Monday, October 29, 2012

I now have the T-Comm!

I was oh so very rudely awaken by my dog at about noonish today.  I was oh so cozy in my bed, dreaming away, when all of a sudden I was hearing my dog barking up a storm and he was also bouncing all over my bed. BRYAN!!! STOP! Then I realized he must've been excited due to someone being at the door. So I bolted upright, jumped out of bed and fled to the front door. Grabbed hold of Bryan's collar so he couldn't attack whoever was at the door, took a quick peek through the peephole... Hey it's Fed-Ex Man! Opened the door, gave him my signature and took the package from him. Yay! My T-Comm has arrived!

Fed-Ex Man left so I closed the door.  I didn't tear into the package just yet though. I had to feed the dog and get myself together.  After I had gotten dressed, I then opened the packaging, and started assembling the T-Comm with the Neptune processor.  Found my spare headpiece (which was still new in its original box), found a spare Harmony headpiece cable, got the Neptune and the UHP neptune cable out of the Neptune case, and got everything plugged in where they needed to go.  Then of course I had to fight with the Neptune a bit, to get the Control to sync. Finally, it synced! I ran over to my computer, pulled up iTunes and found all of my random cables/etc that I use for listening to music. I wanted to try the T-coil setting, so I tried the MusicLink telecoil earhook.  Heard nothing.. uuhh.. Got my headphones out and tried that. Still nothing.  Checked the volume on my computer and it wasn't registering the music playing from iTunes. My desktop is a little funny about that sometimes, so I shut down iTunes and opened it back up again. Then finally I was able to hear the music!  Switched out to the telecoil earhook again, aww yeah! It was great!

the T-comm in its packaging

found a spare magnet from one of my headpieces that is broken... nice!

Neptune with the T-Comm, and the Harmony

T-Comm on the ear

Now I need to find my Phonak FM unit so I can experiment with the FM set up again with the Neptune and T-Comm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The T-comm!

The T-comm accessory for the Neptune processor from Advanced Bionics is now available in the United States and Canada! There's an introductory price of $150 now until April, then it'll be $300.  You'll need a headpiece with a BTE cable, a T-mic and a UHP cable to use with the T-comm.  I'm pretty excited!  I already have one ordered, and from my understanding, you can use it right away without having to program the Neptune to use it (and it can also be used with the PSP processor as well).  The T-comm also has telecoil built into it, ready for use as well. Pretty cool!  The T-mic capability will definitely come in handy when I use the FM on the Neptune in college. I'm definitely looking forward to using the T-comm!

Also, the T-comm comes in the same 3 colors as the Harmony; dark sienna, silver and beige.  Check out these spy photos of the T-comm from the HLAA convention in June. There's a switch on the T-comm so you can use T-coil alone, T-coil + T-mic, or T-mic alone. When you use the T-comm, the headpiece mic will be disabled and the T-mic will take over. You cannot use an aux only program with the T-comm.

Call or email AB's customer service to order a T-comm (or 2 if you're bilateral) at 877.839.0036 or

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


On Sunday, I was over at my mom's house hanging out a bit. And helping her and my stepdad clean out their garage a bit. Boy, there was a bunch of sounds! Mom opened the garage, oh that was loud. Things got moved around (and some of the things being moved were quite noisy and loud!), taken inside and put into the storage room downstairs, swept up, etc. Eventually the floor was cleaned off and stepdad was hosing it down and getting all the dirt out.  Mom and I had also started making some plans on Halloween decorations as well, figuring out what to put out, where will everything go, etc.  At one point, I was looking at the leaves on the ground, and then started steping on them. Oh, I heard that! It sounded kind of like a crinkley kind of sound I thought. So I kept finding more leaves to step on so I could listen. Then mom went over to the pile of leaves next to the house and stepped in the pile. That was really noisy! I preferred the sound of stepping on individual leaves.

Yesterday, Allison the audiologist came to town to do mapping appointments with her clients. This is her third visit here, and yesterday was quite busy for her! More people are coming here now to see her, which is great. And she still stops in Cheyenne too. Anyway, I got to work and noticed I had an email message from someone at the implant center saying Allison had a cancellation and if I could see her at noon. Oops, it was 12:30 then. Nope, I'll stick with the 4:30, but was asked to arrive at 4:15. No problem! I got to the Special Education building by maybe 4ish, I forget. Chatted with a mother and her daughter a bit while they were waiting for the daughter's appointment time with Allison. They saw her, and my good friend Jo showed up. She's been wanting to see one of my appointments, so I let her know when my appointment was, so she could come if she wanted. And she came. She also peeked in on the daughter's appointment, since she knew of the mother and daughter. Soon enough, it was my turn! Allison did a quick beep/tone test with my implant on, and then made some adjustments to my MAPs. No major changes. She just brought up some of the lower frequencies. The higher frequencies were left alone. She said she could write a letter stating I need an FM unit for college if needed, she's very supportive of that.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the hearing aid audiologist's office about the pricing of the FM unit. I stopped by on Friday and left a piece of paper with the assistant with the specific FM transmitter and receiver I was looking at so she could get the pricing information, and wrote down my email address for her. Still haven't heard anything yet.  I'll give it a few more days. Hopefully I'll hear back soon enough so I can get the information to vocational rehab.

