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Update 1/4/2017. Welcome to those of you reading our profiles and exploring the positive life changing possibilities of Cochlear Implants. For us "old timers" this cochlear community site was and remains our primary source of information since the stories are from real people with real experiences. We know that many of you in today's world use social media to share your life stories, but please also keep us "old timers" in mind and share your stories and progress of your journey here with us in the cochlear community too. Wishing you the best in your journey - we look forward to hearing your stories and progress.
Update 12/30/2015: A note for those of you who are just beginning to explore your options for better hearing. Here is a post I made today:
The biggest blessing of this Cochlear Community is that we now have friends that understand where we were before we started our CI journey; our early and continuing questions and emotions as we explored our options; the added anxiety after we make that decision for surgery; and the journey that follows. Yes, we have been there: Dread of the phone; TV and radio listening; riding in the car with others; social anxiety; avoiding situations; pretending to understand; wondering how we will look with these "things" stuck to the side of our head. BUT fortunately we too come to the conclusion that "we must do something because our hearing loss is having a drastic effect on our lives.
Update 9/7/2015: Upgraded to N6 on the right side in July. Yes, I like it better - especially the phone clip for phone and tv, but I would be completely happy if I still just had the 2 N5's using neck loop for phone, so don't fret if you can't upgrade to N6. And yes, the hearing life is good. As always, a big thank you to all of you for the support and feed back you provide. I try to always be avialable to help and share but sometimes don't check the site every day - if you send me a message thru the site it will pop up on my phone.
Update: 4/3/2014: Almost 4 years since my first activation and 3 years since going bilateral. OOps, it is now 4/22 - I must have been distracted by all the sounds I hear. My feelings today are the same as my last update on 11/14/2011. It does still get better and better all the time. The biggest thing I notice is that I can easily carry on a conversation one on one with my volume and sensitivity set as low as 2 or 3. I know this because I have one of my 4 settings with the volume and sensitivity set at 2 - I use this setting when I want to use my bluetooth for phone or tv(low settings eliminate the buzz in tcoil), and often someone comes up to talk to me and unless they more than about 10ft from me I don't change settings and still understand everything.
As of 11/14/2011: I am bilateral (both ears) with Nucleus 5 implants. My first implant was in June 2010, and the 2nd in June 2011. To say that I am very, very satisfied and happy with my results is an understatement. It has been a positive "life changer" nothing short of a miracle. As you can read below and in my blogs, my journey was from depression and feeling of hopelessness to joy and happiness. I had gone through about 15 years of declining hearing with gradual withdrawal from family, friends, and social situations. Every hearing moment is now a true blessing. Below is my first post to my profile. It is no longer "scary, and going too fast". Now it is just "Exciting".
First Post 5/15/2010:
Exciting, a little scary, and going pretty fast. I am 67 years old. Got my first hearing aids about 9 years ago which worked pretty good for a couple years. Now have 2 BTE's that are basically useless. My daughter, bless her, took me to a specialist just 2 days ago on May 13th. I knew my hearing had gotten a lot worse, but was kind of in shock when on the "word recognition" test I got absolutely ZERO in both ears. I had not been optimistic about the visit because I had read somewhere that the implants only gave a "sensation of sound", and that you really couldn't understand a conversation. My daughter works with a doctor that is also a personal friend of the family, and they had mentioned the implants to me a few times over the last year, but I just shrugged it off as something that probably wouldn't help. Needless to say that in the last 2 days I have been reading many very encouraging stories, but have all kinds of questions running thru my mind. I am already scheduled for final testing on June 18th, and if all goes well, according to my darling daughter, we will schedule the surgery that day, so you can see why it is all moving a little fast for me. All my family, and everyone at work is excited because they have been "putting up with my deafness", but I almost want to say, "hey, wait a minute, it's me they are cutting on, and do you know how much those things cost?". My deafness has been very depressing, but like many I suppose, I just thought I had to live with it, so it is taking some adjustment to believe there really is some hope. As for my hearing aid experience I pretty much always tell people that it is a rip off except for those with mild hearing loss. Just 3 weeks ago my HA audiooligist was trying to sell me new BTE's when it is obvious that hearing aids are not helping me at all. Hopefully I will get some feed back from some of you. Thanks for being there. Also looking for feed back on the comparisons between the Advanced Bionics and the Nucleus. Right now I am leaning towared the Nucleus.
Blog entries: The Blog entries below are chronological starting with the oldest at the bottom and working up to the most recent at the top.