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Kirk S.

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Everything posted by Kirk S.

  1. Hi Mary Beth, By the way, I was doing some research and ran across someplace called the Presbyterian Ear Institute、、 in Albuquerque. I think Presbyterian is a major national hospital/medical chain. It seems pretty professional but I’d like to know if you’ve heard of it or have any thoughts on whether it might work for me. The location wold certainly be convenient. Please let me know what you think. Thanks! https://www.presbyterianearinstitute.org Best, Kirk
  2. Hi Mary Beth! Thank you for your note. Yes, as a matter of fact, I do like road trips. That was my Plan A for New Mexico: Stay in Santa Fe, then make a quick 60- to 90-minute trip to Albuquerque every week or two for CI appointments, mappings, etc. There’s lots of hiking, biking and skiing in Santa Fe, which I really like, so I could pass a few months like that pretty easy, even if my wife was stuck in Tokyo. Plus the COVID outbreak in New Mexico seems manageable; there’s literally plenty of room there for social distancing. But so far, I haven’t been able to find a top-notch audiology/CI
  3. Hi Mary Beth! Thank you for your note. Yes, as a matter of fact, I do like road trips. That was my Plan A for New Mexico: Stay in Santa Fe, then make a quick 60- to 90-minute trip to Albuquerque every week or two for CI appointments, mappings, etc. There’s lots of hiking, biking and skiing in Santa Fe, which I really like, plus the food is great, so I could pass a few months like that pretty easy, even if my wife was stuck back home in Tokyo. Plus the COVID outbreak in New Mexico seems manageable; there’s literally plenty of room there for social distancing. But so far, I haven’t been abl
  4. Thanks, Mary Beth. This looks very useful. I’ll make sure to discuss OTOPLAN, etc., with my doctor when I meet with him on Friday of this week... Our HearPeers meeting last night was very helpful for me, as always, so thank you for that. I really hope that my electrode array has been properly placed and that my recovery/rehab is simply taking a little longer than standard, or that language and cultural issues here in Japan are just slowing things down a bit. However, as you apparently detected during our meeting yesterday, I’m starting to get a bad feeling that something is seriously wrong. Ma
  5. Hey, Mary Beth. Count me in, of course. Here’s an idea: Why don’t we suggest that everyone start the meeting with a cup of coffee, tea or whatever they drink wherever they are (although Heaven knows what Kylie and her friends drink in far-off Perth — probably beer!). That’ll keep it friendly, social, convivial. Slurping allowed! Kirk
  6. Hi Mary. Thanks for the note. Yes, Mayo’s audiology department seems to have a really good reputation. I’m not sure I want to spend six months or a year in cold, cold, cold Minnesota, however! I’m used to mild Tokyo weather. But it’s definitely an option. Maybe we can talk about it during our group chat next month. Look forward to seeing you then! Best, Kirk
  7. Thanks, Mary Beth! That’s very helpful. I was already thinking about Vanderbilt and Chapel Hill, so I’ll put those high on the list. I’m still hoping to find a location where I currently have friends and where there are outdoor activities. I do a lot of skiing in the winter and hiking and outdoor sports in the summer, so Santa Fe would an ideal place for me, especially since some old friends are retired there. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any top-rated ENT/Otolaryngology departments or audiologists in Santa Fe or Albuquerque (which is just an hour away). Presumably, they have some nat
  8. Hi All, Does anyone have any ideas about finding a good audiology department in the States to help me MAP my new CI? I live in Japan, as many of you know. I switched to a new audiology department about six or eight weeks ago, after poor results with my first group, but I’m still having difficulty communicating; the personnel are all very nice and seem reasonably competent, but the language and cultural barriers here in Japan are pretty severe. Everything seems to get lost in translation. I know that audiologists are key to the post-op/rehab process, so I’m thinking about moving back to t
  9. Hi Mary Beth, Do you have a link to our meeting today/tonight? Kirk
  10. Hi Mary Beth. Count me in. Thanks! Kirk
  11. Hi Mary Beth. Thanks for this. Yeah, I sorta thought that programming was a lot more systematic than seems to be the case. “Guess-and-check approach based on subjective patient feedback”!??? Yikes. “Guess” is not a word that you want to hear (no pun intended) when you are talking about medical care. Well, good luck to the Vanderbilt team... By the way, I took your advice and asked to see a different team of audiologists here in Tokyo. The new team seemed to think my most recent mapping was a disaster, so they recommended that we start over from the beginning and re-set everything t
  12. Thanks, Mary Beth! It was great, great, great talking with you and the rest of the group tonight (today, your time!). It’s been a rather discouraging four-plus months since my activation, so it’s reassuring to know that a different set of audiologists might be able to help. I’m not hopeful that international travel restrictions will be eased anytime soon — my guess is six months, earliest — but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll start working on the Iowa test asap, and I’ll look up Kylie’s audiologists to see if they have anything online. That should at least give me something to work with when
  13. Both are fine, thanks. FYI, there's a +13-hour difference between New York and Tokyo. So, 3pm Saturday June 6 in NYC is 4am Sunday June 7 in Tokyo. I might not be at my conversational best at that time of day. What time did you hold your first video meeting?
