I went to a new dentist last week, for my regular cleaning and updated x-rays.  I’ve never been fond of the dentist to begin with, but since I got CIs it is extra challenging because being reclined makes my CI processors (aka my “ears”) fall off.

I’ve tried many things over the years — wig tape, headbands, scarves, even a knit cap.  Nothing is foolproof (although the knit cap worked the best, since it also helps to keep my magnets where they need to be).  However, I am not about to pull out a knit cap in August.

This time around I used something called a Snuggie from Advanced Bionics, basically tubing made to fit my Harmony processors that fits snugly around my ear.  It works perfectly to keep the processor from being pulled off my ear as my head is reclined back.  The only issue that remained was keeping the magnets from being knocked out of place by the headrest.

Advanced Bionics Snuggie for the Harmony cochlear implant -- the clear tubing goes around the ear

Advanced Bionics Snuggie for the Harmony cochlear implant — the clear tubing goes around the ear

I played around with a scarf tied strategically over both magnets, but eventually decided it was too fussy.  I figured I’d just deal with the magnet situation if and when it arose.

In the end I didn’t have too much trouble; they were able to adjust the headrest so that my magnets stayed in place during most of my visit.  They did slip off when I was told to turn my head to the side, but those instances were brief and my other magnet stayed in place so I had enough hearing to still follow instructions.

What really impressed me, though, was when the dentist came in for the exam portion.  She had a bit of an accent, and originally asked me a question when her back was turned (she also had a mask over her mouth, just for an added challenge).  I had no idea if she was talking to the dental hygienist or me, so I stayed silent.  She turned back to me, and I met her eyes and said, “I can hear you, but I also read lips to understand what you’re saying.”

Her face lit up and she pulled the mask down.  “Thank you for telling me! That’s very good to know.”  Then she turned to the hygienist and asked her to repeat everything for me — although the dentist kept her mask on, everything she said was repeated by the hygienist so I could read the hygienist’s lips.  I’ve never had anyone in the medical profession do that for me before and it made a huge difference.

Not only did I get a clean bill of dental health, I came away feeling like my needs were met with respect, kindness and ingenuity.  It almost makes me not dread going to the dentist again!

About wendiwendy

I'm a real-life bionic woman.

Posted on September 5, 2016, in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, Medical Visits and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. ce Wend

    That was so nice Wendy that they were acommodating Even better that u had a clean bill of tooth health Yah hoo


  2. That was so nice of them to be so acommodating Even better that u had a good Checkup Woo Hoo


  3. Hi there I read through most of your blogs all day today. I finally found a person who once had most hearing and then didn’t. I’m 38 years old with about 90db hearing right now. I used to have 40db in high school (without hearing aids) after my first pregnancy when I was 21 my hearing dropped drastically. Probably within a month. There was so much ringing and clanking going on that month is mostly what I remember most. Other than my mom having to repeat herself much more often. I felt that maybe I had a cold and my ears were plugged up or something!! I grew up in Joliet Illinois. But I ended up going to Illinois School for the Deaf. After that I moved around a lot but eventually settled back here in Jacksonville. Very big deaf community here. Anyway … I had a couple people in the last year mention to me that they thought I would benefit from C.I s. I mostly shrugged it off worried that sound would be fake and mechanical that I would never know until I risked trying it and I wasn’t sure if I was willing to risk it. Then I thought I should hit google and try to find someone similar to me that actually had some natural sound before so they can compare the different in sound for me! Here you are I have found you. Thank you for all the years of blogging you put into this. You have helped in more ways than you will ever know. I’m going to research some more before going in to talk to someone about it. If you can email me when you have time I would really appreciate it!!


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