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Decision on a implant


Lilly
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Hi everyone,

 

My name is Lilly I am new and a candidate for a CI and I am still seriously having doubts as to which implant is the best for me. I was born with deafness due to prematurity at birth, wore HA's all my adult life only. But last 8 yrs my hearing as been on and off, they have found no cause for the hearing loss. Been tested or a lot of things, lupus, lyme. etc... still working on that. Nevertheless I still can't hear.  I am  now deaf in right ear which was my bad one to begin with. Now I am a candidate for implant. My left is a little under 58 in quite. but is going too. How long I have that who knows. So yes I am looking at Med-el but I love music, love to talk in conversations and I am a very outgoing person.

 

I am in between afraid I will pick the wrong one I want to go with the one that has most warranty and I love the idea of the Rondo and nothing on my ear. A lot of folks I do not know well do not know I wear hearing aids but it is the vanity of it all that is probably the hardest for me. I am a little nervous because I have heard of so many problems with dizziness and the ringing of the ears do not go away. Well I have that anyway it is a constant for me now. Drives me nuts. Not to crazy of how the surgery of it all is. I have no tolerance for pain, and most pain meds make me sick so that is a fear factor for me too.  I work Part time and I really want to keep working. Guess what I am asking what made you decide on the implant that you have and how well have you adjusted. The doc that is doing mine, usually does AB but I do not like the 3 yr warranty. He started doing Med-el a while back. The cochlear seemed a little big for my small size. Decision time for me quickly. Any advice would be appreciated.

All the technical things are confusing. My audiologist didn't really explain each one much but said they are all good.

 

Thanks again.

Lilly

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I got my implant on June 18.  The surgery was not simple but within a week I was putting on makeup, fixing my hair and out to lunch.  Been going out since.  I too was very scared about the decision, surgery, etc.  I had very little dizziness.  More like a bit off balance and my surgeon showed me a "trick" to teach the brain to adapt.  So far so good.  I get "activated" next week.  I had my right ear done and had no word recognition but some sound in it.

 

Once I made the decision to go forward, I just wanted it done.  I was so scared until the last few days before surgery and then I felt calm.

 

So far, so good.

 

Christine

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I got my implant on June 18.  The surgery was not simple but within a week I was putting on makeup, fixing my hair and out to lunch.  Been going out since.  I too was very scared about the decision, surgery, etc.  I had very little dizziness.  More like a bit off balance and my surgeon showed me a "trick" to teach the brain to adapt.  So far so good.  I get "activated" next week.  I had my right ear done and had no word recognition but some sound in it.

 

Once I made the decision to go forward, I just wanted it done.  I was so scared until the last few days before surgery and then I felt calm.

 

So far, so good.

 

Christine

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Hello Reva,

 

Everyone's hearing history, surgery experience and adjustment to the CI is unique but if it helps you to hear it, here's mine:

 

I had normal hearing as a very young child but by school age it was starting to go.  I was able to compensate on my own but by age 16 was wearing bilateral BTE hearing aids.  My hearing continued to slowly decline but hearing aids slowly improved so I was able to get to age 55 before I decided I had given up enough things.  I had given up going to parties, to movies, to restaurants, to plays.  I'd given up participating in any conversation in cars after dark.  I'd given up aspects of my career.  I had missed so much of what my child and his friends were saying.  I couldn't join any church group or quilting group or do any volunteer work that involved talking with others.  When you feel you have nothing to lose, getting a CI is an easy decision.

At age 55 I had my worst ear done.  I had terrible issues with nausea, vertigo, balance for the first 1-2 weeks.  I had roaring tinnitus.  All of that got better and, within a month, I had better hearing in that ear than I'd had in 20 years!  I could talk on the phone!  I did some volunteer work!  I started putting myself out there more in my professional life!  I never thought I'd have 2 CI's but before the year was done I'd had my left ear done too.

Now, the left ear was a completely different experience: absolutely no nauesa, no vertigo, no dizziness, no tinnitus.  I took it easy for a week or two but was able to do a lot of things, just paced myself.  I took 2 weeks off from work and then was back.  I've been activated on my left side for almost 2 weeks now and it's making progress all the time.  I'm eager for my next mapping cause I'm ready to be progressed again.

