Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sound moment

I got home from work and was just hanging out upstairs, watching some TV. My mom has been sick for a few days now, and has been at home all this time. Well, today, she took a hot bath to warm her up (she's had the chills). For a while I didn't take notice of anything sounding weird or unusual, as I was watching TV. Eventually though I made my way down the stairs so I could get some food for my dog (the bucket of dog food is kept in the storage room downstairs, it's hidden away). That was when I noticed the sound. I couldn't figure out what the heck that sound was. But it was louder when I got close to my bathroom downstairs, but then it clicked. 'Oohh, is that the bath tub running upstairs?' What do you know, it was! I myself prefer to take baths over showers and bathe quite a bit, but I have never heard the water running from the bathtub faucet as I was always deaf every time (I always take my hearing aid off and leave it on my dresser in my room before even going into the bathroom to take a bath).

Appointment Set!

Ok it's set. The hearing test with the CI audiologist and the appointment with Dr. Kelsall has been SET for May 5. 11:30 a.m. for the hearing test, then I'll see Dr. Kelsall after the testing. Have already informed my supervisor of this appointment too.

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's times like this when I really wish my mom and stepdad didn't work for the floral industry. Rocky Mountain Ear Center's soonest opening for me to get a hearing test and to see Dr. Kelsall is May 5, which I really want to take. But there's Mother's Day, high school dances/proms and graduations, and even Memorial Day all in May going on, which stepdad NEEDS to be working, and mom will need to be working too (she doesn't work directly for the floral industry but she does help stepdad out by doing some of the floral work at her store). Mom's telling me maybe July to have the appointment. I feel that's too far off. This implant is real important to me, and I want to keep moving along if I can, which means getting stuff like the hearing tests and whatnot done as soon as possible. The sooner I get this stuff done, the sooner I can apply to the CNI Cochlear Implant Assistance Program, and the sooner I can get a decision from the CNI. I hate that I have to revolve around their jobs.

If I could, I'd just drive to Denver and take care of it myself. But I'm still too much of a chicken. I'm sure I could handle driving in Wyoming, but getting closer to Denver I'm sure I'd start to have anxiety issues. Just the thought of driving in Denver scares me. If I could get a friend or even another relative to help with the driving along with a GPS navigator to tell us where to go, great! I just don't want to have to rely on mom and stepdad so much for any Denver transportation. I'd take a bus, then have someone in Denver drive me around, but bussing it can be expensive (nearly $200 per round-trip basically). BLAH! There's going to be many trips to Denver throughout the process, I know that. But, I don't want to have to hold off appointments for so long just because of mom and stepdad's jobs. My job is more flexible, as long as my time off doesn't interfer with the supervisor's time off (we both can't be gone at the same time). Hopefully I can come up with another solution to this transportation problem (have already informed grandparents of the CT scan update, and emailed a friend [she's offered to drive me to Denver if I can drive myself down to Cheyenne, hm!] about it while asking for an email address of another friend who has gotten her implant from Kelsall, they might have some ideas). Will talk more with mom about this later, but blah.

Oh so frustrating!

(EDIT) You know what.. I'm just going to go ahead and take the May 5 date for the hearing test and seeing Dr. Kelsall (I've already emailed the Ear Center, AGAIN). I can get myself down to Cheyenne, and meet a friend there and the 2 of us will go to Denver together. She works for the state department of education, and works with the deaf kids/teens, and has plenty of experiences with kids getting cochlear implants. She fully understands the process, and has offered to drive me for this appointment (I emailed her updating her on my progress, scheduling conflicts and for an email contact for a friend who has gotten her implant from Kelsall). I already talked to my stepdad, and he says I should go for it, that I can get myself to Cheyenne just fine. It's mom that will probably be hesitate but, she'll have to realize I am 23 and growing up, and I can't be dependent on her every time. It would be nice if mom could be there so she knows what's going on and what Dr. Kelsall says.. But I'm sure I'll be taking notes somehow so I don't leave out anything. I need to be able to do things on my own without being so dependent on my mom, so be it, even if that means grabbing a friend for some of the trips.

CT Scan

Well today was quite an adventure! Right at 10 a.m., my Sonic Boom alarm clock went off, causing my bed to vibrate. Whooooaaaa. Shoved my dog off (he was on my legs) and got up and going. Got the dog outside, and HOLY CRAP! SNOW! No! Got dressed and proceeded out to my car to clean the snow off. My snow brush wasn't doing the job so I got a broom from the garage. Much better! Went back inside, got the dog down in the kennel, made sure I had everything, including the money to pay for the CT scan. Finally I was on my way.

