Thursday, October 18, 2007

Decisions on Hearing Loss Disorder

I have been thinking for a week or so now trying to decide what to do about my hearing situation. I have not had the appt with the surgeon yet, however I do not think that is the way I am going to go. I have been weighing out all the options I know of right now between the two choices, hearing aids or surgery. The hearing aids are definitely the front runner right now not only will it be an instant gratification of sorts, there is no risk involved.

I am just hesitant about the surgery because of the recovery time and the length of time it takes to find out if the my hearing will be correct. Up to 4 months before I would know from what I have been reading. Then of course there is the risk of losing my hearing completely in the ear they do the surgery on OR even having to have the surgery redone later in life.

I am still planning on going to the surgeon just to find out more about the surgery, however since the insurance doesn't cover it I am still leaning towards NOT doing it anyway. I'll be post when I know more but it will not be til after Nov 14th.

Meanwhile I have been researching the Internet trying to find places with online support groups and what not but truly I have only found places for parents of deaf children or those who are completely deaf. So I decided to create a message board for everyone with hearing disorders no matter the type or age. If you are someone who has a hearing loss disorder or have a family member or friend who could benefit from some support please pass this on. You can find the message board here . I hope it can help someone such as myself.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hearing Disorder Support

I have been searching for a couple of days now for online support groups for adults with hearing disorders and to be honest there really isn't to many for those with disorders and not completely deaf. I came across many many groups for parents of deaf children, for adults that are deaf but I couldn't find one I truly felt like I could fit into.

My "disorder" is a progressive one called stapedial otosclerosis and from the House site states:

"Otosclerosis is an abnormal, microscopic growth of bone in the walls of the inner ear. This abnormal growth causes the stapes bone (also called the "stirrup") to become immobile or "fixed". Normally the stapes vibrates freely to allow the transmission of sound to the inner ear, but when it cannot move, it prevents sound waves from reaching the inner ear fluids, and hearing is impaired.

Otosclerotic bone sometimes involves other structures of the inner ear, thereby affecting the nerves of the inner ear. When this occurs it also causes a distortion or difficulty in understanding the speech of others, regardless of how loudly they talk.

Otosclerosis affects only the ears and usually involves both ears. It occurs in men and women with almost equal frequency and usually begins in the teens or early twenties. Although otosclerosis tends to run in families, there is no pattern to its heredity."

"Stapedial OtosclerosisUsually otosclerosis spreads to the stapes or stirrup bone, the final link in the middle ear transformer chain. This stapes rests in a small groove, the oval window, in intimate contact with the inner ear fluids. Anything that interferes with its motion results in a conductive hearing impairment. This type of impairment is called stapedial otosclerosis and is usually correctable by surgery.

The amount of hearing loss due to involvement of the stapes and the degree of nerve impairment present can be determined only by careful hearing tests."

You can read more at House Clinic about the two treatments that are available to those with my disorder. Hearing aids or surgery which is called a stapedectomy.

My ENT told me that it was a hereditary disorder so not sure what to think about that but my mother is hard of hearing in her left ear which is also my worst ear. Either way I am losing my hearing and honestly it's much worse than I had anticipated when I went to the ENT.

These 2 charts show a difference in hearing normally and below normal. The first chart shows db at 20 or less that is normal range of hearing. The second shows the db down to 50 this shows hearing loss.

My personal chart was in the 80's which is Severe Hearing Loss. That means I do not hear normal range of sound, if you are across the room and talking to me in a normal voice I will not hear you. In fact my range of hearing never got above below avg hearing mark even on the highest pitch sounds.

So those of you who know me and talk to me via phone or in person know that I am not ignoring you I really can not hear you. I hope this helps explain my hearing loss a bit better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Down and Out

Well I thought today was going to be a pretty decent day, had to go to the hearing aid specialist for a consultant at 1 pm and really thought the worst news would be how much the hearing aids would cost. Oh how I was wrong.

The hearing aids are quiet expensive and considering I need 2 of them we are looking at $2600 to $6000 a pair. Yes you read that right. I have been doing some research online the last few days and generally reading said that most insurance companies do not cover the cost of them. I am not sure why, because it's not like its a vanity item it's something required to hear and function in life.

Well we came home from the dr appt and hubby called the insurance company and lo and behold they do not cover the hearing aids. The company hubby works for does not have any type of hearing policy so no insurance for that. Ok fine, I kind of figured we would have to pay if we chose to go this route.

