Thursday, April 14, 2005

Inquiring minds want to know...

I'm going to respond to a couple of comments in a blog post 'cause it's a lot of trouble for commenters to check back to see if they've been responded to... and also 'cause they ask some good questions.

Sherwood said...

"I suppose you would get aural parallax back if you had another implant done on the other side, but I also suppose that probably wouldn't be worth the trouble, pain, and expense."

Now that I've got the implant, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want another on the other side. And I do know of people who have been bi-laterally implanted - it's considered the ideal situation.

But public health insurance covers one side only; and while I could go to the US and get a second implant, it would cost roughly $65,000US for the surgery and followup therapy, not to mention the time and expense of travel and accommodations. So it's not a realistic option for me. I have defended Canada's health care system vociferously sometimes, but it isn't a gravy train nor is it designed to be. So I am grateful for my unilateral implant and if and when I win the lottery, I'll reassess the situation :)

Sherwood added:

"Now that you're rapidly regaining your sense of hearing, will you be getting your other job back?"

Frayed knot, Sherwood. The problem is the funding we lost because, well, largely because I just couldn't get out there and connect and stump for my organization. I wasn't out there promoting it, sitting on boards, sitting in meetings, aggressively following up funding leads, my time got divided in half, and things didn't move forward the way they did in the past. There are other, good, competent people working there, but they didn't have the eight years' experience that I had with the group. Things drifted and things changed. I don't know what the future holds for that organization or for me with it.

Derek said...

What about a second mic on your other ear? (Although I suppose you're only set up for mono.) I am amused by the possibilities for your "direct-connect" mode, such as attaching it to the receiver for a wireless mic, which you could place up near someone doing a presentation... or "accidentally" leave in another room for eavesdropping purposes. It's not everyone who can "throw" their hearing!

A second mic for the other ear is an ingenious thought... I presume it's been considered. Maybe it's too confusing to have input from both sides hitting one side of the head? But it is an interesting idea. As you suggest, the wireless mic receiver system does in fact exist, it's known as an FM transmitter and another, anonymous commenter who uses one strongly suggested I invest in one. In a restaurant, for example, I would wear the receiver attached to the implant and my dinner partner would wear the mic clipped to his or her shirt. Would cut through a lot of the background noise that way. I've just begun investigating these units, not even sure how much they cost yet. But yes, there are omnidirectional mics that are used with these units for meetings, etc... so I could indeed, 'throw my hearing'. I'd never considered the sneaky potential before, but now... my God, who wouldn't want to hire an employee who could eavesdrop on anyone...

My career in politics may be just beginning.



Anonymous Arun said...

I was really very touched to read about what you are going through. It must be a world of change. You seem to be trying very hard to find ways to hear at any cost.

But, do not despair. You can get 100% of your hearing back as if you never lost it.

The great physician Jesus can heal you. All you have to do is ask him to touch your loss of hearing and restore it. All things are possible if you only believe. You may have heard many things about Jesus, but give him a chance and find out for yourself. You will not be disappointed. Right at this very moment he is waiting close to you to call out to him. He does not impose himself upon you or anyone. Do call him and tell him what you want him to do for you.

Please give a try .. won't you. Even if you don't hear yourself, he can hear your words from the heart.

God bless you.

Bro. Arun

5:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Dave Carrigan said...

Oops, I was the anonymous poster that suggested that you get a FM transmitter. I forgot to lose my anonymity. BTW, my hearing loss is profound (read: 100%) in my left ear, and severe (read: 85%) in my right, which means that I have only a single aid, and cannot triangulate, much like you with a single implant. An implant in my left ear would probably help me in that way, but my medical insurance wouldn't pay for it anyway. Heck, my much-vaunted US medical insurance won't even pay for my hearing tests.

One thing to remember about the transmitter: make sure you remind your partner to turn it off when they head to the restroom :-)

Re: a second mic into your implant. It wouldn't work, because it's the brain that processes the inputs and if both inputs are going to the same side, the brain would consider it a single input, and would actually get confused by the delay from the second mic.

Re: getting a second implant. If I was in your position, I would not. There has been some new research with stem cells, and they have actually been able to regenerate the cochlear hair cells in guinea pigs after destroying them with ototoxic drugs. It's still years away from a human treatment, but I'm very optimistic that in 10 years, there will be a genuine cure for your (and my!) hearing loss. However, an implant would probably interfere with or even prevent this kind of treatment.

2:40 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:28 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

Thank you VERY much, Dave, for this exceptionally informative and helpful post. How incredibly exciting to think that a non-surgical cure for our type of deafness could occur in our lifetime. Thank you for opening my eyes to this - I will be doing much more reading about it in the coming days!


3:31 p.m.  

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