Mike Royer's Advanced Bionics HiRes 120 Harmony Experiences! 


I am wearing the most advanced Cochlear Implant available - read about my experiences! 

 Contact Me!

Advanced Bionics - Bionic Ear Association 

 

Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation 

 

Read about my Hearing Loss journey 

 

CI Hear - an informal website about Cochlear Implants 

 

Michael Chorost - an AB user and author

08/31/07 --  

Three years ago, October 24, 2004, my cochlear implant was activated.  For 18 years I suffered in the realms of amplified sounds via bilateral digital hearing aids.  Many moons ago, when CI technology peeked over the horizon, I resisted the audiologists recommendation for the operation. 

I'm wearing the most technological advanced Cochlear Implant on the market; the promise of better technology is all part of Advanced Bionics' mission to ensure the internal device can be upgraded via the external processor (i.e., I will not undergo additional surgery). 

Looking back at what three years has taught me, and what the future may or may not promise.  I have learned there is beauty in silence and in hearing; each person has a unique voice of distinctive harmony.  NO longer do I have to stretch my neck or my eyes to investigate sound. There are many factors to successful speech discrimination, and within speech is clarity, tone and inflection.  I have learned that facial expression is one small component of self-expression - tone and volume are other important factors too.  I never realized a person could keep a straight-face yet have the most stern, serious voice with an angry tone.  I have learned that young children can cry out of hunger, fatigue, urgency or loneliness.  I have become a better, more understanding parent.

I have traveled throughout the United States sharing my story, my journey to hearing, from a world of silence-filled with depression and confusion.  Many have been touched, and even made the decision for them to pursue a Cochlear Implant, including my oldest brother, Fred. 

I love hearing, I love the freedom I have gained with my Cochlear Implant, and I look forward to additional self-discovery.  I look forward to acoustically challenging environments, such as concert halls and banquet facilities.  I look forward to my ever-expanding horizon of hearing, because within sound I have discovered the beauty of life.

 

11/20/06 --“THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS” CHARACTER RECEIVES COCHLEAR IMPLANT, RENEWED HOPE

Advanced Bionics Donates Device, Applauds Daytime Drama for Commitment to Hearing Health

VALENCIA, Calif., Nov. 20, 2006 “The Young and the Restless” character Devon Hamilton (Bryton McClure) will soon hear the world around him in a whole new way. During the episode airing Monday, November 20, Devon will receive a cochlear implant, an implanted medical device that will functionally restore his hearing. Advanced Bionics, a leading innovator of bionic technologies to treat deafness and chronic pain, donated the cochlear implant device.

When the storyline of CBS Number One daytime drama left Devon completely deaf after suffering from meningitis, the troubled college student and his foster family were challenged to learn sign language to help him adjust to the sudden silence. Told by doctors that a cochlear implant was his only option to ever hear again, Devon knew that having the surgery was something he had to do.

“With so many things happening in Devons world that requires his hearing including being a music major in college getting a cochlear implant was the best way to help keep his life on the right track,” said McClure, who has played Devon since April, 2004. “For anyone who loses the sense of hearing, the decision to get a cochlear implant is an important and highly personal one. It is a phenomenal innovation that holds so much promise for the deaf.”

“’The Young and the Restless is sending a powerful message about cochlear implants and their ability to help maximize hearing potential,” said Jim Miller, president of Advanced Bionics Auditory Division. “Hearing loss and the ways in which it can be treated are significant social issues. Advanced Bionics applauds The Young and the Restless for its commitment to social responsibility.”

After undergoing the cochlear implant surgery, Devons device will be activated, or “turned-on” in the December 6 episode.

“I am honored to have a storyline with such importance and meaning as this,” continued McClure. “It is a challenge, but certainly one that I hope others will learn from.”

“The Young and the Restless” has been the Number One rated daytime drama for more than 17 years and is in its 34th season. The show is broadcast weekdays (12:30-1:30 PM; 11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and is produced by Bell Dramatic Serial Company, in association with Sony Pictures Television. 

Advanced Bionics Corporation, the neuromodulation group of Boston Scientific Corporation, is headquartered in Valencia, Calif. The company was acquired in 2004 by Boston Scientific, the worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.

Patients interested in breakthroughs in cochlear implant technology to restore hearing should speak to their physicians and visit www.bionicear.com or call 800-678-2575 for more information

 

11/19/06 - Count Thy Pennies!

AB releases an update on the Harmony -- read about it Here!   

