Finally got my hearing aids

Stories, News and General Yakking
PHPaul
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Location: Downeast Maine

Finally got my hearing aids

Post by PHPaul » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:52 pm

All I can say is I had no idea how deaf I really was! Had to ask wifey not to yell at me.

Really nice pair of Phonaks, there's more computing power in that little brown thing behind my ear than they had on the Apollo spacecraft. Over the next few weeks, they'll "learn" my surroundings and tune themselves accordingly. Things like blocking wind noise, muting loud noises, adapting to crowds, etc. The left one amplifies more than the right (more loss in that ear) but bumping the volume control on either side changes both sides by the same amount so they stay in sync. Plus there's a little audio cue when I tweak the volume back to the original setting. Doc says try to to fool with the levels until I get used to them. They're set at the optimal point for my type and degree of loss. She says there's an app for my phone but advised STRONGLY against getting it because it's clunky and people wind up screwing things up so bad they have to go back to the VA to have the baseline reset.

They pair directly to my phone so I might actually be able to hear a call on my cell, which has always been extremely frustrating. They're wirelessly rechargeable so I'll never have to buy batteries, and all the consumables and cleaning supplies and such I get free from the VA. Just have to order ahead of time and they mail it direct.

Doc says to just tough it out for 4-8 weeks while my brain re-learns how to hear, especially sibilants and hissing noises that I haven't heard in 20 years. Single biggest aggravation is that my own voice sounds like I have my head in a bucket but she says that'll go away with time too.

Also found out that I can get all my eye care and glasses from the VA. Only catch is they provide a complete pair of glasses, frames and all when your prescription changes. I'm not particularly vain (nothing to work with anyway...) but the military issue glasses are beyond ugly. I'm hoping they'll have a little more fashionable choice, that'd save me some serious cash too.

All in all, I'm VERY pleased with the aids AND with the folks at the clinic. Bright, cheerful, helpful and accommodating. Pretty much the antithesis of what you usually hear about VA care.

Bkeepr
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Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Bkeepr » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:28 pm

Congratulations, Paul!

I'm smiling because I had the exact same experience, just 3 years ago next month. I never realized all the sounds I was missing. And the VA treated me like gold-- exactly as you said, the antithesis of what you hear on "the news."

But, hey, buddy: we've all seen what you look like...those military glasses will be just fine! :lol: :lol:

I'm glad you had such a good experience, and great results.

tom

Ret
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Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Ret » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:04 pm

Yabut. What would they cost if you had to pay for them yourself?
Ret

PHPaul
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Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by PHPaul » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:18 am

Ret wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:04 pm
Yabut. What would they cost if you had to pay for them yourself?
Ret
The hearing aids? Estimates run from $7000 to $9000 for a pair, which is why I waited so long to do something about it. No way I was going there out of pocket, and like a dumbass, I didn't get evaluated right after I retired so no VA.

Getting service-connected 30 years later took a little doing.

My civilian glasses run about $300-$400 a pair with new frames and lenses. I get polycarbonate lenses with photogray automatic darkening and the lightest frames I can find.

I did find out that the VA has a limited selection of more stylish frames, I need to get an appointment and have a look. Local clinic is out to February for optical appointments.

Jim in RP
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Location: Negros Island

Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Jim in RP » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:28 am

Ret wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:04 pm
Yabut. What would they cost if you had to pay for them yourself?
For me, between $6,000 and $8,000 just to get to the V.A. OPC.
I am 100% service connected with ten years of service and three Honorable discharges and one year being used as a bleeding target for the NVA, and now the VA is treating me like I am an induction station reject. It and I wasn't always like this. VA has been taking veteran's entitlement by the truck loads for the last 5 years. After they have taken all of my entitlement. You VETS in the states are NEXT. :( :roll: HELL has no fiery like a pissed off vet! :evil: :twisted: I just hope I'm not so old I cannot pull the pin on a detonator, by then.

Rant over.
Only The Dead Have Seen The end of WAR. "Plato"

Bkeepr
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Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Bkeepr » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:12 am

Jim in RP wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:28 am
Ret wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:04 pm
Yabut. What would they cost if you had to pay for them yourself?
For me, between $6,000 and $8,000 just to get to the V.A. OPC.
I am 100% service connected with ten years of service and three Honorable discharges and one year being used as a bleeding target for the NVA, and now the VA is treating me like I am an induction station reject. It and I wasn't always like this. VA has been taking veteran's entitlement by the truck loads for the last 5 years. After they have taken all of my entitlement. You VETS in the states are NEXT. :( :roll: HELL has no fiery like a pissed off vet! :evil: :twisted: I just hope I'm not so old I cannot pull the pin on a detonator, by then.

Rant over.
VA is *not* taking entitlements, Congress is. VA simply implements what Congress and the President tells them to.

Vets ought to be contacting their Congressmen to complain, and ought to be voting in *every* election. Jim, frankly you reduced your own VA benefits and Congressional care factor when you decided to move out of CONUS. Congress members only care about their own constituents, and if you're in another district, or out of CONUS altogether, you are, to them, exactly what you just said, a reject.

VA is not the problem, Congress is.

Jim in RP
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Location: Negros Island

Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Jim in RP » Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:24 am

VA is not the problem, Congress is.

Where in my enlistment contract is it written that I must stay in CONUS in order to get health entitlements? I signed that enlistment contract in 1964. I am not able to separate those thieving SOB, President, Congressmen, Senators or the VA. Government is Government and they are all a pack greedy, lying, cheating SOBs. I did a set down, personal chat with my Senator while I lived in Alaska. I left knowing he had just blow about 2 cubic feet of worm SMOKE up my ass. No I didn’t walk away with a smile on my face. The US Government has been lying to me ever sense I was 17.
Here is what pisses my off the most. The US Government has money to blow up mud houses in the desert with $1,000,000,000 + crews missiles ever time they push the launch button but not enough money for postage to get me a pair of hearing aides from the states!
The US Government can pay for entering at least 12 other countries with guns drawn, “police actions,”, sense 1947 but can’t pay for postage on a pair of hearing aides. I can name those police actions if you like.
BTW, Veterans living outside of the US have a class action lawsuit going with the V.A. I am a party to that lawsuit. So don’t tell me that the US Government is unaware of this outrages injustice too AMERICAN VETERANS.
They KNOW and they don’t fa-king care!
Blood presser getting too high, I have to quit this now.
Only The Dead Have Seen The end of WAR. "Plato"

Bkeepr
Posts: 290
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Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Bkeepr » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:50 pm

Jim in RP wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:24 am
...Where in my enlistment contract is it written that I must stay in CONUS in order to get health entitlements? I signed that enlistment contract in 1964....
In fact, nowhere in your enlistment contract does it say you're entitled to any health entitlements. :!:

It does say that you are "Entitled to receive pay, allowances, and other benefits as provided by law and regulation."

but then goes on to warn enlistees that "Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document."

So-- Nobody lied, rather "the truth changed." Same deal as every other soldier, sailor, airman, and marine has had for the last 100 years or so, since after WW I.

Patria
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Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by Patria » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:19 pm

Good for you Paul, I'm happy for you!

PHPaul
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Re: Finally got my hearing aids

Post by PHPaul » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:29 pm

Thanks, Patria.

After 3-1/2 days, I'm starting to get used to them. My own voice still sounds a little funny and "new" noises (that I haven't been able to hear in years) startle me several times a day. Biggest problem is itching where the ear pieces fit in my ear canal. Just the novelty of having something stuck in my ear all the time I suspect. It gets a little less annoying every day.

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