Monday, June 30, 2014

Appointments set.

After waiting to hear back from my stepdad on when would be a good time to go down to Denver, I shot off an email to the CI clinic with a couple of possible days for August, and she got back to me with 2 appointment times for Aug. 21.  I am booked to have testing done with the audiologist in the morning on the 21st of August, and to consult with the surgeon that afternoon about going bilateral.  I'm looking forward to this appointment, to see what comes out of it and see if it's possible to get the second implant with Medicare coverage.

Since that appointment is a ways off, I'll be keeping myself busy in the mean time.  There are plenty of days when my boss will be off on vacation so that'll be some extra work for me at work.  Of course, I'll have my iPod with me to make work more tolerable ha.  I do get tired of hearing phones ringing, people walking/talking, machines going, etc.  Music is always a nice change.

In other, more happier news... I am an aunt once again!  My sister had her baby girl last week... 5 weeks early, but baby is doing well.  Still in the hospital for a bit more care, but healthy and well.  She's such a cute, beautiful baby.

Also, I have been preparing for the Hear in the Dark 5k for Aug. 15.  I have been slowly adding to my glowy/light up stuffs... Let's say I really hit up the dollar store one day, buying a bunch of different glow necklaces and bracelets.  I also found some light-up swords at Walmart for like $5, so I bought a blue one.  They're kind of like the light sabers from Star Wars.  I'm pretty stoked for this 5K!  Had so much fun at last year's.  Wyoming Families for Hands and Voices also have some other fund-raising activities happening this summer, which I plan on going as well.  I so can't wait for all this fun stuff to happen!

 my stash of goodies for the 5K!
 my dog checking out my new light sword
 just having fun!

Ah, hearing aid news.  My audiologist's office ordered some of those colored hooks for the Phonak hearing aids.. so I may go in one of these days to get one of them, just for the fun of it.  Not sure what color I would get yet, I'll have to look at them and decide.  I also changed the tube for my earmold over the weekend.  I was watching some TV, and the hearing aid kept going ultra quiet on me all of a sudden.  Changing the tube resolved that issue.  Now there's an orange tube on my hearing aid, replacing the old green one I had.  Love that I can use different color tubes and such!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Neptune Swim!

I hit up the Aquatic Center to go for a swim today!  And I took the Neptune,  obviously!  First time I've got to swim with the Neptune, finally!  It was fun.  I felt kind of odd, being by myself... but oh well!  I enjoyed listening to the pool environment, the water, and even hummed and snapped my fingers under water.  I also went down one of the water slides (the winding curling one, whoooo!!!)... of course as soon as I hit the pool, the AquaMic came off my head.  No big, I put it back on and kept on swimming and hanging out.  Excellent way to spend the first day of summer!

Last night, I started getting this crazy idea of videoing my pool adventures with the Neptune.  But alas, I don't have anything that would keep my iphone or camera safe... I did order some waterproof cases from Amazon, so maybe next time!  And next time, I shall perhaps kidnap a nephew or someone for even more fun at the pool!  :)
BIG Thanks to Advanced Bionics for the wonderful waterproof Neptune!  I love it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Considering going bilateral

The last several months, I have thought of going bilateral... Getting my right ear implanted.  I do like the bimodal approach I've got going right now, but still find myself struggling to make sense of what I am hearing, especially noisy situations.  And I am still very highly dependent on visual support.  I feel if I get the right ear implanted, that I could possibly do better.  Hear better.  And there is also the possibility that getting the implant may possibly help with the tinnitus that I've had going on in my right ear for as long as I can remember.  If I don't have my hearing aid on, then I end up with a bunch of ringing/buzzing/whatever in the right ear, and it drives me crazy.  The hearing aid drowns out the tinnitus sounds for the most part, but from time to time even the tinnitus will be too loud that the hearing aid doesn't help.

I have emailed my audiologist, and she just got back to me today, basically saying it could be possible for me to go bilateral with Medicare coverage.

I spoke with Dr. ***** and I think we can get it covered if you want to pursue a 2nd implant.  Medicare rules state that you must be able to meet their qualifications with your current implant – and since we implanted your poorer ear; I think you would meet their guidelines.  Let me know if you want to pursue a 2nd implant.

 Since I had my bad ear (dead ear) implanted, there's a good chance I will meet Medicare's CI coverage criteria and they will cover it.  When I first sent the clinic an email regarding the possibility of going bilateral, the office person right off the bat said the clinic did not do bilateral implants for those who have Medicare coverage.  Which I thought was odd, since I was hearing from other implantees online who were able to get bilateral coverage with Medicare.  So I emailed my audiologist, and she spoke with the surgeon about this, and got back to me saying it is possible.  Medicare does not say anything about bilateral implantation in their criteria, does not say they only do unilateral implantation, that sort of thing.  And just knowing there are other adults who were able to get the second implant coverage, I knew there was a possibility it could be possible for me as well.  But of course, had to contact the clinic/audiologist and have them do some research and discussing.

It would be nice if I could get the second implant done this summer, before school starts up again in September.  But who knows if that would be possible.  In the meantime, I will keep in touch with my audiologist, and discuss this with my family, and consider my options.

I just feel like I would do better if I had bilateral implants, and was able to take full advantage of all the new features available with the Naida CIs from Advanced Bionics.  They have UltraZoom, which I've heard is handy for noisy situations, and they even have bilateral features as well.  A single implant processor wouldn't be able to use UltraZoom, one would need to be bilateral to take advantage of that feature and DuoPhone, and some of the other features.  My hearing aid audiologist had to call Phonak and get help with creating a specific program on my Naida hearing aid for noisy situations, since I couldn't use the Zoom features since I only had one hearing aid.  So if I went bilateral, I think that would open up my world even more and give me more opportunities to take full advantages of the current new technology, and improve my hearing more.

It's a lot to think about, for sure.  But I am indeed seriously considering going bilateral.  My implant picks up on more sounds that my hearing aid doesn't pick up on (clock ticking, and other random little sounds like that).  Just on Saturday, I was over at my mom and stepdad's house, talking to my mom, and I realized I was hearing a clock ticking in the living room.  I removed the headpiece for a few minutes, and couldn't hear it with the hearing aid.  I'm just amazed with what cochlear implants can do.  Been a bit more than 2 years, and there are always new sounds I encountered that has me amazed at the technology available, and wishing for more.