“Remco’s journey: from hearing aid to CI”

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Remco is hearing impaired, wears hearing aids and is a social worker in daily life. Recently, he is discussing a CI (Cochlear Implant). In this new section, Remco writes about his process from hearing aid wearer to CI wearer.

On my way
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Since a few weeks I’ve actually been on my way to a CI. Travelling from the beautiful Brabant to Utrecht (Netherlands), where I will eventually also undergo my CI operation. The first intake interviews and investigations are over. What is striking is that in a hospital it is often very busy and hospitals smell very much of disinfectant and the UMC (Utrecht Medical Centre) is no exception. Waiting in a waiting room where every visitor hears how and where his or her journey will be continued. And so I was already several times in a waiting room. Unknown of my journey but with a clear goal. Doing tests and it’s frustrating again. Collect words or sounds through a box and then press a button if I catch the sound. Hear words coming in differently or not at all. Words fading into vowels or not even that.

Fellow traveler
Then there are the discussions with the ENT doctor and social work. Long listening with lots of information. Information that I will not store in the long run. Luckily I have a travel companion on my way to my CI and I can fall back on her. Being dependent is sometimes necessary because I know very well that I will be finished after a while. Tired and full of head. Interviews on how the CB is to be placed. The rehabilitation process. The financial picture. All of this is important. But not as important as the possible outcome of placing a CI. There is no ideal picture and there is no clear end goal. That my hearing is improving, that’s for sure. But how or what, that is uncertain. It is a bit of wet fingerwork. Something will improve, but how I will respond to it, we know that in a while’s time.

Carribean Pirate
This Friday I’m already expected to be in Utrecht. This time for an MRI scan. An earlier scan has revealed something about my auditory nerves. These are longer than what is normal. They want to look at this again, but it should not be a problem for my CI.
To be honest, there is already the green light and I have already chosen a CI. A Carribean Pirate. Just blue. And it’s from the AB brand or Advanced Bionics. A collaboration with Phonak and Phonak is my fellow traveler in the form of the hearing aids I wear. Because I do like continuing a product, it is a logical choice. But all right, next Friday it will be continued and so until then it is waiting for the continuation of my journey ….

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