Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Random Ramblings

I swear, I'm still here! I haven't vanished. I've just been keeping busy, and I also kind of forgot about this blog for a while there.

I'm ready to get back on the cochlear implant path again. The Naida just did not work out for me, and after doing some research and pestering some audiologists online, I felt other hearing aids like Oticon's Sumo probably won't make much difference. And I still want to find out for sure if there is any possibility of implanting the left ear. Now if I can just save up enough money for the CAT scans, and find the name of the imaging center that had given me the price estimate and whatnot... I just may have to make some relay calls again.

In terms of insurance, I still have none. But just very recently I have gotten to thinking of my future.. Do I even have a future with my current job at the newspaper? It doesn't seem like so. Since I am unable to use the phone, there's just not much else I could do at the newspaper. So I am considering finding a new job, a full-time job that offers benefits. That would really help with the process, for sure. And it would just be nice to have some extra money. I mean, there is no way possible I can even think of moving out on my own with my current earnings (which is barely $300 per paycheck which I get every other Friday and most is spent on bills/personal necessities/dog care). I'll be discussing this with my counselor on Wednesday, figure out what my next step should be in getting on with my own life, that sort of thing.

I've had my crazy dog since July. Adopted him from the Humane Society. He seemed like an alert and smart dog. He is pretty alert to sounds around him, and he is smart but I'm just clueless with the training process (still working on getting in contact with a dog trainer). Anyway, he does bark at me for attention, but he's realized that I don't always hear him bark, so he finds other ways to get my attention. He can be so obnoxious when trying to get my attention! In the mornings, I'm still in bed, but he's awake and bored. Finally he's decided he's had enough of waiting on me, so he starts bouncing on my bed to wake me up, and getting into my face. Urgh! And when I'm at my computer, he nudges his nose into my hip or jumps and bounces off the back of my chair and he even does this weird little... dance. He drives me crazy, and yet, I love him like crazy. He's my boy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cord problem solved!

I think I finally solved the extremely LONG cord problem of my Hatis Epic ear hook that I use to listen to music with... it works pefectly with my hearing aid and I LOVE it, but the cord is so freakishingly long it drives me crazy! But today, I grabbed some post-it sticky notes, rolled it up, then wrapped the cord around it. Then I taped it all up so it would stay on instead of unraveling. Now I don't have all this extra cord hanging down near my feet anymore (or having to wrap it around my iPod every so often, since I do use the ear hook with the computer and DVD player too). Problem solved! I think. I hope!

As for the Phonak Naida hearing aid, I have given up on it. I decided it just wasn't worth the time or money. I hate having to open the battery door to turn it off, and I hate how slow it is to switch programmings on it. On the Supero, there's the on/off switch, which I use several times a day (if I'm on program 3, which is Telecoil, and I want to get back to program 1, I just turn off then turn on the hearing aid, which is real quick! Quicker than pushing the 1 button on the remote too, even!). With the Naida, I'd have to fuss with the battery door, fight with it until it opens, then close it, then wait oh about 5 seconds for it to turn on. And switching programs, it plays this odd little tune in between and is just slower than the Supero. I'll stick with the Supero for the time being, until something else comes along that might be even better, and has an on/off switch!

Oh, and as for my tinnitus... I am once again hearing a dog barking in my mind when I don't have my hearing aid on, but it's not my dog barking.. My dog would be sleeping or just being quiet while I hear this "barking" going on. I used to experience this with my first dog too. It's kind of funny, and odd.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Me and my ideas

Oh wow. Almost the entire summer has gone by, and not a single post from me. Whoops! Have been keeping myself busy, working, traveling, volunteering at the Humane Society a few Sundays, and even adopting a dog!

Anyway, about this idea of mine. I don't know, maybe I'm just crazy or something. I'm sitting here at work, IMing with a friend of mine on MSN messenger on my Sidekick3, and I just came up with this idea. I am going to two concerts this fall, one next month in Minneapolis and another in Denver in November. Both will be Hanson concerts (yes, I'm a Hanson fan and I'm not ashamed to admit it!). Wouldn't it be funny and fun if a group of deaf people showed up at the concert, communicating in ASL and just making the hearing people curious and whatnot?

There are still plenty of people who are clueless as to how deaf people enjoy music (or even get by in life with their hearing loss). Still, from time to time, I'll be asked "how can you like Hanson if you can't hear the music? Do you just like them for their looks?" "You're deaf and you love music? How can that be?!" I have to explain that it is very well possible for deaf people to enjoy music just like everyone else. Some may not actually HEAR the music, but they can feel the beats and vibrations and enjoy it. And some do hear and enjoy the music and the lyrics. And some may just prefer listening to all instrumental music, having difficulty hearing words in songs. Just because someone is deaf doesn't mean they can't enjoy music, right? Right!

I just got to thinking, it'd be fun if I could get a group of deaf people to attend the Denver concert (I could try it for Minneapolis too, but that's coming up pretty fast and I doubt there'd be enough time for everyone to book flights or plan roadtrips, while Denver's concert is still some time away). Hanson will be doing their one-mile walks a few hours before their concerts (something they've started doing last year, they do these walks to raise awareness of AIDS and poverty in Africa and to encourage people to take action and support any causes), and I'm sitting here imaging a group of deaf people walking with other Hanson fans, but communicating in full out ASL (or just sign language, some of us Wyomingites are PSE users), and just getting people curious and wondering what's going on. It could be a way to show hearing people that deaf people can and do enjoy music, and they can support different causes and that sort of thing. I don't know if this will actually work out, if it'll actually happen. But it's still fun to imagine and think about it, wonder what the outcome would have been like.

If this is possible, getting a group to go to the concert, I wonder if Hanson or the club where the concert is at would be able to do something special for the deaf concertgoers? I remember a few years ago when a band, I believe it was Simple Plan, who set up a loop system or something like that for a concert they did in Canada (article), so that the deaf concertgoers could hear the music and enjoy the show and have a great time. Too bad this doesn't happen for more concerts. For myself, if I can just get close enough to a speaker, I can take off my hearing aid and hear the concert music just perfectly (as I have discovered in August 2004 at a Hanson concert in Kansas City, MO.), and not have to listen to the audience as much (with the hearing aid on, it's just all 100% noise and echos and just chaos, ew). But that isn't going to work for every concertgoer, depending on their level of hearing losses and such. Hm. If there was a loop system in place for more concerts, or a device of some sort to allow the deaf concertgoers to hear the music the band/musician is playing, I'd surely take advantage of it!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

So frustrating

I got to talking to my mom about the Naida hearing aid while we were having dinner at Red Lobster last night, and it's made me think... Right now, I haven't noticed any improvements with the Naida (being better than the Supero). I guess, once we get the replacement Naida in at the audie's office, I'll give it a try with adjustments for a few more weeks. And if it still doesn't prove to be any better than the Supero, even with further adjustments by the time the trial is up, that's it. I'm not going to spend money on a brand new hearing aid if it doesn't prove to be any better than the Supero for me. The past 3 weeks have been rather frustrating.

