I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been sick for four weeks now. It’s insane. I had a cough for 2.5 weeks, that felt like it was clearing, but then it all moved to my head and I couldn’t breathe through the non-stop congestion. I started getting tooth and sinus pain, so I went to my doctor at 3.5 weeks after it all started and he gave me antibiotics. I’m done with those, and am still sick! It’s just miserable.
Anyhow, I had my DVR appointment this morning. It was much better than I anticipated. I actually feel hopeful again!
Basically, I had to arrive and meet my assigned counselor, who looks over my initial application and talks to me about why I am there and what I hope to accomplish through DVR. She took a lot of notes, asked a lot of questions and then had me fill out an “official” application, including an income/expense form that I have to complete and send back to her.
In the meantime, she will get records from my audiologist including my audiogram and evaluation results, as well as her recommendation for treatment. My counselor is also getting information from my therapist because she said the more areas I might qualify under (read: deaf and crazy) the better.
I was really worried because a friend of mine who also has hearing aids was telling me about her experience with DVR, where she did get hearing aids through them, but it took 2.5 years! Fortunately, my counselor said that was done away with in 2008 and they no longer have waiting lists like that. It sounds like this could happen in as little as two months, provided I qualify. Once they look at everything, they will determine if I qualify and then if they will pay for all or just part of the cost. It would be really great if they could cover enough that I could bump up to the higher-level hearing aids instead of the mid-range ones I’ve been aiming at getting. The higher-level ones are almost $1,000 more each, hence me not even thinking about them right now.
As I was writing this, my audiologist emailed me and let me know there’s now a new aid on the market that’s a step up from the mid-range one, but not quite at the top-range and it’s $1,995 per hearing aid. I asked her to include the info on that one in her report to DVR for them to consider.
I guess it’s just a matter of getting these applications in and then being patient for a couple of weeks and i should know how to move forward with getting these things!
My friend W was over on Saturday and was saying how she can’t understand how I am *excited* for hearing aids, and I am excited for the relief from constantly trying to figure out what I’ve heard or saying, “What?” until people say “Never mind”. I’m excited for the technology (Bluetooth! I’m a nerd) and even like some of the colors the hearing aids come in. But there’s a lot to NOT be excited about to. The fact that they aren’t going to “cure” me. The worry that they are going to hurt since I wear glasses, too and headbands hurt me. The stigma.
There’s so much to know about hearing loss and hearing aids that it’s truly amazing. For instance, the longer you go with unassisted hearing loss, the harder it will be to be helped by hearing aids. Hearing aids recreate sounds you haven’t heard in potentially a long time, and the longer you go without hearing those sounds, the harder it is for your brain to re-learn them. Alternatively, getting hearing aids can help you preserve your residual hearing by helping your brain “remember” what it’s hearing.
W tells me there’s going to be a big learning curve… like listening to people when you’re eating. She said the chewing gets amplified so it makes the conversation harder to hear. She gave me other tips on hearing better in general, like sitting in a restaurant in a place where there’s no people behind you, to help you hear and focus on your company better.
There’s a lot more, but it’s late and I’m tired. The boys turn three tomorrow. Sometimes it’s like yesterday that they were born, and other times, it feel like forever. They are growing so fast. I hate the third birthday. To me, it’s the passage from babyhood to childhood. They aren’t babies any more. :(