Dancing on the Speech Banana

I went for a remapping last Monday and the audiologist also did testing. The mapping didn’t change much, which didn’t surprise me as I didn’t feel a need for a mapping. But I had not been in for an appointment since October, so I thought it was time.
She did two tests. First, I listened for a sound and raised my hand each time I heard it. Second, I listened to a tape of a man’s voice saying sentences and repeated as much as I could or gave the more common answer, “I don’t know.”
The hearing test took me above the speech banana curve, which is the shaded areas on the audiogram that approximately defines where typical speech sounds occur. My hearing aids were on the lower end or below the speech banana and in a couple of places, it was non-existent (I didn’t hear anything at all.). In other words, I do hear more.
As for the sentences part, I did manage to catch a couple of whole sentences including, “The tree was moving fast.” Obviously, I quickly corrected myself knowing trees don’t move except in Lord of the Rings, but they’re very slow in the movie. I figured it out and changed “tree” to “train.” On a couple of other sentences, I caught a word or two, got a word or two completely wrong, or just had no clue.
Pam (the audiologist) said it is not a surprise I have shown little progress in the past year because I benefitted highly from my hearing aids. People in my situation take much longer to reap the rewards of the implant. Still, it’s hard to know what to tell folks who nicely ask about my progress.
I’m glad I went. It was probably the closest I’ve come to a step forward in a long time. The audiologist made a suggestion, and I agree with her, to listen to speech without lip-reading at least once a week. I do try to move my eyes away from a speaker (when it is not rude or urgent) to see how much I would catch. Relying on visual cues makes it difficult for my hearing to learn speech even though I try hard to listen as I lip-read. I just have to take the training wheels off and go.