 

I chose MedEl because my surgeon had previously been unhappy with AB due to some recalls.  MedEl has a 5 year warrantee (if I remember correctly).  The main reason I chose MedEl is because they have the longest electrode array, which gives the best chance of hearing the lowest frequency sounds (which are physically located deepest in the cochlea).  They don't have 'one size fits all'; they do have different lengths and the surgeon pre-chooses which is best for you based on the CT scan that you have ahead of time.  They can see the size/length of everything in there and know which is best for you.

 

You will find hundreds of happy CI users of all brands and some unhappy users with all brands.  If you really need one and are willing to do the work to train your auditory nerve and brain once you're activated, you will be happy I'm sure - regardless of which brand you choose.  Personally, I am very happy with my Med El CIs!!!  I have both the Opus 2 and the Rondo processors and they both have their pros & cons; I love them both.

 

Good luck to you and I hope you come back to update us as to your decision Smile.

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Hello Reva,

 

I will try my best to help you out. I have done a lot of researches on 3 companies for a little over 3 years. My hearing using H.A. has not improve since I got one of the most powerful HA (Phonak Naida V UP) in the market 5 years ago. Last month my surgeon changed my implant from Cochlear to MED EL (per request by my neuologist). I asked many questions the past couple weeks on Hearpeers and with my audiologist. Here is one of the email that I like to share with you:

"Hi Joe,

I did hear that Dr. Haynes recommended MED-EL, and I think that is a wise choice if you will be needing MRIs in the future.  MED-EL is the only implant company that’s FDA approved for an MRI without having to surgically go in and remove the magnet.  There are certainly other pros to MED-EL.  For example they have the best warranty.  Everything comes with a 5 year warranty including the rechargeable batteries, which is a pretty nice deal.  You will also get 2 processors (Opus 2 and Rondo), which means if something were to happen to your primary processor you would have a back-up to use while waiting for the replacement.  The MED-EL electrodes are very well designed, and I have many MED-EL patients who perform very well with their device.  The processors will come with a Bluetooth neckloop that uses the telecoil in the processor to stream music or whatever from your phone.  I do not have a comparison chart, but those are the main differences.  I do not notice any differences in performance between patients using the Cochlear device versus the MED-EL.  Cochlear claims that having dual microphones is helpful in noise (i.e., the back microphone can be turned off if you change the processor to a “noise” program).  Noise is hard for everyone though, and I don’t see that Cochlear patients do any better in noise than MED-EL patients.  The MED-EL electrode is designed to cover the entire length of the cochlea, which is good for patients who have significant hearing loss across all frequencies, like you do.  But again, I don’t see any differences between the companies in this regard.

I’m sure it’s very nerve-racking to think you were going with one company and then to be switched to another, but I can assure you that MED-EL devices are very good and you will do just as well with MED-EL as you would do with Cochlear.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Adrian"


That email helps me a lot with decision making plus couple peoples in the Hearpeers too. I've gotten more and more comfortable as I studied more about MED EL.  As stated in the email my audi has not noticed any different in each companies it's just depends on the person. I read somewhere that some people were able to pick up higher pitches with MED EL than other 2 companies.

 

I had Simultaneous Cochlear Implant surgery (both ears) on June 4th and went home that same day. When my wife and I left the hospital we went to our church to pick up our daughter from VBS. I was able to walk with some support from my wife. The next day I had little dizziness but I was able to walk. I stopped taking the pain med 3-4 days after the surgery. I didn't like the pain med so I took Tylenol Extra Strength. I had a roaring tinnitus the second day after my activation on May 18th. It was so loud that it sounded like many airplanes trying to land. After a while either I am getting use to the roaring sounds or it's getting better. I am hoping, like many CI users, that when I put on the processors that it will "mask" the roaring tinnitus. Everyday I've been posting on FB my Hearing Journey. If you like I can send a copy to you in the email? I do not for one second request my decision of getting Cochlear Implant. I am loving it each day as I learn more sounds and understanding words!

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