Thursday, January 21, 2010

fun with hearing aids

Today, before getting to work, I decided I'd play around with the different hearing aids I had with the Hatis Epic stilouette. With the Claro hearing aid, the volume is far too quiet. I even maxed out the volume on the iPod and had to resort to turning up the volume on the hearing aid as well, and it was still too quiet. Then I gave the loaner Unitron a try, and whoa the music sounded different, unusual. Then I dug out my purple Phonak Pico-Forte's. They still work! With the stilouette, the music sounded better (though a bit different), and the volume is better too. It's just a matter of making sure the microphone is next to the stilouette to get a better sound, and it's tricky to get them both sitting behind my ear just right. Hm... Already I miss my Supero!

Am considering making a new website for myself, in relation to my hearing loss and meningitis. I do have a webpage about my meningitis, except it doesn't mention much of my meningitis story. So, why not just make a whole new website and combine both meningitis and deaf stories and just have fun with it? Yep.

Meningitis Angels, hearing aids

Last Thursday, I flew to Houston, TX for a Meningitis Angels conference. Overall, it was an interesting experience. I've read of what meningitis can do to people, of the damage meningitis causes. But I've only met very few individuals locally that were deafened as a result of meningitis, that's it. But meeting people who lost limbs, suffered from traumatic brain injury, etc., wow. That really opened my eyes. But I'm glad I went. It was nice to meet others who had meningitis and to see how they are doing these days after having had meningitis recently or years ago. I am definitely going to do better at keeping in touch with the Meningitis Angels folks, just communicating with them and such.

Got my new earmold made today (ok yesterday, since it's after midnight and it's now actually Thursday). I requested for the earmold to be made of non-allergenic material, in hopes that'll reduce the ear irritation problems I've been having. While the earmold was setting in my ear, he got another hearing aid and proceeded to hook it up to the computer, then put it on my ear. Oh, he wants to keep my Supero hearing aid so he could try to get the feedbacking problems fixed. So for now I've got a loaner hearing aid, a Unitron. Eh, everything sounds too weird with the Unitron, so I found my Phonak Claro hearing aid and am currently wearing that one until I get the Supero hearing aid back. With the Claro, things sound a bit more normal to me (more similar to the Supero). Quieter, but more normal. I tried to turn up the volume on the Claro and that just resulted in feedbacking, ahh!

He also tried to encourage me to consider getting a new hearing aid, since he knows I've had issues with the Supero since I first got it in May 2004. I told him I wasn't too worried about getting a new hearing aid at this time, that I'm more focused on getting my left ear implanted first. He's pretty happy to hear I'm still proceeding with the implant process. Now if only Medicaid would approve of it.

Still waiting to hear on the status of the cochlear implant appeal process. While at work yesterday (ok, Monday), I made a relay call to Advanced Bionic's insurance reimbursement department to find out the status, and I was told she'd leave a message with the person handling my case to get back to me. No emails yet, but hopefully soon I'll hear something. Otherwise, I'll just try relay-calling back.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Turns out Medicaid didn't get the stuff Advanced Bionics insurance reimbursement sent to them, so AB is having to resend the stuff. They're sending it via Fed-Ex and someone at Medicaid will have to actually sign to receive it. Oy!

Internet relay called the local audie's office and made an appoinment for next Wednesday to get a new earmold made. And I asked if they knew Medicaid covered this sort of thing, and nope they don't. I figured as much, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. No big deal.

Also bought a Dry & Store unit off someone on eBay.. I figured it was about time I had one. Maybe if I used it for my hearing aid, and it cleaned my hearing aid and earmold, I wouldn't have as many ear irritation issues. Wyoming is pretty dry, so moisture in the hearing aid isn't much of a problem.. but it couldn't hurt to have a Dry & Store as I do occasionally get moisture in the earmold tubing just from wearing the hearing aid all day, etc. And it'll be useful for whenever I get the implant too.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Earmolds, BAH!

I am so anti-earmolds right now. My ear's all irritated and slightly sore, which has been happening far too frequently. I'm sick of it! No matter what I do, my ear only stays better for a day or 2 before it starts getting irritated again. Grumble grumble grumble! I did email the local audie about it, mentioning I want to get a new mold made. Haven't gotten a response back from him yet. I just may go the whole weekend with the hearing aid off! I haven't even bothered to put it on today either. I stuck the hearing aid in my pocket and went to work. No one needed to talk to me so great!

Still no word about the implant appeal yet. Did email the AB Insurance Reimbursement person and got a quick response from her, saying she'd look into it. Haven't heard back from her in a couple of days now.