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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-10 11:55 AM
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Hearing surgery decision
I have two different ear problems. My right ear I had a cholesteotoma which damaged my hearing over a course of years. No health insurance. My left ear gets fluid behind it and my local doctors don't treat it right. My ENT gave me a regimend that worked very well so that problem appears to be solved.

Back to the right ear. I now have insurance through the Oregon pre-existing pool, have had it for a few years. That's how I got the cholesteotoma surgery done. Now I need to decide about hearing restoration... or not. I can get reconstruction, inner bone ear prosthesis I think, but I need all three bones and it is more complicated. I would have to go to Portland which means additional expenses and literally putting myself in the hands of whoever I get. Or, I can get that BAHA thingy, which means a bolt in my head and an attached gadget behind my ear. Has anybody had either of these procedures? I wonder how they compare. I don't like the idea of walking around with equipment sticking out of my head, although I guess I should consider it the same as a set of glasses or hearing aid which wouldn't both me a bit.

A couple of other wrinkles. My ENT's partner can do the BAHA. That is through the local nonprofit health delivery system which means if there's a 20% balance of something, I don't have to pay it. I would have to pay all that stuff in Portland. I imagine a thousand or so at least. Then there's the issue of long term complications. I have no idea whether Medicare covers either of these. What if I end up with no insurance in a few years and get an infection in the bolt or have something happen to the prosthesis inside my head?

I can hear now, as long as my left ear doesn't get fluid behind it. Sometimes if someone is on my right and talks in a certain tone of voice, I can't hear. But that's not too often.

Maybe I should leave well enough alone?

I don't know. I am horrible at making a decision and usually end up letting life sort of push me here and there. Really stupid way to live, I do know that. So I would like to make a very clear choice on this one. Or at least try to.

Thanks in advance for any info or opinions you have.
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