Tomorrow I Go for My CI Evaluation

Tomorrow I go for my two hour evaluation appointment for a cochlear implant. All I know is I’m afraid. I have nerve damage in my left ear since I was young. I’ve been able to use a hearing aid to hear out of that ear with the hearing I have left. So many things going through my mind. One audiologist I’ve seen to re-program my Oticon hearing aid for my left ear says I won’t like the implant, don’t get it. My stomach is in knots. I’ve read and communicated with some posters here that say they wondered why they waited so long. This has given me panic attacks.

One question I have is that without the hearing aid in my left ear, I can barely hear at all. With my hearing aid, I’m fine. I know it takes rehab and several weeks for the implant to be activated. How do you decipher your hearing when with one ear and a hearing, you hear ok, but with the other ear, it’s mechanical. Doesn’t that get confusing?

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I don’t know if it helps any, but try looking at it as kind of like a job interview. They’re seeing if you’re suitable and you’re seeing if it’s a good fit for you. You’re just gathering information, not committing to anything.

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Good luck with your CI evaluation. This part shouldn’t be anything to worry about. I would think it will be very casual and informative.

I am very curious to see what happens. Please let us know how it goes tomorrow. I too am considering CI, pretty scared about it too.

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@MDB You’ve always been the voice of reason. The loss happened so suddenly in December. One thing everyone should know is sudden hearing loss is considered an emergency. Sometimes it could be fluid in the ear, but get to an ENT right away. The added problem I had is I had vertigo the day I lost the hearing. I couldn’t walk straight and a lot of vomiting. I’m also a diabetic so not being able to keep for down, should have been admittance to the hospital. It’s nothing for a doctor refer you and you get an appointment 2 weeks later. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

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@Raudrive Rick, thank you! I didn’t know you were thinking of going for the CI procedure. I’ll let everyone know what happens. As I replied to MDB, the hearing loss took me by surprise. I should just be thankful, and I am that a hearing aid is helping me to hear with my left ear. Since my stomach has been in knots, my appetite hasn’t been normal. My doctor thinks it’s nerves. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Both you and @MDB have calmed me down a bit and I thank you both.

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Best of luck to you Debbie. I am sure you’ll fill us all in on the details.

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Have you read deaf_piper thread on her CI? She is an inspiration to all of us.
She was very nervous too.
So much information to learn. Tomorrow will be busy but I bet a huge load will be off your shoulders by the evening.

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@Raudrive I believe @Deaf_piper has replied to me on another post, but I have not read her story about her CI journey… I’ll have to do a search to try and find it. Thanks for mentioning it.

I hope you are right about the visit taking a load off my shoulders. Yes, I agree, there is much information to be learned. I’ve settled down quite a bit since reading the responses. Thank you!

Thank you! I appreciate the kind thoughts.

Good luck Debbie, I will be thinking of you… 2 hours of solid concentration isn’t much fun… I understand exactly how you are feeling…:four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover:

Sorry Debbie I didn’t read your post properly, yes at first what your hearing is very robotic sounding. But the more concentrated rehab you do the more normal the sound/voices becomes… so by the end of 6-9 months you won’t be able to differentiate the difference between the aid and the CI. It does normalise for you. I wish I hadn’t sat on the fence for 18 months will I, won’t I…

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Good luck. I just retired as a counselor. Several individuals I worked with had good success with a CI. It is a major decision either way. Gather all of the information you can and make the best decision you can.

All the best.

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@Deaf_piper I will see if I can find your posts later today about your journey. I think what also plays into all this is that I’m also a type 1 diabetic. I’m getting ready to leave work shortly for my appointment. Thank you for your sharing your story and for the good wishes! I really appreciated the encouragement. Thank you so much. I’ll check back later. :grinning:

@jlgreer1 Thank you for your words of encouragement! You and the community have helped me so much. I will let everyone know how it goes. Wish me luck!

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Good luck at your appointment.

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@Raudrive Thank you Rick! I’m sure you you saw @Deaf_piper sent a reply. I have to go through her posts later. She waited a long time to get her implant. I will let you know how it goes later. :grinning:

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Debbie - before you make a decision on a CI you need to join or visit a Cochlear Implant group or association to get the facts directly from people using CI. Believe me - you will learn far more from people using a CI on a daily basis than you will from doctor’s office. Simply because who ever does your CI surgery/implant doesn’t wear or use a cochlear implant. The Audi that programs your CI, doesn’t wear or use a cochlear implant. So someone (medically wise) is telling you what a CI will do and what it won’t and how you’ll feel after outpatient surgery and how you have to learn or adapt to the CI, etc… - but that person your meeting with (at your medical facility) has never worn a CI.

Do your self a favor and see if there are any CI support groups that meet in your area and if you find one schedule a visit with them. You will learn far more from people who use CI on a daily basis (good and bad) than you will from a doctor’s office.

Good luck

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@youbgone Isn’t that a reason why I’m on the Hearing Tracker forum? Just kidding, I’ve been around almost 3 years starting with my jouney with lesrning about hearing aids. I certainly didn’t think I would lose my hearing in one ear. Sorry, just trying to make the point that this forum and the members here are my virtual support group. You’ve all been helpful.

All kidding aside, you bring up a good idea about a local support group. I will take your suggestion snd see if I can find a group. Thank you for the excellent idea. You’re right, I need a support group to further educate me and give me the support I need. This is all scary for me.

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Here is what happened today for those wanting to know. It wasn’t as bad as I thought for the evaluation. It’s mainly what we’re all used to, a battery of hearing tests. The only difference is the audiologist programs a set of “hearing aids” for your ears. These aids are just devices that are used for the test.

The test started with your normal set of beeps in each ear, progresses to repeating sentences without noise in one ear than the other and in both ears. Then speech in noise, one ear and the the other, then both. The audiologist scores the test as it goes along. The audi then goes over the results with you to let you know if you’re a candidate for the surgery, Mind you, it’s not really finding out about whether you’re a candidate, but proving to your insurance company that you need the implant.

I scored 70% in speech without noise. However, your ithe insurace company wants to know how you did with speech in noise. I did 60% there. That 60% qualified me to get an implant along with fact that I I heard nothing in my right ear.

The audi then explained about the procedure. What probably caused the hearing loss. Shows an implant and where it goes. Explains what tests, exams, etc. you may need prior the procedure. She also went over accessories and the amount of accessories included with your procedure,

Tomorrow I go back to meet the doctor.

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I’ve actually just posted an article written by an ENT surgeon, who himself is a Bil CI recipient. I found it a very interesting read. Especially as I’m guilty of sitting on the fence, and that’s one thing he stresses not to do. And he explains why!

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I’m generally a fan of support groups, but I have some thoughts you might consider. For starters, I have zero experience with cochlear implant support groups so you should likely take my thoughts with the proverbial grain of salt. I do have considerable experience with support groups for cardiac patients as I ran one for about 10 years. I don’t think they attract the “typical” patient. I think they tend to attract the people who are having problems and in general “struggle” with life. One of the most common comments from people who came to the support group just a few times was that it made them realize that they were really doing pretty well and that there were plenty of people worse off than them.

If this holds true in cochlear implant support groups, you could see a lot more patients who had problems than what is typical. It might be akin to reading horror stories before bedtime. Just something to think about.

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