Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Internet Community

Just a quick post here to let my readers know that I am still here. Just can't sit down long enough to write a post but I have some in the "pending" file.

But, I wanted to share with you all that Michael Chorost, who wrote "ReBuilt" about his cochlear implant journey, has FINALLY been approved for his bilateral implant and will be having his surgery on December 17th. I cannot tell you how excited I am for him because this has been a long battle for him. He made the announcement on his website this week. I've known about this for awhile because he sent me an email as soon as he found out. It is very hard to keep a secret like this but I couldn't say anything because of the insurance issue. Aetna, a major insurance company, has just changed their policy to include bilateral cochlear implants. This is HUGE. Now anyone with Aetna can have a chance to hear with two ears instead of one. I thought I was going to have to wait until after Michael had the surgery to tell anyone about his victory. We both have our insurance with Aetna but for some reason I was approved for bilateral implants (a year ago this month) while he had to fight for his. Let's just say that he had a little "help" with his case and I'll stop there. I can't wait for his next book to come out about being "Rebuilt" again!

I've said this before and will say it again. . .I've finally "found" my group through the Internet and my local HLAA group. What I mean by this is that for years, I didn't fit in the deaf world OR the hearing world. Since I started my CI journey, I've discovered another "world" out there of people just like me with a severe hearing loss, who grew up oral, never learning to sign, and struggled for our place in this world. People like Michael, Jennifer, Susan, Sam, Mike, Joyce, Norm, Dixie. . .just to name a few. We all have a story with a common thread. . . and I am grateful to know these special people and be a small part of their lives. Together we can "pave" the way for future generations, especially children, who struggle with hearing loss. Thank you, my friends, for all you do.


Jennifer said...

Awwwwwwww! How sweet!! I totally agree with you...I don't know where I'd be without my Internet friends...they have been so supportive and understanding. It has been especially great to have found the "hard-of-hearing" group that we have...the ones that, like us, are caught in between the Deaf and the hearing worlds...nobody can offer support quite so well as someone who's been there, done that.
I don't think that I would be quite so excited about going bilateral if I didn't have your support and enthusiasm behind me...you have been such a great cheerleader, and your story has given me so much hope...I hope I can turn around and be that same support for someone else!
And YAAAAAAYYYY for Michael...I know he's ready...what a long wait!
Love you, girl!! (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie,

I just found your site tonight and will be back to read more. So glad to hear about Michael Chorost's bilateral date and Aetna's policy change. That is a major win!

My daughter and I went bilateral in December and May respectively and it's been great for us. The ease in which we hear is just incredible! :)

Keep up the great blog and I hope you'll visit mine at www.HearingExchange.com.

~ Paula

Abbie said...

I just finally got around to sitting down and commenting!! I have two points.

A. You profile pictures looks fab darling!

B. I am planning on attending a dual reading that Michael and Josh Swiller will be giving on Nov 26 at the Summit Speech School in NJ.
I can't wait to see his next book.

Umm I have a third point. I know what you mean by not fitting in either world. I feel very comfortable with who I know on here and everything that we go through. I am excited about seeing Mike and Josh because I feel this need to see another human being with a CI.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie! I feel the same. My 21-month-old daughter and a classmate activated their CIs a week apart -- for weeks now they have greeted each other as they enter class with great excitement: a signed hello and "same" sign while pointing to each other's colorful CIs and laughing. It's a continuing source of delight to them. I find myself peering closer at iPods, Bluetooths, and hearing aids hoping to see that coil and find another of the tribe.