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I was diagnosed at age 15 as having a mild "high frequency dip that would not get any worse". *sigh*.....well, they were wrong about that. Over the years, it progressed... in both ears.... until I reached a point of being profoundly deaf in both ears, at which point hearing aids were no longer effective. So, in September 1996, I had a surgery in Syracuse, NY ... at which time a cochlear implant was inserted in my right ear. It was a 4 1/2 hour surgical procedure, during which time the device was hooked up in 22 places places to nerves in my cochlea. Luckily for me, there were still some live nerves in there to connect to.... although not many. A month later, in late October, it was hooked up and I received my first programming, otherwise known as a "mapping". At first, the sounds I heard were scary.....but by Christmastime, I was finding that I heard better with the CI than without it..... and that was a victory. Since then, it's been limited in what it can do, but it's for sure been better than being totally deaf!! My latest news is that my surgeon and audiologist are behind me in my desire to have a new high-tech implant in the other ear as well, so I can hear better. I am hoping to have this done sometime in 2001!!

UPDATE May 2001... My wish came true, and I was implanted in my left (other) ear on April 20, 2001 with Advanced Bionics' new CII Bionic Ear cochlear implant! I was hooked up to my new CII on May 15, 2001. Now I'm learning to hear with my new implant.. it will be a slow process, but I'm expecting great and wonderful things from this new, high-tech implant!

UPDATE June 2001... I want to tell you about the hearing loss group I joined early this year. It's called the Say What Club! It has to be the best hearing loss support group in the world! No exaggeration! It's based online, so nobody has to miraculously be able to hear to go to "meetings" like the other organizations. Yes, some do have CART and assistive devices, but some don't. You don't need them for the Say What Club online group! We do have annual conventions and regional get-togethers, so we get to know each other in person also. Please check it out or write Say What Club! for information.

UPDATE July 2001... I had my one month testing with my new "bionic ear" implant recently, and did very well! I was actually able to understand about 75% of words such as "hud, hid, heed, heard, who'd" in a soundproof room listening to a CD... I'm not sure if a person with normal hearing could do a lot better than this after listening to about 50 of such words! Also, I've purchased a special telephone (an Ameriphone XL-30) and for the first time in many years, am using the voice/hearing phone (instead of TDD/VCO) with great success! I never thought it would happen, and I am SOOO grateful to the technology being provided by Advanced Bionics Corporation, Cochlear Corp and Med-El, to help people such as myself who can no longer hear!!!


IMPRESSIONS: Ms. Stock appears to receive significant benefit from her cochlear implant device. Detection in the soundfield for warbled pure tones/narrow band noise stimuli is commensurate with hearing at the upper limits of normal to mild hearing loss.

4 choice Spondee test 20/20 (100%)
Iowa Vowel 41/45 (91%)
Iowa Consonant 55/70 (78%)

CID Everyday Sentences 100/100 (100%)
NU#6-Words 32/50 (64%)
NU#6-Phonemes 120/150 (80%)
HINT (quiet) 49/52 (94%)
HINT (+10 noise) 18/55 (33%)

As you all can see, I'm doing really good! My only problem at this point is understanding speech with background sound. My audiologist is working with my insurance company to get pre-approval for me to have some "desensitization therapy" to assist me in maximizing my skills in the presence of noise. Wish me luck, folks!

Update 6/02 - I am doing much better in noisy situations now, without having needed any rehab! YAY! Also, I am now using the Nucleus 22 and the Clarion CII together, so I am bilaterally bionic! The Clarion continues to be my implant of choice, the Nucleus has some problems, but when I wear the 2 together, I hear "surround sound", and it's a great feeling, it is more like normal hearing! I'm now hoping to get a behind-the-ear model for the Nucleus, so that I don't have to wear the body processor any more. Then I'll have behind-the-ear models on both sides, as I have one for the Clarion and that is what I use exclusively now! All is well in my CI world!

UPDATE 10/02: The Nucleus 22 idea didn't work out... so I returned the N22 BTE to my audie, and will be focusing 100% on my Clarion CII. Unfortunately, the N22 still sounds like high pitched cartoon characters, and it takes from my optimal hearing, rather than contributing to it. Oh well, I had to try it!

UPDATE 12/02: My ultimate goal of returning to my former career of social work is about to come true! I have been hired as a caseworker for adult services/long term care, and will be starting my new job on January 6th! I thank my wonderful Clarion CII cochlear implant for this opportunity!!!

UPDATE 6/03: I have just passed my probationary period as a caseworker, and am permanent. I have done it! I am thankful to God, to Advanced Bionics, and to my wonderful CI center....University Hospital in Syracuse, NY (Dr. Woods and Debbie Lightfoot)...for giving me back my hearing so that I could again do the work I love to do!

UPDATE 8/06: On September 28, 2005, my Nucleus 22 was removed and I was reimplanted with the Nucleus Freedom. Apparently my right ear has physiology problems (not sure what), since I still don't hear all that good in that ear, even with the new implant. However, I love being bilateral, and I do wear both implants. My overall hearing has improved due to being able to hear on both sides!! The Nuke Freedom has all kinds of nifty features, and I like it a lot!!!

Linda DeBloom
Upstate NY
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