Sometimes new is not always better. Right now I'm still hoping with the new Naida replacement, things will improve, soundwise and all... it needs to actually be of more benefit to me than the Supero, and right now I'm not noticing any benefits. Hopefully we can get the replacement Naida working. I've sent off an email to my audie just a few minutes ago, so he would know of my thoughts on this.

I've worn Phonak hearing aids for 20 years now. And they all have been beneficial for me, up until now. I am still very dependent on visual support to make sense of what is being said, no matter what. Maybe if the Naida doesn't work out, perhaps it's time I tried a powerful hearing aid from another manufacturer, see if there's any difference, if there's any improvements to my hearing or not. I don't know if the Naida is the most powerful hearing aid out there, or if there's another one that's perhaps even better. I have basically no knowledge of the other manufacturer's products. We'll see what my audie says.

I've also decided I'm going to return the new remote. I used it the first few days I had the Naida, but since then it's been sitting on my desk. I prefer the old remote's functionality. With the old remote, you can just push one button for the desired programming (button 1 for normal setting, button 2 for noise setting, button 3 for telecoil, FM button, FM+M button). With the new one, you have to push the < or > button repeatedly until you get to the programming you want (normal/automatic, calm situoation, calm in noise, speech in noise, telecoil, FM). Eh, I just don't like the new remote. So I'll return it, and ask for a Dry and Store instead. The old Westone dry aid cannister isn't cutting it at all.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ran into a friend

Well, I got up and very slowly got going. I was seeing my audiologist today so I could tell him what the Naida has been doing. I got to the medical complex where his office is, and entered the waiting room. Well, what do you know. There was my friend and enemy from the school years. That's right, friend and enemy. She's deaf too, a few months older than I am. Throughout our school years, we'd be friends for a few days, then we'd be complete enemies. Of course, it was nice that there was someone else at my grade level who was deaf and also signed, but we just didn't always get along. It wasn't too bad when we were at the deaf school, as there were other deaf students to be friends with as well. I do recall the times when we fought in middle school. Oh, those were not good days. Then in high school at Star Lane, I always hated how we'd end up in the same tutor group every so often, just because we're both deaf and needed an interpreter. The one year, where I was at Star Lane in the mornings, and she was there in the afternoons, oh that was great.

Everyone have their own persnalities and characteristics. This person though, she definitely had quite a few that I didn't care for while at school. But now that we're out of school, I've got my job and am just living my life and she's got her own life and her own family. I have no idea if she still has the same characteristics as she did in school, I have hardly spoken to her in the last few years. But it was just odd, seeing her waiting in the waiting room. I had no idea she saw the same audiologist I did. No idea at all. But it was nice, we sat and just visited for a few minutes. Of course, my signing skills have gotten rusty as I don't sign much anymore (who am I going to sign with?). Who knows, maybe we'll hang out sometime.

As for the Naida, well, no adjustments has been made today. And no new earmold either. But, I did tell the audiologist what was going on with the hearing aid, and of how music still sounded too odd and different that I still couldn't enjoy it. He's going to call Phonak, and even send them a fax of what adjustments he's done to the hearing aid, so hopefully they'll be able to give him some ideas. I also now have his email address, which is great. Now, anytime I have questions or concerns, I can just shoot him an email and he'll get back to me directly. No more receptionists getting in the way, delying things even further.

Monday, May 19, 2008


And now the Naida seems to not work at all. It was working fine last night. But today, nada. Hm! I've only had it a week and half too. Changed batteries and all, nothing. At times, I will hear something, but it's incredibly quiet. Other times, absolutely nothing. What is going on? And I don't see my audiologist again until Friday. How frustrating. I did email Phonak about this though, to see if they had an idea of what could be going on. I'm starting to think maybe I should just stick with the Supero. So frustrating!

EDIT: Oh wait... NOW it works. What the hey? For half an hour today I fought with it. Played with the battery door and all, and mostly got nothing. But now, I heard it turn on and feedback, and I was wearing the Supero. Grr! We'll see how the Naida works today, and I'll have the Supero with me for back up, just in case something happens.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Tonight, I was just playing around on my computer. Then I realized I was hearing a buzzing sound. Where the heck was it coming from?! Then I got to thinking, "is that my computer buzzing?" I think it was. With the other hearing aids, I've always heard my computer making noise, with the fan going and all. I think it was the fan in the computer I was hearing, but I have never heard it as a BUZZ before. That was rather strange for me.

Definitely not understanding speech well yet. Mom's been having to repeat herself frequently, and I'm still really needing to lipread. Hm! Will talk to my audiologist whenever I see him again. I'm kind of waiting until my new earmold arrives at the office to see him again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

History of technology for my ears

Thought it'd be fun to post pictures of all my hearing aids and FM systems for this blog.

My very first pair of hearing aids ever! Or perhaps my second. I'm not too sure.

My lovely old purple hearing aids. Oh gosh, I remember being so proud of them in the 3rd grade at school. None of the other students at the deaf school had colored hearing aids. By about mid-4th grade, I stopped wearing the hearing aid in the left ear, as I realized I never heard anything out of the left ear with it on.

The Comtek FM unit my grandparents got for me. I used it a bit, at church in Sunday School and whatnot. But for the most part, after I had gotten a discman, I used the neckloop to listen to music. The Comteks hardly ever got any use. And we used the school district's Comteks all throughout school. Comteks were used as the school audiologist felt they were the most powerful FMs to use.

The Claro, my first digital hearing aid ever. My interpreter (she's deaf herself, and is now a very good friend of mine), she had gotten new Phonak hearing aids while I was in middle school. Programmable hearing aids. I thought they were so cool, I wanted them for myself! Ended up with the Claro as they were brand new at the time.

The FM transmitter that I also got to go with the Claro. Tried it at school, didn't like how it worked (the signal wasn't strong enough). But wonderful for listening to music with! I then ditched using my personal neckloop and used this FM transmitter, plugged into the discman. I still use it today, on my portable DVD player and at the computer.

The Supero, far more powerful than the Claro. Every time I had to switch back to the Claro so the Supero could be repaired, I was always shocked at how quiet the whole world sounded with the Claro. Wow.

And now, the Naida, Zebra-style! I had already done the different colored hearing aid... now, I wanted something more jazzier, the Zebra. It's pretty neat looking, and I like the new FM shoe too. Much better than the FM shoe I had for the Supero, for sure.

My remote controls. The white one is new, and very nice. The old one, I've been using it since I got the Claro. And only once out of 7 years the battery has been replaced, just ONCE. It's been a good old remote, even though I've dropped it and lost it on several occasions.

And that is how I listen to music now. I've decided I was going to use the Hatis Epic ear device for music only. The HandyMic transmitter has been damaged several times and replaced 3 or 4 times since I first got it. After the last time it was sent in for repair, I got the Epic. With the FM, volume will be maxed out on the DVD player or CD player, and sometimes I would even have to turn the volume up on my hearing aid to hear. But with Epic, the first time I turned on my iPod, I just about blasted my ear off and had to turn down the volume on the iPod. And the Epic is a lot more convenient for traveling. FM, I have to bring the charger for it when traveling, and it gets to be a pain to have to charge it up.

