE it.. So when i'm at any caff I usually pop the coil off , or remove the CI altogether and focus on lipreading!

Fourth and last slot is Music , but I haven't used it much as I loathe it..Maybe at my third mapping appt will be some things be fixed up..

Also , it's very humid at my parents' place..The couple of times that I neglected to Dry and Store my CI had terrible sounds and loathed how it sounded!!Also , I've been here exactly 3 weeks , and the brik is almost depleted , give it another 2 days and it'll be thrown away..I can't believe it!

I can't wait to start again speech therapy , makes me feel like I am progressing!!

Oh and if I hear anyone talking , to any length of the house I always go in to investigate..May it be the back yard were mum has her washing line , or the front balcony where she talks with neighbors,or my family between them at any room , even with the door closed,or even the neighbors chatting at their own balcony..It's amusing to always see me pop up to investigate , although I can't do word discrimination yet..LOL!!

I also heard my father cutting a watermelon ( was a soft 'fss' sound ) and I was also chatting with him..and I had an CI watermelon moment..which was spoiled pretty quickly as he started making noises on purpose which I find REALLY annoying!

So , I still adjust and find it fabulous , except music..oh and the loads of people that meet up and after a chat to inform them of my CI , they believe that I was cured..Or they start to do noises on purpose to 'test' me like they have the rights to do it..they DON'T and it's my life , my CI and my limits!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wedding and CI moments

Today was my cousin's wedding , and she's my favourite , always stood by me and we have a pretty good relationship! Her husband is very nice too and I like him a lot,he's the best my cousin would have!

The wedding ceremony was very romantic, and I had a couple CI moments..Once , while I admired the bride , someone sneezed and automatically thinking that was someone near me I automatically said the equivalent of 'Bless you' in Greek..Then after getting no reply I investigated , and she was three rows behind!!With my old aid I'd never had heard that..I also had my camera to shoot some pics and I always heard the shutter..I was amazed , especially after I realized I heard the shutter of the professional man's too!!

At the wedding reception I had a smashing time , was dancing the night away ( at some point I even removed my high heels LOL ) and talked to distant relatives and friends of family..a lot of people..The food was terrible though!!And it's the same at every wedding I've been!!
At first we danced Greek dances and such as I loved to dance generally , got straight away , but when we did modern numbers , even my brother got up for a couple dances! And sometime I was standing near an uncle and was trying to talk to him when the groom put his fingers in his mouth and whistled shrilly , and I had heard that!!

I was so amazed that I immediately told some relatives that knew what was my CI and they were impressed! Although a lot of them thought that the magnet was some sort of hairpin or hairdo to keep my hair off my face , it wasn't the main use of it..although it did help with it!!

Sadly , tomorrow or the day after tomorrow I'm going back to the real world..College duties , new mappings , AVT/speech training/therapy, and of course..paying the bills! *aighhh*

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Speech reading and Sounds!

It's been almost three months since my operation , and subsequent activation ( was activated early , four days post op ). And I can't believe it..

With my trusty Widex SensoP I was able to speak on the telephone with my mother and some relatives,few friends. But as speech reading aided me my whole life , and I also was really pleased with my progress..That was , until my hearing started failing...

At activation , I remember 'feeling' the sounds through my stomach..I was feeling like my every nerve was on fire..My heart was on fire! Thumping and thumping!!

I also remember that I tired after fifteen minutes , and my mother always 'testing' me with little sounds , annoying the hell out of me..LOL!

I have to note that I prided myself that I never suffered with tinnitus..I had of course read up that CI helps to cure tinnitus , and the only problem I had was 'overstimulation' especially after a tiring day , or in the bus..where I usually would turn it off or else I'd develope a good headache...

This period had its ups and downs..

Things that I never heard of , and now I hear are :

- plastic bottle compressing/crushing ( my mother does that so it will have less space at the garbage bin ) that now , annoys the hell out of me , I literally can't stand it!!

- my laptop fan..couldn't hear it...or it was much quieter..now I feel like it is filling the room..I will soon learn to tune it out!!

- the clock ticking..at first I was so amazed..then I got annoyed and I removed the battery ( my mother is going to have a conniption when she notices it..LOL!! she hasn't yet! )

There sure are other sounds that I forget to transcript...

Side effects from the operation is the tinnitus..They've told me that it will eventually go away , but , when?!? I can't even have a lie - in.. as soon as I am half awake , my ear starts 'weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee' and I can't go back to sleep!!another is when I hear a new noise and when it's particular loud , the left side of my tongue goes momentarily numb ( that also happens when I happen to stick my finger and move around to dislodge the wax ). I hope these discomforts will go away after some time , and most people assure me of it..

Oh and yesterday a friend asked me ( noticed that I didn't have the CI on ) if I have any regrets! I said no regrets , just saving my batteries ( will say why soon ) , and we were sitting at a cafeteria with loud music ( music makes me feel breathless in the bad way , so if I'm sitting somewhere I turn it off , I will post it sometime ).

The hardest thing by far , is to wean myself off speech reading when I'm wearing it, and seeing as it's become a habit my entire life , it's pretty hard!!

