Putting Hope to the Test / by Chel Wolverton

There's the good news and the bad news. I was always a fan of getting the bad news first. I sent a copy of the results of my last hearing test, called an audiogram, over to Envoy to see if I qualified. I already knew I was within range but they needed to confirm, etc.

The not so bad news (edited after @dungeekin pointed out it's not so bad news):

They will only implant on one ear for the clinical trial. One would be paid for and the other wouldn't and would have to happen later on. They will only implant on the worst ear, in case something goes wrong, the damage won't be as bad to lose that ear as it would be to lose the hearing in my better.

My word discrimination scores on the bad (left ear) are horrible. Word discrimination tests determine how well you can make out sounds and words with one ear or the other and then together. A better way to explain, I often mix up words in a song, thinking the song says x when the word is really y. (I asked for the lyrics to GPE as I heard the songs so I could ensure I would know what the words to the songs were accurately before I learned them!)

They want a word discrimination score of 60% in the ear they implant. They've had the best success with this score. She said that does not mean that they won't take me, but that there's less of a chance. My word discrimination score for the left ear is 30%.

The good news:

I've put in a call to the clinical site in Boston with their coordinator. I'm going to save my slot for the trial but yet, while in Arkansas SOMEHOW find the time to go for another audiogram since my last was two years ago. This is if they think it'll make a difference. If not, I'll approach them with this audiogram, let them retest me and then go from there.

I'm not definitely in by any means (and wouldn't be after a phone call) but I'm still hopeful. Even if I can't qualify for the clinical, after approval I can definitely decide to move forward with it. As long as my doctor is good with it and approves it I can move forward then, but as this is Phase II of testing, who knows when that'll be.

I'm trying to stay hopeful.