Friday, May 20, 2011

The Learning Curve

It's been a week now since I got the new processor. And it's been challenging.

Just hearing has been harder. I managed to navigate Halifax, but didn't have to have a lot of interactions with people. I couldn't make out the car radio on the drive home Saturday, no matter how loud I turned it up. When I got home, I had trouble understanding Husband. When I got to work on Monday, I had trouble understanding everyone. That improved as the week went on, for one-on-one conversations.

My audiologist and I decided to change my program to the HiRes Fidelity 120 program. (I'll be frank with you - I have no idea what all this stuff means. Frequencies and channels and such and such. Husband the musician does, but he wasn't with me on this trip.) This allows me to access Advanced Bionics "ClearVoice" technology. This is supposed to better pick up and understand voices in noisy environments. But I went to a local coffee shop with some of my team members this morning, and I could understand much less of the conversation than I would've before the new processor.

I'm hoping this improves, as my overall hearing one-on-one and of ambient noise has improved. I really want to take advantage of the new technology possible with this new program and this new processor. It's been seven years since I was first activated - maybe I've forgotten how steep the learning curve is, and been spoiled by the excellent results I got later. So far, I've resisted the urge to go back to my old program, which is loaded into the processor on one of the 3-program slots. Willing to do the work, if it results in improvements.




Blogger Xtreme English said...

Wow...I wonder just wot the audiologists and manufacturers consider "improvement" if the technology is not immediately better for you. What's better? Is it easier for them to regulate, even if that doesn't give you improved hearing??

My time is coming for this, too. The two processors I got when implanted in 2007 are crapping out, and I haven't been able to go to the audiologist regularly for tuneup. For one thing, my first audiologist has decamped and now works for the manufacturer. The second audiologist has followed suit. It's all such a muddle, especially since the insurance company has changed its coverage without letting us know ahead of time so we can pick a different company during open season. I had a brief (two or three years) period when I'd learned enough to hear very well, all things considered. Now that's slipping away. Isn't there something we can DO about this? About having the rug yanked out from under us after we've signed on for their implant? I now learn that the lifetime guarantee for equipment refers only to the little bottlecap under my scalp, not to the processors, battery cases, etc. I've learned that my manufacturer now offers INSURANCE at varying prices to cover the external parts. The cheapest is $100 a month. I wonder how the folks who have received other implants--knees, hips, kidneys, et al.--are faring as their equipment ages?

12:36 a.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

I know, M.E. When you choose your manufacturer, you are basically signing up for a lifetime contract with them, and you don't have nearly enough information to do that wisely (I realize now). And while my first one was covered by Medicare, don't even talk to me about what I've gone through to get Blue Cross to cover a tiny fraction of the cost of this one. It's a pain, there's no two ways about it.

8:21 p.m.  
Blogger Xtreme English said...

well, it was fun while it lasted!! let it never be said that we couldn't enjoy the present moment!!!

8:21 p.m.  

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