Promising results for tinnitus treatment

With the use of magnets, in so called “repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation” (rTMS), a trial run has showed promising results in the treatment of tinnitus.

Read more about it here:

http://www.thedeafblog.co.uk/2009/02/magnets_stop_the_nightmare_of.html

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In the Queue of my life, no 44 – (Part 5 of 7)

Secretary of State Sundsbø: – The responsibility lies on Health South-East .

Secretary of State, Dagfinn Sundsbø (SP, Centrum Party) in the Department for Health and Care says to Din Hørsel taht the department have been briefed about the situation for CI-surgeries in the region of Health South-East. – There has been concerns for the difficult situation at Rikshospitalet. We’ve been informed that illness among staff has been a large contributor to the currently difficult situation. But we strongly believe Rikshospitalet will be able to turn this around and that they are doing whatever is possible in order to maintain the set number of CI-surgeries for 2008.

He tells us that the development of the situation are closely monitored via follow-up meeting throughout the fall of 2008. – Health South-East has a clear understanding and acceptance of the demand set by the department as for how many surgeries shall be performed this year, he says.

According to the State Secretary, the Rikshospitalet are working at a project for increasing the surgery capacity by means of eliminating the needs for putting CI-patients into beds post-procedurally. – That project has a high priority and is expected to be implemented some time in October. The Otolaryngology department has drafted a plan for treating more patients. The plan is being finalized and is currently being studied by the hospital management, he says.

Sundsbø says that the reason of the unfortunate situation that has unveiled, is caused by a number of unfortunate coincidences. The Otolaryngology section had a heavy burden of illness, and also had trouble recruiting new staff for compensation. Reduced number of beds available to the section will be compensated by the establishment of the “one-day treatment” project, he says to Din Hørsel. – We’ve also been informed that another problem area is the pre-qualifying CI-examination capacity, Sundsbø tells.

108 patients are currently waiting for CI at Rikshospitalet. [my comment: at current rate the 108th patient has to wait more than 2 years]

A great what-is-Cochlear-Implant video

Here is a very good informative video from the Med El Cochlear Implant-brand based in Austria.

This video shows very good what a Cochlear Implant actually does for the hearing.
It shows how a Cochlear Implant works in terms of bringing artificial sound to the brain.

Thanks to Berose and her blog on which she made me aware of the existence of this video.

In the Queue of my life, no 44 – (Part 4 of 7)

Rikshospitalets goals for CI operations in 2008 will not be met.

As of September 1st, Rikshospitalet has performed 25 CI operations on adults. – We will not be able to achieve the goal of 100 operations for 2008, Rikshospitalet says in a statement.

The former health-minister Sylvia Brustad (labour party), ordered Health-South-East (Helse Sør-Øst) to perform 100 CI operations on adults. Despite the warned budget cuts at the Otolaryngology-section at Rikshospitalet last winter, the State Secretary Rigmor Aasrud from the Health and Care Department (HOD) stated in February 2008 that the order for 100 operations remained valid.

For all the adult patients in line for CI examination to decide medical eligibility, waiting to get back to working life, this is a very meager comfort when the summer turns into autumn. Leader for section for hearing, chief medical officer, Marie Bunne, says to Din Hørsel that they only managed 25 operations on adults so far this year. She does not deny that the hospital is in a very difficult situation on the background that the order was for 100 operations. – We do our best, but we will not be able to meet this order, she states.

Can not reach last year’s capacity

Last year the Otolaryngology-section carried out 50 new operations on adults. – Given the present situation, we have great challenges exceeding that number, she informs. Her analysis of the situation is that the hospital has been given an order without the needed resources. In order to fulfill the order, the section need an increase in the resources of 33 percent. – We have the countrywide responsibility for operating CI into children. They are given the highest priority, and we are able to operate all the children, Bunne says. The Rikshospitalet has a capacity of 150 operations per year. Included in this figure is also re-surgeries and some number-two implants. Bunne informs that the hospital faces huge challenges in respect of reaching this capacity after the budget cuts earlier. The Otolaryngology-section had no reduction in number of positions, but the capacity for CI-surgeries are directly related to the fact that the hospital are saving the number of beds and operating rooms available, she informs us. This fact disables us from reaching our normal capacity, the chief medical officer states.

Medical priorities

The Otolaryngology-section also receives other patients that are prioritized before adult CI-surgeries. – Cancer patients and people with chronic destructive ear infections. The chief medical officer makes a point of the follow up post surgery. In many ways the patients become life-time clients with needs of controls and support when problems arise. The Otolaryngology-section faces an accumulated amount of patients that has received CI and need regular follow-up. – If nothing is done with increasing the budget frames in accordance to this increase in demand, our ability to help new CI-patients will most certainly decrease.

The section leader is not happy about the situation Rikshospitalet faces on the subject of new CI surgeries for adults. – We are forced to make painful medical priorities given the extremely tight budgetary situation, she says. She continuously reports status at the section and what resources the section is in possession of. – The hospital management are aware of the contradictions between resources and the formerly requested results, she states.

