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Hi newbie here!


lauren27
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I just got word that I will be finally doing my unilateral CI surgery on May 10th. I am extremely excited for this, as the last year living completely deaf, having a huge communication barrier between myself and the rest of the world has not been fun. I grew up with 30% hearing in my left and fully deaf in my right ear from age 3 up until February 2016 when I lost what little hearing I had. I was able to function pretty well with my 30% so I never relied on or learned sign language (which I now kick myself for). I was given 3 options of brands of CI's and was wondering which was the best? AB, Med el, or Cochlear? All the research I've done shows that they are all good, but since I don't know anybody else that is deaf or has an CI, I figured I'd ask here! Thanks in advance for any feedback!

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Congratulations Lauren!  Wishing you all the best on your hearing journey.

 

I was also given the choice between all three brands and chose Med-El for the electrode array options.  Things to consider when choosing your brand:

-customer service (I have had terrific customer service from Med-El.)

-backward compatibility (Med-El makes future external processors compatible with all internal devices.  This will be important many years from now as we hope to keep using our original internal devices and will want to use the newest processors.  This is something that is not true for all three brands.)

-waterwear options (All three brands have ways we can hear in the water.  Some use a hard plastic case.  Others use stiff bags.  One has a special waterproof coil but it is large.  I love Med-El's Rondo waterwear cover.  It's so comfortable you don't even know it is on and everything sounds terrific.)

-Comfort of your audiologist with programming the brand (I go to a large CI center - New York Eye and Ear in NYC- so this was not an issue for me as they are comfortable programming all brands.  Some people go to small CI centers with only 1 or 2 CI audiologists.  If that is the type of center you are going to, ask your audiologist which brands she/he is most comfortable programming.  Med-El has regional CAMs- Clinical Account Managers- who are audiologists who support our clinical audiologists.)

 

I recall clearly how strange it was to be told that I had to choose the brand.  Ask people what they like about their CIs.  Make the decision that is best for you.  Wishing you great success on your journey.  CIs are life changing.

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Thanks Mary Beth. It sounds like Med El is quite popular but I will continue researching until I decide. The center I will be going to is pretty big, they have a great group of ENT's and audiologists so I feel confident they will be able to program the one I want, however I never thought to ask so that's great advice.

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Have you been able to meet other CI users in person yet?  Which part of the US are you in?  

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I have not. I am from Wyoming and I've never even met another hearing impaired/deaf person here my whole life. I recently on really discovered there was a whole community that I have missed out on.

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That's a beautiful state.

 

Check out Med El Cochlear Implant Discussion Group on FaceBook.  Ask to join.  It's a very active group of Med-El users and parents from all over (an international group with many US users).

 

Ask whatever questions there you want and you will get lots of replies.

 

I was born hearing and started to lose my hearing at age 13.  It progressed rapidly from there.  I was implanted in 2015 at the age of 51.  Best decisions ever!  These CIs have been just amazing.  I never felt like I had a community of people who shared my experiences until I got my CIs.  It's refreshing to have a group of people who understand and can support each other.

 

Ask any questions here too.  Some people on this forum are also in the FB group but other people on this forum are active just here so you will get different responses by posting in both places.

 

What are you most excited about after adjusting to your CI?

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Wow! What a life changing thing for you I can just imagine to have waited all those years and to finally get it. I will look into tha group. As a facebook user, I should have known to look for groups on there! I am most excited about hearing my daughters voice. I lost my hearing when she was just about to start talking and she's always singing and loves music so I think I am most excited for that. But above all else, just hoping and praying for a better quality of life, socially. Being around my family and friends, they have always been so supportive of me but it has been a struggle all my life. I am going into this pretty blindly except for what the doctors have told me to expect. I don't know whether to have expectations or to just roll with it.

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Lauren,

 

For the vast majority of us, aural rehab is a necessary part of teaching our brains to understand the sound received from the CI.  I worked on aural rehab daily after activation.  Check out our aural rehab topic here for lots of tips.

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