Can you imagine waking up one day with unexplained, sudden deafness in one ear? Brenda W. lived that nightmare, having her hearing in her right ear robbed overnight. After Brenda was told she would simply have to live with the hearing loss, Brenda was determined to find a solution. With one trial session, read how the CochlearTM Baha® System brought Brenda back what she had lost:
“January 29, 2017 will be a day that I will never forget, as that was the day that I woke up with sudden deafness in my right ear. I would later find out that a virus had most likely caused the hearing loss along with vestibular issues, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and nystagmus (rapid involuntary eye movement). Little did I know that morning that my life would become a roller coaster of emotions and transitions.
Initially, I went to the emergency room at a hospital and was treated for a sinus infection, even though I had no symptoms other than the hearing loss. A few days later, I saw my primary physician who made me an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT), who scheduled an MRI for the following week. The results were inconclusive, and he did not feel hearing aids would work for me. I would have to live with profound hearing loss in my right ear.
I got my miracle and you can too
Not giving up on a solution
Devastated, but not giving up, I sought out help on Facebook, asking for recommendations for an ENT who specialized in vestibular issues. Within an hour, I had a name of a doctor, and a few minutes later, I called to get the referral process started. They indicated that it could take up to four weeks to get an appointment, but after receiving my primary physician’s note, they called and I had an appointment three days later.
At that appointment, I had additional testing, including vestibular testing. Finally, I had a diagnosis, possible cause and options for treatment. I was told that I may be a candidate for a bone conduction implant and that additional testing would need to be done to be sure.
On March 29, I went for the viability testing of the Baha 5 Sound Processor. It was unreal to be told a week before that nothing could be done for me, and then to sit in that soundproof booth and fully hear again with the help of a small device on a headband.
After I decided to move forward with the Baha Connect System, I met with the surgeon to go over what to expect for the outpatient surgery and afterward. I was told it could take several days to months to get insurance approval…but on March 30, I received a call from the clinic that they had gotten the necessary insurance approval and I was scheduled for surgery on May 4!
Getting my hearing and health back
Earlier on, I had begun physical therapy for balance issues and had undergone the Epley maneuver to help with the BPPV and nystagmus. Overtime these symptoms improved, and I was able to drive again and return to a normal work schedule. I am thankful for these procedures and for the medications that have helped me to have a somewhat altered normal life.
May 4 was a day that I will also remember; as it was the day I took the steps to hear again. My Baha surgery went without a hitch, and I had minimal pain following surgery.
In June, I had an appointment with the audiologist for activation of my Baha 5 Sound Processor. A couple of the key reasons that I chose the Baha System was the technology that is available to assist with volume control, streaming of music and television and iPhone® compatibility*. I also liked Cochlear’s reliability and customer service support.
Through my whole journey, I was discouraged by the lack of hearing loss support that is available in rural areas, so I decided that I was going to look into becoming a volunteer or start a support group to help others who suffer from hearing loss. In October, I began volunteering for Cochlear Americas! I attended my first local health fair recently, and with my Cochlear Americas Engagement Manager, I have helped with both recipient and candidate events in my area.
As I continue to adjust to my new way of hearing, I am always amazed at how I was told there was nothing that could be done for me; that I would have to live with the hearing loss. I found a solution and I will hear now and always with the help of Cochlear’s Baha System technology. I got my miracle and you can too!”