Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hurry up and wait... some more!

The audiologist wanted to do two different hearing tests, the regular one, without my hearing aids, and then another one with my hearing aids. This tells them if my hearing aids are helping me as they should (or not). Since it had been 3 months since my last hearing test they wanted to do that one again, but I was only scheduled for a half hour with the audiologist. Both tests take about an hour to complete. Sooooo, I will re-schedule the test with my hearing aids early next week.

After the hearing aid test, I will know if I'm a good candidate for a cochlear implant (CI) or not. Assuming I am, I'll be scheduled for a CAT scan. Apparently I don't need an MRI, not sure why I thought I needed one, but glad I don't have to do that! The CAT scan will tell us which ear is the better ear to do the implant on. I've been hoping it would be my right ear implanted, but the CAT scan may tell us otherwise. Again, wait and see!

I asked Dr. Welling if the hearing test says I need a CI, and the CAT scan doesn't show anything bad, in an ideal world, how long could it be before surgery? He replied, "One month"! All this assumes insurance goes through smoothly and quickly. Even though they say they'll cover it, I have to get approved by them.

I was definitely disappointed and frustrated by yesterday. I had hoped to have some good news to report, but I suppose this is a good lesson in patience and not getting my hopes up too much too soon.

My next installment will be sometime next week, once I know when my next hearing test is. I'll just post a short one letting you know when it is. Then post more after I have the results of the test.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Ok... it's tomorrow! This time tomorrow I should know something. I don't do waiting very well. I just have to keep myself busy until then!

Tune in tomorrow afternoon for the next update!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Doctor's appointment - Friday!

Ok... my doctor's appointment is looming large now! I see Dr. Brad Welling on Friday August 25 at 10:30am! Actually I have a hearing test at 10:30 and I'm supposed to see Dr. Welling at 11am. I'm hoping he will tell me what a wonderful canidate I am for an implant and schedule me for an MRI and a CAT scan. I expect the two things that will hold up this process the most will be getting approved thru insurance (which shouldn't be a problem, since it states clearly in my policy they cover cochlear implants) and then getting the actual surgery scheduled.

Here are some links some of you might find interesting:
This is from my ENT doctor's website
All about cochlear implants

This is the FDA website. Lots of cool info here... there's even a video of an implant surgery (not for the faint of heart!)
FDA cochlear information

There are three implant manufacturers approved in the USA
Advanced Bionics
Cochlear Americas - This is likely the one I'll get
Med El Corporation

The House Ear Institute is where the cochlear implant was first invented.

Last, but certainly not least is the CIHear online community website. There's a TON of information here, lots of stories and more than I've had time to explore.