I drove like an old lady, driving at 20 for the most part. It's that bad outside. Visibility is bad, you can't see very far. Finally made it to Rocky Mountain Hospital/Clinic in McMurry Park, and went in. Filled out some paperwork, paid for the scan, and was taken back to the CT room. The radiologist techniction explained to me how the machine worked, and of how I should be laying still, yada yada. Ok, cool. Took hearing aid off (left my glasses in the car) and laid down. He put these little pillows next to my ears, and strapped my head down, then went into the computer room. Machine moved. I tried to watch the swirly x-ray go, but I couldn't. So I just focused my eyes on the ceiling instead, trying to keep my head as still as possible. Five minutes and it was all done. They will be sending the CD disc of the CT scan images via Fex-Ex to Dr. Kelsall.

Another step ahead in the implant process done.

Friday, March 20, 2009

CT scan set

Got the CT scan appointment set! I relay called the imaging center to make sure they got the doctor's order for the scan, which they did. Then we went ahead and set up an appointment. Monday, the 23rd at 11 a.m. Wow, that's pretty fast. So now I'll have to go to the bank and make a withdrawal so I can pay for the scan. I would think I have enough in there, I can't remember what my latest bank statement from last month said. And I can't check it online as I don't have an online account with this particular bank. Maybe I should run down to the bank downtown and check and make the withdrawal, then come back to work and finish everything... I doubt I'll get off work before 5 as that is when the banks usually close.

I really wasn't expecting to do the scan this soon, but hey the sooner it gets done, the sooner the doctor has the results and that sort of thing. Wow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Progress updates

Oh I finally got a response back from the woman at the Gift of Hearing Foundation. Updated her on my going ons and that sort of thing. She's glad to hear I'm going to Dr. Kelsall for the process, as he's the one who set up the CNI Cochlear Implant Assistance Program, and she says she'll even contact someone at the CNI about me and find out what the total costs would be if they donated the implant and such. Would be helpful to know the actual costs, and figure out how to get all that paid.

I was in the chatroom tonight at hearingjourney.com (this is Advanced Bionics support forums), and one of the Advanced Bionics audiologists was in there. She informed me she had some info on funding resources or something like that, and that she'll send the information to me tomorrow. She's also going to see if she can get me in contact with cochlear implant users (probably in the Denver area) that have gone through the Rocky Mountain Ear Center and Dr. Kelsall, as I'd like to hear from them (I have a friend down in Cheyenne that's been through Dr. Kelsall and I've been meaning to get her email from a friend...). Just getting feedback from other users is always great, and would be even better if I can talk to others who have been to the same doctor/audiologist.

Tinnitus moment

Oh! I forgot to mention this. The other day.. I forget when exactly.. But anyway, I was at home, just hanging out. The TV was on, but I also had my Acer Netbook out and running in front of me on my lap. Was just fooling around on Facebook like I often do in the evenings. All of a sudden, my hearing aid started feedbacking, or so I thought. I messed with the earmold in my hearing aid to get rid of the feedbacking. That didn't do the trick. So then I just turned off my hearing aid and took it off so I could look at it closely, see if there were any holes in the tubing... But, the feedbacking sound continued. Oh, it's not my hearing aid, it's all in my head! Was really strange, I have never heard the hearing aid feedbacking kind of tinnitus before. It only lasted a few seconds and it was gone. But it sure did get pretty loud. Normally tinnitus sounds like buzzing or ringing, or even sirens for me. But at the moment, it sound exactly like my hearing aid feedbacking.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Well! I decided I was going to vacuum the carpeting throughout most of the house today... I had my iPod on, listening to music as I vacuumed up the dog hair and dog toy guts off the floors. Made my way down the stairs, vacuuming each step. Finally got downstairs and continued with the vacuuming, jamming to the songs on the iPod. Soon enough, anytime my right ear got close enough to the vacuum as I bent over with the hose to suck up any more toy guts and random junk from hard to reach spots, my hearing aid turned off! What the heck was up with that? I have never experienced this before. It did it again a few more times as I finished the vacuuming job. I don't know if it's a telecoil thing and there being something in the vacuum cleaner that messes with it, or if it's the hearing aid in general freaking out. Like I said, never experienced this before. Was quite odd though!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Insurance update

I understand that you are interested in the Wyoming Health Insurance Pool coverage and are wanting to find out if a cochlear implant would be covered. Pre-existing conditions are not covered in the first 12 months unless you have had previous insurace within the last 90 days. If you meet the low income requirements and qualify for the coverage, the cost for the plan would probably be either $368.20 or $504.20 per month, depending on the plan you choose. After you have been on the coverage for 12 months, a precertification would have to be done in order to deterime if this specific procedure would be covered.

