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New Candidate for CI from Australia


Daniel the Stranger
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Hi guys,

I have a bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss since I was 4 years old and I have been using hearin aids all my life. I have programmed my CI surgery on the weaker ear for January next year. Just these days I have been thinking of the possibility of having both surgeries at the same time and I would like to know your thinking about this double surgery.

I have always considered myself an adaptable person not only in life but also in regards to my hearing loss. The only thing that worries me is the returning to work if I do both surgeries at the same time considering the rehabilitation process and mostly the understanding of the speech which is important for my job. I know that every person is a different world but it would be good to know how long did it take for you to understand speech after activation.

Thank you all for keeping this forum alive to help people like me with different issues in regards to CI.

 

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Hi and welcome!

Each CI center handles things a bit differently, so you will get the best info from your actual center.  I had sequential CIs 8 months apart.  The wait between surgery and activation was 3-4 weeks.  During that time, I heard nothing in my newly implanted ear and relied on the other ear for any sound input.  After activation things improved daily, weekly and monthly.  I looked back at my journal and for my right side (first CI) it was somewhere around 30-40 days that I chose to function with the CI only at work.  But this really varies a lot from person to person.

Wishing you the best!

 

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Hi Mary, thank you very much for your quick reply!

The thing that has me thinking is precisely coming back to work if I do both surgeries at once. If you had to do it again, would you do separate surgeries according to waht you experienced?

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Hi,

That's a tough question because I only experienced sequential CIs.  Sequential CIs were the right choice for me.  We implanted my completely deaf and unaidabke ear first which had not processed any sound for 24 years.  This allowed me to focus intensive aural rehab on that ear alone which was definitely needed.  Smile.  That ear did amazingly well and by three or four months I functioned best with that CI alone and no HA in my other ear.  So by the time we implanted my second ear (8 months after the first surgery) I was already completely comfortable functioning with just my one CI.  After activating the second side, I think it  took about 4 months to get the sides balanced.  

 

I have friends who received simultaneous CIs and that worked great for them.  There are advantages for sure.  One surgery.  One recovery period.  Training both sides together.  Many less appointments needed since you can do both MAPpings together.  But there are disadvantages too.  The time between surgery and activation will be quite challenging from a listening perspective.  You will not have a comfortable side to lay on when you sleep for awhile.

 

In the end, bilateral CIs are awesome.  However you choose to get there.  Smile.  So awesome and life changing.

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Hey there Stranger! The other thing I think we need to add is that you may not have hearing in the normal sense for awhile after surgery. It is not a quick fix and you may need extra time for you brain to adapt to the new way of hearing. Some people say it takes a few weeks before they can understand speech. Some actually hear speech at activation. You will be very tired though after each day for the first while as it is quite draining on the brain as it learns. So remember that when thinking about your decision. Rehab is super important. We have to do this daily for quite some time. If you need info on this look at the section on aural rehab. You can find many helpful tips and info there. Best of luck!! 

 

Kara 

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Hi Kara!!!

Thank you for your input. What you said is what worries me most, the fact that it takes longer than usual for me to hear speech and delay my return to work. The idea of doing both surgeries at once came precisely because there is a high possibility that we are moving to guess what? Canada!!. Thing is we have until January 2019 to move otherwise we would lose the permanent residency. That is why I was thinking of speeding things up a little bit. Guess I can do the next surgery 6 months later, we'll see.

I'm glad to have found this forum and hope to be here for long time. I also saw another member who is from Latin American background? I'm from Colombia by the way, so far from Aussie land.

Does any of you know or have experience with the water protection for CI? I can't see anything convincing on Medel website, I wish they had something like Cochlear has. One of the reasons I don't frequent pools or the beach (that I have 5 mins from home) is because I don't like to be too long without my hearing aids.

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Hi If your coming to Canada defenitely get two before you come here! In Ontario they only give one implant to adults under our health care. But some have been fortunate to appeal for special circumstances. Med El does have what we call "waterwear". It's for Sonnet and Rondo. I'm not sure about Opus 2. It's a water-tight package that goes over the processor. Enabling us to wear it in water. We all choose to secure it with other things as it is not attached to anything. Mary Beth uses what's called a Nammu cap over her Rondos. When she goes in swimming. I have used my Med El sorts headband and it works fine. Hope this helps.

??Welcome home! Neighbour!! Kara ?

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Well, I don't know if Australia's health care covers both implants, I'm paying for Private insurance at the moment which will cover me both. I decided to go private as waiting times are a bit long (2-3 years) and being 40 years old, I thought that doing it asap was very important for my work.

Yes, I did see the waterwear but it seems too complicated to set up, hope there is anybody in here who has had any experience with it that can share with us. Do you know if the sonnet or Rondo can withstand the sweat when going to the gym? I do go to the gym frequently and I have to remove my hearing aids before training. Would I have to do the same with the sonnet?

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I use the waterwear with the Rondo and after you get the hang of it, you can set it up quickly.  It sounds awesome and I don't even know it is on.  

 

My Rondos handle sweat well.  Most likely because the sweat runs  underneath or around the Rondos and there are no seams there.  Sonnets are able to handle sweat and still work but some people report that when sweat drips into the Sonnet mic covers, it doesn't sound good anymore until it dries out.  People are using various items to help with this, including ear gear covers, headbands, longer cables and securing the Sonnet to their shirts etc.  People can be very creative.

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Well, now I have to wait until my next consultation in November. I hope that by that time Medel still has the special sonnet + rondo + connectivity pack. I will keep you posted.

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That is a nice Med El promo in Australia right now.  I fell into a Plus Rondo promotion for my second CI in the USA.  Lucky timing indeed.

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I don'thave any issues with sweat and my sonnet. I also don't do strenuous sports if I did though I would sweat like crazy!! Best of luck Stranger!! 

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