I called Stu and guess what, he is a cochlear implant user as well! I find it amazing that two profoundly deaf people can just pick up the phone and talk to each other.
Stu gave me the name of a country and worked his way down the list above.
Then he made up a list of his own;
This was a fun exercise to do, although I was distracted by the noise of my dog eating his breakfast and crunching on his biscuits. I managed to get all the countries – eventually – and the high point was being able to hear the difference between Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan! Stu thought I answered the vast majority with confidence. I found that the difficult words were ones which were a bit short, unusual, or unexpected. I had a problem with understanding Brazil (Br sound), Mexico (unusual x sound), and Fiji (too short and unexpected).
I had wondered if I was holding my phone wrong. I have a Blackberry and hold it with the keypad against my face. There is a little grille on the back so I turned the phone over, but Stu’s voice was too quiet so I switched back to talking into the keypad. All my phone calls are with an IDR of 70, ClearVoice medium, and 100% T-mic.
I think anticipation plays a large part in learning to trust your hearing; it plays such a large part in lipreading that I’m automatically working out what I think was said and making it fit, instead of believing I heard what was said. Tricky, this!