And now, I shall stop rambling. :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Switching and FMs

Hm. Guess I'll be switching hearing aids tonight. I'll wear the Supero so that I can use the FM only setting to listen to the movie on my DVD player and to whatever's playing on the computer. The rest of the time, I'll use the Naida so I can get used to it. And tomorrow after work, the Naida programmings will be switched from Music to T-coil, and from FM+Mic to FM only. Since I am only using the FM at the computer now... well gee, I don't want to listen to what's on the computer, AND the laundry going.

I'm rather liking the new FM shoe for the Naida. I can get it off easily, it's putting it on that will take me some time getting used to. It slides on forward, and slides off backwards. My audie changed the battery door on the Naida so that the FM shoe can fit on it right. It's pretty nice. I never did care for the FM shoe for the Supero. It splits down the middle very easily, and sometimes you have to mess with it a bit so that the contact points are touching. With the Claro, well, the FM receiver just went right into where the battery normally sits! I like the Claro FM the best. It just blends in so well with the hearing aid, you can't even tell there's an FM attached to the hearing aid unless you look at it closely.


The receptionists at the audiologiy's office are just so difficult. I've made several relay calls to them over the last few months using i711.com relay, and they are still uncomfortable with taking my relay calls. It's really not that difficult! I am not using the phone when I make these calls, I am on the internet, typing out my message to the operator, and the operater is relaying my message to the receptionist. Then the receptionist responds to the operator, operator types the message and sends it to me. Oy!

Hearing aid is much better. He took the bass-boost off. Good! Got the proper FM shoe for the hearing aid, so will play with the FM at home. But there's no telecoil setting on my hearing aid. Somehow it got switched with the music setting. I don't even know how the music setting works. I don't use headphones or blast music from a speaker. I use the telecoil setting with the Hatis Epic ear hook to listen to music, or to DVDs on my portable DVD player. Hm. I want to get it switched back to Telecoil, and switch the FM+Mic setting to just FM only. And there is no way I can wait until May 19 for further adjustments. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes really, to just switch out the 2 programs to 2 other programs, and plug the remote into the computer so that it is updated to have the right programming options. I am not going to wait 2 weeks just for a simple little thing. That's just ridiculous.

Meh. I hate dealing with receptionists at times, especially when they are so clueless. I'm not asking for a whole half-hour appointment session. Just a mere 5 minutes to make the switches and that's it. No increasing the volume or messing with the bass levels, etc. The volume and bass adjustments can be done on another day, after I've gone a few days with the current adjustments so I can get a feel for it and figure out what further adjustments need to be made.

It's times like this, where I wish we could somehow adjust the hearing aids on our own computers, just simple adjustments. They should have a program for digital HA users to load onto their computer, and they can make their own simple tweaks, like switching out programmings and adjusting the volume a bit (with the program having a limit on the volume so some users don't go too crazy). Just little simple stuff like that. Then we wouldn't have to worry about making appointments. Just see the audie if there is a big enough issue with the hearing aid or for MAJOR adjustments, but not little itty bitty ones.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oh it's horrible!

The music, it sounds so horrible with the Naida hearing aid at this time. I had the iPod playing, and good grief. Everything sounds so different, ick. Makes me wonder if there's too much bass on the hearing aid. I have never liked bass when listening to music, and I don't like it when there's too much bass on the hearing aid. I have been taking notes, keeping track of what it is I want changed.

I emailed Phonak last night about the HandyMic transmitter working with the Naida FM receiver. Got a response today, and they said it is compatible. Good! Will let the audie know on Monday, and he could call Phonak so that we can make sure the transmitter is working with the Naida.

And I am still not used to having to open the battery door to turn the hearing aid off. All of my previous hearing aids have had on/off switches. The Naida, you turn it on by closing the battery door (with a battery in it of course!), and turn it off by opening it. I keep feeling for a switch to turn it off, then remember I need to open the battery door. Very different.

I see the captionings are working on the CW channel once again. Hm.

Observations with the Naida

After reading a response from another newbie Naida user on the Alldeaf.com messageboard, I now feel a bit better about the quietness of the Naida I have on. I was starting to think maybe it was another dysfunct hearing aid, since the first one was also really quiet.

Will definitely work with my audie on Monday. If it still doesn't seem like the volume has increased much when he makes the adjustments, I'll ask him about seeing if a Phonak rep could help out. He's a bit clueless as to what to do, which is understandable. He doesn't really work with such powerful hearing aids very frequently, as most of his clients are older, elderly, and they usually order the basic easy aids that doesn't require so much fiddling around with. Heck, he's even clueless over the FM. He ordered the FM receiver, but he didn't give it to me today, thinking the receiver I had for the Supero would work. And my T-Mic transmitter is 7 years old, it's not even listed under the FM Transmitters listings in the programming, nor is my old remote control.

I'm just not used to the quiet at all. I've gotten so used to the higher volume with the Supero; in fact, I could always tell when my mom had been watching TV in the other living room upstairs everytime I turned it on (felt like a BLAST to my ear) and I would always have to turn the volume down low, but I could still hear it... the low volume was fine for me, but too quiet for my mom which I thought was funny. Makes me wonder if the volume on the Supero was a tad bit too loud, even though it didn't bother me. Keep in mind, I have no idea what "normal" is like. What a normal volume is, what certain sounds normally sound like. I've been wearing hearing aids since I was almost 3, and with the adjustments that can be made to the digitals, oh that makes the whole world sound different.

I'm rather liking the lower pitch sound though. I've always been so sensitive to high pitched sounds, that whenever I heard whistling and such, it would literally hurt my ear. But now, when someone uses the scanner at work, it doesn't bother me, I'm not hearing the high pitch electrical sounds that I would normally hear from the computers with the Supero, etc. I have yet to try our home phone. The Supero picked up a high pitched sound from the phone here at home, which made it real difficult for me to use the phone. Will have to see if that sound is still there with the Naida (never heard the sound on the old cordless phones, which is odd).

I do want the Naida to WORK right, of course. But alas, that will take some time until the aid has been adjusted right. I should know this by now... took several trips to the audie with the Claro and Supero before I felt they were right for a long enough period. Right now, I can hear, but I'm still not quite hearing and understanding speech just yet. I still highly rely on visual support to understand what is being said. But hopefully once the Naida has been fixed up right, perhaps I won't need to rely so much on visual support. Only time will tell.

I will have to say though, the new mypilot remote is quite nice. I know I can change the settings with the push of a button on the hearing aid, but I forget which number is what setting, so it's nice to see the settings on the remote and know what I am switching to for sure, even though it doesn't seem like there's any difference with the settings (automatic, speech in noise, calm setting, calm in noise). Mom and I went to Walmart, and I tried out all the different settings, didn't notice a difference. And I kept maxing out the volume with the remote too, since I just am not used to the quiet.

Today has been a very interesting day, realizing how different things sound (holy crap, even the toilet sounds different!). And I was having fun listening to the rain drops on my car when I was driving after I got the Naida. I've heard them before with the Supero, but never really paid much attention. But today, I was trying to take notice of what it was I was hearing. It was quite fun.

