Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Todd's CI Experience

Todd is a high school friend of mine. He recently shared his CI experience with me and I thought I would post it on my journal.

I can truly tell you that the cochlear implant I have now really changed my life. I can hear much, much clearer than I did with the old aid. It is really amazing what normal hearing people can hear and what I hear that I never heard of before.

Let's start with me how I got it done. During the year of 1992 thru 1994, I experienced a series of tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and that caused my hearing to down. Now I am completely deaf in both ears. My doctors here recommended a cochlear implant and I was a good candidate for that. I also went to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion and again, I was a good candidate. All I needed was to have one side done, no need to have two. I had my surgery performed as an outpatient at Northside Hospital in November 1994. All they did was drill a tiny hole in my thick skull and feed the 5" 22 channel coil through the inner cochlear and cover up. I even went home that very same day. It did not hurt that bad. Now I had to wait 30 days before activation. It takes time to heal.

On the activation day, I had to go through mapping to adjust every 22 channels of hearing comfort. Once I got my hearing back, I couldn't believe it. My wife surprised me by calling my name through the wall next door. It was emotional. Now, it has been over 11 years and it has really helped me to improve my quality of life. I now have the BTE kind (behind the ear) and the cost of the whole thing (operation, processor, test, etc.) was well over $40,000. Lucky for me, my insurance paid every penny. I've been blessed.

I cannot remember if my CI side is the good ear or the bad ear. Remember, once you have it, there is no going back to hear again. Even with the hearing aid.

Just saw your chart, I think you are an excellent candidate for CI. I hope you have good insurance to cover this costly procedure. . . Todd"

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