I was going to add this to the previous post but decided to start a new one here:
Hearing preservation was a goal of mine and my surgeon going into my CI surgery. We did implant the worse of my two ears, but I had a fairly significant amount of hearing in the lower frequencies. As a musician I’ve found that hearing aids work pretty well for music, so why not try to save that hearing?
They used the MedEl Medium electrode which contains 12 electrode pairs spaced more closely than the normal MedEl deep insertion electrode. For me, the electrode array was only inserted to 10 of the electrodes as deep as 20mm in order to save my low frequency hearing. Even so, this should give me plenty of stimulation from the CI alone.
On a related note, I finally understand exactly why I didn’t qualify for the MedEl Hybrid CI trials. The hearing aid part of the DUET processor is not designed for a profound loss. Simple as that. It doesn’t mean that I’m not a good hybrid candidate, just that the technology they are using is not as powerful as I would need. A regular hearing aid worn in conjunction with the CI processor would give me a similar listening experience as the hybrid, and we will be looking into that if it turns out that I have a lot of residual hearing left and like the way things sound.
I don’t have an activation date yet – but I think it will be some time next week. I’m scheduled to see the surgeon on Monday afternoon but we will be calling them on Monday morning to see if it is necessary to make the trip (3.5 hours each way) down there just to have my bandage taken off. One thing I missed in my drugged state post-op was that the surgeon told Don that we could remove the bandage ourselves “after the weekend” (Sunday night? please?). If all looks like it is healing fine, why drive that far for a 5 minute checkup? The main waiting point for activation at UNC seems to be the amount of swelling that you have – the magnet won’t stick if there is a lot of swelling. So my tentative plan is to reschedule for later in the week and do the post-op checkup and initial activation at the same time. We’ll see what they say Monday morning.
I’ve been very fortunate that my company has a short term disability benefit. I don’t need to return to work until I am quite ready. I have some reports to catch up on though so will probably work from home this coming week. I feel pretty good, but definitely don’t want to find myself in the (filthy) test lab gluing fiberglass cloth onto insulation until things are totally healed up.