Hopefully, a reset to my relationship with the VA

My relationship with VA audiology hasn’t been the best. I didn’t care for their attitude, and they didn’t care for mine either. As a result, I was labeled “uncooperative”. They have turned down every request for assistive devices, and missed no opportunity to chastise me about my lack of hearing aid use. Recently, I received a diagnosis of “mild cognitive impairment”. I also had an MRI that suggests Alzheimer’s Disease. Having read that untreated hearing loss accelerates cognitive decline, I have been wearing my aids. Generally, they are a pain, and I believe I hear better without them. The one good thing is watching TV. I have the TV streamer, and it enables me to watch TV at a volume I like without annoying the others in the house. Sound Recover 2 actually improves my understanding of dialog. I am still addicted to closed captions, though. Recently, my left aid suddenly went completely quiet while watching TV one night. After changing the battery twice, and fiddling with it to get some sound out, I gave up and dropped it off at the recently opened Audiology department of my local VAMC. The next day, I nice fellow called to say that he had checked out the aid and found the little rubber tube that sticks out of the mold was stopped up with wax. I felt like a dummy for not checking that. My ears don’t produce much wax, so it has never been a problem for me. I also didn’t realize that wax could completely block all the sound. He said he heard some mechanical clicking coming from it, so the was going to send it off to have it checked more thoroughly. About a week later, I got a call saying it was back when I was ready to pick it up. Having been impressed by his polite manner, I drafted a short note explaining that my relationship with VA Audiology had not been good in the past, but that I would like to try a Roger On remote microphone. I didn’t really expect any kind of reply. Then, today, I get a call from a nice sounding young woman who said she was the Audiologist, and she had read my note. I call her young because I am certain she is younger than me. At my age, if she is still working, she almost has to be younger than me. She wanted to know why I wanted a Roger On. I explained the difficulty I have understanding voices in background noise, and all the good things I have read about the Roger On. She said that the Roger On would also amplify the background noise in the vicinity of the speaker, so I thought she was going to say “no”. She went on to say that my Marvels weren’t compatible with the On, which was news to me. She said she could order some newer, compatible aids if I wanted to try the On. I explained that I had almost 2 more years before I was eligible for new aids. She replied that there was no longer a restriction, and that I could get new aids now. I was floored. I almost didn’t know what to say next. I told her I wanted aids that used a size 13 battery, and she suggested rechargables. She is going to call when they arrive to set up the appointment for fitting. I have great hopes for the Roger ON. I have heard nothing but good things about it. More importantly, I hope this is the beginning of a new relationship with VA Audiology.

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John I have high hopes that things will work out for you. And it is so great to hear that you haven’t given up.
The best of luck to you.

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John it sound like you might be on the right road now.
I go to the VA in Baton Rouge and they have been great with me. I just got my second set of aids. First was about 4 years ago the were Resound Linx2. Then about Jan 2022 they told me it was time to get new aids. They gave me Resound One rechargeable. They had to make some new custom molds for them and I’m supposed to go pick them up tomorrow. They also gave me the Resound TV Streamer that works good. And about 3 years ago I told them I would like to have a sound machine to use at night to sleep with my Tinnitus. So she said ok and sent me one in the mail.
So good luck and I hope you’re new ones work great for you

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John, you are very fortunate (and no doubt completely deserving) to have the services of the VA for your hearing loss. My friends who also do have great experience with the audiologists they see.

On the rechargeable vs battery choice I can tell you that after years of using batteries going to rechargeable has been a huge improvement for me.

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That’s excellent news @John_Green, I am delighted for you, and perhaps you are now making some headway…. Good Luck with the new aids, and the Roger On. Cheers Kev :wink:

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@John_Green So sorry to read the news of cognitive impairment.
You are correct about studies of hearing loss leading to this outcome.

On the other hand, I’m very pleased to read of your recent dealings with the VA Audiology Dept.
I remember your frustration in past dealings, and it looks like the staff handling your hearing needs has taken a giant step forward.

Best of luck!

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This is wonderful news about your new progress with the VA relationship. I go to two VAMCs. The one that was near where I used to live (and fit my HAs) and one a little closer now. They have been so helpful. Great HAs and earplugs, streamer for tv, roger on, sound generators for tinnitus, a speaker pillow, a headband with all kinds of support. Progressive Tinnitus Management program. I hope they treat you as well!

