Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I've actually missed all of the current season of House. I have watched seasons 1-3 on DVDs, but haven't managed to catch up to the current season yet. But, when I discovered last week that last night's episode of House would be dealing with deafness and cochlear implants, I had my Nebraskan friend remind me to tune in, just so I could catch this episode.

I have to say, last night's episode was very interesting, although not entirely accurate with the cochlear implant issue. A standard hospital doctor wouldn't be telling a standard surgeon to go ahead and implant a teenager while he's still in the OR. You have to go through testings and evaluations before you can even get a cochlear implant, to make sure the cochleas and nerves are intact and all that jazz. Also, one's implant wouldn't be activated right after surgery and that person wouldn't right off the bat be understanding speech. It was just a bit odd how they played out the implant deal. But it was interesting to see they used the Harmony device from Advanced Bionics. And for the teenager to rip the implant out of his head, that's just not right either, as the implant nowadays is stutured in so it doesn't get dislodged, and the incision in the skin is stitched/stapled up.

It's weird, because usually the people involved with creating House do their research and even consult with professionals about certain illnesses, disabilities, medications, procedures, etc. so I'm surprised at the amount of inaccuracies with last night's episode. Did they just not do a thorough research or something? Could they not get in touch with cochlear implant specialists? Hm. But it was still interesting to watch.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Figuring stuff out

I just shot off an email to the University of Wyoming audiology department asking if they know of any reputable audiologists in the Casper area. If there aren't any, I'll just go back to them, and I mentioned that in the email as well. I mentioned of my audiologist's scamming customers and such, and that I am working on getting a cochlear implant and so on. Hopefully I'll hear back from them soon enough. I could do with a new earmold. My ear has been awfully irritated off and on for months now and I'm sick of it. It was my decision to go back to the colored molds (school audiologist always thought I had an allergy and ordered the non-allergic molds for me, but it was more of a problem with the top crook of the ear that would be sore from the earmold, rest of the ear was always fine). Ever since I got this current mold though, it fits, but my ear has been itchy and sore off and on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sidekick LX

There's a new Sidekick LX coming out soon, May 13. Awesome! I still haven't upgraded through T-Mobile yet, so I'll have to start saving up and upgrade to the new LX. Yes, the Sidekick 3 still works well and all, but the track ball has definitely gotten a bit funky on me. And, it'd be nice to have a newer device that is more up to date. I've been happy with the plan and service I've gotten through T-Mobile on my Sidekick 3, and have been extremely happy with the Sidekick 3, I wouldn't want to switch to a completely different device. I have looked at EnV's, but no thanks. And Blackberry's just aren't for me. I'll just stick with the Sidekick for EVERYTHING (minus calling/voicing). I can't wait!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vaccination project

I'm pretty sure I mentioned that the Texas Childrens Hospital was working on a vaccination project and they interviewed various families that have been affected by illnesses that could have been prevented by vaccines on here. I can't remember for sure, exactly... but anyway. On Tuesday, I came home from work and came across a box on the front door step. I remebered I had ordered some stuff from the ADCO hearing products website, but thought the packaging was too big. I completely forgot about the vaccination project. Took the box in and was surprised at how heavy it was. I opened it up, and there's 8 copies of the book "Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story". Wow! I flipped through it, and found my story in there. I read through the whole book and was impressed with it. I really do hope people read this book and realize just how serious the consequences could be if they don't get their children vaccinated against certain illnesses. Even I learned some new stuff from the book that I didn't know of before. A very powerful book, with powerful stories from different families affected by different illnesses (chicken pox, polio, different types of meningitis, flu, etc.).

http://www.texaschildrens.org/carecenters/vaccine/Default.aspx I would assume the book will be available for order/purchase from this website soon enough. They did an excellent job.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meningitis vaccination reimbursement, AB stuff

Advanced Bionics just recently redid their website (www.bionicear.com), and I happened to be lurking around on it while I'm at work (seems I do most of my research while I'm at work). Anyway, I was just randomly clicking links, looking at different stuff. And what do you know? I came across a page in the Customer Support area for meningitis vaccination reimbursement. Advanced Bionics will reimburse AB users who have gotten the pneumococcal meningitis vaccination that wasn't covered by insurance (paid for out of pocket). Now, this is good to know, for myself. I have no idea how much the vaccination would cost, but just knowing AB will reimburse it is handy. I'll have to keep this in mind as I progress along with the implant route.

I knew there was a risk of meningitis for those who get the implants, but I never knew what specific meningitis. The other day I just happened to be randomly research different meningitis types, just for my curiousity, and it occurred to me that pneumococcal meningitis would be the one that an implantee could possibly be at risk for. And now, having stumbled across AB's reimbursement information, well it all makes more sense in my head now.

Here is the information, in case anyone with the AB device is interested (I have no idea if Med-El or Cochlear does anything like this).

Also, just the other day, I got to thinking if AB had different processor options for the Harmony device. I remembered Auria having a battery pack option, where the battery pack could be clipped to your belt or something like that, and the BTE would be smaller and lighter. Harmony currently doesn't have something like this, but AB is working on alernative power options for the Harmony (similar to the battery pack). That is also good to know! I just wondered, since my right ear does tend to be sensitive to weight and such. Ever since I got the Phonak Supero hearing aid, I've had sensitivity issues with the weight of the hearing aid (especially when the FM boot/shoe is on). All of my previous hearing aids were smaller and used the size 13 batteries, while the Supero uses 675. And since I do tend to pile up enough stuff onto my right ear almost on a daily basis, it does tend to hurt after a while (Supero hearing aid + Hatis epic ear hook + glasses all on 1 ear, ouch). I just have no idea how my ear would handle the weight of the standard Harmony BTE, so it's good to know there will soon be alternative options. I guess you can say I have wussy ears.