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I have had hearing loss in my left ear since the early 1990s. It didn’t bother me too much because I could still hear out of my right ear. In 2005, I started to lose the hearing in my right ear. My doctor ran several tests, but could not determine the cause. He also tried a number of different remedies to try to get my hearing back, but nothing really worked. I would simply have good days and bad days with my hearing. In 2006 I got a hearing aid. It did help quite a bit at first. Over the years though, its effectiveness diminished. I was having trouble understanding speech. The hearing aid makes everything louder, but not clearer, and if I am in a room with background noise, such as a store, or restaurant, forget it, all I hear is very loud background noise, and not the person talking to me.
Eventually, my left ear became my good ear, (scary!) and by summer of 2008 all the hearing in my right ear was gone. With my hearing aid I do OK in one on one situations if the person is talking louder than normal. Talking on the phone is a challenge, even with my extra loud phone, and I use captions when watching TV. The other thing is music sounds so awful now. It just sounds like a bunch of scratchy noises. Without my hearing aid I hear almost nothing. I recently purchased an alarm clock with a shaker attachment. It is wonderful! I can go to sleep now knowing I won’t sleep through the alarm.
In fall of 2008 I took the test to see if I qualified for a cochlear implant. Out of 30 sentences that I was asked to repeat, I got one right! Well, I passed that test with flying colors! Yippee, I now qualify for a cochlear implant. I thought I would have my surgery in January or February of 2009, but I hit a snag with my insurance. They told me they would not pay because hearing aids and cochlear implants were excluded from coverage. I did some research and reached out to my company’s VP of HR. I showed her that most of the major insurance companies and Medicare cover Cochlear Implants. She agreed and was able to get our policy changed so they now cover CI surgery.
So here it is the first week of June 2009 and my implant surgery is scheduled for next week. I am very excited to finally taking the next step in this journey into better hearing. I pan to post blogs every step of the way. If you have any advice for me, or want to ask questions please feel free!