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Bilateral Update

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:17pm
Things have been very busy here and promise to be even busier in the next few weeks. But, I'm loving my two *ears* and every day gets better and better. Two ears really do make a difference. I'm not sure how to describe it but everything I hear is fuller and more complete. Conversations on the TV and the radio are within *reach* but I'm still only catching words here and there. Sounds and words are sharper and clearer and like I said, background noise is better and more tolerable. I wear my new ear ALONE in the mornings so that I can get used to it faster. I'm also noticing that it is time for a new map, which I will get next week.

But, I cannot talk on the phone with one ear right now. I got used to grabbing the phone and putting it up to my left CI ear (the older one) and was able to understand the message that was being said. On Monday, the receptionist at work called me at my desk and when I picked up the phone, everything was muffled. I was confused and told her I'd be right out in the lobby. Now that I have two CI's, the ears are shifting and changing. My new ear is trying to take over but I cannot use the phone on that ear just yet. So, for now, I need headsets, silhouette coils, or a neckloop to talk on the phone with BOTH ears. I called my audiologist, Susie, the other morning and set up a lunch date with her for next week. I had a little trouble understanding her but she was patient with me and only had to repeat a sentence once when I asked her to. (I talked to her with two ears.)

Went to my monthly HLAA meeting on Thursday night and there was a speaker there who talked about CapTel phones. She was deaf, also, and originally had a one-electrode cochlear implant when she was 9 years old. She was reimplanted with the 22 channel Nucleus later when it became available and wears a CI one generation older than mine. She is trying to get approval for a second implant for her other ear but has been denied so far. The Let Them Hear Foundation is fighting for her. As more and more deaf and hard of hearing persons get implanted bilaterally it won't be long before it will become the norm to have two cochlear implants and not one. After all, we were created with two ears for a reason!

Anyway, I learned some more new information about CapTel phones and also about a special phone deal from Sprint. We already have a Sprint account and I use the Sprint PM-8200 for my cell phone. I can upgrade to a Sprint Blackberry 8703e for $99.00! These phones sell for more than that on eBay and normally retail for $500 at the Sprint store. I've always wanted a Blackberry or TREO phone and this one is Hearing Aid Compatible, has GPS tracking, and is supposed to be good for CI and Hearing Aid users. It has other great features, too. You have to be deaf or hard of hearing to take advantage of this offer and there is only one representative to contact by email.

Brad and Marissa were on spring break this past week so we've had people in and out of the house constantly and cars in the driveway. I took Chris and Brad out to eat at my favorite Chinese restaurant last night and it was nice. Steve was traveling and will be leaving soon again for Latvia for the next two weeks. I wish I could go with him!

We also have a new *temporary* member of the family. Chris found a small black puppy wandering around his best friend's neighborhood on Thursday night and almost hit it with the car. He picked her up and tried to find the owners by knocking on doors but had no luck. So, we have her. She is well taken care of, looks like a lab/husky mix and is sweet and good natured. She was wearing a pink collar so she belongs to someone. Probably some little child's puppy. . .She is so good and goes to the door when she wants to go potty. After being punished ONE TIME for peeing on the kitchen floor, she has gone to the door every time since then to go out. She has the cutest little whine and bark! We are in love with her but I'm trying real hard not to get attached to her. I'll post a picture later. We are trying to find the owner. I did call the vet yesterday morning to see if anyone had called about a lost puppy and they said they would send out a fax to all the vets in the area. I'd love to keep her BUT Riga is tolerating her and Maddie is jealous!
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