Unbeknownst to me, Nichole has been doing a lot of thinking about getting her second ear implanted.
She loves her CI, but at first, she thought she would wait until the summer of 2009 to get the left done.
That would have been a two year delay following the first implantation.
On her own, she has been doing experiments in different settings over the past few months, enabling only her
hearing aid (left) or CI (right) to compare the benefits/drawbacks of each. Her basic comment is that with
just her hearing aid, she can't really understand many of the words her teachers are saying (even with the FM).
If watching TV, she only gets about 1 word every few minutes. With her implant only, she understands almost
all of what the teachers are saying, and is able to understand TV shows quite abit (though she still uses the
captioning). The *only* thing about her hearing aid that she lists as a Pro, is that if her teacher is wearing the
FM transmitter, and has left it on while conferring with another student, thus disturbing Nichole, she can flick
a switch on her Hearing Aid's microlink to kill the FM input. Conversely, the only Con in the CI column (and yes,
she made a Pro/Con table :-) ), is that there is no way to shut off the FM input on the Freedom receiver. This
would be a good piece of feedback for either the Phonak rep, or the Cochlear rep - allow the wearer to easily
shut off the FM input while still using the processor's mike. I passed this to Nichole's audiologist, who told me
what sequence of buttons to push to disable the FM input. While not as easy as flicking a single switch, like
with her hearing aid boot, it should be a usable option.
Driving home from one of Nichole's last driver's ed class (yes, she is eligible to get her learner's permit in just
another week!) , Nichole informed me that she wants to have her left side implanted right after she gets out of
school at the end of this year (June 2008), similar to what she did just six months ago. Time to start talking
with the team at Children's Boston to start the process!