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Hi everyone, I received my first cochlear implant almost 11 years ago but am very excited about going bilateral with a Nucleus 5 sometime this spring.
I started losing my hearing at about 3 years of age, started wearing hearing aids at age 5, and my hearing just progressively got worse. I don’t really know why I lost my hearing as there is no one else in my family that has had any issues with hearing. I assume that my mother had come into contact with someone with German measles while she was pregnant with me as there was a German measles epidemic in that part of the US at the time.
I wore hearing aids in both ears from age 5 until I got my first CI for my left ear (at age 34) and continue to wear a hearing aid in the right ear.
My first implant was an Advanced Bionics C1. They implanted it in my worst ear as I was still able to function with a hearing aid in my right ear. The implant improved my hearing ability tremendously but I preferred my hearing aid sound over the cochlear and still consider it my “favorite” ear. Whereas I feel I get more loudness from the cochlear, I get much more sound recognition when I have my hearing aid on as well. If I only wear my hearing aid, I struggle to hear, if I only wear the cochlear, I struggle to understand, so they have always been a good combination and I have been reluctant to get a second cochlear because I was afraid I would lose the clarity.
Last spring, my hearing aid “died” but after four days in the dry aid kit, I was finally able to revive it. I went to get fitted for a new digital aid, the strongest available, but I either get non-stop feedback or if they adjusted it to get rid of it, then it would sound like I was under 100 feet of water. We tried several ear molds, several programs, but nothing was working. So then the audiologist suggested the bilateral implant. After testing me and telling me that I qualify, she pulled up my old records and my hearing was actually bad enough 11 years ago to qualify. Amazingly even though my hearing has progressively gotten worse over the years, hearing aid technology has gotten better so that I did better on my test (with my old aid, the new one I couldn’t hear a thing!) this time than I did 11 years ago.
So now I have had all the pre-surgery tests, met with my surgeon last week and am anxiously waiting to get the call to tell me when my surgery will be, probably May they say. Hopefully my old hearing aid will make it that long!