Audiology appt today- Oticon Spirit in a month!

melissa

New Member
I thought I'd write about my audiology appt which happened this morning and see what people think (I just got back from shopping in town after it and have a great new wardrobe!). I felt that the audiologist was a little short with me but I don't know if that was just my interpretation. Sorry in advance as I can write for England!

I went in, and a man I'd never seen before came up to me and said 'Miss North?' very quietly- I was reading a magazine in the waiting area and he was about a foot away from me. I said yes, but he said to wait a minute, then he came back and we started the appointment. The minute we got into the audiology room he said 'Hello my name's Ian and I'll be doing your hearing test' quite loudly, so I don't know why he was so quiet before!

I answered some questions on the computer about difficulty in certain situations- eg busy street corner, I picked extreme difficulty hearing, watching tv mild difficulty. I told him that I was having problems hearing as well as usual in general and particularly from my left aid, and that they often fall out/get dislodged, especially when it's windy. They are Unison 6 BTEs with slim tubes. He said he'd never heard of that and I did I go walking in the wind a lot or some other extreme hobby!

He did the test, same as all the others I've had- various beeps and white-noise type sounds, press a button each time I hear a sound, and the bone conduction headband. He then said he wanted to repeat the first test (normal headphones) for the left ear as the results weren't what he was expecting.

The test finished, and he showed me my audiogram. There's a slight difference in one ear (trust me to forget which one!), it was 10db on the last test and 0db on this one. Round about 2000hz I think. Then he said that my aids had been adjusted quite a few times and the reason I'm missing things is the slim tubes, that they don't cover low frequencies and that skeleton moulds will cover those (I asked about skeleton moulds). Then he said things have moved on in 3 years and they don't give out Unison 6 any more, but the Oticon Spirit, and he showed me one. I'm wondering why the usual woman I see never mentioned the ear mould issue before.

Then he took ear moulds, and had some trouble removing the left one, said I had a slightly widening ear canal and asked if I'd had any ear surgery. I said no, the reason for my hearing loss is that I was born prematurely, and he said something to the effect of 'Ok, but I didn't ask about that.'

Then- and this is the bit that annoyed me -I said 'Can you get moulds in different colours?', and he said yes, you can get colours, or glitter, for children. I said 'I want one!' and he said 'But they're for children, you're not a child'- I then said 'I've got pink hair, I don't care!' and he then said as I have longish hair my hair would cover them anyway and no-one would see. I then made a comment about being a big kid but the conversation seemed to be over. I didn't want to push it as I was scared he might just refuse to treat me, but I was annoyed by his reponse.

Then I asked if I could have a printout of my audiogram, and he said no. I asked why's that, and he said it's property of the (NHS) trust, and something I didn't catch all of about was I referred by my GP, and that I made my own appointment 'under the 3 year rule' (I have no idea what he means except that my aids are 3 years old!). He said he could interpret/explain the results to me, so I asked him to, and he said 'I've already explained them to you', then pointed at the 10db loss and said 'there's a slight loss there but not much difference.' I really did not like his attitude and didn't consider that much of an 'explanation.'

So, that's what happened- in a month I'm going back to get Oticon Spirits with skeleton earmoulds (clear). I found his attitude snappy and standoffish, but I don't know if it's just my interpretation. I have never met this man before. What does everyone think? I do have a tendency to misinterpret people as being hostile when they're not, as I get paranoid, so I don't want to be mistaken. It's been a long time since I've had a hearing test so I don't remember what their 'beside manner' is supposed to be like.

Also, any info about the Oticons appreciated- I will do a forum search, but any comments are welcome. The lack of volume control worried me slightly.
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
Well, it makes me glad to be in America. I have purple aids and purple molds, although I had to buy them, but at least I got to choose and everyone was quite polite, and I am certainly no kid.

I would hope your NHS would get a little more sensitive, as it doesn't cost the that much more to do colors..
 

Lissa

Active Member
Premium Member
That argument over the earmoulds, they are not just for children!! And for the copy of your audiogram, I don't think that's the truth as I have always gotten copies of my audiograms, sent to me, my GP and other people.
 

melissa

New Member
Hmm, I thought it was odd. I have older copies from my SEN reviews when I was at school but technically they were for my parents. He said something about GP referrals though so I don't know if he meant I could only get a copy if the GP referred me. And I thought the freedom of information act meant you get printouts anyway?

