Sunday, November 23, 2008

A year ago today...

I just realized something.

A year ago today , I was run off my feet ..Doing all the req's exams for insurance approval to get implanted.

A year ago , I was wondering how it would be , to be implanted.

A year ago , I hoped my insurance approval would come through.

Also , six months ago , I was just waking up from operation.

Six months ago , I felt scared shitless before I was put was my first operation generally..although I had cut it close to some other totally unrelated..

Six months ago , give or take a few days , I was activated ( I was activated within the week. )

Six months ago , I was getting my first taste of pure sound.

And for six months , I've been amazed , thankful.

And also , I began being greedier.I was reading some of the other blogs.Most are abroad , and are bilateral users.
I was thinking "why can't I go bilateral too ? " . I wanted to hear better.I wanted to feel fulfilled..

And , yesterday..I started thinking.A lot.Not only for CI issues, I have a LOT of other issues.

For better or worse , I am Greek.Greece doesn't approve for 2nd implant.Doesn't cover for all the things that could go wrong.Doesn't have the rechargeables with the box.

But you know what ? I'm also not rich.I live moderately well , yes.

I must be thankful, for having at least this one implant.For being able to pay for AVT therapy.For being able to scrape some money to fork over for rechargeables.For living in my own apartment.For having mine and my family's health.

And , anyway , I wasn't missing much , as the last 12 years , I was unilateral HA user, and I implanted my "good" ear.

I always was an unilateral kind of gal anyway. I'd love to go bilateral though , and I *would* do that in a heartbeat.But I can't.Not unless in some magical way , have all the required amount to pay for the 2nd surgery and implant.

I should start enjoying life as it is , unilateral. and it's good enough.And anyway I might still wonder what's so big to go bilateral , I will also try to thrive.

I will try to purchase one set of rechargeable batteries.One boot for FM system for college.And guess what ? that will be enough.For now.

I'm lucky enough , and I shouldn't be so greedy , or so sad about the whole business.Or about the insurance . I shouldn't grumble anymore , that is my lot in life.I will try actively for change , but not grumble.

And I should mention that I have a terrific family ? No, they're not perfect.We bicker all too much.I live alone in another city.I have a dysfunctional family, but , hey , nobody's perfect.

Maybe some day , I will be able to's my secret wish.But , alas, it is not to be .

And I should be acting like a responsible adult , and face life , not grumbling like an spoiled child.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Battery Compartment issues!

Everyone that has CI made from Cochlear Corp. , knows that particular CI has an ridge round the battery compartment for easier removal.
But lately I had seen some drop in quality of sound.I thought I needed another mapping.

Perhaps not.

As I was chatting tonight with Greek friends on MSN , my nail had touched the particular ridge.Just touched.Suddenly CI turned off.No sound, no beeps , zilch , nada!
So I remove it and I watch for myself that tiny screen which is blank.Batteries were fresh , as of this morning.and they don't expire for a few days.Overcome with curiosity,( Yes , yes , I know , curiosity killed the cat supposedly ) I tinker with CI for awhile.Every time I put my nail, simply put it without pulling the compartment down , my CI just like that , blanked out! Opened it and tried it on..Definitely a decrease in performance there..

Hmm , so I go and find my Cochlear nifty bag , where I've put everything that is assiocated with CI, and I rummage around for the spare battery containers.I pull one and switch the batteries..and that time , however much is tinkered , my CI just stays turned on.As an added precaution , I switched the GoRex mic cover , and try it on ..

Ohhh yes , a definitive increase in performance and sound clarity.

And I wonder ...Are all of these battery compartments having these issues ? It is normal? How often other users have to switch them ? I'm five month and two weeks old , give or take a couple of days.What about mic covers?

Hmmm..there is a LOT of things that supposedly , did not know!

Or maybe I'm still thinking in HA terms...even if haven't worn my HA in the last six months.

What do YOU think? Please tell me! :D

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm not proud anymore..

I'm very frustrated with the current way that things are here in Greece.

Since CI , I wished I could move away from Greece..For the first time..I am ashamed to admit , that I am ashamed and disgusted and frustrated with the prices here.

Once upon I was proud.Proud of my country , of my heritage.Not anymore.

*rant ahead*

OK so I will vent it out!

After an conversation with CyborgQueen and seeing on other blogs what they are given , makes me feel like my portion was really measly. And it might seem childish at the very least , or ungrateful , as I'm thankful for CI .

Take for instance rechargeable Lithium - Ion batteries for CI.Most American citizens if they're implanted , receive them without much fuss.Two for each ear.They have the option to try either rechargeables or disposables. Some choose to use only the one or the other , or a mix as their schedules allow .

Well I don't.and seeing that I'm already in a strop for money as everything is expensive here , I thought to ask to the representative office that represents Cochlear ( it's another firm name here though ) for a price quoting for at least a rechargeable to use and have handy. It would sure come handy if I had it , last week had been an absolute nightmare and was rationing my CI use to see me end to end till next paycheck arrived!

Well the initial price in $$$ was brace yourselves now - $1,280 ( 1000 Euros for the European like me ) for just one measly battery , plus the charger etc!

ARE you kidding me?

I was already in a strop and instantly searched an online shop for at least seeing what the prices abroad are.Found one that quoted a price of $583 (455 Euros)for one battery again.

Much better. I was still a lot curious , so I plugged and logged to the american Cochlear Store and the price was $550(430 Euros ) for TWO batteries ,and I got still more stroppy.

All these without any shipping fee of course.

That sent me over the edge.I am jealous for any one living in the States.Or UK.Or generally abroad.

Greece is the heaven of all rip offs!!!

*end of rant*

well the rant hasn't helped a lot..I'm still green for Abbie , CyborgQueen and a lot of others.I know they're been having their own challenges to face..but sometimes from my perspective , I see that they have it easy.

They're doing bilaterals, granted , after sometimes of a battle.Here to do bilaterals u have to put everything in a loan or be filthily rich.No insurance even if u switch will do your 2nd implant.
Insurances pay for everything , even if after a fight.Mine doesn't . Others here are a little better , but they pay back usually a year or two late.lots of bureaucracy.and u can't switch , unless u switch jobs.and I'm still a dependant to my father's insurance.Brilliant.
The only advantage in Greece is that AVT/SLP sessions in private sector , are relatively cheap..I'm charged by the month , 8 visit per month , every month costs me $320 ( 250 euros ) , and I read in the States they are quoting per hour almost the same money!
They are given even a back up device , for each CI.Here we don't.I constantly live with worry and fright "What if I lose it? What if it fails? " It gets old fast! When it rains I always remove it.When I'm in the bus and see someone that could be a thief I remove it.Same when bus is too full.Same when I'm running to catch the bus.

Too much pressure for me.As if I hadn't already some to start with.

and to sound such more childish, I've been secretly wishing that I had a pink mic cover! LOL!

Sometimes I dream that I've found someone , and he's been an American , so we move there..And I wake with a smile..Till I get the next frustration with CI.But I love the way I hear.I love that in Tuesday , my mother has her name celebration , and as an surprise , will call her to wish her.It would be her biggest present so far.I love that I can hear as good as my brother.I love that I'm between silence and sound.

But it's also sometimes too much stress.Too much of a financial strain.I'd love to have lots of money to dish out for rechargeables , an backup device , an FM system with Smartlink SX.But I don't.I barely have the money to switch my glasses' frames , as the thick ones I have are bothering my scar , not to mention they're too weighty now that I've added CI.

It's a long post..Sorry for anyone that has to read that missive.But right now I feel my chest lighter.Better.

I just hope everyone else is just well.