DDE Cochlear Ambassador
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I was born with a hearing loss but I was not evaluated until I was 5 years old (1957). I was then fitted with a box hearing aid. I must have had some hearing before I was 5 years old since I have been getting around without an aid. My parents just figure I was not paying any attention to them as a typical kid but as they had to yell at me all the time to get my attention, they thought something was wrong. The ear/nose doctor examined me and told my parents that I have a nerve loss and would require a hearing aid. Only an aid in the left ear and none in the right ear. So as I was getting ready to register for school, the first time. The school officials thought I should attend a special school for the deaf in Colorado Springs located 2 hours away from home. My parents said no, they want me in a public school. So the arrangement was that I would have speech therapist once a week and was given the go ahead to attend public school. Sixth grade I upgraded to behind the ear hearing aid. I had the once a week speech therapist all the way through until I graduated from High School. Many people had commented that I speak quite well for a hearing impaired person. I also learned how to read lips. I did not learn any sign languages. At this time my hearing is 50db in the left ear and 87db in the right ear. I was able to understand on the telephone with amplification. In 1980's I woke up with sudden hearing loss. I thought the hearing aid was bad but it was not the case. The specialist thought maybe I had the loss because I was enrolled in an high impact aerobics exercise program which consisted of a lot of bouncing around. That might have "juggle" the inner ear tiny bones. There were no explanation. The specialist wanted to try giving me treatments of "diatrizoate meglumine (hypaque)" for sudden hearing loss. This consisted of shots once a week but after the 4th injection I fainted afterward. So it was discontinued. I gradualy gained some hearing back but it was not like before. I applied at the Denver Institude for the cochlear implant shortly thereafter but I was not a candidate. My hearing continued to degrade that I was no longer able to under stand conversation on the telephone. At present I'm 80db left ear and 90db right ear. I'm fortunate that I moved to Rochester MN where the Mayo Clinic is located. I'm now accepted as a candidate for the cochlear implant. Surgery is scheduled for March 18th if all goes well with the insurance ok.