Firstly, if you are not prepared for a health related debate then stay off the thread - I have titled this thread for the benefit of those who are turned off or offended by this.
For most of my life I have had problems with my hearing, in my left ear I have pretty good hearing but a small perforation in a sensitive area, so that needs to be monitored closely.
In my right ear I have severe hearing loss, which holds me back somewhat. Most of my ear drum has dissapeared (a perforation covers about 75% of it), although there is not too much nerve damage at this stage.
I am 25 years old, and have of course started to worry about how any further hearing loss could effect me, it would certainly hold me back. I already say 'pardon' about twenty times a day.
I decided recently to go to my GP to ask to see an ear specialist. He referred me to an ear specialist accordingly. I will point out that I had to wait 67 days to see a specialist, although it should also be noted that I have no current infection. My problems are as a result of being very prone to ear infection. My ears were not going to get any worse during this 67 days, put it that way.
Today I attended my local hospital, which was ranked as the best district general hospital in the country for quality of care in 2008. It is a university hospital, well reknowed for the high calibre of its doctors.
I got to hospital at 11:15, my appointment was at 11:30. I was seen at 11:38, and undertook an hours worth of hearing tests, tetinis tests, tests on my nerves, there were THREE professionals present. I got out of that room about 45 minutes later. They told me everything that I needed to know, and expected to be told, after doing some extensive prior research. I was then advised to sit back down.
I was then sat down for 5 minutes before being beckoned into a room, sat down in front of one of the countries leading ear surgeons (remember that in this country surgeons do both private and NHS work), who knew absolutely everything about my medical history. He then offered to perform an advanced operation on my right ear, which would entail utilising skin from a muscle behind my ears/underneath the hair on the back/side of my head, and grafting this onto my eardrum. This is subject to me not having an ear infection two weeks before the op.
There will be a 90-95% chance that the graft will work. If it does my hearing will improve. At worst case scenario I will be provided with a tiny hearing aid, I cannot even have one of those at the moment. At best case scenario my hearing will make become as good in my right ear as it is in the left (about 80%, it is currently about 30%).
I do have to wait 4 months for this operation, unless their is a cancellation. But again, I haven't had an infection in that particular ear for 3 years... I cannot consider this to be an urgent procedure. I will be out on the same day if I am booked in for the morning. I will stay one night if I am booked in for the afternoon. I will subsequently need to attend two aftercare appointments to check the progress of the graft, hearing tests etc.
Cost to me = $5.00 for bus fares. Strawman argument is that I pay for it in taxes, that argument fails when I advise that my tax bill for the last financial year was $1200. Yet again the National Health Service improves the quality of life of somebody on a low income, who would not be able to meet the cost of health insurance in America. They have already saved my life of course, keeping me alive for 6 weeks as a premature baby.
How can I not be grateful and proud of the British national health service? I am very happy today, knowing that my hearing will be improving for 2011.
I dont want to argue about healthcare in any way. I just honestly want to say Im happy to hear youve got good news, and Im glad that the way things are have worked well for you.
Well, I'm with you Ryan. I know little about the cost of health insurance in America but I can only assume that it must cause class divisions amongst society. I have had a few dealings with my local hospital, most recently when I had my second child. He had to stay in hospital for a week and I stayed with him. I cannot imagine what the cost would have been if I'd had to pay. The level of care was excellent, i cannot criticise it. I know problems come to light sometimes, but we are very lucky to have the National Health Service.
i am glad that at last i am hearing someone applaud England and the Health Service. I live in Ireland and boy do i wish i would have appreciated what i had when i was in England. Everyone takes it so much for granted. I work in a nursing home, and visit the hospital regularly. I would not like to tell you how backward this country is. Parents have to pay for every visit to the doctor for their children..... if i visit a doctor just for a sick note for work it cost 6o euro.
I have problems with my hearing, though hearing aids would help they are at least 2,000 euros, as it's a complicated condition.
My mum was looked after like a queen, when she had cancer 2 years ago, and now my dad is really ill he is getting wonderful treatment. It annoys me when English people complain about the health service. Glad to hear you can be treated Ryan, and your post was wonderful, three cheers.
A very similar situation with my grandad, he has pretty much been kept alive by the NHS for the past decade or more. He is now mid-seventies, and realistically would have died a very slow and very painful death without NHS treatment. He worked all his life, served in this countries military, paid taxes, why shouldn't the younger generations keep him alive? He still smiles most days, and as long as he is still smiling it is worth it. When he gives up, that is when the health service should give up, but he has never been a quitter. Several strokes and bowel cancer for the past twenty years by the way, he was still working with cancer..... in fact he worked for 10 years with cancer and would never have had it any other way. And perhaps that is where some societies do not see the benefits.
If I lose my hearing I cannot work in any meaningful job. If my grandad was not treated for cancer then he could not work. It is much more expensive to have a redundant workforce then it is to keep them healthy and productive. There is nothing about this country that I am more proud of than the NHS, I would die to protect it in fact. I actually would die for it.
my dad has a lung problem. He has had a hospital bed delivered, a wheelchair, he gets regular visits from the district nurse. The doctor calls when needed, All of course free of charge. Even nursing homes struggle to get wheelchairs in this country, and if you go to the hospital, you must keep the wheelchair in sight at all times, or it disappears, as guess what the hospitals are short of them too....... Your grandad sounds like a strong man.
Too cool. I'm glad to hear you'll be able to have your hearing fixed. I have a similar situation (hearing in my right ear is almost 0%) but I don't struggle too much as long as sounds come from in front of me or from my left.
The operation you talked about - not sure if insurance companies would even cover it. They're in charge and they know it. Sure, you can file a grievance and try to force the insurance company to cover a procedure, but if it doesn't fall into an area of coverage then the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is on their side. (I once worked in the Grievance Department of a health insurance company)
Can you be certain that the hearing in your right ear is as low as that? It may seem like it, but there are different types of deafness. My right ear is down because the ear drum is almost non existant now, but the test on my nerves suggested that it could get up to around 75%. There is ear drum damage and nerve damage, the latter is pretty much impossible to fix (that tech is still being pioneered), but fixing the former is the solution to a large proportion of my problem.
Perhaps you should consider getting tested? To see whether it is ear drum damage or nerve damage? I was very happy to know that the nerves on the right side were still very much alive, just a bit disabled....
I've considered it but as long as I can manage I don't really think about it. The reason I believe it's that low is due to my being fitted for an ear piece when I was a receptionist. While the goop was forming in my left ear I could barely hear what the salesman was saying to me. If he was on my right or I turned my head all I could hear was mumble & not words.
I would rather celebrate your hearing being fixed than complain about mine.
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