Friday, May 1, 2009

Red Letter Day

Today is a Red Letter Day of sorts. It's 3 months since my cochlear implant was activated and 3.5 months since the operation. And, coincidentally, two other things happened today:

The Sound of ... something

Ever since the operation, I have heard nothing in my right ear except via the cochlear implant. And when I say nothing, I do mean nothing. No airplanes, buses, trucks, subway wheels screeching - not even that harbinger of spring, the muffler-deficient Harley (although the sound of them in my left ear is enough to send me scurrying for the nearest bomb shelter). I've pretty much resigned myself to having no residual hearing whatsoever in my right ear. Yet this morning, while in the shower, I could hear something! A kind of scraping sound when I rubbed my wet outer ear with my hand. Not very useful so far but it may improve further as the middle ear continues to heal.

Locked out

I made my first 'cold' telephone call in quite a while. This was due to sheer frustration on finding I could no longer use my online brokerage account to trade shares. I haven't done this for a while, partly because I've been busy but also out of a kind of stunned inertia following the big meltdown of the stock market last October.

I use TD Waterhouse's Webbroker service. Mostly, it's been problem free for me but, when there are problems, you need to call a help line or 800 number. They do have a TTY number but it's a single number for the whole company and I suspect that it's not too effective at getting you connected to the right expert. I don't have a TTY and I'm not sure there's much point in getting one now as it's very much yesterday's technology (circa 1950). There's no other way to communicate with TD Waterhouse as far as I can tell - no e-mail, no IM, not even a tin can with wires!

So I connected up my expensive Phonak gadgetry to my work phone and tested it out. It allows me to hear with both my hearing aid and CI processor at the same time while speaking into the standard phone handset.

I worked my way through TD's voice-mail maze until a live person became available. I expected to have to explain that I was deaf and that she might have to repeat things a few times. But no - I could hear her perfectly. I understood all her questions and was able to understand the instructions she gave me on how to restore my password, etc. (It turns out that the second-level password is disabled if not used in over 6 months ... it must have expired a few days ago!).

So this is all quite encouraging. I can make noises in the shower, navigate voice-mail and play the stock market; not necessarily all at once but I'll work on that.


  1. Congratulations on that phone call Steve. That's a milestone. So many things are made easier by just being able to use a phone.

    Residual sound coming back sounds amazing too.

    Good to see you posting

  2. Well done sir and congrats. I love using the Phonak for calls, and each day it promises more hope for us to get into the world!

  3. dearStephen, this is mum writing. So glad thayour gadgetry is still showing benefits.

    may 1st was our 55th wedding anniversary . We

    celebtated yesterday with a special blessing at the 5.15 Mass followed by dinner with onica , Roger and Sebastien (H&G were at Shelleys's) at a Greek restaurant not far from the Cataraqui centre.(very nice) love Mum and Dad.

  4. Steve,

    Great to hear progress is still on-going! Small continual steps become a long journey. Any tips for the stockmarket?! Rebecca


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