There is just no way I can afford the $368 plan. That is like one entire paycheck, and there is just no way I can get by the rest of month with the 2nd paycheck alone to pay all my bills and car insurance, oh no. That's just not possible for me. Maybe if I had another part time job, MAYBE. But I haven't had any luck of finding a part time job that will be flexible enough with my current work schedule and such, and be willing to accomodate my deafness (no phones, not having to deal with customers, noise-free or as little noise as possible, etc.).

Looks like the CNI CI Assistance Program and fundraising is my best bet right now, that is if the CNI does accept my application. I shall be proceeding with the CT scans, new hearing test and whatever else needs to be done so I can apply to the program.


Got a response from Rocky Mountain Ear Center today!

Hi Meghan,

I have received your medical records. Dr. Kelsall said that he would see you at no charge after you get your ct scan. When you decide where you will get your scan and decide how you will pay them, please let me know and I will fax ct scan order to them.

Thank you,


That's awesome. So now, I'll probably call the imaging center again, verify the costs, then work on saving up the money for the CT scans. I just sold another item from my half.ebay.com store, so I've made quite a few sales in the last 3 weeks or so, which is awesome. Mostly it's the DS games and DVDs that are going, but hey that's great! That's a little money going into my bank account.

I also stopped by the local BCBS Insunrance office, and talked with the receptionist about my phone call predicament. I left her my email address and she'll give it to the person who was researching coverage plans that covers the cochlear implant, so hopefully I'll hear from the representative soon enough.

Am still very slowly working things out, but I'm working on it! And I'll keep working on it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Phone call frustrations!

Oh how frustrating is this! The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance guy called back the other day, and left a message on the machine. I have played the message a couple of times but I cannot understand the message. I couldn't catch his name or the number he left, or anything else he said. So frustrating! And I'm the only one at home until the 19th. Right now, I'm on a relay call with the BCBC of Wyoming, and they're going to try to get me in touch with the representative that has been researching affordable plans that covers cochlear implants, but blah. The call got rerouted a few times and I ended up with someone from the Cheyenne office. Oy! So incredibly frustrating. I hate that I can't make sense of the message, I hate that I'm making this Cheyenne representative do "extra work" just because I couldn't get a name of the representative doing the research. I'm surprised the Relay Operator is still handling this call haha. It's been over half an hour now, and I'm on hold yet again while the Cheyenne representative calls the local office.

If I could at least get the stupid Cap-Tel phone to work at home, I'd try using that to make phone calls. But no, ever since the Qwest phone company came over to the house 2 years or so ago and did something, none of MY phones have worked. I've tried plugging them into different phone outlets throughout the house and nothing. I don't know why. I have two different phones that are for the deaf (the Captel, and one from PlanetAble), and they both don't work. Most certainly isn't the phones, it has to be the phone line. I've mentioned this to mom and stepdad several times in the last few years but nothing has been done.

Well, at least I finally got our home number removed from Omaha Steak's call list. They have been calling our house at least 2 times a day on a daily basis. No one in the house ever answer their calls (we just pick up then immediately hang up on them). I went online to the Omaha Steaks website, and found an email address. Shot off an email and requested they stop calling us! They removed the number from their list, finally. No more obnoxious calls from them.

Oh, off hold. She's telling me I can stop by the local office and talk to them. Ok. I'm not exactly sure where this street is, but I can look it up, no problem. Oy. Will have to look up the address online, and try swinging by sometime before going to work tomorrow or the next day. Maybe I can get them to start emailing me information from now on, instead of leaving messages on the phone. That would be so much easier for me. Golly!

Well, that relay call lasted almost an entire hour. That's the one thing I don't like about relay calls, they take longer.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Medical Records!

I have finally received my medical records from Sheridan hospital. And they sent EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING. I requested for any files from Nov. 1987 that documented the meningitis.. but they also included my birth records, but hey, that's completely fine with me. Was interesting to go through all the notes. Most of the records are from when I was hospitalized and treated for the meningitis. Very interesting stuff! Even my mom went through the notes, and "relived" the experience. Made comments of some of the notes ("duh" kind of comments, was kind of funny). I'm glad to have the records now. Now I have every detail of the meningitis episode, all the blood works they did, CT scan results, medications and treatments, every diaper change, EVERYTHING.

Now, will have to get a file box to store my medical and audiological records in, so they don't get damaged or misplaced.