Saturday, September 26, 2009

A visit ,a cracked processor and a lot of thoughts.

A few weeks ago I had a visit from the fabulous Rachel Chaikof who is very vibrant and nice - I think I made another friend.

Everyone knows that Rachel is a great advocate for CI's.She also is bilateral ( something that is exceedingly rare in Greece , although I can hear some scattered bilaterals here and there in Greece.), and she has been giving me tips on advocating and I've been telling her all about the situation here.

Here is me and Rachel on the Castles of Salonica , a place at the upper parts of Thessaloniki.This pic was taken with permission from her site

I had a lot of fun with Rachel, but about pics and places - go to her site she has about traveling.

We went to Thessaloniki's places and we also tried Athitos ( or Afitos as we Greeks say it , that place has two names ) , Rachel , remember the old granny? LOL. We also went to Athens and Acropolis and a lot of other places.I wish she could visit again sometimes so we can plan more trips around here.She made me see my country with new eyes....

I also had the chance to see someone that is bilateral, because as I said earlier , that practice here is non- existent, although I've been wanting that for myself , but I can't afford it.

I noticed a LOT of differences , and I'm certainly going to try and go bilateral.I am waiting on an email from my insurance that I'm pretty sure it will come back negative.But I've been persuaded after ONE trip to port bay where I couldn't hear ANYTHING while she could hear me so good that I was floored , and I had a lot of thinking about it.

Rachel also tries a lot of things that I don't try , such as Telecoil - which was pretty disastrous with my hearing aid - all I could hear was noise and nothing else , and it's been the same when I first tried my CI.The culprit now was my laptop fan which overwhelms everything else , I tried using it in buses , and other places when I'm away from laptop , and to my surprise it works better than I was expecting!

She also suggested to go for a better map and I'm certainly going to do that after elections occur ( right now I have no desire to trek down to CI centre and get nightmare traffic jams , I'm not that masohistic! )

I was so pleased to meet Rachel and I hope she comes again sometimes , she certainly is welcome here.We also share the love of knowing new CI implantees , which I do here in Greece.Right now I'm in the proccess of helping a new candidate take the decision for her implant ( she's going for Cochlear too ) and helping her with a lot of advice.

I certainly feel more enriched and with a different perspective , and although she's certainly gone through so much and still have a vibrant smile , made me want to do the same and try and make some changes.

On other news , while Rachel was here , the Nucleus 5 was unveiled , which got me pretty excited.I also posed the question to Cochlear forums when that is going to be approved in Greece and I was directed to Damplaid Inc , which is the representative of Cochlear here in Greece.UGH!

Cochlear needs to open its own offices here in Greece , Damplaid is taking advantage of having the representacy and has pretty high prices.But that is certainly something I've blogged about.

Also I've stopped using the rechargeables for the time being - since I got back from Athens my cord charger isn't working right, and I'm afraid of putting it in case it does something worse, as I've paid for my batteries , so I need to be careful,I certainly need to replace the power cord sometime.For the time being I'm on plain batteries ( which I need to spend anyway as they 're from last year and they going to expire. ) , and that made me remember why I made the switch ( aside from economical and ecological reasons ) was that I always fumbled with the small batteries and I always would lose one.I lost one on the stairs today.ugh.

Also , Rachel saw my CI one day when we were trying to find a solution for it to stay on my ear and mentioned that I have a cracked controller - WHAT - and I was so embarassed I didn't notice.My CI is so dark that I never noticed.I got that replaced though , easily , although I was a bit shocked at the place where I got it replaced ( that is another blog post though ) , but what concerns me , is a cracked processor affecting hearing ? Because I definitely noticed a difference.I think my processor was cracked for quite awhile , because now I can hear very faintly the doorbell ( although only if I'm under it and if I know it's GOING to ring ).

And Rachel's solution worked for few days , then it started again falling out.UGH!! I've been checking thoroughly for another crack.So far I've been lucky.The shoulder worn doesn't work so great now because I need a safetypin pouch ( I'll have to order one )due to me wearing high necked clothes but I'm also going to check out if I can find a babyworn cord , see if that helps me.I don't mind how it appears , as long as it helps me.

Regarding controllers cracks I've been checking other kids processors in speech therapy and telling them to go replace them if they're under warranty.Most of the parents are thankful about my advocating even to them, as they know I'm just trying to help them.

Oooh , before I close I should share something.Rachel has that big camera , which she let me try a few times , and I could hear her shutter first I was what the hell was that?then I understood it and it started bugging me , as I couldn't hear my camera's shutter.Well a few minutes ago I managed to hear it.YAY!

Anyway I should stop here or I'll go on forever.

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