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Mary Beth

What was the last straw that pushed you to get a cochlear implant?

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Many of us had progressive hearing loss.  What was the experience that made you finally decide to pursue getting a cochlear implant?  Do you think your timing was right in hindsight or do you wish you had gotten your implant sooner?

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My last straw event was attending our friends’ wedding.  So limiting.  Needed to speechread 1:1.  Could not even join in the dancing because the music just sounded like random noise with no beat.  That was October 2014. Had my first appt with my CI surgeon in December.  Tests for the CI in January 2015, surgery in February and activation in March.

 

Strictly from a hearing standpoint, I should’ve gotten my CIs sooner.  From a personal standpoint, I needed to be ready and as soon as I was ready I went.

 

What about you?

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I had been going to an audiologist who basically just upgraded my hearing aids every time I needed them replaced.  CIs really weren't on my radar, even though as the years went by, the hearing aids helped less and less.  I thought I was managing fairly well, but (and this is hard to describe) even though I thought I did OK at work and whatnot I also knew I had a serious problem.  But no one had ever spoken to me about CIs.  Finally my audiologist went out of network and I had to go to someone else, and that person tested my hearing, gave a slight scream when she saw the resulting audiogram, and said, Look, you are a candidate for CIs.  Go see Dr H at the University of Minnesota.  And I did, and within a couple of months I was having surgery.  I didn't hesitate.

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Makes perfect sense to me @Mary Featherston.

Finding a way to keep hearing aid audiologists up to speed on the ever changing CI candidacy rules seems to be very important.  

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Although I was/is an avid music listener, I pulled Led Zeppelin IV from my LP collection and realized I couldn't even hear Robert Plant singing...

That was it for me😀

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I had sudden loss and wanted the implant from the start. But if I had any doubt it was erased when I was at a funeral - couldn't understand the speeches properly, and couldn't hear a word anyone was saying to me, even up close, in the noisy foyer afterwards. It was so awful.

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My employer met with me about my "medical condition." I realised that they would use my deafness to get rid of me. So I went to my audiologist who told me it was time for me to get a CI. I had been putting it off for years. I decided to go to the US and see if all I needed was the most powerful HA on the market or if I really did need a CI. Note they had told me I needed one about 6 years prior. But the meeting with my employer was the wakeup call for me. 

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I pretty much did the hearing aid thing for years, upgrading and staying with the maximum power hearing aids available. It was "good enough" and let me get by in life. Last year, I noticed more-than-usual problems with hearing in my left ear. And I was struggling very much in meetings and every day life understanding people. I would be at a complete loss at understanding without my right hearing aid.  I went to the audiologist and ruled out the easily fixable things (e.g. ear wax, hearing aid malfunctions, etc), and was not successful. The audiologists have been suggesting that I look into CIs for years, but I've put it off because I've been doing ok with them and heavy reliance on lipreading. But, I decided that the hearing aid in my left ear wasn't good enough for me anymore. I went in to get my CI evaluation done and implanted 8 months ago.

As for timing, a lot of my hesitation was that I considered it to be a huge step since it's not really reversible back to hearing aids. Given that the hearing aid was no longer working well in my left ear, I was ready to take that step. The timing was right for me.

If you ask me about my right ear, I do plan to get a CI for it, but not until my left ear is ready to stand on its own. It's still improving every day.

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