Tuesday, August 21, 2012

to BaHa or not to BaHa

Today I had an Audi Consult for a Bone Anchored Hearing device called the Cochlear Baha3, at the Mayo Clinic.  If you're like me, you should be saying "huh?"   Basically what the Baha  does is reroutes and transfers the sound directly to my left hearing ear.  This makes it possible for me to perceive sounds from both sides, and from what I understand it is extremely effected for people with SSD (single-sided deafness)  The device does not give me any hearing recovery in the right ear, it merely channels the sound from my deaf ear to my hearing hearing inner ear, leaving my hearing ear undisturbed.  It is implanted into the bone behind my right ear, it  also offers a more natural pathway to hearing for people who cannot hear with hearing aids, and for children who might have middle or inner ear hearing problems.

When I was in elementary school I remember the teachers constantly telling my mother year after year, "she day dreams, and stares out the windows"  "Monya has a difficult time paying attention"  "Monya is delightful, however has a difficult time concentrating"  blah blah blah--- duh?  I was deaf in one ear, and had to sit on the back row of the classroom, because I was always taller than everyone else.  If I had this Baha Implant then, maybe I would of been a better student....let's just blame it on that for now.

Now I have a difficult decision to make, to Baha or not to Baha.  The doctor made it sound so easy, but I'm not sure I want to do this.  Today she put a simulator on my head so during our visit I was actually listening with a simulation of the Baha connected to the bone on my right ear, with a headband.  It was strange and unusual, I'm not sure if I could even explain it, and I do not have anything to compare it to.
I definitely do not want another surgery, and I really am not sure I want to hear.  I've gone 46 years without hearing in that ear and I think I do really well.  I've learned over the years to read lips really well.  I guess the question is, will this improve my quality of life? and am I willing to go through it?

Cochlear Baha without  Baha On

Implant with Baha on

a little FYI:

I have felt this un-easy feeling about one of my doctors, after much prayer and thinking I have decided to seek a 2nd opinion about my thyroid.  I always feel weird about changing doctors, mostly because I don't want to hurt feelings, but I'm ok with this and I know I need to since it is so heavy on my mind.