22 August 2008

Delayed - continue circling

A minor setback
The scheduled assessment intended for 20 August has been postponed due to illness. The cochlearDoc is sick with a virus. I hope it's not the one I have!

So, holding for a new appointment date.
•UPDATE• New appointment 5 September

Condition: Stable on 100% deafness, 110% for the Olympics!

14 August 2008

How to Subscribe

Use the RSS, Luke!
You don't need to keep coming back here to check if I've written anything new. Let your computer do the walking...

Here's how

Subscribe to the RSS feed [or Atom]
Mac OSX10.5
Mail [click]
OSX 10.4 users - use Safari, won't work in Mail, or Firefox not available in Entourage or Internet Explorer in Mac-Land

Macs and those other machines

Firefox [click]
Safari [click]

PCs only

Internet Explorer [click]
Outlook pre-2007 [click]
Outlook 2007 [click]


On the Mozilla group you can also install RSS plugins - mini add-ons which enhance the functionality and allow you to subscribe and view the feeds in your browser. Too many to go into here. They all work the same way. Locate the feed address, bookmark it and then the computer checks for updates on a regular basis. I've tried a couple an Sage works pretty well, if you think you need to something other than the built-in options.
Plug-ins for Firefox are available [here]. Follow the instructions to install.

Still Looking?

Search Google for "RSS reader" sites for the lists of RSS aggregators. Take your pick!
Good thing about the Mozilla based ones - they're ranked by popularity and other factors.

09 August 2008

The Critics are Raving

Here's what the critics haven't said about the blockbuster new blog "Curse of Silence"

Condi, I got it! That Bud Abbott guy in Orstraya, says Hu's the President of China! - GWBush
[Earlier] That's right, Lou [Costello]. What's this blog on second and I got no freakin' idea what's on third. Have we told you we love you? - TAbbott, MP
Mr President, what's a blarg? - CRice
Should I stay or should I go? Ego is not a dirty word! - PCostello, p/t MP
No all you scumbags got it all wrong! I'm on first treasurer in the World, Costello's in the Land of the Fairies, MadMonk is on second, never to progress. Bush and Rice, YOU're on third waiting for the bus if you had enough brain between you!! PKeating#1 Treasurer, Placido Domingo Society

08 August 2008

Cone of Tinnitus

Many of my contacts were shocked when I told them about my tinnitus not diminishing with the onset of deafness.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound [wikipedia] in the ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. Chemotherapy is mentioned as a possible cause.

My tinnitus, and it is mine all mine - you can't hear what I can, is an incredible phenomenon.
I have a range of sounds, different sounds at different times, sometimes one at a time, mostly several at a time.
I've had Parisienne ambulances - you have heard those brilliant trumpets while eating a baguette in the Luxembourg Gardens. Yes you have.
I have
  • James Bond theme music
  • movie soundtracks, multi-track with percussion, horns and strings, over and over. Wish I knew which movie
  • wah-wah guitars
  • little brass bells
  • taps dripping in the next room into a half-full bathtub
  • something in time with my pulse, whooshing
  • other percussion

Of course it may be the absence of hearing real sound which has allowed the tinnitus to come to the foreground.

Is it annoying? You bet - sometimes it wakes me up. I wish it would just shut the f*#% up!!


This blog has two mascots
They are


This longhaired tuxedo cat lives in Annandale Street Annandale. He sits on cars. Not just cars, but trucks, trailers and scooters if there's one handy.
He's been out there so long the fur has changed from lustrous black to almost sun-bleached blonde.
It's a different car every day and he's stretched out in a most luxurious way if he's warm enough.
He has an accomplice known as the DSH [domestic shorthair] tuxedo. Sometimes they sit on a car each - don't want to get too crowded!
On cloudy or rainy days poor Chubbs is inside watching TV.

The other Mascot is the Butcher Bird
[known locally as the Higgledy-Piggledy bird]
There has been at least one family of Butcher Birds living in the park near my place since 2002. It is one of the sounds of my locale that means "home". They have a very melodic song, the kind of thing you might mindlessly hum or whistle as you go about your daily business. They sing to each other - one calls and the other responds. Sometimes they'd respond to me [I think] if I could whistle closely enough to the their call. I've heard them all around Sydney and elsewhere and the songs are different for each group. Beautiful. I wouldn't mind hearing them again one day.
Australian Museum Birds in Backyards page
[© Photo: K Vang and W Dabrowka Australian Museum]
Wikipedia link

Shock to the System

He woke that morning, a morning like any other.
The Sun was shining outside.
It had been a chilly night but it was warm in bed.

It was the 26th day of his 50th year.
He reached over to the hearing aid and put it in as he did every morning.
Turned it on, turned it off.
Turned it on again.

Morning News Flash 31 July 2008
This morning at 7am John Couani woke to find he was getting no throughput on the hearing aid. He could hear the tinnitus as usual, louder and brighter than ever. But actual hearing had been switched-off.
He reached for his partner, sleepy-head to break the news. A stream of obscenity emanated as usual, but he couldn't hear it.

06 August 2008


The responses to the original letter were many and varied.
Thank you to all who sent their best wishes - it is greatly appreciated.
Most were very supportive and I have responded to each one individually.

To friends - thanx for being there
To clients - I intend to keep going as best I can
To family - what can I say?

02 August 2008

The Original Letter to Friends, Clients and Others

Friends Romans CountryMen and Women


I have some news to report which is not good.
You will know that in 2002 I underwent cancer treatment. That all went well and the treatment has so far been a success!
There are however side-effects to the treatment and the most obvious one to you is my deafness. It has been progressively getting worse.

On July 31 I woke to no hearing at all*! I had been taking steroids for nearly a week because of the chance they might stave off this situation but to no avail! I was able to see my EarDoc on Friday morning and he administered even more powerful steroids [there go my olympic aspirations!]
* I still have multi-channel tinnitus

So telephone conversation is impossible. I can SMS and use Skype/MSN/iChat [ask for my usernames via email] Speaking one-to-one is almost impossible. I can lip-read if you face me [funny how people don't] - to a degree. Paper notes required. Email me any time!! Work - it remains to be seen how that will work. I have done a couple of jobs without hearing and they worked OK but that depends on the patience of the customer. I hope my current clients are OK and will tell me if they aren't! I expect to work hard to keep them happy and chugging-along. But there will be instances when it won't work.

The future

Stay tuned - if there is no improvement I'll be investigating a cochlear implant with the EarDoc. It remains to be seen whether I'm suitable, how affordable it is, many aspects to consider. Not good. If there IS improvement, you'll notice, next time we meet.

Stay well