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, 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.