6 Months

6 Months

My six month appointment at the CI center was a good one. I drove down to Chapel Hill the day before and spent the evening with my cousin and his wife. I hadn’t seen them since before my CI surgery, so it was nice to catch up.

The audiologists had moved to a satellite location away from UNC hospital. I found that ok, only had to make one U-Turn. They were ready to see me as I walked in the door.

I had emailed ahead of my appointment saying that I’d like to be evaluated for a second implant but I hadn’t really heard back from them confirming that. We talked about it at my previous (3 or 4 month) visit but my appointment with the surgeon had gotten lost in all the times that they had changed my appointment time and I had changed and rescheduled due to travel conflicts.

So as I sat down in the sound booth they said I was scheduled with them for the evaluation now, then with the surgeon, and then I could come back and see them again to do a new mapping afterward. As it turned out, we got through everything rather quickly and had time to do new maps before I left them. The ENT office is chronically behind schedule anyway, so I wasn’t worried about showing up 10 minutes late.

audiogram-11-09The interesting part of this visit was that we tested everything. Residual hearing in both ears, hearing aid in just the left ear, implant in the right ear. I’m really starting to learn the HNT test sentences which was making it hard to get an accurate score with my unimplanted ear. I was getting all or nothing on those sentences which obviously shows I wasn’t really hearing, just remembering.

Like I said in a previous post, I knew I still had some residual hearing in my implanted (right) ear. I notice it when I listen to music in the car – the bass comes through even without the implant on. Still, they hadn’t tested that ear since 2 weeks after surgery and I still had some fluid in that ear.

They checked out my hearing aid and turned it up just a little before doing the CI evaluation to make sure that I had a properly fit aid as is required.

Then came sentences, sentences in noise and CNC words.  I actually enjoyed the CNC test with my CI.  I see that one improving quite a bit more from the 64% it’s at now.

audi-11-09

So I saw the surgeon and he didn’t see any reason not to go bilateral if I wanted.  I’ve had 2+ months to think seriously about it and it’s really a very easy choice.  I hear so much more with the implant than with just a hearing aid.  My brain is interpreting most sounds as normal, and even music sounds good.

We’re using the same MedEl Medium-electrode and aiming to preserve hearing again.  He warned me that I have more to lose in that ear, but functionally, it’s about the same.  The date is December 23rd which might sound crazy to some people, but it means I won’t have to take much time off of work.  My company shuts down for the rest of the year at Christmas and I’m required to save vacation days or go without pay.  The last two years we have traveled, but this year it will be nice to just relax.

3 Comments

  1. Marijean
    Nov 17, 2009

    That’s great Sara — I’m so happy you’re doing so well. And having a nice, restful holiday doesn’t seem bad at ALL!
    .-= Marijean´s last blog ..How Did You Do It? =-.

  2. PinkLAM
    Nov 17, 2009

    Good luck! I have no doubt that you will love being bilateral- I sure do!
    .-= PinkLAM´s last blog ..What my mom has done for me (This is for the parents…) =-.

  3. Paul Michalski
    Nov 25, 2009

    Sara,

    I’m getting my CI on 22 Dec. as I too am off work the week between Christmas and New Years. We decided on the left ear even though the entire audiology team voted to recommend my right ear. The surgeon (who was not in the meeting) was in agreement with me to do my left.

    The CT scan showed I have semi-circular canal dehiscence in my left ear but the surgeon said that would not be an obstacle. I am getting the Nucleus 5 from Cochlear.

    My wife thinks this will be “practice” for when I do my right ear down the road, although it won’t be for a few years in my opinion.

    Best of luck to you on your second implant. I’ll continue to follow your blog and let you know how I do.

    Paul

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