Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Purple VRS

And I am now  an owner of a Purple VRS phone number. Whaaaaat? I didn’t even know you could download the P3 software to any computer with a webcam and use it to make relay calls or video calls (I knew they had their own Purple Netbooks they were offering/selling). Cool! Don’t have a webcam on the desktop, only on the netbook. A deaf friend suggested I download P3, as she needed to ask me something about photo but she couldn’t explain it. But hey, at least it’s free so why not. So I have an i711 Relay personal number (which I’ve had for 2-3 years now), and now a Purple VRS phone number (and you can make IP-Relay calls through the P3 software too!). Hm! So now I've got 2 different options for making relay calls.

Oh and I just now discovered the Blackberry has applications to make relay calls with too. Usually I just use AIM instant messenger to make my calls with i711. At least with AIM, my AIM name is connected to my i711.com account, so I can just say "audiology" and they'll dial the number for audiology and connect me, I don't have to type in a number! I couldn't do that with the i711 relay application on the Sidekicks. Don't know how it will work on the Blackberry but couldn't hurt to try it out I guess.... maybe. Gotta read the reviews of the apps first.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Advanced Bionics device coming

So Advanced Bionics has a new processor coming out, huh? The Neptune. Someone over in Europe attended a conference and found out a bit about the new device. That person also scanned and uploaded the brochure for the new device as well. Check it out! http://www.mediafire.com/?5swv2zy4wwn60tr (XPS) or http://www.mediafire.com/?0mr216dvmxw0vfc (PDF).

Looks like a pretty neat processor, and you can go swimming with it on! Neat! You don't even have anything on your ear. There's the coil, then the processor is a small body worn processor. From what I've read on the HearingJourney.com forums, the Neptune is due to be released in Europe in September. As for the US, who  knows, since the FDA has to approve of these things. They still need to re-approve AB's implants first. But I do think this is real exciting for Advanced Bionics!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Supero is a weird hearing aid

I've not been wearing the Supero hearing aid in my left ear much for the last few months. Mostly, it just sits in the Dry and Store. I thought maybe there was something wrong with it, that it wasn't working properly. But when I tried it out on my right ear over the weekend, no problems! Until, oops my hair brushed against the mic on the Supero, and book bye bye. Oh duh! How did I forget the Supero would frequently cut off due to hair or static electricity messing with it? Even when I first got it in May 2004, I had this issue. Of course, then, it didn't happen as frequently. And it usually gets worse when there's moisture. But even after sitting in the Dry and Store overnight, it'd still cut off frequently. It's kind of pointless for me to keep wearing the Supero in the left ear, if it's going to frequently cut off without my noticing anything for hours (since I can't hear anything at all whether or not the hearing is actually working). The point of the hearing aid in the left ear is to keep the ear simulated for the cochlear implant, but it sure isn't going to get any simulation with a hearing aid that's been cut off.

I am going to stop by audiology after work and the assistant will take a look and see if something can be done about it. I do recall the Supero having been sent in once last year for repairs, had some components replaced, new casing... Ah I don't know. I just don't get the Supero at all! I've not had this issue at all with the Naida! I think even my friend who wears Superos have had the same issue from time to time too. If the issue can't be resolved with my Supero, I'm just going to go find my old analog purple hearing aid, and wear that for simulation purposes. At least then I'd know it won't be cutting off on me, just need to be careful with the volume wheel as sometimes it'll turn up or down very easily on its own. Only con with that would be I'd have to keep some size 13 batteries on hand (easier to have both hearing aids using 675's, so I'm not having to buy 2 different size batteries). We'll see what happens I suppose.

Also, I recently switched my wireless phone service from T-Mobile to AT&T. I wasn't at all that impressed with the new Android Sidekick that T-Mobile has released. From watching the demo videos that popped up online, I just didn't quite like how the menu was set up on it, etc. I spent about two weeks last month internet relay calling AT&T and Verizon, using their online customer support chat, and visiting the stores at the mall, getting information, comparing devices and prices, etc. Everyday I would keep checking the status of AT&T taking over Alltel in Wyoming, and checking different devices on both Verizon's and AT&T's websites. I went into the Verizon store a few times to play with their different phones. Then when AT&T finally arrived, I played with their phones too.

The Blackberry Torch from AT&T grabbed my attention. QWERTY keyboard, touch screen, nice size screen, decent camera (5 mp; the other Blackberry's cameras were 2 or 3 mp's). I was just really impressed with it. That was that, I decided I was getting the Torch! So I ordered it online, requested to have my number switched over from T-Mobile. Free overnight shipping, activation fee waived, I only paid about $52. Then on April 20, I activated the Blackberry (the same day my contract with T-Mobile expired), filled out the application for the TAP plan and a doctor from the audiology's office signed off on it. I faxed in the application and within two or three days, I was switched over to the 200MB TAP plan. Awesome! The whole switching over, activating, etc. processes, they were all easy and smooth going. I've not had any problems at all. I'm still getting used to the different QWERTY set up (the QWERTY on the sidekicks is more similar to the full keyboard on the keyboard, but on the Blackberry, everything's squished together into 4 rows). I still frequently forget to hit the alt key if I want to use a number or punctuation. But I'll get more used to it as I keep using it. And the camera on it is great! It even has different settings/programmings for different situations, which is pretty neat. Sending photos via text messaging or to Facebook/Twitter/etc., much faster than on the Sidekick. I am extremely happy so far.

Have been going to physical therapy once a week for my headache issues. I've been having a lot of tension headaches in the last year (lasting weeks, even months at a time without a break). The therapy is helping a bit, and it helps that I've been drinking more water too. Therapist put me on the NeuroCom once, to get an idea of what my balance was like and that sort of thing. Found out I have a vestibular dysfunction, but that's no surprise at all, considering I had meningitis when I was 2 (and with my deafness and vision issues, all that combined can cause problems with the vestibular system).. And doctors told my parents I'd have issues with my balance for life. This week, we worked on my balance, and he gave me a few balance exercises to do at home. He's going to put me back on the NeuroCom next week, see if my balance has improved any. Hopefully it will have improved somewhat, if I keep working on my balance exercises at home.

And now, I shall quit rambling for the time being. Got things to work on/do/etc.