Telecoil still works great. I'm still using the Hatis Epic ear hook device to listen to whatever's playing on my portable DVD player. When I tried it out with the iPod, I even thought the music sounded different. I tried to find a song that I am very familiar with, so I could get a listen. But mom was trying to rush me, so we could get to Walmart. Will have my iPod with me at work tomorrow, so I can do some more "experimenting".

I still haven't paid for the Naida and everything else yet. Audie said to wait on the paying, he wants to make sure everything is working properly first. He's even throwing in a new earmold into the price I was given (the $2,145). Monday, for sure, I'll have a new mold made. The current one I have, I got it last summer. Another audie had it made, and she ordered the skeletal mold. As usual, the top of the mold irritated my ear and caused pains and sores in the top part of my ear, so I clipped the top skeletal part off the mold. Right now, the mold is smaller than a half-shell. A new mold would be a good idea. With the old one, I always have to mess with it until it feels like it's in right, and it's easy enough for the mold to get dislodged or twisted around in my ear.

I should be taking notes of what I think needs to be adjusted, just so I don't forget anything on Monday.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hearing Aid Day!

Got the new Naida hearing aid today. Everything does sound a bit more quiet than usual, but I am hearing. Everything sounds different as well, more lower pitched and such. Already mom says I sound different when I talk, not as high pitched. Will see the audie again on Monday, make sure everything's working ok, and he'll make more adjustments as necessary too. Will probably also have him make a new earmold as well, as mine is kind of funky (he says he'll also throw in the new mold with the price). As for using the FM system that I had gotten with the Claro digital hearing aid 7 years ago, I don't think it's going to work with the new hearing aid. It didn't list the T-Mic transmitter in the computer at all when the audie was setting up the new hearing aid. I kind of figured that though, as the T-Mic is pretty old and Phonak doesn't seem to be making them anymore really. Will definitely do some playing around over the weekend, see what sort of adjustments need to be made, etc. One thing that is REALLY nice though, is way far LESS feedbacking when I put my hand up to the hearing aid, as compared to the Supero. Real nice, not having that annoying feedback.

Will definitely have to do some playing around with different settings and such over the weekend, and take note of what I think needs to be adjusted. The new mypilot remote is pretty nice. I've already played around with it. The hearing aid plays a little tune when I change settings on it. I have no clue how to change the settings on the hearing aid yet, as Phonak was completely out of the Naida booklets, so I don't have a copy of it yet. But I could always go online and print it off, and I should be getting a copy of the booklet someday soon.

One thing I am noticing, I'm not hearing the electrical sounds here at work (the computer fans and such). I almost always heard it with the Supero, even though audie had played with the different bass levels. And the scanner on the desk next to me, it's not as loud and bothersome right now as it was when I hear it with the Supero hearing aid on. Interesting, very interesting!

Monday, May 5, 2008

No captions?

Last Thursday night, I sat down to watch Smallville and Supernatural. Normally, both of these shows are captioned, as always. But last week, there were no captionings at all whatsoever. And it's the same with other shows on the CW network. At first, I thought it was all of CW in general. But after making a post on alldeaf.com and finding out that the shows have captions in other cities, oh great so it's a local thing! I was highly disappointed last week to see no captions for my favorite programs.
Anyway, last night, I did some quick google search, and discovered that WyoMedia owns the local CW network. So I typed up a letter to send to them, complaining about the lack of captions on their station. There have always been captions on the CW/WB channel before, so I don't know why all of a sudden there wasn't any last week. Hopefully I'll get a response of some sort, and that WyoMedia resolves the captioning issue for the CW network. If it continues that there are no captions on the CW channel, I will not be happy. There are some programs that I enjoy on that channel, especially Supernatural. I want to be able to watch my programs, and understand what is going on with the captions!

Friday, April 25, 2008


No Naida today. I did go to the audiologist's office and all. The hearing aid and remote was on the audie's desk, the hearing aid already hooked up to the computer. Audie did some messing around, but everything sounded too quiet. He called Phonak for help, and did some more messing around. Still too quiet. Even the audie put the hearing aid up to his ears, and he heard a bunch of buzzing. Phonak says they will send out a new replacement today, so hopefully on Monday I'll have it. Audie has even ordered the Naida FM boot, and says he won't charge me for the boot. He had my T-mic FM transmitter back, looks like it's been replaced. I didn't order the FM boot, but he did anyway, he thought I might get some use out of it. We'll see, though.

Also mentioned the bone conduction experience, and he found that really interesting. I've had meningitis, and with the bone conduction hearing aid, the sounds still goes through the cochlea. It's been presumed that my left cochlea is ossified due to the meningitis, and traditional hearing aids have never worked. He says we can play around with the bone conduction thing some day, see if it's something I should consider or not.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We were just wandering the mall in Wilmington, NC, when this gentleman
came up next to me and my mom, wanting to see my hearing aid. We got to
talking a litle bit. He's been deaf all his life, and has tried just
about everything minus cochlear implants. He has a bone conductor sort
of hearing aid. He even took his off and placed it on behind my ears,
and holy crap! For the first time ever, I heard a little bit on the left
side ever since becoming deaf. Wow. My mom was talking, I was watching
her talk. I didn't hear all the words she said, but I actually heard a
little bit. It was pretty amazing. The 3 of us chatted a bit more, and
even exchanged addresses.

Hmm, I'll have to mention this to my audiologist on Friday, see what he
says hearing aids have never worked for the left ear for as long as I
cam remember, so I'm surprised I could hear something with the bone
conductor device. Hm, maybe there is hope yet.

He was a very interesting person, a sweet gentleman. I didn't think he
would even suggest that I try his bone conductor. It was all his idea,
and he took it right off and went behind me, placing it on me. It was a
neat experience, for sure. Felt a lot of vibrations from the noise all
around, and heard my mom a bit. Even mom was excited.
--Meghan via the sidekick 3

Sweet dreams beautiful baby.
Sweet dreams Aiden Ryder Betts.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some vacation

Some vacation this has been. Last Tuesday, my mom, step dad and I flew out of Denver into Raleigh, NC. Then we rented a car and made it to our beach cottage in Surf City. Wednesday, we find out my sister has been checked into the hospital, as she was in labor. All day we were anxious, waiting for the baby to be born. They ended up having to do an emergency c-section (the whole day of labor was very normal and going very smoothly, the baby had a very strong and steady heart rate up until the last few minutes). Baby got taken out, doctors fought to keep his heart going, but he didn't survive. Very bad night for all of us. We're still getting through this, moving on with life. (Sweet dreams Aiden Ryder Betts)

Pretty much the whole time we've been out here, I've been having difficulties hearing, making sense of what is being said. I have been lipreading but that doesn't always help. I know part of my not being able to hear for a while was due to the shock of what happened with my sister's baby. Perhaps the humidity in the air also has had some affect? I have no idea. In Wyoming, the air is very very dry, but out here it's humid. Have been using the dry-aid canister (the drying crystals) every night. Definitely very difficult to hear speech when out at the beach, since I hear more of the waves and the wind than anything else. But when indoors, sometimes it's other sounds I hear. I can hear some speech sounds, but not all, and it's just been insane for me to try to keep up with conversations going on.

