January-June 2004


January 2004
Hi, you are now in Bionic Deepa's site... one whole year has been completed as a Bionic Deepa after I was switched-on. If you don't know what I am talking about, you can visit the surgery page and the implant page for proper explanation. Otherwise, read on for the latest updates about my pre-lingual experiment with bionic hearing.



Wednesday, 9 June 2004
My left ear is very waxy but interestingly, my right ear (the implanted side) is not. Probably due to the ear-mold?

Friday, 3 June 2004
Phil was snoring... ha ha! At first, I had no idea what was that noise. I think it is the first time I heard Phil snoring with the implant. Oh it was so funny and shocking to know how loud he snored. And all tha time, he was complaining of mummy's loud snoring.

I normally don't take implant to bed but Phil wanted me to hear Mike biking to work which he hear daily... just before 7:30 AM. It is nicely loud but sweetly brief before we fell asleep again. It was then, I first heard Phil snoring.

, 1 June 2004
Finally I got to see Advanced Bionics headquarters, the manufacturer of my implant... deaf-friendly atmosphere. I was flown down to Burbank airport near LA, for their patient testing. An hour travel time. Interestingly, I was selected by the computer-generated list of possible patient participants.

I wished I had a tour of their meticulous handmaking process of the internal devices, but I wasn't aware of it until too late.

Tracy welcomed me warmly with sign language. She even let me used her computer to send emails when I wanted to get in touch with Phil for picking me up on my return. What a difference email technology makes for my independence otherwise I would have been dependable on others to phone on my behalf. Yes, I could have phoned Phil myself but erm, I guess I didn't think of that at that time.

I spent whole 3 hours of mapping tests with Andreas, for testing their new software. Since I am prelingual (deaf from birth), I couldn't be specific with what I am or not hearing. Instead, I found his 'Categorically Loudness Scale' chart useful to expressing what I am hearing...
1. barely audible
2. very soft
3. soft
4. medium soft
5. medium
6. medium loud
7. loud & comfortable
8. maximum loud
9. uncomfortable
10.very uncomfortable

I like this technique because I noticed that I could not tell the difference after no.7. So, I could at least tell Colleen, my audiologist the next time I go to her for re-programming... where to stop going any higher in individual channel (before I get confused).

Wednesday, 8 April 2004
"What time is it?" As I was busily doing something, I unconsciously heard and recognized the spoken sounds. I am overwhelmed by the fact that I actually heard words absent-mindedly just like how we see things naturally without consciousness. Obviously yes, ""What time is it?" is one of the most repeated phrases since I was implanted.

I also observed how poor resolution my implant is because I couldn't hear the individual sounds clearly... not enough to comprehend what Phil asked for... hammer, screw-driver, gold screws, drill, chisel, square, pencil, pliers, bar. Instead, I am getting the most information through the syllables... ham-mer, pen-cil.

Saturday, 27 March 2004
My vocabulary is increasing: hammer, pliers, screw-driver, pencil, square, wood, brush, wire-brush, bar, drill, chisel, saw...

You see, while Phil is fixing the wall and the floor behind the mask, my responsibility is to hand over a particular tool.

To my pleasant surprise, I understood what François say, "dish-washer"!

Saturday, 6 March 2004
I am actually picking up words pretty quickly these days, to our amazement. Phil frequently phone up with longer sentences, "pick me up..."

Last night's iChat with Pooja was also thrilling when I promptly responsed to her questions,"How are you?", "Are you sleepy?", etc. Wow!

Sunday, 19 February 2004
Hearing culture is surely very different from Deaf culture. For the past one year, I am continuously being awared of how much hearing people rely on their ears for comprehending the world around themselves. For instance, earlier as I walked passed Dave's father with a smile, I heard him saying "Thank you" (for having helped moving Dave's stuff). I was stunned with the beautiful and recognizable sounds, but kept walking on as I normally do. No wonder, many strangers think I am rude... without the implant, I would not have known that I was being thanked or being greeted.

Thursday, 12 February 2004
The phone rang and I picked up the phone, it was Phil on the other end. I asked what time does he want to be picked up... I heard 'six forty-five' but it wasn't. I tried again and again, but it wasn't even 'six' to start with. Eventually (five minutes), I tried different tactic i.e. 'quarter to', 'ten to' but they don't sound like 'six' I keep hearing. Ah! I then got it, "pick... me up now!

Monday, 2 February 2004
I asked Pooja on the phone where she is and she replied "Office". Then, I asked her how many people are there and I heard "Four". Sounded easy although I admit still feeling nervous of phones as if they're the latest gadget being used for the first time!

Saturday, 31 January 2004
A very long silence... erm, I know. Finally, my audio-therapy sessions have commenced ($1,000 insurance coverage limitation for the calendar year 2004) after an absence of 4 months. Great!

Otherwise, I am encouraged to phone Phil daily because it effectively cannot let me lipread him :-)

However, Phil have started masking his mouth when he comes home from work in evenings :-(

Anyway, today the phone rang, rang, rang... I apprehensively looked at the phone because there has been no email replies from Phil. The phone again rang, rang, rang... so I picked up the phone and recognized Phil with his two familiar words! Hooray!

Jul-Dec 2003
The second half of the year

Jan-Jun 2003
The first six months

Dec 2002
My cochlear implant surgery