August 31, 2010

Hearing aids quest

Welcome to the lobby of Sonorum, an audiology group in Cancun, with a home office in Merida. At the reception desk is Edna Mabel (yes, it's a Mexican name, biblical she thinks) Barragas, and the audiologist is Adrian Diaz, whose brother and sister-in-law live in Columbus, OH! He has a niece at Ohio State and himself has attended a Cleveland Browns game.
Enough introductions. I was at Sonorum to get my Widex Senso Diva hearing aides fitted and calibrated. The putty to create molds had arrived; a bucketful from Merida. It's cost to Sonorum is $500US plus $300 import tax. It's from Germany...hearing aids from Denmark. So, the putty goes into a syringe and into the ears to make a mold.
I had researched the hearing aids before I bid on them at eBay. When the Cleveland Clinic told me I needed two behind the ear (BTE) digital hearing aids, I quickly learned I could not afford them. About $5,000. But on eBay, I found them gently used being sold by the mother of a special needs child in Connecticut for $500. His teacher was switching to some sort of Blue Tooth system that required a different set. His mother considered anything she got on eBay to be a gift.
Adrian Diaz said I was the one who got a gift. "The Mercedes Benz of hearing aids," he said.
"And since your loss is significant and not profound, I can continue to calibrate to any increases in loss over years."
I chose to have him make hard acrylic ear pieces, not soft silicon, for ease of cleaning and keeping up in humidity. I got 12 batteries for 120 pesos.
Since I live on Isla Mujeres, Adrian rushed the job and told me to come back in four hours, when he was done with the molds and then he would calibrate, using Dr. Conrado's chart as a starter, but also retesting me with the devices in place and hooked up to a Widex factory computer.
And that was it! I wore them all the way home and enjoyed hearing Dr Salas call to me from the other side of the UltraMar, hearing Punta pretending to be a bird in a cage as I got close to the front door.
Total cost to me for good hearing: $500 to eBay merchant; 800 pesos to Dr. Conrado; to Adrian Diaz: 375 pesos an ear for molds; 800 pesos for Widex factory about $750US. Cost of hearing Punta imitate a crying bird? Priceless.


Jane said...

Wow, your research skills paid off well. Good for you!

Islagringo said...

Who knew you had a hearing problem! We just thought you were stuck up! LOL!

Hearing Aids said...

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