After new rounds with both Rikshospitalet and Haukeland I have reached a decision. Rikshospitalet asked if I was willing to be operated at Haukeland within 6 – 12 months. For several reasons, I declined to that very tempting offer. Given my situation, I need a solution quick, but Haukeland could not meet my first priority demand. And that is to get the Advanced Bionics Implant (see link in my Blogroll on the right side of this Blog). Apparently Haukeland only offers the Austrian “MedEl” or the Australian “Cochlear”, while Rikshospitalet also has recently started offering Advanced Bionics to their patients.
To me the prospect of (among many other advantages and future possibilities) being able to listen to music with 120 frequency bands as opposed to the “regular” 22 frequency bands the number one reason. Other reasons to decline the offer on going to Haukeland and get the thing done ASAP is the fact that all follow-up afterwards has to happen in Bergen where Haukeland is situated. Being the proud father of a 7 year old boy, that will present some practical problems during that period of up to one year.
I got in touch with the right people at Rikshospitalet, finally, and I even spoke to them face to face in their office, so now I know who to contact, where to visit them and the communications has been established and a lot of uncertainty has been eliminated.
Now I know a lot more about the future years. I am currently at abouth the 100th person on the list to be operated, and Rikshospitalet operates about 2 patients a week. I will have to be patient (pun intended 🙂 ).
At the time I managed to establish communications witht the right people at Rikshopitalet; I also had found out about a government-funded foundation that has been established to finance people (like myself) who could be working, but needs healthcare-services today rather than later. The Foundation is called “Raskere i jobb” (“Faster back to work”) and hasn’t been fully implementet as of yet. It’s a current ongoing process of setting up rules for the foundation as well as getting the funds released to the various hospitals. I don’t think the money can be used in a foreign country, but maybe??? I will have to investigate more and get back to that.
I asked Rikshospitalet that they considered my name in regards to those extraordinary funds, and that I also be considered for a simultanous bilateral (on both ears at the same time) CI-operation. I will write more about the 1 versus 2 CI-implants at a later time and why I’m willing to do it. They have answered and told me they will get back to me.
I expect to have to fight for getting bilateral CI-implants as the consensus today is to operate only one implant at the time. Bilateral CI-implants has only been given as part of research to understant the difference between unilateral and bilateral CI-implants. I have yet to se any real scientific works about that subject, but as a hearing-aid user, I frequently had to turn off one of mye hearing aids, making me an temporarily unilateral hearing aid user being deaf on the other ear. I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE and I will advocate that difference even through my lawyer at HLF Norway if need be! (she is a lawyer for all hard-of-hearing and near-deaf in Norway)