RE Da Da 
Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 06:44 PM - Assessment
Hearing Tests continued today.

With the processor on the left

Sentences test with implant - not to bad (accent and language difference taken into account here) I did quite well 91%

NOTE: binaural tests showed I got 96% this could mean I was having a good day or the hearing aid gave me that extra 4% which proves my point that I am using the hearing aid side too.

Random words - I did ok - 56%

Sentences with background noise - this was harder but I think I got the odd sentence right and a few words 67%

With the hearing aid on the right

First up was sentences with hearing aid - I got the odd word - 2%

random words I am guessing I got the odd word or sound - 2%

background noise - nothing at all - 0%

Lipreading tests

Here is the best bit of all the tests. Lipreading tests I did quite well and got full sentences in some cases - 56%

Looks as though its looking promising that I may be put forward for a second implant when my private care policy matures in November. A possible December operation could be on the cards.

I am trying not to raise my hopes to much as things never go to plan when you want them to, but at least I seem to be going in the right direction.

If I am granted a second processor I am going to start again much the same way as the first implant. I am going to just wear the new processor and keep the first processor off.

The reason for this is because I left my hearing aid off the first time round. Yep it was hard. However the brain needs to be trained, and it worked harder and faster in this way.

I want the second implant to be as good as my left side. There is no point in doing all this unless I can get it to work 100% on both sides.

Can you tell I have been thinking about this a lot!?

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hearing and speech recognition tests and a quick appointment to see the consultant  
Tuesday, 22 January, 2008, 10:42 PM - Assessment
I met with Liz to have hearing tests done before seeing the consultant. I think I must have chatted to much as we did not get the tests done and I will have to come back to finish them!

First was standard hearing tests in both ears with no hearing aid or processor.

Result - No useful hearing

Test with both processor and hearing aid

Sentences was 96% which is the same as what I got in the UK tests

Sentences with background noise 60%

Words 60 %

and CVC Phonemes 77%

at first I was disapointed that there was no improvement as I had in the past got 100% but only once.

Then I reminded myself that the questions and accent in this test was different ie one of the sayings was " kandaroos jumped across the lawn"

Well there are no kandaroos in the UK and I dont use the word lawn, although I heard that one perfectly there were others were I just could not pick out the words possibly because they were different and words I do not use.

We tried the speech test with my hearing aid side and I got random words and sounds but nothing useful.

I pointed out that prior to the implant I could not even do this with my hearing aid side - so to me this is a improvement.

I feel I get some use out of my hearing side - it aids the implant in respect that I become aware of a sound thats not on my implant side. But it does not give me speech recognition, which is the key.

Liz felt that the hearing tests showed it was a sensory loss and the balance test is just that - inconclusive.

The consultant Professor Stephen O'Leary, who is the ENT Surgeon was stright forward. He asked for hearing history and had a look in my ears. He felt postive that I would benefit from a second implant - and would see me after the cat scan.

The CAT scan was done on the 8.02.08 and I was in and out in 10 mins!

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Start of the Austrlian Assessment 
Friday, 14 December, 2007, 10:39 PM - Assessment
Balance tests

First up was checking the air in both ears - result nomal

Next up was sitting in a chair in the dark being turned slowly round while counting backwards - result normal

Next up was having hot and cold air blown down my ear while my eyes were closed and speaking at the same time but remembering not to open my eyes - normal (although I felt any thing but)

Next up was a strange test that measured something in the hearing nerve and required my skin being sandpapered and sticky pad wires being stuck down on various points of my body. - result inconclusive

The tech stated that the result read conductive loss rather than sensory loss, and this could mean that the results for today on this test were inconclusive because we know I have a sensory loss.

I was a bit worried about this. However, my partner pointed out that the doctors in the UK had found both ears to be suitable for implantation and that they gave me the choice of either ear to implant. So its not something I should be worrying about to much.

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Re Working on the right side 
Sunday, 14 October, 2007, 10:06 PM - Assessment
The first implant was done in the UK on 13.06.2005 it was switched on 01.07.2005 you can get more information about it here

and I have kept a blog about it here

I had previously started looking at the options for a second implant and then we decided to Australia around August 2008.

Since it was Australia that the first implant was born I decided that it would be a good oppertunity to explore what my options for a second implant was now I am living here.

First thing first was a visit to the GP to register and ask for a referal to the Ear and Eye Hospital just to get my records there for maps and bits n bobs.

To my amaze it took less than three weeks to get an appointment to see the implant clinic.

While there I asked if I could be refered for a second implant. There were a few hiccups with this. I am on a spouse visa - that means that it will be reviewed in 12 months. I have a interim medicare card which will be renewed pending on the decision of the immigration office in October 2008. There was some confusion between the hospital and the medicare office to if I could get access to all services or only emgerency services. I was told I could get access to all services and the hospital was told only basic services ie maps, repairs and parts. I chased this up with Medicare and eventually after several emails the hospital was assured that I could get access to the full service under my card! *phew*

One big difference between the UK NHS and Australia Medicare is that Medicare does not pay for batteries *eek* they are $55 dollars for 10 packs which last between four and five weeks. They do not provide any hearing aid service for people over 18 and under 65. So as far as hearing aids, moulds, and support with this - I am on my own and the only service is private - and expensive I am sure.

So rather than spend heaps and heaps on hearing aid service which will be very little use to me in the short term I decided to start the assessment for a second processor now.

The quickest way to get a second processor is to have private health insurance. There is an oppertunity for a implant on medicare - but the waiting list is very long. Everyone is encouraged to have private health insurance - its not as expensive as the UK and everyone has access to it no matter what their health is - unlike the UK where I could not get private insurance for love or money due to my heart condition.

The only hitch is I have to wait for my private insurance to mature (12 months)

Maybe its because I already have one implant, or maybe its because Australia have one of the best medical services I have ever experienced but all up its taken less than seven months to get this far. It took almost a year to get from the assessment to the operation in the UK if you do not count the fact that the first referal got lost in the system!

Strange huh?!

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