violinmemories Posted November 25, 2012 Report Share Posted November 25, 2012 It's Meredith here, I am from the USA. Last Wednesday (Nov 21st) I had my 2nd CI evaluation done. My first was January 2009 and I didn't meet the qualifications for a CI. This time I failed the test, which means I qualify for a CI!!!! I choose Med-El in Ebony brown to match my hair color. I have an appointment in January to meet with my surgeon and go over everything (which I am assuming will include a surgery date). There are a few things that I need to seriously think about - one has to do with "where" will I have the surgery. Basically, the Med-El is new to the USA (I was told by the audiologist) and right now even though my local doctor started implanting with Med-El, the local CI Center still is in talks between Med-El and the hospital - the audiologist told me they have another meeting with the Med-El rep on December 19th, and she thinks the hospital will be getting on board with Med-El by the time my surgery happens, as they have been discussing Med-El for the past 2-3 months. I am not thrilled with hearing this at this point. My other option would be to go down to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and have them implant me there, Hopkins is one of the top CI Centers in the USA that is willing to implant me. However, it's a 3 hour drive one way (in good traffic), where as my local hospital is 20 minutes from me. I also have some other medical issues that my local surgeon and hospital know about (he did an ear surgery on me before). 2) The audiologist informed me that they (not sure who "they" she is talking about here) do not test the implant while in the OR to make sure all the electrodes are working. I do know a different implant company Does test the electrodes prior to leaving the OR. This has me a bit concerned as I don't want to end up with an implant that doesn't work from the beginning. Can anyone clear up this question for me please. 3) This is the big question - I am fortunate to have Medicare health insurance here in the USA. But it will only cover 80% of the whole surgery/implant, which will leave me to cover the remaining 20% of the cost on my own. I do not have any other insurance and at this point I have no idea what the cost will be for a CI, I hope to find out in January from my doctor. So, right now I am looking at ways to "fund" the 20% as I am pretty sure it will cost me at minimum several thousands of dollars, I just don't have that kind of money..as it is I am on a limited budget due to not being able to work because of a disability. 4) another minor thing is when I was discussing what I couldn't hear and how background noise makes it impossible for me to hear anyone. The audiologist said "with the CI you'll still have difficulty with background noise". Because the CI Center hasn't worked with Med-El before, and I'm assuming that they have worked with the other two implant companies (Cochlear America and Advanced Bionics) I'm assuming they have no clue how Med-El works and all the programs that it comes with. Now she did have the Med-El Demo kit in her office and was showing me the pieces and did discuss some of the options like the batteries and rechargable v standard. I was able to pick out the color (Ebony), I'm not sure why she was able to show me the demo kit since they haven't done anything with Med-El (does this make sense). So I guess in a way I am hesitant to go there for mappings and follow up. Though if I get my surgery done at Hopkins, I will be committing at least a full year to them before I can transfer my future mapping sessions up here to Delaware. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that I finally qualify and will be able to take control of my life again. I am hoping to get my CI in time for my next birthday which is April - which means either a late Feb or early March date (was told it would be about 3 weeks between the surgery and the activation period). Meredith Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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