My mum suggested afterwards that I should have asked if they cost more, and if not, then why can't I have them, apart from the fact that HE found them inappropriate. I felt really belittled, but I've never been assertive and I thought, I'm getting them for free, if I argue with him too much he might tell me to go somewhere else or something.
 

JennyB

New Member
I'm lucky to have one of the best audiologists around. It sounds like that guy was pretty rude. My audiologist will explain anything, give me copies of my tests, write letters explaining my hearing to people, she encourages colours, she knows what she's doing...she's pretty awesome. You need to find one of those!
 

djchur

New Member
Unfortunately with the NHS we don't get any choice as to who we see. Every time I go I see someone different.

I have wondered about asking for coloured moulds, but haven't yet. If they said 'they are just for kids' I think I would say that when I was a kid I had no choice but to wear boring clear moulds, so why can't I make up for lost time now!
 

overthepond

New Member
Sadly in UK we get what we get regardless we like it or not!,

Melissa, The audiogram is property of YOU not NHS!! It's your ears for Fxxks Sake! It's your right to ask for one.

I have no problem asking for Audiograms at my hosp. and Had purple, glitter ear moulds during my 20's and they didn't kick up fuss!
 

melissa

New Member
Same for me, at least with Doctors you can ask for an appointment with a certain one. Yeah, I had to wear ugly 'flesh coloured' plastic ITEs, which were a kind of bright peach and nothing like my actual skin. Plus no-ones real ear has a bulge sticking out of it with dials on! I'm pretty annoyed with him, but since they're making the moulds for my appointment in a month I don't think there's anything I can do, except go private- I contacted a company a while ago who quoted me £50 inc del for 2 skeleton moulds. I would have to send them my mould impressions though, and I doubt the audiologist would let me, or even still keep them, so I don't know if they could be made from sending an actual skeleton mould, not the pink impressions they make.

I've had bad doctors, but I try to brush it off as it doesn't affect the treatment they're giving me. This is different- I can't get something which other UK adults here have gotten, because of the audiologists preference. Then again, it's not that important in the long run, just the principle- I felt unable to stick up for myself, as an adult.
 

melissa

New Member
well Charlotte it's what he said! I couldn't catch all of it as I hadn't put my aids back in but I asked for a printout and he said no, I can't give you one, it's trust property then was saying something about GP referrals. He said he could interpret the audiogram for me (which I might add he did terribly- barely explained anything!) but he couldn't give me a copy. I might get my GP to refer me to the lady audiologist, I like her! I'm unaware of the rules about these things, if he was supposed to give me a copy or not, or is it just their own generosity.
 

deafdude1

New Member
You have the right to a copy of the audiogram for your own records! Maybe a different audiologist can email or fax you your audiogram. The other option is to simply pay out of pocket and see a better audiologist who will treat you with respect, give you the HAs and molds you want and properly explain your audiogram and give you a copy.
 

melissa

New Member
Well, I don't have much money so there's no way I can afford to buy hearing aids- I'm on benefits of £200 a month at the moment, but yes I could buy coloured moulds. I just don't understand why he said I couldn't have a copy of my audiogram, or coloured moulds, when other people in the UK have been given these things by the NHS.
 

melissa

New Member
I was thinking about that, since technically I didn't get referred in the first place, I just rang audiology and made an appointment.

But, it's in a month- November 25th is when I go to get them- I'm excited to get my new hearing aids, and I don't really want to delay things or cause a fuss by demanding coloured moulds- it's not the end of the world, but it did upset me and make me feel angry.

I was thinking of writing a letter to complain that he wouldn't give me a copy of my audiogram, but a) I don't know if he's right- maybe it's true and other audiologists are just generous? and b) I don't really know where to send it to.
 

djchur

New Member
I managed to get a copy of my audiogram to use when claiming Disabled Students Allowance, so it must depend on the individual audiologist. Perhaps the guy you saw was in a bad mood that day, maybe you'll have someone better next time.
 

melissa

New Member
Hmm, I got DSA and I don't remember getting an audiogram, it was a long time ago though.

Unfortunately the hearing aid fitting is with him, he was looking in the calendar on the computer and put the appointment under his name.
 
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