Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why Isn't Cochlear Implantee Using Hir CI to Talk on Regular Phone?

What good will be for Jamie Berke and other CI users if they could not use the regular phone to communicate with someone on the end of phone? What point for having the mega-expensive cochlear implant device and invasive surgery in the first place? What a waste for the health insurance company or the Medicaid program to pay for the cochlear implant device and costly surgery! *groan*

Please check out Jamie Berke's latest blog about her personal frustration with the federal "Do Not Call Registry" which it designs to block any incoming telemarketer calls.

Unfortunately, the screenings of relay calls to be misconstructed as "telemarketer call". At least, Berke raised such an awareness about our relay calls misinterpreted as "telemarketer call". How can be possible for the relay calls ended up misdiagnosed as telemarketer call?

Jamie Berke and other CI users ought not to waste our American taxpayers' hard-earned monies and health insurance payees' "considerable high" health insurance premiums (fees) IF they could not possibly communicate on regular phones. Whoa!

We should rally our elected leaders to slash the public funding for cochlear implant surgery on deaf children thru the state Medicaid programs within the 2008 presidential election. Same thing to put the pressures on health insurance providers and hospitals and the American Medical Association (AMA) to halt the health insurance coverages on cochlear implant devices and surgery. So the deaf community will be not widely disfranchised due to abnormal technological presence in human beings.

Let's send the future medical bills from cochlear implant surgery and device to the Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf (AgBAD) to bankrupt this audistic organization for all good.

For our own sake, we are in the weakening national economy right now. Cochlear implant device and surgery are not part of the basic necessity. They are the luxury items! Nothing to do with the basic human functions for everyday lives.

Robert L. Mason (RLM)


  1. You seem to have this twisted perspective that a cochlear implant is a failure just because one is unable talk on the phone normally. Maybe other cochlear implantee's have different expectations, such as music or speech comprehension. It is a device that helps you hear. Most people that are eligible for a cochlear implant can't distinguish much and they are left with making a difficult choice of being deaf or a cochlear implant. I chose the chose the latter. Pardon me, if you feel that your tax dollars are being wasted but I think every penny was worth it.

    Your opinion is bias because you have lived with it all your life, you adapted to a life being deaf. A large majority of late deafened individuals will probably disagree with you. Some people can't work due to their sudden hearing loss which cuts into our tax dollars. When 30-50,000 dollars is paid to have some hearing restored, however imperfect you might view it, they are given a chance to get back into the workforce and contribute to society.

    I can think of seven different reasons to Sunday why the US is slipping into a recession and cochlear implants surgeries is not one of them. Try looking at the world from an Americans point of view and not a deaf citizen of America, medical bills for immigrants, corporations moving overseas, the budget for Iraq and the ever rising cost of crude oil are more logical reasons then cochlear implants surgeries.

  2. You made your point about my blog posting. I respect your POV.

    I never said that the CI surgery is responsible for the current state of the U.S. economy.

    We need to tighten our spending belts on CI surgery and device when come to the weakening economy right now. :)

    Yes, I seems biased toward CI in many ways. I will not deny it!

    Many thanks for your comment. I see your point. :)

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)

  3. No doctor can acurately predict the result of the cochlear implant on a person. It is different for each person. My doctor said that it is very unlikely that I would be able to talk on the phone when I got my C.I.

    Well I can talk on the phone just fine, of course that was not the case at first, but over time I was able to hear better and adapt to the C.I.

  4. dreamriverdesign...were you born hearing? RLM is talking about Deaf/ASL adults getting CI, not late-deafened adults.

  5. To anonymous 6:47 pm,

    The joke is on you, because "monies" is a real word in the dictionary. It is the plural of "money" and is used when talking about different categories of budgeting.

    Just check any dictionary.

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  8. Deaf people are not Americans? WTF? LOL. Oh yea, the REAL Americans are someone to look up to. What a mess they leave.

    Thanks for the juicy details on Jamie. Ack!

    "Any pathological terms like "deafness" surely stratch my eyes like many hearing people could not stand the sound of screech on the blackboard or stratch on the old-fashioned record on the phonograph machine."

    Exactly! Good one.

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  10. Hey Robert Mason: Sherlock ought to be good for you as a partner. He's gay too. Ask him! Date him! You two go together!

