Thursday, May 19, 2011

Run Mark Run!

Dear reader:

I hope this blog post finds you well. As some of you may know I have taken to running over the past year, but have yet to take part in any formal races. I decided to change all that this year! On August 14th, 2011 I will be running the Falmouth Road Race which is a 10 k race (roughly 6.2 miles). So at this point, you may be thinking “Well Mark, that’s great! But why are you emailing me?” Very good question you ask! I am actually running this race as part of a fundraiser for Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. A cause near and dear to my heart! If you are interested, you can learn more about the Clarke Schools here:

HOWEVER, the real reason I am contacting you is, all the donations that I receive will be TRIPLED! by a matching grant! Just think of the magnitude of this… if you donate $15, your gift grows to $45! Give $25, it grows to $75! It’s like you get to spend someone else’s money, and it’s for an amazing cause. Please consider a donation, nothing is too great or small (as even if it’s small it will still be TRIPLED!)! Please donate at this link: Also, just know this matching program will expire soon, so please consider donating today (pun intended for this running-related letter! You will see my bio at this link as well :)

Thank you all so so much for considering this, and for all that you do!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cochlear Announces FDA Approval of the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 5 Rechargeable Battery System

Yay! Now an environmentally friendly option for the US. Granted these batteries have been available in non-USA markets, but FDA finally approved the Rechargeable Batteries.


Also, I mentioned about my experience with the pool earlier this week... The is an email I received from cochlear announcing the batteries and then also takes about the flexibility of being water resistant.

Rechargeable Batteries Approved for Nucleus® 5 Sound Processor
We are happy to announce that the rechargeable batteries for the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This news regarding rechargeable batteries for Nucleus 5 is especially exciting because in addition to saving money and being more environmentally friendly, our engineers have achieved an exciting industry breakthrough - when using rechargeable batteries, the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor is the world's ONLY submergible sound processor. So you can be confident around water!

What does submergible sound processor mean?
When using rechargeable batteries, you can play by the pool, take a bath, or sing in the rain. And if the sound processor gets wet, no problem!

Are there any restrictions?
Yes, Cochlear™ recommends that you avoid any swimming that involves going under water, showering under a high pressure nozzle, putting soap or shampoo on the sound processor, or exposing the sound processor to moisture without microphone protectors in place.

What about underwater swimming?
No underwater swimming is recommended. But if the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor with rechargeable batteries falls in the pool or bathtub, just pick it up and wipe it off. Pool and bath time just means keeping your head above water.

If I already have the Nucleus 5, when will I receive my batteries?
The priority for these shipments has been determined based upon the original order date. This method helps to ensure that those who have been waiting the longest for their batteries receive them earliest. We anticipate the rechargeable batteries to be shipped over the next 12 weeks.

As part of the shipping process, Cochlear has been making phone calls to verify shipping addresses. You may have already received this type of call. If so, there is no need to do anything else at this time.

However, if you have not verified your shipping address and are eligible for rechargeable batteries, please contact customer service at (877) 523-5798. This will not change your shipping priority, but it will allow Cochlear to release your order when it is ready.

Apple, AT&T partner to assist deaf with iPhone 4 and FaceTime

I love Apple and all Apple products... I have the new iPhone 4 and love it. I know there have been some issues, but nothing that would have me retreat back to my iPhone 3GS. Since getting the iPhone 4, I have used Hamilton CapTel. Now there is buzz that Apple and AT&T are going to partner with ZVRS to bring video relay calling for deaf and hard-of-hearing users via the iPhone 4 and its FaceTime video chat functionality. 


Monday, July 5, 2010

One more thing - the phone!

Another pool related triumph (sort've). I was wearing only my new Nucleus 5 because of the water resistancy thing... Well I got out of the pool and realized my phone was ringing. I didn't have enough time to get my Freedom processor on, so I used the my new ear to talk on the telephone and it was great! I was able to understand 95% of the conversation! I missed a few words, but was able to get around that when the person I was on the phone with changed what they said! Sweet!

Another update - from the pool!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July... just wanted to write that I spent the past two days at my parent's pool and decided to wear my new Nucleus 5 processor in the water since it's supposedly very much water resistant. Anyways, I have two great little second cousins ages, 3 and 6 (roughly), who wanted to play in the water. Well they were splashing about, and I even threw them around, and my implant definitely got exposed to water with no difference in sound quality at all! I definitely did wipe the processor down after I got out of the pool and placed it in the dryer. Today, I also went in the pool, and I got knocked off a float, and my implant did get wet, but again, nothing changed in terms of sound quality! I was really impressed. It's nice to have the security of having a back-up processor, and my other ear as well with the Freedom processor! Anyhow... i'll let you know if that all changes!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Long Overdue Update!

This update is so long overdue! I apologize! I have really been wanting to update, but just finding the time and energy has been challenging! Been so busy lately... 

Anyhow... on 6/10/2010, Mandy and I did my two month optimization of my Nucleus 5, and I am now at 82%!

Mandy and I... Love her!
 I have improved from 52% at week 1 to 82% at month 2! I am so so excited for my new ear as it has been a super star working with my old Freedom! I really couldn't be any more pleased. My old ear gets 86%, however 82% and 86% have no statistical significance in terms of difference.

So for the techies out there... I created a grid of my scores...
Some abbreviations that I created in order to make the graph a bit more concise...
AS: left ear only
ASci: left with cochlear implant
ASha: left with hearing aid 
ADci: right with cochlear implant
AUci+ha: CI with hearing aid before surgery
AUci+ci: Both ears with cochlear implants:

Now onto the scores (the graph may get caught off or be small so click on it to get the full image):

Hamilton CapTel

I've been hearing about this iPhone App called Hamilton CapTel. This is basically a real-time captioning application for your telephone conversations. You download the app, set up an account, and enter the number you want dialed. The operator on the other end calls you, and calls the number you wanted. The person you want to talk to is then connected to your cell phone so you can talk directly to each other, but the operator will caption what that person is saying. I tried it out tonite with Jason, it's pretty cool. The captioning is delayed which you must expect. However, it's really nice to have that support if you feel you miss a word because the captioning is there. I think I "may" use it if only I felt comfortable telling the person I was using CapTel and that they would have to be patient with me. It's a great app though to have. Here is an article a friend sent to me about this exact application (Thanks Nic!) Hamilton Captel

This is the opening screen shot of the application, you can see the website below and find out more info...
This next screen shot is when I called Jason asking him if he wanted to watch "The Bachelorette" with me ;-)