11/14/06 - Farewell My Harmony...Until we meet again!

In order to maintain the integrity of the Harmony clinical trial i was participating in with Advanced Bionics; I had to return my Harmony.   Over the last four weeks I experienced some of the best hearing moments of my life; one night when my wife was taking a jog and my children were sleeping - not only was I able to hear my daughter crying through the baby monitor, I was able to discern the kind of cry it was and understood she was simply crying out of fatigue.  On November 7 I was celebrating my birthday with co-workers at a restaurant called Ted's Montana Grill;  not only was the food spectacular, but i was able to hear and participate in conversation amid the noisy chatter consisting of talking, silverware hitting plates, servers speaking with customers and etc.  In fact, I was having such a great time during lunch I returned to the same restaurant for dinner with my family :) Additionally, battery life has increased tremendously which eliminates the need for me to carry additional batteries in my pocket.  I have gone 20+ hours on one battery.  One sure thing I would like to stress is that it took the full four week trial to reap all the benefits of the Harmony.  What this means is while it took me approximately 25 days to fully learn all the amazing new benefits, some may take longer and some may not :)

I hope my experiences inspire current and prospective CI users of the wonderful promises this technology holds for us.  I am truly excited and hope you are too!

 

 

11/7/06 - In Memory...

I met Catherine Garland over the summer at a convention while working with Advanced Bionics; we instantly clicked and since then we have exchanged countless emails.  She was a special friend and a great source of inspiration.  Life threw some pretty tough curveballs, but her upbeat attitude and devotion kept her going day in and day out.  We spoke last week and she mentioned how determined she was going to be to visit while I was in Raleigh tomorrow.  Instead, she will be laid to rest.  I'm going to miss her; but I know she is watching over all of us now.  Sign Catherine Garland's online guestbook

 

 

11/1/06 - Attention all you Young and Restless fans! It has never been an easy life for Devon Hamilton (what a hottie....nottie!), and it just got a little harder. After contracting Meningitis Devon suffered a huge loss -- his hearing.  Read more about it here - Bryton's story.  This is such a facinating story line - I wonder how many viewers will start to look into better hearing for themselves or a loved one.  Kudos to the Young and Restless!

 

10/31/06 - Captioner..Captioner... while watching television tonight i noticed i can hear much more of what is being spoken without having to rely on caption.  i also noticed that captioning is typically two minutes behind - and often material is left out or "interpreted".  I can't remember exactly what was changed, but when I come across such incident again I will post specifics!  I confirmed with my wife, who is hearing, that captioning is not 100% accurate and often interpreted. 

 10/29/06 - "120 in the new!"

Approximately four weeks ago I visited AB Headquarters in Sylmar, CA to undergo trials for the HiRes 120.  Folks - I have been in a "wow" mode since then.  Some experiences I want to share with you all:

 - I am wearing the new BTE (with a built-in LED) and using the new HiRes 120 sound strategy. 

 - I immediately noticed a difference in sound quality the moment my device was turned on - what I mean is sound is more crisp; clear; easily discernable.  It is like converting from VHS tapes to DVD quality sound. 

 - My daughter turned two last week.  We hosted the party at our house, which is 90% carpet and 10% hardwood. With the HiRes 120, I can hear better in noisy situations - it is like the speech popping out in a very sound-congested environment!  However, restaurants - those with 100% tile/hardwood, blaring music and dimmed lights I am still trying to get a handle on.  I'm pretty certain the average Joe has difficulty hearing in restaurants - which are notoriously bad acoustic environments!

 - Music appreciation has increased three-fold.  I can discriminate classical music easier - such as keyboard vs. piano music.  with the 90K I was able to hear individual tunes -- with the HiRes 120 I am able to determine if the source is a keyboard or piano.  Lyrical music appreciation has also increased. 

 - Battery life has increased 50%.  For example - to catch my 9AM flight from LAX, I woke up and put my CI on at 6AM.  I wore the CI on the flight back to the East Coast, and by midnight EST (we missed our 9AM flight because of LA TRAFFIC!) - I was still on the air!  This is quite impressive - traveling for five hours at high altitudes through three time zones and "still going" at midnight!  I can also check my battery strength at any given time by removing my BTE, and re-inserting my battery.  The LED will flash a certain amount of times  indicating how much strength is remaining. 

 

Folks - I can honestly admit the wait has been worth it - I am still amazed today at the newer sounds I am discerning.  This is truly a humbling experience