Hello Everyone! It sure is good to be back. Last night, I went to an enjoyable, informative event about Cochlear Implants at Memorial Herman Hospital Southwest. The presentation was put on by Cochlear Americas (They are one of several companies that make cochlear implants). Paula Moore who is the Houston Area Cochlear Network Manager, presented the workshop with two other Cochlear Audiologists, titled “Connect with your Community. ”
The event was standing room only! They had an exceptional turn out! It was only supposed to be about 40 people, I bet they almost doubled it. Light refreshments was served and you were welcomed with a smile from the Cochlear staff.
Once everyone was settled in, Paula , who is a bilateral cochlear implant wearer, welcomed everyone and she shared her hearing loss/cochlear implant story. She gave pertinent information for those that were considering cochlear implants. Next, Paula shared “the support system” at Cochlear whether it’s insurance, rehabilitation, networking, etc. Then, Paula introduced the “professionals,” the staff at HERF -Houston Ear Research Foundation and the Cochlear Audiologists. Dr. Walter McReynolds of HERF, a local respected Cochlear Implant Surgeon remarked, “he was glad to see his “Cochlear Family” and was thrilled to hear the success stories of how CI’s changed their lives.” Jan-the director at HERF, gave some enlightening statistics about the growing trend of adults and children receiving CI’s. Jan noted it was interesting, “How more adults in Houston receive implants versus the children, whereas nationwide more children are implanted than adults. ” I thought it was an interesting point, I am glad many parents are doing everthing possible for their child to be a part of the hearing world. On the other hand, it concerns me that more adults are not receptive or considerated of the cochlear implant. Does that mean we need to educate more adults on all the possible advantages of receiving a CI?? I truly believe many adults do not want to change, or they are believing in old outdated information, such as hearing loss can not be corrected, the stigma attached to hearing loss, etc. Thus, this is were the advocacy comes in! We must change all this!!!! today!!!!!
In addition, MaryLynn McDonald a HERF Audiologist was there too. She may not be the surgeon; however, she has the best and most important job, she helps all of us CI wearers to hear again, by programming and mapping our CI’s. She is very patient with us, because I will be the first to tell you that this is not an easy process, but if you are willing and motivated, she will help you hear again with your CI’s.
Then, Paula introduced Assisted Listening Devices. She shared all the wonderful gadgets that Cochlear introduced to help us listen in a variety of different setting. Next, Paula introduced Teri Wathen of CAAG who presented non- Cochlear ALD’s, yet they are compatible with CI’s. You can find out more about ALD’s in one of my earlier blog posts.
Finally, she let people from the audience ask questions. There were a wide variety of questions that were answered. Furthermore, several CI wearers in the audience helped answer questions. This was important because CI users like learning from other CI receipients and it was good for people who are considering CI’s. Why, because most of the responses were all positive in relation to their CI experience.
I was glad I went, I picked up some great pamplets to utilize for myself and to share with others. It also gave me a chance to meet other CI recipients. I was also able to “thank” Dr. McReynolds, who did my surgeries and who I had not seen in more than 2 years. The last time I saw DR. R was the day he operated on me for my 2nd implant, Dec. 26, 2007. I told him ” the cochlear implants” changed my life for the better. It was also nice to visit with the staff at HERF and Cochlear Americas. In addition, several member of the Houston HLAA chapter was there, too!
All in All, it was a great time! and most importantly, I want to thank the staff at HERF and Cochlear Americas for changing my life in the most awesome way! Thus, I will be looking forward to the Cochlear Celebration in March in California at Disneyland! WhooHoo! Here I come! —Look for a future blog about the Cochlear Celebration.