But this Friday, I should have the new Naida hearing aid. I am anxiously looking forward to getting the new hearing aid, and trying it out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sorry what'd you say?

Geesh I wish my mom didn't get grumpy with me if I didn't hear what she
said. We're on vacation in North Carolina, its humid here and the
humidty does get to my hearing aid. And when in stores and restaurants,
I do turn to the noise adapt setting on the hearing aid so the
background noise is much more quiet, but then the stuff I do want to
hear is also more quiet and more difficult to hear and understand.

20 years I've been deaf, and here's mom getting frustrated with my not
being able to hear. Give me a break, I can't help it, but there's no
need to give up after the first 'what?' and say "nevermind!" with that
irritable look and tone. If she really wanted for me to understand what
she's saying, she could make more of an effort to look directly at me,
or get my attention instead of trying to tell me when I'm not looking.
You'd think shed know better, after having to deal with this for 20
years, but apparently she doesn't today. Oy!
--Meghan via Sidekick 3

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More Naida ramblings

Called the audiologist's office again, and "spoke" with the assistant (I used the i711 internet relay to make the call, as usual), as I had some questions I completely forgot to ask on Friday.

I will have to pay for the hearing aid and remote on the 25th, before I leave the office, and try out the Naida for 45 days. If I don't like it, I can always return it and get the money back. And, the mypilot remote is only $250, which is a lot less than the $400 estimate. Wow. So I'll need a total of $2,145.

Have another relative that wants to help pay for the hearing aid too. She had some money set aside in a savings, and decided she wanted to put that money to good use. Wow, several family members are going to be owning a piece of my ear! I wonder which part I'll own.. hm! My family really does so much for me, it's great. I really wasn't expecting all this help with paying for the hearing aid.

Speaking of Naida prices... I saw a post from a parent on the AllDeaf.com forums. He's down in Texas, and has a deaf daughter that is getting her first hearing aid. An audiologist recommended the Unitron Element 8 or the Phonak Naida, with the Element costing $1,850 and the Nadia costing $3,000 for just ONE. Whaaaaaat?! $3000 for ONE Naida hearing aid? Wow. Now, if the audiologist was also throwing in the remote and FM system and whatnot, then that price is more reasonable. But for just 1 hearing aid alone? Wow. I was shocked to see the price difference.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


$1,895 for the Naida V hearing aid, really? Wow. My mom and I both were expecting it to cost more, so I was shocked when the audie assistant said it was $1,895. And the remote would be about $400ish. My parents will help me pay for the rest of the hearing aid (already have $1000), so we'd need about $1300 more.

Anyway, have made the appointment for April 25th at 11 a.m. for the new hearing aid. I think my audiologist will be ordering it. He could have ordered it on Monday (tomorrow), and I could have had the Naida by Thursday or Friday. But since we are leaving for North Carolina next Monday, I thought it'd be wise to wait until we got back from NC to get the hearing aid. Just from past experiences, I know I will be visiting the audie quite a bit at first to make adjustments to the hearing aid. A new digital hearing aid won't be completely perfectly programmed right on the first shot, I know this very well.

I'll probably call sometime this week, double-check to be sure the audie will be ordering the Zebra-style hearing aid for the appointment.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Still no price.

Just called my audiologist's office, still no price info for the Naida hearing aid. But, I was told to call again tomorrow afternoon as he should have everything by then. So, will hit up the i711 relay online again tomorrow, and get the information. I'm going to assume that I won't be getting the Naida before we leave April 13/14 for Denver to fly out to North Carolina. But that's ok. So hopefully I'll have the pricing info tomorrow, and I'll share it with my dad. My grandparents are giving me $500 to help pay for the new hearing aid, and I have over $500 in my savings. As to how to much my dad will help, I'm not sure yet. We'll get this figured out though.

Yesterday, I went to our local public library after work. The Friends of the Library booksale is going on this week, and yesterday was half price day! It was so nice to just roam around, looking at books, and just listening to music on my iPod with the Hatis epic ear hook device. I didn't listen to people chattering, kids chattering or yelling or stomping around, etc. It was just so nice to just be able to tune everyone out and be in my own little world while browsing for books. Hey, 13 books for only $3.25, now that's a really good deal! Last time I went to the library book sale, I was still in high school! I'm glad I went yesterday.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

La de dah!

Got up this morning and I was nothing but goofy, happy and excited. It was like as if I was a little kid again! Made it to the audiologist's office, thinking my appointment was at 11. I looked at my sidekick and discovered the appointment was actually for 11:30. Oops! Oh well, better to be early than late, right? So I just hung out, played around with my sidekick a bit. The audiologist's aid came out to "steal" my hearing aid for cleaning. By about 11:20ish, I'm following Shane through the "maze" of rooms to get to his office.

He doesn't have the price for the Naida yet. He said it's so new, it just came out, and he hadn't gotten the price list for it yet. But, he'll call the company and get the pricing, then fax the information to my mom. And he says I can try it out for a couple of months, see if I like it. Great!

Also, my FM transmitter had to be sent in. He said he messed with it for a couple of days, and couldn't get it going. Well crap! I figured it would have to be sent in though. Great.

Now, let's find out what the pricing will be, so I can talk to my grandparents and dad and find out how much they'll pay. I need to pay the $500 for my smashed in door on my car repairs, before the insurance will pay the rest. Oh it sure isn't fun not being able to make much money. Although, it sure would be much easier if I didn't have those monthly car payments of $110.32! Anyway, I'll get this figured out. Indeed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2 More Days

Just 2 more days and I can bug my audiologist about the Naida hearing aid. I really cannot wait. It's funny how I get excited about getting a new hearing aid, but then again, who wouldn't? Right now I'm thinking, new hearing aid, and the iPilot remote control to go with the hearing aid, as I do change programmings on the hearing aid to fit the situation I'm in (noisy, quiet, telecoil, FM). I'm still unsure of the iCom thing, but I'll discuss this with the audiologist. Perhaps I can just get a new boot so I can use the FM receiver with the hearing aid, and continue to use the darned T-mic transmitter that likes to give me grief every so often. Or maybe I'll just stick with the Hatis Epic device. Who knows, maybe I'll end up ordering the iCom unit, I have no clue.

And it sounds like my dad and grandparents will help pay for the Naida too. My grandparents sure have been of a lot of help when it comes to purchasing new hearing aids and FM systems. Growing up, my parents didn't have much money to purchase hearing aids for me, so my grandparents would help out (they still had to pay off my medical bills from when I had meningitis). I don't know, I think they even helped pay for the purple hearing aids I got when I was in the 3rd grade. And they are the ones who purchased my very own personal Comtek FM system (where they got the system from, I have no idea). With the Claro, they pitched in too. Hearing aids can be expensive, and insurance doesn't cover hearing aids. But then, I have no insurance at all. I currently have maybe almost $600 in my savings, which was originally my "new computer" fund. But now, I'll use that to pay for what I can pay on the hearing aid, and my family will also help me with the purchase of the Naida too. On a couple of different websites, the approximate cost was around $2100, $2200. Now, to find out how much it'll cost through Alpine Hearing Care...