Oh and there is another 'side-effect' that I think that is really positive!! Before CI , I tended to speak really loud and sometimes fast and everyone told me always to tone it down! Now I'm speaking slower and in lower volume and also I have better speech , but it's hard on my friends that aren't used to it and sometimes they complain as they are seeing me usually outside at caffeterias with all the noise..Better yet , I always keep that even when I've removed the CI for any length of time , and that makes me HAPPY!!

The only strains so far is to wean myself off speech reading when I've got the CI on, and to get better at speech reading when I don't have it on , I was so used to the sound of the voice with speech reading that now it's a real challenge to dissassiocate it, I find sometimes I can't even speech read !! LOL!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sound of Cochlear Implant

The title of the blog is a bit strange , isn't it ? :)

My favorite movie was Sound of Music , with the Von Trapp Family..All this sunny and musicy and singing always got into my heart , and their unique way of teaching something so pure , got into me..

So when I debated what would be the title , there was no dispute!! Sound of Music..Sound of Cochlear Implant..sounds kinda catchy , doesn't it?

Since activation day , I've been discovering that life has a new meaning with loads of sounds!

So I think that the title fits..Don't you ? I feel like an child explorer , always amazed , sometimes laughing , sometimes surprised, and sometimes too annoyed...

I wish that miracle will always be like new to me , that I always will feel like I have the biggest Christmas present at my lap!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A little background..

Since most , if not all , fellow CI users I happen to know are abroad , I decided to start this blog in English to share all my adventures with my almost three month old CI.( God, I sound like I have a baby...LOL )

I was born almost deaf , in Greece , and from the start my mother noticed that I didn't seem to be hearing anything..Everyone in my family thought that my mother was just overprotective and overreacting..And all the doctors said it probably was fluid in my ears..All these back at 1983 , although in Greece there was not even a chapter for the Deaf anywhere in the country!
So , my parents ( although my mother always had her suspicions ) were rudely awakened when our local ENT doctor said that even if I was an 8month baby at the time , I wasn't responding , and even the babbling I had started seemed to decrease ..

From my mother's descriptions , I was an happy baby ,all the time smiling and always curious..And always wanting to follow my older brother..I wasn't hearing , but I was clever and quick to get the lead from my brother..

After an consultation , my parents arranged an trip in NY,USA , to do all the exams that they thought...My parents wanted the best for me , and they decided to combine it with their first experience of an abroad trip!

They had a good time , and since they did not knew English ( still don't , only a few words here and there , although both my brother and I are exceptional English speakers ) had a few relatives help them , and the hospital had an doctor who happened to be Greek , although his field wasn't at the Audiology or ENT department..

After a lot of exams ,the result was that I had moderate to severe loss and my parents , fitted me with Unitron bodyworn aids ,and new earmolds..My mother tried to have an book and translating it , to do AVT to me when we returned to Greece.

Back at Greece , especially at my hometown , there was no speech therapist/pathologist or AVT teacher..so my mother did the job herself..After a few months a speech therapist moved to my hometown and since then she'd been helping me..I got very early on the lip reading tool under my belt , everyone said that I did it on my own..I never had thought the term lip reading or speech reading..This said , Greek is pretty easy to lipread..

I changed a lot of my aids , and my hearing loss was getting worse..soon my right ear was on the profound scale as soon as I got 10 or 11 , and since then I was deaf in one ear , and wearing HA at the left ear. Since then I was mainstreamed to school , never learnt Greek Sign Language , and always having private tutors at home along with my speech therapist. Went through preschool , elementary ( halfway of elementary school my left ear got to the severe range ) , junior high and high school..while I was at the high school , I acquired an Widex Senso P38 with wider tubes through the earmold , which helped me tremendously..

I had this aid almost 8 years , and in college , when my hearing started declining again! At first , ( almost two and a half years ago ) I just couldn't hear every word , and speech reading became so much harder..but it had some perks for my friends, because , as they say , they learned to rephrase everything with a lot simpler or different words and made them work on their vocabulary..Also I felt like I was losing some part of my identity..Since junior high I had mastered speaking to the phone with few close relatives ( especially my mum and a couple of aunties, and few close friends ) and suddenly I discovered that I wasn't able anymore to understand parts of the conversation , frustrating everyone in both ends..

My mother , always the technophobic , had to learn to use the PC also for her office and also for me and her to chat through MSN..she's learned the last one relentlessly as we needed that to communicate , since I had moved away after my graduation from high school..Think an over 400 km distance!

So with all these happening , every one in my life tried to adapt , and I was getting more and more depressed, not to mention to turn everyone's nerves haywire by the incessant feedbacks..This year alone , I had more earmold fittings than I ever had..but after a month each single earmold was rendered useless.

After learning about CI's , through an recently implanted friend , I became obsessed almost in research..I started all the tests and everything , and after a long wait ( in Greece , you wait forever for anything...) I got the approval from the hospital!! I submitted my papers for the insurance company , a day after my birthday..I got approved from the insurance a few weeks before Easter hols , and since then I settled the surgery date..

May 22nd , the day that changed my life! Although I still miss my trusty HA , it was time to part our ways!