Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Bye Bye Miss Kat


Miss Kat is headed to the dorms!!! While she has been enrolled with BYU-I for Pathways and now this fall semester online, she has made the decision to enroll full-time as a campus student. As of January 3, Miss Kat will be on her own!

She is taking her Roger Select with her and has asked for real-time captioning in her classes. She will have a doorbell with a light (so she doesn't get surprised by maintenance if her implants are off) but other than that she is headed to the dorms just like any other girl her age.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

Meeting Friends for a Wedding

 Miss Kat returned from Africa with amazing stories and great friends. The leader she had spent the three weeks with was getting married this weekend and all the girls wanted to attend. They set up a travel plan and are road tripping out to the wedding outside of Phoenix right now!

15 years ago we had no idea where her life was headed. 13 years ago we took a chance on a cochlear implant. That decision changed everything. She hears and speaks. She laughs and chats with friends. She sings songs while joyriding with her girls.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Miss Kat heads to Africa!

 This summer Miss Kat has the amazing opportunity to spend 3 weeks on a humanitarian trip to Ghana. She will be working with a church group to build two new rooms for a school. The only accommodation she needed was an outlet to charge her cochlear implant batteries. English is the official language in Ghana (which helped guide her choice to which project she would participate in). 

If you would like to follow her journey in Africa, check out the trip's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hefy.ghanacapecoast/

Miss Kat has grown and changed so much since I began this blog. We were on a very different path before she received her cochlear implants. I really couldn't imagine being where we are today. Miss Kat has become a superstar and her ability to communicate with others is miles beyond what we ever expected!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Hearing Marvelously!

Shortly after my post about the trouble we were having with AB, our local rep contacted me. She said that they had heard about all the trouble we had with Miss Kat's upgrade and that she wanted to work with us to make sure we got what she needed and we were satisfied. She became our direct contact and the process became so much better! She kept us informed, got the paperwork sorted out, and after just a few weeks MISS KAT GOT HER PROCESSORS!

Here is a short video of what it looked like when she was activated.

She is hearing very well. Her batteries last sooooo much longer than her Naidas! We went with the biggest rechargeable because the FM connection is already inside the processor. Miss Kat used to use the middle size with her Naidas because she needed the FM boot for her Roger, but she would have to change the battery in the evening. Even though the battery is larger, Miss Kat says that it fits on her ear much better and she finally feels comfortable wearing her CIs, glasses, and a mask.

So far our only complaints are that the processors have to be assigned to a specific ear (we miss the flexibility of the Naidas on that point) and the fact that the charger only has 3 slots (bilateral users would much rather have four!)

We plan to go tubing next week so we will find out how well the waterproof battery works soon enough. Miss Kat has not been a fan in the past because she feels like everything is too quiet. She uses the T-mic at 100% so the change to a headpiece mic makes her crazy. She needs to get used to it though because we have a big vacation coming up!

Monday, March 29, 2021

A Working Woman

Miss Kat applied for her first job today!

She did great in the interview. The manager liked her a lot and that she had a great personality and was just what they were looking for! She remarked how outgoing and friendly Miss Kat is as well.

I'm so proud of the lovely lady she is turning out to be. She is an independent, gutsy, and all-around AWESOME young woman who just happens to be deaf.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Marvelous Advanced Bionics?

 There have been very few occasions where I have felt let down or disappointed in AB and this last month has been the worst! We are married to AB because Miss Kat has bilateral 90K internal devices. While her outside processors have changed, her internals are here to stay! She has had each of them for more than 10 years (which means they are out of warranty but they are working beautifully) and we hope they will be with us for many, many more!

So, this brings us to the latest fiasco. Miss Kat's Q70s are obsolete. We had warning and knew this was going to happen, so we have been preparing for the purchase of the next generation. The new processors looked great and were to be released at the end of last year (right when we could no longer get service for her Q70s). Hubby and I prepared by maxing out of FSA to cover our portion and tried to talk with AB about what we could do. Well, due to forces beyond AB's control, the Marvel was delayed. It sucked but Miss Kat's current processors were working ok, so we dealt with it. 

Just before Christmas AB called and asked if we wanted to get the process started so that Miss Kat's Marvel's could get ordered. We said absolutely and went over the insurance information and why she needed the upgrade. Fast forward a month...then two months...and we have heard nothing. Finally, I start calling at least once a week. They connect me to "our specialist" who continues to say we are waiting on insurance. Well, then I receive paperwork from our insurance saying we are approved! Miss Kat is (ok, I am!) so excited. I call back "our specialist" and leave a message- no one calls back. I call two days later and ask for "our specialist" again. They say she isn't in but will call us back in the morning. No call back. I call the next Monday and she isn't there AGAIN! I ask if I can just fax over our insurance approval so we can get started, they say fine and that "our specialist" will receive it and call us back in the morning. 


Several days pass and now I'm pretty mad. At this point, we are more than halfway through the insurance approval period and if we don't get these processors ordered, it can be canceled. Finally, I call AB and refuse to let them send me to "our specialists" voicemail. I say that I want to order today. They allow it. We order and they say that they need to check what our remaining out-of-pocket portion will be. They SWEAR they will call back the next day and have the bill. 


Several more days pass and I call AB. We pay our $7500 portion and are told that "they aren't shipping out purple yet" but that Miss Kat is right at the top of the list. I ask how long until it ships...they have no idea. I ask for a receipt so we can be reimbursed through our FSA for the out-of-pocket. Yeah, they can't do that until it ships....

So, we are waiting with no clue how long until her processor ships out. We can't make an audiology appointment (even though it takes at least a month to get in) because we have no idea when we might get her processors. In the meantime, I have seen and talked with many recipients who have chosen purple Marvels and they are absolutely shipping. 

Customer service is important. I don't like the way that AB changes its attitude towards recipients once they are locked in. Before Miss Kat was implanted they were amazing. They answered all our questions, spent so much time explaining. Heck, even when her internal device was recalled and we were facing reimplantation as a possibility, they were AWESOME (she never needed reimplanted despite being on the recall list). They wanted our business when it was a fight against the other two companies! Now that we are stuck, they don't seem to feel the need to support and treat their customers the same way. And I have read and talked to many recipients who are feeling the same way.

Shame on you Advanced Bionics!