Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cochlear Implant - 18 Months Review

Just had my 18 months mapping with this new implant. For those that have forgotten, this is my third implant, after the first one failed. Reimplanted in same ear. Electrodes migrated, so reimplanted again in the same ear.. I feel I'm not doing tooooooo badly...

HINT (open set) Sentences at 3 months: 100%
HINT (open set) Sentences at 6 months: 98%
HINT (open set) Sentences at 9 months: 100%
HINT (open set) Sentences at 18 months: 98% (Grrr)!

In background noise +10db SNR at 3 months: 92%
In Background noise +10db SNR at 6 months: 96%
In Background noise +10db SNR at 9 months: 83% (gone down!)
In Background noise +10db SNR at 18 months: 90% (back up a bit)

In background noise +5db SNR at 3 months: 24%
In background noise +5db SNR at 6 months: 47%
In background noise +5db SNR at 9 months: not tested
IN background noise +5db SNR at 18 months: 38%

CNC Words Alone at 3 months: 63%
CNC Words Alone at 6 months: 65%
CNC Words Alone at 9 months: 68% (Slowly improving)
CNC Words Alone at 18 months 60% (gone down)

CNC Words Alone Phonemes at 3 months: 82%
CNC Words Alone Phonemes at 6 months: 83%
CNC Words Alone Phonemes at 9 months: 87%
CNC Words Alone Phonemes at 18 months: 75% (Gone down)

So no real improvement still in my opinion! I still struggle enormously in background noise, and still did much better with my original implant the N22 before it failed. I also feel that the sound quality of the Freedom has never been as good as the N22. It's much harsher.

But this is still miles better than being totally deaf, so in those terms, I'm happy to be implanted and hearing!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Views from my Window

I think I've told you already, but just in case I haven't, did you know I'm blessed with some beautiful views out my lounge window?

Every morning during winter, I would open my curtains, and this is what I would see.. Mt Fishtail....

Apparently the shape of it's peak is like an inverted fishtail. The image was taken out of my lounge window as it was too cold to go out onto the deck that morning. Minus 3, and you stay inside! But note the blue sky. By 11am, the inside temperature of my house would be 22C simply because the sun warms it up!

Looking slightly to the left of Fishtail, and you go right down the Wairau Valley to St Arnaud. There's a skifield up there. This image makes it look like I could walk there, but believe me, it's about an hours drive to get there. I was just using a long telephoto lens to bring it closer to you.

The view makes me catch my breath every morning!

This one shows you what it's really like without the telephoto lens. I enjoy these views, but only get them in the winter once the vineyard has been pruned. During spring and summer, the leaves of the vineyard block it out. I still see Mt Fishtail though.

Back when I first moved in, I showed you one of my amazing sunsets that I'm spoilt with. Just in case you forgot, here it is again...

The sunsets continue to amaze me, each one is so different. From reds, oranges, to golden sunbursts. I often look forward to that time of the day, just to see what mother nature is going to throw up at me!

Here's one of the many golden sunbursts..

This one is on a slightly wider angle, but if you look closely to the left of it, you can see the St Arnaud range in the background.

The last two images I took tonight. I couldn't decide which one was the better image, so I put them both up. You can decide for me!

I don't think I'll move out of this house for a while. I'm enjoying the views from my window too much!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Telecom - Bad Business

If you are thinking of going with Telecom for anything. My advice to you is ... Don't! I've had nothing but trouble for the last 7 months.

It started when I moved to the South Island 7 months ago. Moved into my brand new home. At the time I had only had a cellphone with them on a $30 a month plan for the last 6 months, as I had been housesitting since my home and telephone account had been closed when my house was sold.

When I moved into my new house, I contacted them about telephone and broadband. I took out a 20gb plan which enabled me free toll calls. I also cancelled my cellphone plan, and asked to go back to $10 for 500 free texts charged to my phone bill each month. So this should be approximately $140 to $150 each month.

My first phone bill I got was closer to $200. I looked only to find that they were charging me for toll calls around the country. A phone call and they credited me with the toll calls and told me they had adjusted my phone bill.

Never believe anything they say.

The following month the phone bill I got was again $200. Yes - they had put the credit through, but had forgotten to adjust the bill to the correct plan AGAIN. Another phone call, and another credit. They actually fixed that part.

Still my bill came up expensive. More phone calls but nothing was resolved. Finally I sat down with it and realised that I was still paying $30 for my cellphone plan, and they were charging me for all my texts when they should have been part of the $10.

Another phone call - they agreed to credit me $160, and adjusted my payment for that month to $18. My $18 payment duly went through. I got my next phone bill to find my $18 payment had gone through, but the $160 credit hadn't. Adding on yet another $191 bill meant my new amount to pay was $351.00.

Yes - you guessed it, not only thad they NOT put the $160 credit through, but they had ALSO NOT adjusted the cellphone plan back to $10, and I was still paying for all the texts.

I rang themn AGAIN. They ASSURED me that the $160 was going to go through, that they will change the bill, and I would be credited another $30, and I would pay on $170 when the money goes out of my account.

WRONG. The full $351.84 went out of my account which made me go overdrawn this time, which incurred a further $6 of bank charges.

WTF? I gather that this bill probably hasn't been adjusted either. I've sent an onine complaint and I have no idea when it will be seen to. I am absolutely sick of the inconvenience and the run around. I'm seriously thinking of changing providers.

So - DON'T USE TELECOM - they're are nothing but inconvenience and trouble, and are continually overcharging me. They need to get it right, and get it right the first time.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received as to how I can make them stand up and fix my problems!! It's bad enough having to ring them, but when your hearing isn't that good anyway - it's even worse.