  11. Dear Robert L. Mason:

    It has come to our attention that you have made malicious statements about Jamie Berke on your blog site.

    You have been told before, in February 2007, to stop this type of behavior on your blog site, on my blog site, and any others' blog sites.

    We demand that you immediately cease and desist from this or any other malicious statements about me in the future. Your behavior goes beyond the standards of decency. If this behavior does not immediately cease, we shall take further action against you.

    Very truly yours,

    Jamie Berke
    Robert Goodwin

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  13. Substantial research has been done in most western countries on the cost of D/deafness to the economy. Both hearing aids and cochlear implants have proven to lessen the economic burden, cochlear implants much more than hearing aids.

    D/deaf people unemployed because of their hearing loss, once implanted, often regain employment thus paying taxes and contributing to society again. Those employed, often find their incomes increase, some quite substantially (Mine doubled in 2 years).

    So - restricting funding for CI's isn't economical for any country.

    The success of an implant is not measured by whether one can use a telephone or not. Success is a personal thing. For some, it's a success if they can just hear a doorbell, or the microwave beep. It puts them back into the world of sound which they have missed and want to be part of again.

    For others, it's a success because helps with lipreading. We all know lipreading without any sound at all, can be difficult and tiring.

    And then for others, it's a success because they get much much more.

    Just as the choice is a personal decision for parents or adults, so is the level of success personal to them.

    I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

    born deaf, lost it all, implanted, failed, totally deaf, reimplanted, hearing again somewhat - work in action!

  14. Robyn,

    Your point is taken.

    FYI, I am superbu at lipreading. I am culturally deaf. I am much better lipreader than many oralists, cued speech users and CI users.

    No, when come to the alternative of human physiology. We need to pay attention to the presence of technology or will enslave all of us at the whim of technology.

    What's wrong with us, human beings being adapatable with our own flaws and lead productive lives without being depend on technology?

    I would be not surprised that there will be the major eco-revolts against the use of technology in near future like the Neo-Luddites.

    The long-term operational cost of the CI outweights the benefits of "natural" or "eco-friendly" deaf people. if there is no electrical power to adjust the CI. What will you do?


  15. Hi RLM

    If there is no electrical power - people will make do with everything, or another human will invent something to bypass it. That is the human factor. If there is no electrical power, CI's would be the lesser of the problems that man would face without it. I don't believe though that this will ever be the case. Already alternative power sources are here to stay.

    The reason you are a better lipreader than many 'oralists' is probably because you have been doing it for a long long time. But many 'oral deaf' people, had hearing, and then lost it - and some never learn to lipread.

    I also am a superb lipreader - but I sitll find the implant helps much more.

    As for the technology - we are already ensslaved. You depend on technology every day yourself - your computer, your transport system, your communication devices, maybe your hearing aid. So a CI is nothing different - just one more thing. Unless you can tell me you're not using any of these things?

    At least the CI is a piece of technology that is enriching people's lives every single day.


  16. Robyn,

    I am kinda amused by your latest comment regarding the CI and hearing aid.

    I am stone deaf myself. I never use the hearing aid all my life except the forced school hearing aids like the old-fashioned pilot headband and Phonic Ear.

    My deaf mother was enraged about the school for the deaf wasted the thousandths and thousandths of taxpayer money to coerce me and other deaf kids to wear the Phonic Ear transportable hearing aids to be working with the experimential L-Loop system. I had to wear the pilot-like headband hearing aid. I don't know what to call it.

    The Phonic Ear and the bulky pilot-like headband hearing aid often transported bodily infections and irriated every students' ears wearing those widely-distributed hearing aids with severe ear infections.

    There will be the societal demand for the natural way of dealing with all of us being a deaf person.

    Wearing and using the cochlear implants seems too much troublesome and time-consuming and finanical burden. Don't you agree?

    I used lipreadings to spy on hearing teachers and staffers at my former school for the deaf. So I got ahold of their plans and caught their belittled comments about us, deaf students. I done those things without the use of hearing aid or cochlear implant.

    Cochlear implant users ought to be truly considered about the presence of electromagentic pulses (EMP) possibly inflicted by terrorists and deranged country. Who knows?

