Monday, August 13, 2007

Overjoyed!!!!!!!

I went in to Vanderbilt today for a map...it had been over two months since I'd been and everything sounded really terrible, so it was time. Susan made a few adjustments to my higher frequencies (she said had made some good gains there, so that was REALLY encouraging!) and she gave me a higher IDR, or sound window, in one of my slots so I can pick up more sounds. Since that can be both a good thing and a bad thing, she gave me a lower IDR in my first slot, just in case I got more noise than I was interested in hearing ;).
The topic of insurance companies and bilateral implants came up, of course. I asked her if she had heard anything and she said that she hadn't. She did say that BlueCross was supposed to have changed their policy to cover bilaterals around the beginning of August, and said that she'd shoot out a few e-mails to see what she could find out.
When I got home, I decided to look on the BlueCross website to see if they truly had changed their policy. First, though, I checked out my status to see if, by some freak chance, it had gone through since I last checked on Friday afternoon (I don't normally check on weekends, since I figure everybody's gone home and nobody's updating websites ;)). And, lo and behold:
I HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR MY SECOND IMPLANT!!!!!!!!! WHOOOO-HOOOOO!! I can't believe it!!! I am SO happy!!!! I have always been partial to the idea of getting my right ear implanted. I'm glad we went out on a limb and did the worse left ear, otherwise I wouldn't ever have it, but my goal all along has been to get this right ear done. And finally, it looks like it will be happening!!!
Now we wait...I don't know yet how long it will take to get in. I am putting my job search on hold for a few days until I know more...I don't know of any companies that would love to hire somebody that's going to need probably two weeks off to recover. I'll definitely keep everyone updated here!! :)
Well, after I jumped up and down and whooped like an Indian and told my kids and e-mailed friends and family, I remembered to go back to the BlueCross webpage to check for policy changes. Sure enough, there it was:

"POLICY

Unilateral or bilateral cochlear implantation for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss is considered medically necessary if the medical appropriateness criteria are met. (See Medical Appropriateness below.)

Any device utilized for this procedure must have FDA approval specific to the indication, otherwise it will be considered investigational.

MEDICAL APPROPRIATENESS

Unilateral or bilateral cochlear implantation for the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss is considered medically appropriate if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Individuals 12 months and older; and

  • Has bilateral severe to profound prelingual or postlingual sensorineural hearing loss (e.g., a hearing threshold of 70 decibels or greater); and

  • Is free from otitis media or other active, unresolved ear disorders; and

  • Has accessible cochlear lumen structurally suited to implantation; and

  • Deafness is not due to lesions in the auditory nerve and acoustic areas of the central nervous system; and

  • Has cognitive ability to use auditory clues and a willingness to undergo a program of rehabilitation; and

  • There is radiographic evidence of cochlear development."

Up until a few weeks ago, the ages covered by bilateral implants was ages 12 months through 12 years...so, yes, the policy's changed. Thank you, BlueCross!!! :)

I heard my first siren in over a year today. I was on the way home and a police car went zooming by...caught me off guard. I saw another one coming right behind it, so I quickly turned the radio off, and I HEARD IT!! It wasn't loud, but hey, I had my window up...and I could still hear it! Wow!!! Progress!!! :)
And I was startled to run up on Bambi standing in the middle of the road on the way home. I thankfully wasn't going so fast that I couldn't slow down, and the little fella finally saw me and took off running. He was really little and absolutely adorable and he made me smile :)
I'm hearing better after my map, my back's feeling better after my adjustment, and we still have no groceries. I'm too wound up to cook, though...I think we need to celebrate, perhaps with some Mexican!!
I AM SO EXCITED!! (can you tell??)
Love y'all.....
<3

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