  14. Hi Mary Beth. I'd love to join next time. I teach a class once or twice a week via Zoom at a university here in Tokyo, so I'm used to video meetings. Soooooo much more convenient (and safer nowadays!) than traveling across town. I haven't used Google Meet yet, but I have a Gmail account, so I'm sure I can sort it out easily enough. There's a 13 hour difference between Tokyo and NYC but I'm used to working all hours so no problem. Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Kirk
  15. Great advice, everyone! Thanks! So, the official "Mary Beth/Kirk Spitzer Default Approach to Audiobooks" should be something as follows: 1. Audiobooks are for aural training, not (necessarily) for literary fun 2. Start with a book you know (and preferably like) 3. Listen and read a passage simultaneously; re-wind, and listen only. Repeat as needed. 4. Next, listen to a passage only; then re-wind, listen and read simultaneously. Repeat as needed. 5. Re-read steps 1. and 2., then resume with steps 3. and 4. Anyone have any audiobook/narrator recommendations? I
  16. Hi Peter, Thanks for the tip... When you listen to audio books, do you primarily read the text and put your listening on automatic pilot as your read? Or do you listen first and then glance at the text as necessary? I find that when I'm reading, I seem to hear everything with almost perfect clarity. However, when I close my eyes and just listen, it seems like I actually understand only about half of what I'm hearing. So that makes me wonder if reading-first is really doing my hearing rehab much good. I suppose that you could argue that as I read, my brain is associating what I see with
  17. Hi Jewel, Thank you for the warm welcome. I hope you are well. I know the coronavirus is hitting Jamaica hard, like everywhere else. I was sad to read that Sam Clayton Jr. died. I’m old enough to fondly remember the ’88 Jamaican bobsled team. Honestly, it’s hard to say how my hearing is now. Overall, it’s probably a little better, but not much. Of course, it’s only been three months since activation and I know that rehab can be a long, slow process. So I’m just working at rehab every day and trying not too expect too much, too soon. The good news is that I’m definitely hearing
  18. Hi Peter, Thanks for the note. Yup, I use Angelsound via Bluetooth direct to my CI almost every day, and I’m currently listening to Bernard Cornwell’s “Saxon Tales” series on Audible. I can understand about half of the audio with my CI, so I usually follow along with the text. Not sure how much progress I’m making, but it’s only been three months since my activation so I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. Luckily, I still have reasonably good hearing on my non-CI side, so no complaints. Cheers, Kirk
  19. No, not yet. I asked my doctor if he had any other American or English-speaking CI patients in Japan, but he said No. My doctor speaks excellent English (he did a research project at the University of Nebraska), but surprisingly few people in Japan speak English or any foreign language. Japanese is an extremely complex language, very different from English or other Western languages, so it takes a huge commitment of time and effort to learn. Since 98 percent of the population in Japan were born and raised here (as well as their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparent
  20. Thanks, Mary Beth! As a matter of fact, I’ve watched your “Getting the Most Out of Your Cochlear Implant” video a half-dozen times. It’s one of several videos that I watch repeatedly via my CI/neckloop as a way to work on and measure my progress. The video is very well done and you have a nice message. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you from here in Japan. Best, Kirk
  21. Hello, All. This is just a quick introduction. My name is Kirk. I’m a retired American journalist now living in Tokyo, Japan. I received a Synchrony I implant with a Rondo 2 processor in early January, with activation a few weeks later. All seems to be going well, so far, but I wouldn’t mind suggestions or guidance from Forum users regarding the mapping and rehab process, which I know is extremely important. I’ve had terrific care from one of the leading hearing specialists in Japan — in fact, an entire team of them! — and my audiologists are dedicated and hard-working folks. However
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