1) October 2015
2) When they activated the implant, two weeks following the surgery
3) So far one on one speaking is best and I can hear more environmental sounds that I had not been able to hear for a while
4) Noisy situations like restaurants, multi-person meetings in large rooms (especially with windows). Don't ask me why but windows really mess with hearing aids and cochlears.
5) Wearing the external component is a bother. Taking care of it, worrying about losing or damaging it (getting rained on, splashed by water, etc)... It is VERY expensive (like $10,000) and the insurance will not pay as they consider it a once in a life-time part. The warranty on the implant is good for only 5 years and if you lose or break it in that time, you can get a replacement with a deductible, but when you need it to last for 40 years, it is scary. Always having to make sure to carry spare batteries and trying to remember when they will go dead so it does not happen in the middle of a meeting or someplace where you are not easily able to change them.
6) I was given no guarantees because the cochlear implant experience is different for everyone. I was told it will help MOST people hear speech better. Since my left ear had no hearing at all due to a sudden hearing loss, I decided to go for it. Since it can take a year or more to get the max benefits, I don't fully know how much it will help me, but I feel that it already has helped me a great deal. I am not saying "WHAT??" as much or having misunderstandings.
7) I still have one hearing aid (right ear) that I wear and the cochlear in the left ear. I "enjoy" the sound on the hearing aid side more currently because it sounds like what I know things really sound like. Sound is natural and I enjoy music, etc. As much as I enjoy the sounds on the hearing aid side (Widex Dream 440), unfortunately, I am not able to always understand spoken words and often mistake some words for others. The cochlear side is still a work in progress as far as the quality of sound. It has gotten better by leaps and bounds in just the two adjustments I have had and I do notice that when I use it with the hearing aid, I seem to understand about 80%+ words compared to just 45%, which is pretty amazing.
Right ear/ Left ear - no hearing
250 - 90
500 - 95
1000 - 95
1500 - 85
2000 - 80
3000 - 70
4000 - 65
5000 - 85
8000 - 85