I've been wearing digital hearing aids since January of 2001. Did I get that right? Or was it 2002? Yeah, 2001. My parents and my grandparents paid for the new Claro hearing aid, along with Phonk's FM system, and the remote control. Then in May of 2004 (a bit before I graduated high school), I got the Supero 314AZ, with a new FM receiver so I could continue to use my T-Mic transmitter. Vocational Rehab paid for the Supero. I continued to use the same old remote control from the Claro with the Supero (audie just added the remote identification number into the Supero programmings on the computer, and it still works for the old Claro as well!). Out of everything that I have gotten since 2001, that remote control is the only thing that has never been replaced. Yes, it's been dropped and misplaced and hidden away on several occasions, the battery door doesn't stay on well, and the battery has been replaced I think only once the entire time I've had the remote (7 years!). Everything else (hearing aids, FM transmitter and receiver, cords for the FM, even the AC adapter charger for the transmitter) has been replaced once or twice or more, or repaired.

I'm still trying to decide on what color to get. Red, or zebra print? Right now, I'm leaning more towards the Zebra print (I've already done the colored hearing aids in the past, but never have I had a jazzy looking hearing aid like the Zebra or Cheetah styles that Phonak offers for Naida). I put up a poll on a messageboard that I frequent, and so far Red is winning. And these people are not even deaf or deal with hearing aids! It's cool though, I always like to see what their opinions are.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Ah blah! you kno what, screw it! I'm going to be DEAF today. Deaf as in, NO HEARING AID! I don't care what anybody says. I've got a headache, I'm tired, I don't want to work but I have to. I would much rather just go home and go back to bed. But no, I have to work, and suffer through work with a headache. Why I even have a headache, I don't know. Had it all night off and on, and have the headache today, off and on throughout the day so far. Excedrin hasn't kicked in yet, not sure if it will. Perhaps being DEAF will help. Course, having to deal with the tinnitus isn't fun, but I'd rather listen to the constant ring/buzz instead of phones ringing, people typing away at their computers and chattering up a storm, footsteps from workers working, desk drawers opening and closing, etc. I don't want to listen to all that noise today, no way.

Ok, so I'm a little grumpy today, so sue me. Everyone's allowed to have their grumpy days. Morning was fine, but now, blah.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Seems like everyone is all for the ideas of the new Naida hearing aid instead of the cochlear implant. I know my mom is all for it, she hated the idea of my implanting the right ear if the left ear was undoable. I think the rest of my family felt the same way, not liking the idea of implanting my "good" ear. And they really like what Naida has to offer. Even my good friend, who is also deaf herself, is impressed with the new hearing aid.

I really can't wait until Thursday comes along, so I can speak with my audiologist about the Naida, and find out the cost. Would be nice to get Naida before we take off for North Carolina next month, but we'll see.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's official

At this time, I've decided I will NOT do a cochlear implant in the right ear. Ever since looking into the new hearing aid on Phonak's website last night, my mind's been keeping busy by thinking. Right now, I feel like there's enough hearing in the right ear, I can get by with just a hearing aid. But I do want to know for sure if there's any possibility of implanting the left ear. Only way to find out, is to get those CAT scans done. I would implant the left ear if it's possible; hearing aids have not been of any help in the left ear for so long. It may be that it's not possible to do the left ear, but I need to find out for sure. But I don't want to mess with my right ear.

Right now, with the Supero, I do miss out a bit, missing some of the speech sounds and such. But usually, the visual support helps to fill in the blanks. Just from what I read of the new Naida from Phonak, perhaps that hearing aid will help with those "blanks" a bit, with SoundRecover. There's also WindBlock, and a feedback control feature, Real Ear Sound, etc. There's all sorts of new features on the new hearing aids out today. In a way, the Naida has a few similar features as a cochlear implant does, but it's still a hearing aid too. No surgery, no frequent travels to Denver for the process... unless the left ear is implantable, then that's ok. But for the right ear, I'll stick with hearing aids, and keep a watch on new techology as they come along. I'm sure I'll benefit greatly from a cochlear implant some day. But I'll only consider the implant for my right ear if it ever gets to the point where hearing aids are of absolute no benefit at all. Until then, I'll be happy with powerful high tech digital hearing aids in the right ear.

Next Thursday, I'll see my audiologist and give him the print offs I have of the Naida hearing aid. And have him find out about how much it'll cost. Yes, hearing aids can be expensive, but it's manageable. Already I have over $500 in my savings, which I was saving for a new computer. But I don't mind using my savings to pay for a hearing aid, and my family will help out however they can too. A computer I can get later. I'm also almost done paying off the bank loan on my car, so that will help too. Oh right, I'm still going to need a bit over $300 just for the CAT scans. I need to know if it's possible to get any use out of the left ear with an implant.

I'm not completely giving up on the cochlear implant. If we can implant the left ear, I'll go for it, and work with the organizations I'm in contact with on getting the funding for it. If we can't, I'll just hold off, worry about a cochlear implant later on if the hearing in the right ear should ever worsen.


Lots of thoughts going through my mind tonight. Some are even a bit confusing for me. I came across a new hearing aid from Phonak, and from looking at the details and of what the hearing aid offers, it sounds like a great hearing aid. Sounds like it'd work better than my current one.

Now here's the debate. Should I just hold off on the cochlear implant process for a while, and get the hearing aid, or just forget about the hearing aid and keep working towards the implant goal? Hm. Maybe I should just try out the new hearing aid for a bit, see how it works. I don't know. I sent the implant audiologist in Denver an email with my thoughts, to see what she says. I don't want to give up on the implant, I really don't. In my mind, I do feel like the implant would be the best option for me. But, when will I actually get the implant? And when I look at the details of the new hearing aid, well, it just makes my brain think and ponder and wonder "should I do this or that?"

If I could implant my left ear, great, I'd go for it, no question about it. But with there being ossification in my left cochlea though, we don't even know if it's even an option. Only way to find out is to get the CAT scans done and visit with the doctor. Then we could go from there I suppose.

Just today, or perhaps yesterday, I was reading someone's journal entry. This person just recently got his cochlear implant, and it was just activated a few days ago. He wrote that he was able to hear someone snapping their fingers clear across the house. That's amazing! To be able to hear such little things like that with ease, only after a few days of having the implant activated.

I know, everyone's implant process is different. It's hard to say for sure when one can really start to hear this and that after their implant has been activated. How long would it be before I can understand speech again? How about the phone, will I ever be able to hear on it? Will I ever be able to hear and understand voices without relying so much on visual support?

Gee, thanks a lot brain, for giving me all these thoughts. Yes, the cochlear implant is a really huge decision to make, a life-changing one. I realize that.

I guess, really, the best thing I can do is to at least get the CAT scans done, and visit with the doctor. Then go from there. See how ossified the left cochlea is. Is it fully 100% ossified, or partially? No one knows right now, and we won't ever know, until I get the CAT scans done.

I know, I've been blogging quite a bit lately. I really didn't expect to come across a new hearing aid on the internet tonight, and get so into it that I start having all these thoughts.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gotta love mail!

