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Here goes…

Here’s a bit of the scoop:

  • Three years ago, I got the cochlear implant in my right ear.
  • Talk about magical changes (will give more information on the later).
  • The audiologist at the time explained to me that there will come a point where I think my hearing has “plateaued” and I will want “more.” Had no idea what she was talking about because each time I would go in to “up” the sounds with my processor, I thought it was terrific and couldn’t get any better.
  • Well, three years later, the time has come, I want more! So, here’s where I’ll start documenting the whole experience of getting my left ear done.
Shall I start at the beginning with the other ear?
I had spent about a total of 8 weeks in Costa Rica. I often found myself quite frustrated not being able to really hear the Spanish language. I had no trouble speaking it, reading it, or heck, even memorizing the language—but hearing! It was almost virtually impossible (I mean, I heard it, but couldn’t decipher the words). It was a pretty yucky feeling because I knew that I was so close to being bilingual—but just couldn’t quite get there. That was the moment that I decided, it was time for me to get the other ear done.
As soon as I returned to the U.S. I called my beloved Kaiser. It was quite a discouraging experience–almost to the point of me not wanting to go through the procedure. It went like this:
Me. Hello! I have a cochlear implant in my right ear and would like to get the other ear done.
Kaiser (K): Ok, first we would need for you to come in and get your hearing tested. Do you wear a hearing aid in the other ear?
Me: No, I was told that I didn’t need to.
K: Well, then, you’ll have to get a loaner.
Me: Why? I cannot hear in the other ear at all! There’s virtually no hearing in there. I can give you the copy of the records to show you.
K: How old is the record?
Me: Three years.
K: Too old. We need a more updated one.
Me (thinking to myself): I have never gained hearing, ever, in fact, if anything, I lose them. Also, my left ear has always been the “bad” ear where I’ve never really had any clarity of any sort. Never spoke on the phone with that ear.
Me: Ok, fine, I’ll get the loaner hearing aid.
K: Oh, that’ll be an additional $50.
Me. What? You want me to pay for something I’m not going to keep? Something that I know very well will not be of any use for me?
K: Yes, ma’am. And, oh, the ear mold too. That’ll cost another $35.
Me: I’m not paying for that.
K: Oh, wait, we can find some universal one that will fit you.
Me. Please do.
That conversation was tiring—not only do I have to pay for something that I don’t need, I’m also required to come back a month after receiving the hearing aid for a second testing! It’s a lot of work.

About Amy Pogrebin Bremenstuhl

Life is noisy~ in a messy way. I thought I'd try writing about surviving the hearing world every day for 365 Days.

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