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 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 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 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!