Since I had a major upgrade done with my cochlear implant, I feel that I should write a little something about it. I went from having a Freedom processor to what is called a Nucleus 5 processor, which is lighter, less bulky, and OH MY GOODNESS clearer. (head over to cochlearamericas.com to see what I am talking about). My Freedom processor was about five years old, and has been through so many “drops” and cracks and a lot of places. It was getting to the point of where it would be a hassle to put it on because of the pieces wouldn’t connect right and I had to hold it in a certain place just to turn it on. I did not like doing that. So, last fall, the talks began with my insurance company and my new audiologist at University of South Dakota about getting a new processor. in January, it finally came in the mail, and that day was like Christmas morning for me. I opened up the box, and it was just so pretty. I did a lot of research on this particular processor, and I just couldn’t wait to have it activated.
Well, February 23rd was the appointment. It was almost three weeks of waiting, and “suffering” if you will. I wanted the new processor so bad because I was unable to use the telephone function on the old one. That was a part that I “kind of” missed the most.
Anyways, my wife had to work, and we were babysitting that day. When she came home to get ready to go to the audiologist, the snow outside was getting nasty, nastier by the minute. We loaded up my Tahoe, and off down to Vermillion, a 20 minute drive, we went. While I am no stranger to driving in harsh conditions, I could not help but think back to the day I finally found out that I was approved for the surgery. It was a rainy day in Pittsburgh, and my windshield wipers quit working on me halfway to Pittsburgh that day. Strangely, the same thoughts I had that day were also to be had on this day……..”Finally got a chance to do something, and I am going to wreck on my way to my date with destiny.”
The similarities did not end there. When we got to USD, I just couldn’t stop with my nervousness. I kept looking outside and the snow was falling even more harder. (Just like in Pittsburgh, it was raining harder). My wife was scared of the drive home. It was supposed to get worse as the day went on, but with my experience that I had from the Pittsburgh moment, I knew it was going to be ok.
The activation appointment went smooth. The new “N5” processor is so smooth, and so clearer, I was just amazed and inside…….deep inside……..I was just so happy. The best part is that my telephone function now works and in fact, with a remote control for my device, I don’t have to press any buttons to activate the telecoil on the device. It automatically detects it.
The appointment was over, and we had to drive back home. Just like it was in Pittsburgh, the snowing “kind of” stopped, but not really. And the roads….much clearer. We made it home safe, and a new “era” in my cochlear implant life began.
Of course, I wanted to check out the features of the device, so I went into my office, and played with it a little bit. First thing I did was call my mom….and she was so happy. I told her that one, its lighter, and two, it sounds more clearer, and three, the remote control. She said “You want to hear number four?” She told me that I was speaking clearer on the phone, and that she doesn’t have to yell on the phone anymore. I never realized she yells on the phone when talking to me. So…chalk one up for the new processor.
Just like the first couple days I had with the Freedom five years ago, I began to develop my migraine from all the new sounds. By the end of the night, I didn’t care. It was probably the best migraine I had ever gotten. Totally worth it.
Not only is the N5 more effective, it is also more cost effective. Instead of using THREE batteries, it only uses TWO, and this time, unlike with the Freedom, I got two rechargeable batteries, the battery charger, and some other cool “toys.”
Plus, and this is the coolest…..they (Cochlear Americas) are trying to develop an app that I can use with my Driod phone that may eventually take the place of the remote control. “Of course, there is an app for that.”

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