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Concho aka Bob Wood - Volunteer

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My Story

I believe my hearing loss journey began while in the Service. I was a Gun Fire Control Tech in the Navy and was exposed to Naval gun fire from 20mm, 3", 5" and 8" guns routinely. Hearing protection wasn't an issue during my years, 1954-1959.

I had Tinnitus in both ears, as well as diminished hearing, however accepted and dismissed it as a condition of my duties.

In the early 70's I finally realized I needed help and started wearing hearing aids in both ears. Progressively, every few years I upgraded hearing aids as my loss grew worse. About 1995, my left ear became useless as I had no comprehensive word discrimintation and stopped wearing an aid in that ear.

After retiring, I sought help from the Veterans Administration and they have seen to my hearing needs ever since. In 2009, they tested and qualified me for a CI. I was implanted on Dec.9th of that year and turned on 8 days later.

Update: A participant here on the Cochlear Community advised me sometime ago to submit a disability claim to the VA for my hearing loss, which I did. After 17 months time they awarded me a 100% disability with a monthly pension.

After being turned on I couldn't hold the coil on my implant, even with a number 5 magnet. I had to use a sports headband to hold the coil in place. After a couple of weeks, I developed a "Seroma" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seroma) at the surgery site and had to stop wearing the CI for several months, per the surgeon, until the Seroma finally healed up. It took a good 6 months before the coil would stay on my implant by itself and I still use a number 5 magnet and keep my hair super short as staying in place is still marginal if my hair grows out.

It took about 6 months of daily wear before I finally realized the full benefit of the CI. Now I consider it a miracle and have been promised testing for another for my other ear. The VA moves very slowly and I must wait my turn due to the demand for CI implants.

 

Update May10, 2013

 

I have been tested and interviewed by the same surgeon who did my first implant for a bilateral left ear implant. Now it's just wait for a surgery date from the VA's busy schedule.

 

Update May 29, 2013

 

I have a tentative surgery date of August 1, 2013 for my bilateral rightear implant. 

 

Update August 1, 2013

Checked in at the Long Beach, CA VA Hopital this morning at 0630
hours and checked out at 2:30 PM with a new implant in my right ear.
Not too painful this first day as the VA is quite liberal with pain meds
and I take them when I need them. I go back in a week for a check of
the surgery site to make sure it is healing OK. My first implant caused
me a lot of problems and hopefully this one will go better.

Too bad the Nucleus 6 hasn't been approved as yet but if my new one
works anywhere as good as the first one has, I'll be eternally greatful.

 

 

Update Aug. 19th, 2013

 

Was advised from Audiologists office that my activation will occur on Thursday the 22nd and also that I would be receiving Nucleus 6 equipment when it is released in September since I was implanted on the 1st of August. ??? While I don't understand it, I'm not questioning it and will only be happy to get the new technology.

 

Update Aug. 23rd, 2013

 

Yesterday I was activated and I am now a true bilateral user. I heard and understood words right away, however they were distorted and had the "down in a barrel ", reverberated twang to them. I was only issued one processor, one size 6 coil, one cable and one battery holder.

 

I was informed that since my implantation surgery occurred on Aug. 1st, that I was to be upgraded to the new Nucleus 6 when they were released in September. That was the reason for the short supply of

system components as they would all have been turned in when the new Nucleus 6 system was issued to me. I couldn't be more pleased, of course.

 

The Audiologist said that the new N6 processors would be programmed for both left andright ears and that the 4 year old N5 processors would be programed as backups for the right and left.So, I will have both ears with new technology.

 

Update June 6, 2014

 

I was finally upgraded on both sides with the new N6 processors and

am very pleased with the results. I am now hearing very well, beyond

expectations and I hope all recipients fare as well as I have.

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