Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Got Lost...

Did you think I got lost? I did. In life. The summer flew by and the fall came and went. Here it is December and it's COLD! It's been over a year since I lost the hearing in my right ear and so much has happened in that time. Let me catch you up!

I had one more mapping in August before I went back to school. More testing and mapping. The awesome results from June were even more incredible! The test where I had 93% correct in June jumped to 98% in August. Wow! That is in the sound booth. Real life isn't always that amazing, but I still love the results and feel so much better about my hearing.

The school year has gone really well. I feel so much more together and confident this year. With all the new mandates, Common Core, Student Learning Objectives, and teacher evaluations, I really have to stay on my game. If I had to face all this craziness that is education these days without my hearing, I'd be done real fast.

We have a really cool program in Northwest Ohio called Kids on the Block. This organization comes around to classes and groups and uses full body puppets to teach kids about disabilities and how to interact with someone with a disability. They have come to our school for years, but just last year they added cochlear implants to the list of disabilities that they address. Knowing this, I shared with my kids that I wear a hearing aid in one ear and have a cochlear implant in the other. Most did not know this about me and they found it fascinating! They thought they were pretty special to know someone with a cochlear implant when the Kids on the Block were sharing about them.

This fall I decided to get a new hearing aid for my left ear. My hearing has been deteriorating slightly (old age!) and my hearing aid was five years old. That is about the usual lifetime of a hearing aid and my old one had been bumped up to maximum volume for that model. Plus, technology has changed so much since I bought my last hearing aids, that my audiologist had lots of cool new hearing aid advances she wanted to share with me. We have been saving money all year with the idea to buy 2 new ones in the near future. Now that I have a CI on the right, I only need to purchase one hearing aid. In case you are wondering, an average hearing aid runs about $2,000. Like all technology, the more bells and whistles, the higher the cost. I got a Phonak Naida Q70. I really like the Phonak hearing aids. I switched to this brand with the last hearing aids I got. I have been very pleased with the devices and the service, which I cannot say about some of the hearing aids I have had in the past! I got my new hearing aid about 2 weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving. Things are louder which I like, but sound quality is not what I would like it to be. First of all, my internal sounds (my voice, chewing, etc.) sound very "tin can - like". I do not like this at all. I was hoping this would eventually go away as I got used to the new hearing aid, but it is still there. Also background sounds are so loud, I have trouble hearing conversation - especially on the phone. I have worn hearing aids long enough that I know the settings are never ideal the first time around. It takes constant tweaking with honest communication between patient and audiologist. I will have lots of requested changes when I go back in a week for my follow-up.

Well, you're about up to speed now. I have a hearing aid follow up on Dec. 20 and a 6 month mapping appointment for my CI on Jan. 2. I will update after those appointments. Until then, I wish you a blessed holiday with all the wonderful sounds of the season! Merry Christmas!

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