I found last week that the VAMC near me has a walk-in HA repair clinic. No appts, just come in. The other VAMC offered me an appt a week away for a jammed wax trap. My wife got it out with a needle, but it was great to learn.

Thanks for your service!

WH

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I contacted my VA clinic today and got an appointment for May 3rd to get my Oticon More aids firmware updated and also to get my annual hearing test. I could have gotten an appointment sooner but needed to wait until after the first of May for the new contracts so I could get the firmware of my aids updated.

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Thanks Chuck. I know we have communicated about our VA experiences before. I am hopeful things will go better this time. When I tell folks I have early stage dementia, they always say they can’t believe it. having my short term memory deteriorate within a year was what made me seek medical advice. I am taking Aricept, and have actually gone back to work part time. That has had both an up side, and a down side, but I think the upside outweighs the downside. I can still tell the younger folks a thing or two from time to time. I’ll post the results for the Roger On after I have had a while to see how well it does.

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Not sure of your religious believes but I will be praying for you to have great results.

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John,

Sorry to hear about the dementia but very happy to hear you have put your aids on and are getting great help from the VA. As you have seen they are trying to help you.

Is it possible that get your hearing back could help improve the dementia?

Good luck getting acclimated to your new aids and as you know it might be uncomfortable for a while. I hope the Roger helps you as intended.

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I went to the VA Wed. and picked up my Resound One’s I got in Jan. They had to make some new custom molds for these. They are working great and like you I need to go back after May 1st for them to update the stuff so I’ll have hands free. The VA have been great to me

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Re: Roger. Be sure to ask for Roger On In. The “In” installs the capability directly into your HAs without the need for a necklace device. Just plain Roger On requires the neck lavalier (sp?).

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I have found the VA to be a mixed bag. Overall i have found them to be very good. But there are still a few audiologist that insist on treating all user’s like entry level user’s. I have been been wearing hearing aids for 37 years now and feel that I don’t need to be told how to clean a hearing aid, insert batteries, etc. My biggest issue with the VA is the time needed to get an appointment, around 3 months in both Florida, where I winter, and Cincinnati, my summer residence. I typically was able to get an appointment within a day or two with my private audiologist before I signed up with the VA. Maybe I am just spoiled but when you have a herring aid problem you need prompt attention.

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It depends on where you go to the VA it seems. I have used clinics in Texas and Arkansas. In Texas it was normal for a month wait for most but there was walk in emergency clinics too. Here in Arkansas it has been normal for a 2 week wait and emergency was normal for same day or the next day

Yes this is true. According to @John_Green audiologist. This won’t work with his current Phonak Marvel Aids which isn’t true. The Roger On iN will work with both the Marvel and Paradise Aids. It annoys me that audiologist hand over incorrect information.

EDIT - Altho the audiologist has handed out incorrect information, it’s worked in John’s favour as he’s getting new Aids.

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The Bay Pines VA facility in Cape Coral, Florida had a walk-in clinic prior to the Corona Virus pandemic and it was great. Sure hope they open it soon.

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Hi @name.withheld, I don’t think the VA use the Roger On In, I believe or it would appear, the VA “Pre-Install”, the Roger X Receivers licenses, into all their Phonak Paradise/Marvel aids, either the Roger X (Type 02 or Type 03) most likely the (Type 02) as it is more versatile, and can connect to all Roger devices? There is therefore no need for them to give any clients the Roger On In, as the licenses are already in situ, and Roger On will suffice…. After various discussion’s on this forum, that would be my conclusion, from more than one source…. It would also appear there are lots of Ex-VA hearing aids on the second hand market, which have Roger X receivers still installed… I could have made the wrong assumptions though… Cheers Kev :wink:

Correct @Zebras, Roger On works with both Marvel & Paradise Aids, with Roger X Licenses installed, I have 2 x sets of Marvels, M70 SP BTE Nadia’s, M90 P13 RIC’s, and 1 set of Paradise Naida’s UP BTE’s, all work perfect with Roger On devices…… Cheers Kev :wink:

@kevels55

Yes :wink: If I remember correctly, didn’t @John_Green buy a Roger Select from a garage sale? Maybe he could link them to his Marvels and see if they work. That’ll tell us if the VA do indeed pre install the Roger licenses.

Installing the Roger receivers either way, will still work with both Marvel and Paradise Aids :relaxed:

Ignore this comment if it wasn’t John who got a cheap Roger Select. I may have not remembered it correctly.

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