Linda D. - Awareness Manager
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I had normal hearing growing up and for a long time we believed that a severe case of mono and high fevers triggered what became a progressive hearing loss. Over the past 7 years we have traced that back to a more likely probable cause. I had a tumor in my eye socket when I was 11 years old. There were tentacles of the tumor wrapped around the optic nerve and to ensure the tumor would not return I was given half the adult dosage of Cobalt radiation for 2 weeks following surgery. I passed all my hearing screenings in school and displayed no obvious signs of hearing loss following however; looking back I was a budding musician and loved to sing. I had a terrible time understanding the lyrics to songs I would try to copy off of records. Knowing what I know now, that was likely because I had lost some of my high frequency hearing but we did not know that.
When I was 22 I worked in a hospital and part of my job was to do audiograms as part of pre-employment physicals. During my training is when we discovered I had a hearing loss starting around 4K but it did not affect my ability to understand speech in everyday environments. By age 29 I couldn't hear the phone ring and started wearing hearing aids. Twenty years later I was only able to understand by reading lips and my family encouraged me to have a cochlear implant.
I received a Nucleus Freedom implant Nov. 2005 at House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Within 10 days I was able to understand people talking from the next room. At 30 days, I had 98% speech understanding of sentences and today I test at 100% on sentences and around 90% on single words! It has been an AWESOME experience, but everyone is different. Today, some people are doing that on the day of their activation but there are those who may need more time for the brain to learn how to process the sounds again!
It's amazing to read the stories here at the Community!
I started working for Cochlear in July 2006 as the Awareness Manager for the Pacific North West which included northern California and northern Nevada. In July 2010 I accepted the position as Senior Manager and covered the same territory I had plus several states around Minneapolis. I also supported three other Awareness Managers. This year I am going back to being a full time Awareness Manager in my original territory and I’m very excited to reconnect with many of those I have not seen for a while.
I upgraded to the new Nucleus 6 sound processor a few months ago and the world sounds even BETTER! I had noticed a big change with the Nucleus 5 and the Nucleus 6 offers even more. I typically stay in my everyday program most of the time however both the Nucleus 5 and 6 have significant improvements to the Noise programs when the environment is challenging. It is amazing how much easier it is to understand people talking and it takes so much less energy to hear when I use them!
Knowing what I know today, I couldn't be happier that I chose Cochlear as my partner in hearing for the rest of my life! I use the phone with anyone, enjoy music, I can tune my guitar again and I can hear and understand my 4 precious grandchildren!
Please let me know if I can answer any of your questions about this amazing technology! It has changed the lives of our family more than I could ever have imagined!