Research continues. I receive big glossy brochures from the implant manufacturers. They come with testimonials, beautiful photographs. Active people of all ages doing all kinds of activities, including amazing feats like rock climbing and marathoning. It starts to remind me of tampon commercials that would promise I’d be able to do any activity without constraints. Even activities that perhaps I’d never done before! And all of the people are so happy and satisfied. Of course I have my doubts.
Where and how do I get reliable information? What if I choose the wrong one? Buyer’s remorse? Well too bad because you can’t go back to store and make a return or exchange. For life?! Auugh. At first it seems overwhelming.
I do as much Internet research as I can tolerate. Try to find firsthand accounts from people whose history sounds somewhat similar to mine. Forums connected to the vendor web sites.
One non-vendor site in particular that I thought had quite a bit of good information was created by a very impressive young woman named Rachel Chaikof, Cochlear Implant Online.
Three manufacturers of implant devices:
- Advanced Bionics very popular in Northeast U.S.
- Cochlear Americas also very popular in U.S., perhaps more in Midwest and South
- Med-El bigger in Europe
All the devices are subject to FDA approval and all are high quality and high performance. I’ve met implants users with all of the different brands and all of them are happy with their choice.
So I guess I need to have some faith in myself, in the process, in the doctors, and in the audiologists.