Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cochlear Implant

I am debating over getting a cochlear implant (CI). Surgery is scary.

I am only considering it. I have asked others with CIs about their experiences. I still want to ask more people. Everyone's experience is different.

I am really not getting much sound into my left ear, even with the new hearing aids. I can hear something when I first put it on in the morning, but not speech. My right ear does all the work.

For now I am going to fill out a questionnaire and a patient information sheet along with copies of my audiogram (with and without hearing aids) and send them to a facility in Milwaukee.

After that, a consultation will be scheduled to determine/evaluate my candidacy for a CI.

There are many things to consider if I am a candidate:

-I will have to make many trips in the first year. Milwaukee is one hour away. Can my husband drive me there all the time? Will he have to miss work? Sometimes you have to wait a long time in the waiting room. That can screw up other plans. So I will be worried about transportation issues. Can I make it to all these appointments?

-Insurance coverage-how much will be covered?

-There's also the decision of which kind of device to use. There are several brands that are used for cochlear implants. Which is best for me?

If there's one thing I don't like, it's making too many decisions.

There are a number of people who are visually impaired who have CIs in both ears (bilateral CIs). This is on the rise, even with those who are deaf. I am not going to worry about that. All I am doing is checking things out.

I don't even know I qualify since my right ear has a moderate to severe loss. I may not be "deaf enough" since I am not almost profoundly deaf in both ears. My visual limitations may be a consideration for getting the CI, though. I don't know.

We'll have to wait and see.

I will keep you posted (if and when) I have that consultation. It might be a while.

The more my vision goes, the more I want to hear.

If they can do this with the ear, then why not with the eye? If they could find a successful way to bypass the inner workings of the eye and get to the optic nerve or whatever part of the brain it is, that would be great.

I can't help but think that whatever "cure" that would be found for RP would be like the CI. You are deaf when you have it turned off. I may still be legally blind with an RP "cure" when it's turned off, too. Or would it destroy any remaining eyesight like the CI would destroy any residual hearing?

This is an old post I wrote about the search for a cure for RP and other degenerative eye disorders.

As always, let's keep on hoping and praying for a cure. Not just for my eyes, but for everyone. Those with cancer or who need emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual healing. I hate to just think about myself. (I'd feel selfish .)

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At Tue May 08, 08:16:00 PM , Blogger Sue Flaska said...

I had wondered if a CI was in your future or not. As far as making choices, I have found with all of the cancer crap I just have to make the choice knowing that I am doing what I feel is right for me. I try not to look back and ask if I should have done it different....that doesn't matter. The important thing is how YOU feel about this choice. It's hard to be so dependent on others, I'm sure, but they love you and will do whatever they can to help.

At Wed May 09, 12:12:00 AM , Blogger robkroese said...

Best wishes to you, whatever you decide.

At Wed May 09, 07:05:00 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I hope you qualify for one, if you decide to go that route. I think you would get a lot of benefit from one!
I can't compare my situation with yours...although I am deafer than you, I have perfect vision, thanks to LASIK a couple of years ago. However, since I've been almost completely deaf, I panic when it gets dark...I never noticed before how much I relied on that little bit of hearing. I trip over stuff more when it's dark and I can't hear...how weird is that? because I miss little sound cues that let me know what's up ahead. Yes, you do need your hearing, especially if you're losing your sight. I am grateful that I have my sight...when I get to complaining I remember that there are others that have to put up with a lot more than I do!! :) :hugs

At Wed May 09, 01:55:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Testing anonymous

At Wed May 09, 03:46:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...


It came through. :)


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