Staff willing to sacrifice leisure time for shorter CI-queues

The section leader has a few short-term strategies that might improve the situation a little. – By the end of the year we will perform some CI-surgeries as “day-surgeries”, meaning that the patients won’t spend a night at the hospital after the surgery. The knowledge around CI surgeries are now so solid that the medical staff thinks it is about time to run a trial for this “CI day-surgery”. But this will in best case scenario mean that the hospital will be back to “normal” operating capacity (my comment: i.e. 50 surgeries, still only 50% of capacity as ordered by health minister). It is not the lack of will on our part, she continues. The section has very dedicated staff. – We could have been able to reduce the waiting time a little by performing CI surgeries as “projects”, Bunne informs us. In clear text it means that the staff are willing to use their leisure time to perform surgeries. – Such a solution demand that further funding are released, she says. The chief medical officer has herself taken initiative for investigating the possibility if resources from the “faster back to work”-fund can be release to such a project…

Status update IV – early autumn 2008 – epilogue

You people must become fed up with all these “Status update”-posts, no?
After this rather long and 5-way split Status update, I realized there are some other health issues that needed addressing.

It also serves as a reminder to myself that the purpose of this blog is mainly to be like a medical journal (for myself and others who might need the info).

Status of Tinnitus: rather unchanged.

It is still sounding the same as it did when I started being bothered by it, with a rather constant “UUYYUUUUYYYUUUUYYYUUUUUYYYUUUYYYUU….” around 1 to 1,5 KHz. It’s worst on the right ear, and it varies in intensity (or strength/volume) according to how tired I am. I don’t know if that means that the tinnitus is worse because it’s actually louder or if it’s because my tiredness makes my brain more susceptible. It is a matter of perception I think…

General health, back to regular training

I have started training again, after a whole year without any training regime whatsoever. The body seems to respond well to the exercise as opposed to one year ago when any exercise gave me pain and aches in both bones and muscles. My goal is that my little overweight shall become less during this winter instead of becoming more as it usually does during the dark season.
The chronic pain in my knees is fading. This is a little miracle for me, because it was troublesome to just take the stairs at times. I thought the chronic pains was a one-way ticket into some sketchy knee-surgery-history. I’m glad I was wrong 🙂
I have become conscious about the fact that I can not and should not run anymore in order to save the knees from more wear. So my focus has been switched to alternatives like kayaking, biking and swimming. And that is all right by me.

High permanent stress levels leads to immune system deficiency?

I have a theory that the level of stress in me the latter years made my immune system turn on my own body as a warning mechanism (the signal being: slow down!). I don’t know if this makes any sense, but what if the immune system reacted so strong to the state I was in that it actually attacked parts of me it was not supposed to attack? I know, it’s a wild theory, so if anyone has any views on this I would appreciate any comment. I googled on the term “autoimmunity”, but those articles where mainly oriented toward causes for arthritis and diabetes. I didn’t go deep though…

Status update IV – early autumn 2008 – part 4 of 5

Everyday life – restlessness

I’m more stressed and restless. The feeling of social isolation is stronger than ever, and I’m more sad. It’s not depression, because I am able to initiate things and engage in activities that are good to me. The positive experiences about my body’s reactions to physical exercises this summer came at a good time, because up here in the north, the autumn is generally a rough time because it’s get much darker so quick, and thus it’s important to be in a good physical condition in order to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) which I had to some extent during my early adult life.

Training in the swimming pool will give me a positive reaction this autumn and winter, I’m sure. Hopefully the stress will be reduced and I’ll be able to relax properly again.

The CI-operation

Lost love is one part of the rough spot that I’m living right now. The other part is that earlier this summer, I had great anticipations about getting really close to my turn at the operating table for the CI. Not so. As things have turned out, the budget cuts at Rikshospitalet that I wrote about here earlier has slowed down everything. Instead of operating according the what the Norwegian Health minister ordered (at least two operations a week), the speed slowed down to one operation a week. So current status to my operation is that I can expect something to happen next year around summertime… One whole year more than I thought my worst case scenario would be when I started this blog… It takes some time to wrap my head around this. And it takes a whole lot of effort to not go negative about this, too. I do my best.

I have patience…

“Wait in the power of knowing what is possible…. Do not waver…. Remain steady… Remain true to your goals and allow life to carry you. That which is worthwhile is sometimes created slowly.”

Research Supporting Bilateral Cochlear Implantation

Someone heard me! 🙂

And I got hold of what I needed! A 5 pages long list of research that supports the notion that everybody who needs it should have bilateral CI!

I got in contact with Amy Brown from the Let Them Hear Foundation Advocacy program. She provided me with a huge list called “Research Supporting Bilateral Cochlear Implantation“. It is updated and very much valid for the ongoing battle we have these days in Norway for allowing adults get their CI number two on an as needed basis.

Amy wrote me the following, which I happily honor, given the fact that she gave me the precious list in the first place 🙂
Thanks to Amy and Sheri Byrne from the Let Them Hear Foundation.

Hi Ulf,
Thank you for your question.  This is a proprietary LTHF Advocacy Program work document.  We use it specifically to support our appeals.  I am happy to share it with individuals such as yourself as needed, but it is not intended for public consumption.  We continually update and revise this list to include the latest most compelling peer reviewed medical literature.  It is meant always to be a work in transition. If you know of anyone who needs access to this information, you are welcome to share my contact information with them.  I will follow-up immediately.

Amy Henderson Brown, J.D.
Director
Let Them Hear Foundation Advocacy Program
149 Commonwealth Drive
Suite 1014
Menlo Park, CA 94025

If anyone need this information, I’d be happy to provide her e-mail address. All you have to do is ask. I won’t publish it here because that could lead to her getting more e-mail spam. Better to keep it personal.