Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brace Yourself

Tomorrow I leave for Orlando to go to AG Bell's biennial convention.I'm really looking forward to meeting up with old friends, as well as making some new ones.  I haven't heard of many other bloggers/readers coming to the convention (sounds like everyone is still recuperating from the HLAA convention in Milwaukee!), but if you're going to be there then do stop and say hello! My email is on the sidebar if any of you would like to email me about meeting up. I'm going a few days early to explore some of the Disney parks and meet up with some of my friends from the last AGB convention. From the looks of weather.com, it doesn't sound like we'll be outside too much...

At least it's cooler than Texas?

On a completely unrelated note, I no longer wear braces! Getting 4 hours of sleep last night was definitely worth it ! :) Brace yourself.. (oh, I just love puns!)

The picture is small, but no braces whatsoever!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FDA Approves Rechargeable Batteries for the N5

I just received an email from my audiologist that the FDA has approved the rechargeable batteries for the Nucleus 5 processor. Here are some of the details:
  • Cochlear will begin shipping rechargeable batteries starting this upcoming Monday to current Nucleus 5 recipients. People who already have the N5 will receive two standard rechargeable batteries in their primary processor color.
  • These shipments will take 8-12 weeks
  • All new Nucleus 5 system orders will begin shipping with a rechargeable battery kit effective June 21, 2010.
  • Starting July 1st, Cochlear will change it from two rechargeable batteries to three, adding a compact rechargeable to new patient kits. These will not be included in the rechargeable battery kit shipped to patients who received their Nucleus 5 prior to July 1st.
  • For those who would like to purchase the compact battery, Cochlear will be running a special promotion offer on the price of rechargeables, bringing it down to $99 from July 13th-September 30th
  • When using rechargeable batteries, the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor is the world’s ONLY submersible sound processor.
    • However, the newsletter recommends not using it in swimming that involves going underwater, under a high pressure nozzle, or when using soap or shampoo. 

I know this is welcome news too many! I probably will not be using the rechargeable batteries too much, since I already have a pretty short battery life. I'd be interested to hear if current recipients will be paying the money to get the (amazingly tiny) compact batteries.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hospital Volunteering Tip #1

As I'm spending half of my summer volunteering at a pediatric hospital three times a week, I thought some of you would be interested in hearing some of the experiences I'm having there. Most of these do not relate to hearing loss in anyway, but are humorous, heartwarming, or even sad stories that I thought others would be interested in hearing.

"I'm not completely sure where it is...but I'm sure I can find it!"* is never the appropriate response from a volunteer to a mother frantically searching for the ER that her child is in. Especially when said nervous-looking volunteer has been given the responsibility of bringing the mother to the ER.

*I found it about 10 seconds later, after a slight panic. I now know exactly where it is located, thankyouverymuch

Friday, June 4, 2010

Defying Science

So, there's a slight bit of controversy over the effects of having two cochlear implants versus just one plus a hearing aid. I personally believe that they both have their pros and cons, but my own experience has led me to believe that it's much easier conversing in background noise with two implants, and music only sounds better. With a hearing and a CI, it always felt like it was just amplifying the background noise- and that's coming from someone who had a lot of residual hearing. In addition to that, I've found it to be practical not having a "good" side, and I think it's given me confidence in social situations. However, I did find this article to be interesting. I am not sure how reliable the study was, and to be honest, I take it with a grain of salt. For those of you interested, the abstract concludes with

"Although the bimodal cochlear implant group performed better than the bilateral group on most parts of the four pitch-related tests, the differences were not statistically significant. Evaluation of the subject with normal hearing in the contralateral ear showed that the addition of low-frequency sound, even when unintelligible and limited to below 150 Hz, significantly improved cochlear implant speech recognition with a competing talker. Conclusion This research adds to the existing studies that show no significant difference between bimodal and bilateral cochlear implant users."

I'd be interested to hear the opinions of other bimodal but now bilateral users, as well as others. I certainly don't think I'm alone in my experiences!