I also have contacted the head of the math department at the college about my Compass test scores, and of my Algebra experience in the past. She said there is a 0920 course redesign, which is self-accelerated and I could possibly get both Elementary and Intermediate Algebra done in one semester. I could work quickly through the more simpler stuff, spend a bit more time on the stuff that I have trouble with. I contacted one of the instructors that deals with the course redesign for more information, and I'm considering taking this course next semester. I think it'll be right up my alley.  I have forgotten a lot of the elementary algebra, but I'm sure I can pick up on it quickly enough. Slowly making progress with college plans!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Vocational Rehab says they may be able to help with the costs on the FM unit for college.  I'm looking at the Inspirio transmitter from Phonak, and the ML10i receiver to use with my Naida hearing aid.  I already have an MLx receiver at home, which I used with my Supero hearing aid. I have tested it with the Neptune processor a few months ago, and it worked well.  My HandyMic transmitter is too old, and doesn't even hold a charge anymore. I first got it in 2000/01 when I got my Claro hearing aid (and it's been replaced a couple of times too). I didn't really quite like it enough for classroom use (after using it in different classes in 9th grade), so it was mostly used for listening to music with.  But with the Inspirio, it should be a better system.  I also have a Comtek FM unit at home as well, but the receiver is a bit beat up and I don't have a T-coil mode on my implant processors. Plus, I would rather use actual FM receivers instead of T-coil, you just never know if there will be electronic interferences on T-coil mode, which can interfere with listening to the instructors at college!

I have called my hearing aid audie's office and asked about costs, and the receptioninst said she would have the audie's assistant get back to me on the information. Hopefully I'll hear from them soon enough.  CI audie Allison did mention in an email that the cost for both FM and receiver would be around $2400. Once I have the cost info, I'll let my vocational rehab counselor know and we'll take it from there.

Will be doing the Compass test at the college at about 5 today. I went earlier, but found out they are doing some construction in the Compass testing room. So they told me to come back at about 5 to take it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Figuring out my life

Lately I've been trying to figure out what to do with myself. Last month I had an appointment with a counselor at the local Vocational Rehab. to discuss the possibilty of going back to college.  Since then, I've slowly been thinking things out, and trying to make plans.  I would like to head back to college starting next semester, with a goal of going for the radiography program. The radiography (x-rays) program combines my interests of medical, photography and technology. And it's a 2-year program, which I think I can handle. I've also been in contact with the local college's disabilities coordinator getting some more ideas and suggestions as well.  I found out I'd need to take at least 3 math classes, an english class, and some health related type classes before I can even apply for the radiography program.  Pre-calc is a prerequisite for the program, so I'd need to have Elementary and Intermediate Algebra.  I've already done Elementary several years ago, and passed it, but it's been too long so I'd have to retake it (and started to take Intermediate, but the class I ended up in was more fast paced and I just got lost yikes).  I plan to go to the college on Thursday morning to take the Compass test as the Admissions office needs that on file. I also have filled out an application for FAFSA and for college admissions as well.  Vocational Rehab will work with me on my goals.

I do know the college has CART (captioning) for use for students, and I plan to use this accommodation in the classes I take. I don't think I'll ask for an interpreter. Having an interpreter isn't always useful/helpful for me, but seeing the actual words/text will. So I think CART will be great! Really wish the college had CART when I tried college several years ago. May try an FM system too, if I can get a hold of one. I should ask if Vocational Rehab. would help with this. Don't know if the college will have a unit I could use with both hearing aid and CI. Got some things I need to inquire about, or figure out!

I'm pretty eager to get things going, and really do hope I can get into the radiography program.  The program's application process takes place in February of each year, so hopefully by 2014 I'll be ready to apply. I also looked into the Occupational Therapist Assistant program as well, but I think I'm still leaning for radiography.  Hmm!

X-ray ideo of CI electrode going into a cochlea

This is a pretty neat video! It's an x-ray video of a Med-el cochlear implant electrode going into a cochlea.  Check it out!

I think this is pretty darn cool!