Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cell Phones and Cochlear Implants

Last week I got my very own cell phone!!!!

That's another huge "CI" type hurdle for me - never in my wildest dreams, even after having my Cochlear Implant activated, did I think I'd ever own a cell phone, but after talking to my parents, and my bf, we all thought it was best that I have one on me, especially after a car accident last fall as a result of some seizures I had, AND after the VA Tech massacre - we thought the peace of mind/security of being able to contact them in case of any emergency far surpassed the cost of a phone plan.

I did some research, and spoke to a bunch of retailers (Bell, Telus, Fido, etc,) to find out what plans they offered - none impressed me. Finally, I went to the Rogers Wireless store in the mall and told them what I was looking for as well as the fact I had a CI. Apparently they had never dealt with people with CI's before, and I wasn't aware of the limitations with cell phones (telecoil compatibility etc. - and for that fact neither was I - call this a learning experience.) I got a fantastic plan, but the phone they gave me "for free" with the plan (a Samsung) was not compatible. When I tried to use it when I got home, I got horrible static interference.

So that night I did some research and came across a website called "Phonescoop" and was able to print out all the T3/M3 and T4/M4 cell phones available. I went back the next day with my phone and explained my situation. They offered me a LG phone for an extra $85, but I told them I was pinching pennies as it was, being a college student, just to afford the plan that they sold me the day before.

I told them about the list of phones I found online that were CI-compatible, he asked me if I would mind running home to get the list, so I did.

When I came back, I gave it to him, and I also told him that I thought the plan was fantastic, and how I hoped we could find a phone I can use so I could stay with their company (it's a great plan - it included 700 minutes, in my price range, where every single other plan from other companies only offered 150 minutes unless I wanted to pay $60/month or more.)

The guy said to give him a moment, he went in the back, and came out with a box and asked me "can you swing $25?" I told him I could do that...

And for that he gave me a brand new Motorola Razr!!!!!! I tried it - NO static or feedback, and it came with a ton of goodies that the original freebie phone didn't have. If I was happy then, that's nothing to say how I feel now!!! What fantastic people!! I've used it several times and it is clearer than my house phone!!! I am on cloud 9 - just could not be happier.

So the moral for this story - make sure you get a Telecoil compatible cell phone if you have a CI - see if they'll let you use a particular phone for a day or 2 and then if it doesn't work for you, return it for something else.

And if you are Canadian, I also recommend Rogers Wireless!!! They get 2 thumbs up from me!

In other news - I'm back in college finishing the last of my upgrading of my high-school classes - even though the Biology 12 class I am taking is too dang easy, I only got a C in high school because of the lack of support I received way back when. The thrill of being able to understand my instructors without difficulty doesn't wear off. I love it!


Gravity said...

good to see gaining new freedoms Bella ! You deserve it.

Cloggy said...

Excellent, congratulations.....

Call me any time. :-)

HearingExchange said...

Congrats on the cell phone! Good for you for doing your homework. I commend you also for going back to school. I struggled through law school with my hearing aids and an FM system. If I had my bilateral cochlear implants then, I'm sure I would have been much happier and had better grades! LOL

Paula Rosenthal

Wickie said...

I came across your blog by chance because I'm doing some work on cochlear implants. I'm so glad your CI is working for you! What a fantastic lady - here's wishing you even more fun and freedom in 2008!

Elaine CI journey said...

You certainly did alot of research in finding compatible phones to use with CI. Would it be possible to include this on your webpage?

I'm looking for a new cell phone and not sure how to go about it.


Suraj said...

your experience really motivates me as a father of 4 year old CI girl child. do keep posting, cheers

Carrie said...

Congrats! I am looking into finding a cell phone that is compatible with the Nucleus 5. My daughter is one and a half and has a cochlear implant. My family lives in North Carolina and Pennsylvania and we live in Florida. I want my daughter to be able to talk to my family on the phone like her big brother does. Glad you found a great phone that works for you! :)