So the news that really pissed me off was the fact they will not cover the surgery for the stapedectomy. What the hell? It's a surgery it's not like its for a nose job or a boob job, its so I can function and live and be able to hear. I am so mad and so upset it's not even funny. I can't imagine the cost of the surgery, so it looks like I will definitely have to go the hearing aid route which I was sorta leaning towards BUT I shouldn't have to.

There's my rant for the day and I am now trying to figure out how in the world I can cover the cost of the 2 hearing aids I need and still pay down the credit cards I was working on.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fall Break and Summer Weather

The time has come for fall break and cooler hold on cooler weather? Where? Definitely not so much in Alabama. Now it has been cooler than it had previously been this summer when we had 30 days of over 100 degrees but come on it's October, time for the leaves to change and the coolness to set in!

This past Saturday we went to the local pumpkin patch and it was um 90 outside and sunny! Last year we went on the exact same weekend and we were bundled up due to the cool/cold weather. It's funny looking at the pics from last year and this year. We had a great time except for the heat saw a few friends there and got some pumpkins. I always look forward to going but think I may want to try go back again before they close for the year when it does cool off.

Here is a few pics from Sat of the girls.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Thankful Tuesday

I have decided that every Tuesday will be Thankful Tuesday so I can remind myself of what I have and should be thankful for it. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in drama, life or bad situations that we forget all the things we do have.

Today I am thankful for:
  • A loving husband who loves me no matter what
  • 2 great fun and loving kids who love me unconditionally
  • A caring family who is concerned for my well being
  • Friends both online and in real life who are always there for me no matter what the day may bring.
  • A house to provide shelter
  • A car to come and go as I please
  • Being able to stay home with my wonderful kids

I am also glad that my oldest was able to go to school today! hehe Ok I had to throw that in! We have a fairly busy week this week, I have a baby shower tomorrow, Jess has Brownies on Thurs afternoon and then Friday is payday/shopping for groceries AND we are supposed to go to the pumpkin patch on Sat!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fall Television....My Must See TV

I am so glad that the fall season has started on TV, I was so tired of the reruns and I don't even get to watch that much! There are a few shows though that I MUST watch! Here's a quick run down:

  • Grey's Anatomy
  • LOST
  • Ugly Betty
  • Private Practice
  • October Road (I hear it's coming back!)

Those are the only ones I really care to keep up with and would watch other's if I had the time. This past week was the premiere week for most shows as far as I know, or atleast a few of mine! I love Private Practice already, this show includes the character Addison Montgomery-Shepard from G.A. and includes Tim Daly, Taye Diggs and a few other big names as co-actors. It's funny and it's hard not to like the wacky characters.

I am excited for this weeks shows and I know fellow watchers are too!

Happy October!

The fall season is approaching and the temperatures are dropping! Finally after 30 straight days of over 100 temps in August I am looking forward to nice cool fall weather. I can't even imagine being in places like Hawaii (where my mom is) and not having any seasons except for Summer. Yes I know Hawaii, how cool but a Christmas that's not cool atleast? I don't think I would like that very much and would have to come back over and spend the holiday season.
I love Fall, the leaves change and the weather is more enjoyable. It's a great time to take the kids out to play at the local parks, to bike ride or just to hang out in the back yard. Plus we get to bring out all the fall decor and Halloween decor for those who celebrate. I haven't really decorated in a few years but I would like to some nice fall decor as opposed to Halloween items.
This year Jessica has decided to be Hannah Montana for Halloween, now I could have come up with this costume myself hehe since it's just a shirt/skirt and belt BUT the belt does say Hannah Montana. Oy! So glad the costume was on sale! Hailey is either going to be Jasmine or Ariel, but I am leaning towards Jasmine since it'll be easier to walk in. We got them both 2 costumes each and the other will go up til Christmas time. They both love to dress up and what better time to buy than at Halloween? Party City had a great deal on some for 50% off, so we got them at $9.99 each! For Disney costumes NOT bad!
Jessica is feeling a bit under the weather today, running a temp of 102.6 and complaining of a sore throat and head hurting. I am hoping it's not strep and she'll be able to return to school tomorrow but if her fever stays up, she'll be visiting our great pediatrician instead.
Hope everyone is having a great Monday!