I am now wearing my new BAHA Intenso ®, which I acquired about 2 hours ago at the UK Hearing Clinic.
As we walked out of the clinic, I heard a fire engine siren, and I knew which direction it was coming down the street before I saw it. This is a pretty big deal, since have lacked directional perception in my hearing for more than 20 years now, so I assumed this would be something I’d have to relearn. But I heard it, and immediately knew that it was to the left of me.
The device itself works amazingly well. In fact, when I first put it on, we thought that we’d have to send it back and exchange it for something less powerful, because even moderately loud noises were painful with the device set on a hair above zero. However, the audiologist adjusted it, since the gain and low-tone setting were both cranked all the way to max, and it was much better. Even now, I’ve got it set on 1, or somewhere between 1 and 2, and it is very loud.
I am sure that it will take a long time to get used to it, and that I will have headaches for the next few days. But, to be able to hear is pretty amazing.
On the way home, Maria drove, so was sitting on the left of me. Turns out that when she mumbles inaudibly to herself, she’s actually saying intelligible things. Who knew?
About ten years ago, I went to an event where Dr. Vint Cerf was speaking. His wife was there with him, and she has a cochlear implant – not the same thing I have, but much more complicated and amazing. At question time, one of the suits asked the standard question that you ask technology wizards. What’s the most amazing advance in technology in the last 50 years? And, of course, being Vint Cerf, the expected response was some blather about how the Internet has changed everything. But, being Vint Cerf, he said instead, my wife’s cochlear implant.