I have reverted to my childhood. Well, sort of. With each day that goes by, it becomes clearer to me that my CI ear is a baby ear, and that I must treat it accordingly. This means several things:
1. Not expecting it to sound like the natural hearing in my right ear, either in smoothness or coherence
2. Teaching it everything - and I mean everything - about the world, step by step
3. Being willing to accept and explore the surprises it discovers along the way
It's day seven, and I have made tremendous progress since the electric-shock feeling of first being turned on. I'm hearing much more, the sounds are more dynamic and complex than their initial one-dimensional jolts, and I'm having an easier time making connections between what's happening around me and what I'm hearing. However, I still have a long way to go. Environmental sounds still sound staticky and mechanical, and the sound quality with my CI is sorely lacking - though the sound quantity isn't! Being a perfectionist, and being used to my world sounding and feeling just so, this irritating robotic-noise soup is hard for me to handle.
That said, I did not expect the first weeks with my CI to be easy. Now is where the real work starts. Beginning with children's books! I checked out four books on tape from the public library last week, sat down with my sister's boom box, and proceeded to listen to them until the entire house was probably begging for me to stop. I can now practically recite Goodnight Moon by heart - not that that's an accomplishment! (It's amazing how much longer and more exciting these books seemed when I was young.) I've scoped out the territory, though: children's books on tape tend to be fraught with music, background noises, and corresponding sound effects. That's all very well for getting hearing kids excited about reading, but for me it's obnoxious and not at all helpful! Having a real live person read to me is better - now if only those pages wouldn't crackle when I turn them.