The Wait

I hope this wait is a lot shorter than the previous one – as in something’s getting done rather than my case sitting around waiting for me to start annoying people. I think it will be. I’ve gotten a CT scan, CI eval and medical eval, the only thing left is for my old audiology office to send them my medical history and the office will “apply” to my insurance. So far everything looks fine and it sounds like I’m getting a recommendation by my surgeon. Big surprise!

I learned some new things my second time around. The biggest thing being that you can’t use regular hearing aid batteries for Cochlear (i.e. go to the grocery store when they die to pick up some new batteries). You have to order them over the Internet. The second one being the financial upkeep on the implant itself. The external warranty expires after three years (at least with the plan that my audiology place is asking for) and after that I have to pay warranty of about $700 a year per external piece. WOWee. But then again this is for me, not everyone else. I also get two external pieces so maybe I can ask for two different colors! Yay! I also understood more about programs. Each implant has a certain number of programs you can go through. I think AB has three and Cochlear has four. So that when you’re going through your mapping process and you don’t like one program or your brain has “learned” that program, you can move onto the next one. Another difference between AB and Cochlear is that Cochlear has a separate setting for T-coil (T-coil is my FRIEND) where as for AB T-coil would have to take up one of the three programs. I think AB has better (?) microphones, sort of? I didn’t really understand it other than you would have to constantly change the ear hook to get the microphone you want. Cochlear might not have as many options, but all the settings are on the external piece and you don’t really have to change out the ear hook.

My next step is balance testing which I get done on the 21st. I asked why I needed to get that done and why it wasn’t needed to request the insurance company to cover the implant, they said that they use this test as a baseline before going into surgery. Makes sense. I hope that I’m doing better than the baseline though, not below it! That would be annoying.

Other than that, not much going on. Just waiting to see when the surgery would be. They told me as early as Feb. But because my medical office is taking a long time to get them the records, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  So maybe March or April.

I also don’t get to get turned on the next day. That’s OK with me. They’re going to wait about two weeks. And then after that I’ll be going in every 2 – 3 weeks.

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8 responses to “The Wait

  1. Hi, My daughter and I are bilaterally implanted with Cochlear’s devices and we certainly can use regular hearing aid batteries from any drugstore. The less expensive option, though, is to use the rechargeable batteries that come with the devices. We just put the batteries in the charger each night and we’re set for the next day. You can buy batteries over the Internet, but they don’t have to be from Cochlear. Did your implant center give you any of the free videos available from the different CI manufacturers?

  2. Then I don’t know why my audiologist said I had to buy them off the Internet. How long do they ones from the drugstore last?

    Yes, I did. I have about four packages (two from AB and two from Cochlear – they’re basically the same but one set is supposed to be a bit newer). I was offered a package from Med-El but declined.

  3. I have a Cochlear Implant from Cochlear – (it’s the only option available in Australia so I didn’t compare any others.) The batteries the CI uses are a special 675 CI battery and in some parts of the world they are not available except over the internet. You would need to check out your local stores to find out if they are available. I have not had success with ordinary hearing aid batteries available in Australia. They are just not powerful enough.

    Everyone’s map (program) is different so how long you get from your batteries will depend on you mapping.

    The four programs on the CI are for different listening situations. The map is the same on each but you get enhanced features to help in extraordinary listening situations. You get to chose what you want on the programs.

    As an example I have my every day listening on program 1, which also with the push of a button goes to tcoil (75% tcoil, with 25% sound around me). On program two I have an auto sensitivity program which filters out sudden very loud noise such as a train or truck etc. Most people have BEAM on one of their programs. This feature enhances the speech of the person in front of you while cutting out noise behind you. ADRO is another feature which filters out regular long loud noise. I used ADRO when flying in an aeroplane. I could reduce the sound of the engines to the sound of a kettle boiling in the background but still quite clearly hear my husband and the attendants.

    I use one of my programs, which is the same as my every day program, leaving the sensitivity setting low so that I can just switch to that program when I play the piano.

    One great feature of Cochlear’s Implant is the ability to plug in accessories. I used the audio cord to plug into the audio systems of aeroplanes and could quite clearly hear the movies or music. I also used this at a theatre in London with their loop system and I could also use it at a number of tourist sites and plug into the guides’ commentary. This cord is good (of course) with mp3 players etc. and a longer version can be used with tv.

    If you’d like more info feel free to email me. You might like to visit http://www.c-a-network.com which is a site full of Cochlear Implantee stories with lots of questions answered as well.

    Regards Felicity (felicity@bleckly.com)

  4. I have Advanced Bionics. We use a T-Mic instead of T-coil. My batteries are rechargeable, but only can get batteries from AB. I love it. I hear all three are fantastic. I picked AB because of music. Whichever you get, I hope you have as good experience as I am having now.

    talesfromacigal.blogspot.com

    Valerie

  5. I have to wonder if there was some miscommunication with the audiologist, because the other audiologists told us that you could use normal batteries and that was a selling point.

  6. I have Advanced Bionics and so does my brother. We both are very happy with our decision that we have made. We have been profoundly deaf from birth. We dearly love our T-Mic and we like having rechargeable batteries. All in all, we are hearing so many amazing sounds we have never heard when wearing hearing aids in the past.

    http://www.amazingsoundswithcochlearimplant.blogspot.com

    Debbie

  7. I use Cochlear, as you obviously know. =) When I brought the drugstore batteries, they only lasted a few hours, wheras if you buy the ones designed spefically for the implant, they’d last oh, about three days for me if I wore it full time. So you can get an idea of how much power the processor requires for the running. THen again, I’m an old implant, so it might be different for the 24 channels in Cochlear. =)

  8. The 675s from the stores are for emergency use only. Like the comments above, they only last a short time. Think of it like a spare tire for your car. 😀

    Also, if you have good insurance company, they WILL pay for your CI batteries! My insurance pays for my batteries 100%, so I never have to worry about paying for batteries…instead, I can invest the money that I pay for batteries towards to the warranty (which won’t happen in 3 years anyways!).

    Good luck with everything!

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