Houston, We have Liftoff!

Sam got his new CI all put together, programmed and processed!

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I wanted to make sure he didn’t think this was going to solve all communication problems, so I told him very seriously:  “We’re always gonna have communication problems because… you’re a man.”

It never hurts to be honest about important things like this 😉

Ghosts of Christmas past. (Guest Post by My Hobbit)

I will always remember this year’s Christmas. Thanks to the generosity of friends, family, and strangers, we had a better Christmas than I had any reason to expect. We were able to raise enough money through donations for the 20% co-pay coverage for a Nucleus 6 cochlear implant. It arrived on Christmas Eve. It came by FedEx, though I like to pretend it was delivered by sleigh and reindeer.

What’s more, I was able to get another pair of good quality sunglasses thanks to friends in our ward who got us gift cards for Christmas. They are Veza sunglasses, which are only sold at Sam’s Club. I really like the Veza sunglasses because they are incredibly strong and sturdy. Whenever I can scrounge up the money I look forward to adding another pair to my collection. I have three pairs now, and if I don’t lose any of them they should last a lifetime. They’re not a well-known brand, but that just makes them even more special. I feel like I know a secret that most people don’t know.

I don’t want much in the way of luxuries. I like sturdy boots, sturdy sunglasses, and a computer with a fast internet connection. I care more about whether something is durable than whether it is fashionable.

Anyway, what with a new CI processor and new sunglasses, it was a very deafblindie sort of Christmas. I’ve already set up an appointment with a specialist to have the CI assembled and mapped for the first time.

I look forward to switching from the big processor to a BTE (behind-the-ear) unit. It will be a lot more convenient. And fortunately I also have a backup CI that still works, even though it is obsolete. I am practically OCD about having backups: backup CIs, backup sunglasses, backup computers, backup boots, etc.

Anyway, it was a great Christmas. And thanks to everyone who contributed to the purchase of a new CI!

Happy Holidays,
+Sam

My Hobbit needs an upgrade!

I just put up a Gofundme campaign for my Hobbit’s Cochlear Implant Upgrade.  Visit it here: http://www.gofundme.com/5n569o.

Here is a bit of the background story: My husband Sam has Ushers Syndrome. He is deaf and rapidly going blind. In 2002, his mother convinced him to get a Cochlear Implant and his unit was one of the big Sprint Processor/ Body Worn CI’s like pictured above. Last year, 11 years later, it was so obsolete that we couldn’t find parts for it and the CI processor was no longer compatible with the programs used to update and calibrate it. So we applied for a new CI. Sam’s Medicare covers 80%, but the amount left was still about 1500.00. The people at Cochlear America gave us a generous waiver, but we are still responsible for about 400 dollars of the new processor, fees for follow up doctors (CI Specialists) visits, and the other necessities for upgrading to the new Nucleus 6 behind the ear processor (the object on the left is the CI part that is inside his head and ear and the right is the processor): Our budget is very tight and we can’t really afford 400 dollars, but without the CI, Sam is seriously sensory deprived. We are hoping our friends, family and community members will help us out with this drive to raise money for his implant.

I Am Borg – guest post by my Hobbit/Sam Campbell III

Sometimes being part Cyborg is worth it. Noelle asked me to put on my cochlear implant so that she could tell me (ie: complain) about her day at work. So she was telling me (ie: complaining) about her day at work when, suddenly, her voice changed mid-sentence like this:

“…and they hired this guy to do the database and — OHMIGOD it’s a HUMMINGBIRD!”

But reading it doesn’t really do it justice. The change in her voice from “my day kind of sucked” to “OHMIGOD a hummingbird! The world is WONDERFUL” just cannot be captured in text.

When I wear my CI, I am not really hearing, but I’m not really deaf either.

I am Borg. I have been assimilated.

When You Can Turn Your Ears Off

I came across this vlog on http://www.theblaze.com and I think it has some really great information for people trying to decide if they should get a CI or not.  (Along with a friend of mine’s blog at: http://deafadventures.wordpress.com/).

Sammie Hicks Cries After Hearing Herself For the First Time

Day 1:

Day 1 of the CI

Three Weeks:

Three Weeks after the CI turned on

 

It is a controversial subject in the Deaf Community, due more to political correctness than anything else.  Keeping in mind practical reasons, and not political ones (just think how quick politics changes, like fads).  The question you need to ask is: will your deaf child function better in a hearing world a CI?  Or look at it from another perspective:  If your child were born without a limb, wouldn’t you get them a prosthetic if you could?  If they were blind and there were an operation to get them vision, wouldn’t you try to do that?  Yes.  But it’s still a weighty decision, expensive and a very long process with results that vary from person to person.  Get as much information as you can.  And remember, deaf people with CI’s are REALLY LOUD without them :D.