Hatis ear device AND SIGNews, all in one day! This is my first time subscribing to SIGNews. And the Hatis device, oh wow. I'm in love with it already! I think it's official, if I should ever get my FM back, I'll just use Hatis for music and DVDs instead. I'm sick of how often my FM has to be sent in for repairs. And, not only that, but with the FM, I had the volume on the ipod turned up to the max, and the music still wasn't quite loud enough. But with the Hatis, I just about blasted my ear off and had to turn the volume down.

But it works great! Plugs into my iPod with no problem (the neckloop won't plug in at all), very light on my ear behind the hearing aid, and the music sounds very clear too. When I go to North Carolina next month, I'll just take the Hatis with me, instead of the FM. Less equipment to worry about, one less charger to bring.


Miracell, for dry itchy ears? So, I went and saw my audiologist last week about my broken FM transmitter. He said he'd take a look at it, and would send it in if necessary. He knows I don't make much money. As far as I know, he hasn't called yet, so I'm going to assume the FM had to be sent in.

Anyway, after we finished talking about the FM, I made mention of the hearing aid's ear hook putting pressure on the top of my ear. He said the other ear hook he had for the Supero is shorter, so he fixed the tubing. Then he got to looking inside my ear and noticed it was red and dry. He gave me a small sample bottle of Miracell to help with that problem. The left ear looked perfectly fine, but then, there's no hearing aid for the left! It's only the right ear that I usually have problems with. Now, I've used miracell in the past, which my audiologist recommended. It's an all natural sort of oil, and it helps with dry skins, and even helps with reducing scars so that they aren't as noticable in some cases. Definitely does help with the itchyness in the ear. Just put a bit of miracell onto a q-tip, and swish the qtip around in the ear a bit to get the miracell on the skin (just don't stick the q-tip too far in the ear!).

Hopefully my Hatis device arrives today. According to the tracking info on UPS.com, it should arrive today. We shall find out when I get home from work.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Just ordered a single Hatis Epic ear piece from Harris Communications. Got to love that store, I've purchased my Sonic Boom alarm clock from them too (I got my first Sonic Boom clock for free after the company saw my article in the Kid Ink section of the Hearing Health magazine while I was in the 4th or 5th grade, which unfortunately, a power outage killed after more than 10 years of use). Harris Communications just has all sorts of products for the deaf. Alarm clocks, assistive listening devices, alert systems, books, heck just about everything.

Hopefully I'll get the Hatis device soon enough, so I can try it out in various places and see how it works. My telecoil setting is sensitive in some places. I'm surprised my Telecoil wasn't buzzing when I just tried it a few minutes ago here. I'm at work, and there's computers all around and the telecoil is normally sensitive around computers. Anyway, I'll stop rambling on and get back to work. :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hm, what to do?

Well, with the transmitter being broken, it sure sucks not being able to listen to much music. I do have a neckloop, but the music sounds too quiet, even with the iPod/DVD player AND hearing aid volumes turned up to the max.

I was looking at the Hatis products, so I might consider one of those. I did email them, asking for more information. Also, I'll see if it's possible to use a Direct Audio Input cable. I already have a shoe/boot for my hearing aid, and the FM receiver is removeable. I'll discuss this with my audiologist on Wednesday when I see him about the dang transmitter that apparently likes to die at least once a year. I know, Phonak has newer transmitters out there now, and they no longer actively sell the T-Mics, but I can't really afford a whole new FM transmitter. If I can use a DAI, perhaps I'll just start using that more than the FM system.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do you have beans?

I can't believe I forgot to blog about this the other day!

On Monday, I had gotten home from work, and just closed the door to the garage behind me. My mom was sitting in her recliner, and she greeted me. As I turned and started heading towards the kitchen to put my keys away, I could have swore I heard her ask me "do you have beans?" Say what?! I turned around and gave her a weird look. "What'd you say?" "I said, 'Do you love me?" Oohh, so that's what she said. I then proceeded to tell her what I thought she had said, and she laughed.

Just last September, when we were talking of going to Denver for my cochlear implant evaluation, my stepfather was talking about the Broncos game that we would be attending. He said "the tickets should be arriving in the mail soon." I thought he said "the CHICKEN will be arrive in the mail soon." I was even facing him and lipreading him when he said this. But, chicken and tickets do look similar enough on the lips.

I'm sure there have been other goofy mistunderstandings, but I can't remember them all right now.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I have found it! The missing Claro! It was in a small plastic bag (in which my T-Mic plug-in cord came in) on my computer desk this whole time, covered up with papers and candy. Nice huh? At least it's been found. Put in a fresh new battery, and tested out the T-Mic transmitter. 'Lo and behold, it's the transmitter. Guess I'll have to resort to using alternative solutions to listening to music and DVDs until the transmitter is fixed. Wonder how much this will cost me though.

Gotta love FM issues!

Today, I was gathering up my stuff, getting ready to leave the house to go to work. I saw my iPod on my desk, and thought I'd take it with me to work to listen to some music. So then I started gathering up my Phonak T-Mic FM, and plugged it into the iPod. Grabbed the MicroLink Reciever boot and attached it to my hearing aid. Then I pushed the FM button on my remote control and started messing with the iPod. What the? I'm not hearing music? What the? Made sure the receiver was on the right setting, made sure I had pushed the FM button. Hmm, I'm just hearing staticky sounds, or just... weird scratching sounds of some sort. So then I started playing with the transmitter. Switching to different settings, I heard bits of this and that of my voice when I tested it. Oh great, something's not working right!

What could be wrong? The whole FM system was working just fine 2 nights ago when I watched a movie on my portable DVD player. It worked great! And I hadn't touched the FM since that night. So what went wrong? I decided to leave behind the iPod and FM and just go to work without.

Then, an idea popped into my head! Duh, I have another digital hearing aid (Phonak's Claro) with an FM receiver on it... Why not find that hearing aid and test the FM with it? Then I could figure out if it's the receiver (I just got the receiver problem taken cared of last summer), or if it's the transmitter (which has been replaced 2-3 times since I first got it in January of 2000). Back to the basement I go, in hunt for this hearing aid. There were 2 hearing aid cases sitting on my dresser and I checked them both. Nothing in 1, and earmold tubings in the other. What in the world?! I ALWAYS keep the old digital in one of these cases. Geez, now where to look next? I looked all over the top of my dresser, in various collector's mugs and boxes, went into the computer room and looked around (oh hey, found the size 13 batteries! but no hearing aid). I even checked my jewelry boxes, even though I never use them, the box in which I keep old earmolds in, the box that holds the earmold/tube airblower and unwaxed dental floss, backpack, camera bags... nada.

I'm baffled! How could I lose an expensive hearing aid? Good news, I now have BOTH purple analogs found, and put away properly. But there's the Claro? Oh this is not good at all.

I remember I did use the Claro once several months ago. I had some ear sores, so I got out an old earmold to see if that would help with the problem. But the current Supero is just too powerful, all I heard were squeaks and squelches. So I pulled out the Claro, as it had less power and that worked. Now what could I have done with that Claro since then? It might be in 1 of the 3 storage tubs in the utilities room from when I cleaned up the computer room and moved my desk around. Maybe not. I just may end up having to clean my messy room (I need to clean it anyway, if I want to get my new bed in there).

