I wanted to document my reasons for not pursuing a cochlear implant before now and that was the point of my other post last week. Now I want to write about what finally changed my mind.
I heard about the hybrid CIs and that they were in FDA trials. I sent an email to the trials group at Med-El asking about their DUET hybrid Electric-Accoustical implant. I was told that my hearing loss was too profound and that I’d be better off with a regular CI. The person also suggest talking to one of the implant centers involved in the trials of the hybrid implant because they have a new surgery technique and a new flexible electrode that have been implanted without damaging all residual hearing.
So I emailed the audiologist at UNC Chapel Hill. She took a while to write back and I was eager enough to hear that I even called and left a voice mail message.
When she did email me it was full of interesting information. I was pretty excited. She said that I Was a good candidate for a hybrid cochlear implant the problem is that they are still losing 5-10 decibles even with the shorter electrode. That puts my severe profound loss into the range that hearing aids don’t help with.
We decided to set up appointments for me and in less than a week now I will be knowing how we will move forward. I know I only want to do my worse ear at this point. I think the regular CI might make the most sense since it’s proven technology… But if they think I’d be good for the hybrid study I’m fine trying it. I know they have reimplanted several people with a normal CI after they didn’t do well with the hybrid.
Worst case scenario I still have another ear. I’ve tried band rehearsal with my right hearing turned off. It’s rough but I can still hear the guy next to me and myself. I’d get used to it.
And while I know everyone says “don’t get your hopes up” it’s hard to not be excited about the results people have had. I’m a good candidate. I’ve worn and depended on hearing aids in both ears for 15 years and I’m not pre-lingually deaf.
I’m glad work is so busy. It will make time go faster.