    EMP surely will twist and melt the metal particle of cochlear implant device inside the human head and fry the brain altogether.

    What will you do if someone use the EMP to disable the electronic traffic within our country?

    I deeply care about every of you, human beings outside there.


  17. Even though the threat of a EMP is there, the time spent hearing is well worth it. Although, I would imagine people with pacemakers and metal plates would suffer more during a massive nuclear attack (good thing I picked up my potassium pills!) albeit their devices keeps their heart ticking and skull covered, i'm sure they think it worth it too :)

    Wearing the cochlear implant is no more troublesome then stopping to get gas or recharging my cell phone, I have to respectfully disagree with you there :)

    Drmzz - Please re-read what I wrote, I did not imply at all that deaf people are not Americans.

  18. I am sorry if I implied you might use a hearing aid. I know a lot of Deaf people in our deaf community that still do wear hearing aids, which is why I didn't rule it out completely :)

    I am not unduly worried about EMP. When your time is up, it's up, but in the meantime I'm enjoying the sounds around me that I missed, and like Abbie said - there's more than just Cochlear Implants that will be affected.

    Wearing a cochlear implant is no burden, financial or otherwise. Once on, you don't even notice it's there. I don't even feel it. It doesn't cost me a cent except for batteries (same as hearing aids). Here in NZ we get our implant upgraded every 5 years and this is free courtesy of our socialist government.

    For me - the burden is being totally deaf. I am still totally deaf when I take my implant off, but once on - I can hear enough to get by a little easier.


  19. Robyn,

    You are very lucky to get the cochlear implant device and surgery for no cost at the expense of the government, but what about the necessity of government fundings for deaf education benefit many deaf students, instead of just one individual.

    Let me give you an example how we could be truly effective in educating deaf youngsters with $400,000 school budget for hiring the educator of the deaf, buying 8,000 children books, school supplies and lunches for deaf students.

    If the government keep spending on very few deaf individuals with cochlear implant device and operational cost. That would benefit only four deaf individuals as compared to 80 deaf students for two years of deaf education.

    I could not get $600 American dollars othropedic device for my right leg after the auto accident.
    I truly need it for effective walking, but my insurance refuse to cover it at all.

    My doctors had to bill me for the x-ray while many health insurance companies while they were much willing to pay for the cochlear implant surgery and device up to $100,000 plus operational costs for years.

    I never receive any monterary ($) from the auto accident which resulted in costing me thousands of dollars in medical bills.

    X-ray documentations are really necessary to see if there are any improvements within my femur (thigh) bone and knee.

    At first, the health insurance company refused to pay for the MRI cost because of their own policy. I had to fight for the reimbursement of the MRI cost.

    Is that really fair for someone like me struck by someone in the jeep for not paying on the road with the use of cell phone?

    You could see why I feel that way about cochlear implant surgery and device. :)


  20. Your argument still doesn't make any difference to people in New Zealand. Had you been in the accident in New Zealand, all your medical bills and operations would have been covered unnder ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation). If someone went deaf as an accident, then a cochlear implant (if they needed one) would also be covered.

    Children here are also extremely well looked after as far as education goes, particularly if they have a disability and need extra accommodations. (including deaf).

    But this does not alter the fact that cochlear implants are more economical in the long run, over a lifetime, than any other hearing device. More people are likely to be in paid employment and contributing to tax dollars if they are implanted, than not. I have read the research.


  21. Robyn,

    I sincerely doubt the validity of that so-called research. The factor that matters the most, in terms of productivity, is the mind. That means that bilingual-bicultural education is the key to success for deaf students.

    It simply doesn't make any sense whatsoever to propose that implanting deaf kids and mainstreaming them in schools with hearing children will somehow result in greater productivity and increased employment.

  22. Hi Brian,

    I'm not talking about children in particular though - it's deafness as a whole, and it doesn't matter how old you are, there is always a financial cost to any country for any disability, not just deafness.

    The survey is very valid, I've seen it myself, and as a research analyst, I found it very very interesting.


  23. Robyn,

    You're neglecting the "quality of life" factor. To take an obvious example, enslaving people (such as what the US did) is "economically efficient" -- but it's not ethical. The slaves are being massively deprived in the dimension(s) of quality of life.