I did make an appointment with my audiologist for March 13 to have the FM looked at. But until then, hopefully I can find the Claro and test out the transmitter again, see if it works. The transmitter sure does get beat up quite a bit. Accidential drops to the floor (usually on carpeting but still...), gets pushed and shoved around, goes for rides in my pocket with I'm listening to my iPod and am on the move... I'll have to keep on pondering of what I could have possibly done with the Claro.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ear pain, gotta love them

Right. I've been meaning to call my audiologist about getting a different ear hook for my hearing aid. The ear hook was replaced a few months ago, but the hearing aid is still weighing down on my ear and making it ache right where the hook is. So bothersome. I've been wearing this hearing aid since a month before graduating high school (May 2004), so you'd think my ear would be used to it by now. But no, my ear hurts often enough. Makes me wonder how my ear would cope with a cochlear implant, since it'd be bigger than my hearing aid. Of course, I'm sure there are ways to wear the implant BTE so that it doesn't cause the ear to hurt.

Well, let's pull up i711.com and give my audiologist a call about that ear hook, shall we?

Friday, February 8, 2008

CI Conference Day 2

Today's conference went pretty well. My mom was late arriving, so she missed the part where Dr. Kelsall was talking a bit of the surgery. The pictures he had in his powerpoint were pretty neat though. Again she learned a bunch, and I had trouble keeping up. No interpreter, and the speakers were far enough away that it was difficult to lipread. Well, with Allison, she was behind the laptop at the podium so most of the time I couldn't even see her mouth! But that's ok. I did talk with Dr. Kelsall for a few minutes after his presentation. He encouraged me to fill out the application for the CNI CI Assistance program.

Allison spoke about the cochlear implants and of the mapping sessions, and of how the evaluation is done. But I've already been evaluated so I don't really need to worry about that much.

Then it was lunch time. Then during the afternoon, Allison and a speech pathologist talked of rehabilition for kids with cochlear implants. Again I couldn't follow, so I got bored and ended up playing with my SideKick 3 more than I paid attention. Oops. Although, I did send off some more emails. Emailed Judith at the CNI and asked her if I should have the cat scans and the meeting with Dr. Kelsall taken cared of before filling the application, and she said yes. The Gift of Hearing Foundation recommended that I fill out the CNI application, but I can't until I've met with Kelsall. So I emailed Gift of Hearing and shared with them what Judith told me.

Then after the conference was over (we finished earlier than planned), I went over to the DFS office real quick and asked about the elibility criteria for Medicaid. For sure I don't qualify, as I am over 19 and I'm not expecting a child. They even gave me a letter of proof so I can send this to Gift of Hearing.

Next, well, I'll just talk with my mom some more, and see if we can figure out when we can make another trip to Denver to meet with Dr. Kelsall. Once we have an idea, I'll email Johnnie at Rocky Mountain Ear Center for an appointment and for a doctor's order for the CAT Scan (they will fax or send the order to the facility), and we'll go from there.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

CI Conference Day 1

So, I got up shortly before 10:45 this morning. Funny, I get up before my vibrating alarm goes off. That's been happening every time I've set the alarm lately, get up before it goes off.

Anyway! I drive out to the Holiday Inn, and I was about half an hour early. So I hung around in the lobby, and bugged my mom on MSN messenger on my sidekick. The registration table was being set up while I hung around. Nancy caught sight of me and figured I was the Meghan she had been emailing with. We talked for a little bit, I got my name tagged, then waited near the front doors for my mom. She arrived, had to get her name tag made up (I got her registered for the conference, but I guess I registered her a bit late). This guy named C.J. was talking with one of the coordinators at the registration table. My mom asked me if I had recognized him. "No, am I supposed to?" "Well yeah, he was the very first one to test your hearing when you were little!" Mom got C.J.'s attention, and they got to talking. Once mom mentioned my name, he then remembered me. But I have no memories of him at all.

After talking with C.J. for a few minutes, we went into the room and sat down. Nancy started talking a little bit, then an employee from Rocky Mountain's Cochlear Corp. did her presentation on Cochlear's Freedom implants and the BAHA system. My mom was really interested, and I think she's learned some stuff she never knew before. I basically had already known a lot of the information she shared, just from the research I had done. I think! I had a hard enough time listening and making sense of what was being said. There were no interpreters and the microphone system just wasn't loud enough. Perhaps tomorrow I'll remember to bring my personal FM system and see if that makes a difference.

After the presentation, mom took off. Next coming up was the parent panel. During the break, I talked with Nancy a bit more, then I spoke with the Cochlear employee about finding funding resources for the cochlear implant. I told her of my situation and such, and yeah. Then I left to go to work.

Tomorrow Dr. Kelsall and Allison Biever from Rocky Mountain CI Center will be speaking. Hopefully there'll be some more information to learn from them tomorrow, including financial stuff. And perhaps my mom and I can speak with Dr. Kelsall during the break, as we didn't meet him when I was evaluated in September.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CI Conference coming up

Cochlear implant conference is tomorrow and Friday, and Mom wants to go too. Great! It's free, and yeah so it's really aimed more for little kids, but it's still cochlear implant stuff. And Dr. Kelsall and audiologist Allison Biever and another audiologist from Rocky Mountain CI Center in Denver will be the speakers on Friday. Oh hey, perfect! I'm sure my mom still has questions about the whole cochlear implant thing. But perhaps just listening to the other parents speak about implanting their kids during the parent panel will help her out somewhat, as to answering some questions she might've had and that sort of thing. Who knows. I'm actually looking forward to this.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CT scan estimates

Wow. Ok, today I actually made some calls to find out approximately how much the CAT Scan IAC#2 without contrast of both ears would cost. I First called Casper Medical Imaging/Outpatient Radiology via i711 Relay. They have 2 charges: the actual procedure is $1,582.80 and the reading is $440. Whoa, I thought that was pretty pricy.

So then I called Wyoming Imaging Center... oh, they don't do CAT scans, only MRI's. Oh ok.

Next was Central Wyoming Imaging. $306! Oh hey, now that is a reasonable price. But, they need a physician's order for the CAT scan. Ok.

I just sent off an email to Rocky Mountain CI Center and told them of what Central Wyoming Imaging told me. Hopefully I'll hear back from them soon of what to do about the physician's order bit.

Finally, I got these calls done. Next I will have to call the hospital in Denver where the Center does the CI surgeries, and find out approximately how much their bill would be, if the CNI CI Assistance Program is able to donate the implant. The CNI CI Assistance is still my best chance of getting the CI. My hours have been cut back (prepress job is done), so .... yeah. If I try to get personal insurance for myself, I wouldn't be able to afford it, unless I should get another job.

But hey, I'm slowly working on this. And next week there is a CI conference at the Holiday Inn here. And I am going. Yeah, sure, it may be more aimed for parents of deaf babies/kids, but.. it's still implant info! You never know, I might learn something new.

Friday, January 4, 2008

True Life

Apparently MTV is doing a "True Life: I'm Deaf" documentary. What the heck? I got the information off of www.hearingexchange.com. Of course, I sent them an email. It could be interesting to do this, should they want me on the show. It might even be fun. We shall see though.