Editor’s note: Mary Stogiou is a MED-EL recipient from Greece and uses the RONDO Single-Unit Processor with WaterWear.
I lost my hearing completely after a traffic accident 19 years ago, when I was 22. I had no hearing problems before this accident and the sudden hearing loss forced me to change my life completely. My personality changed, I barricaded myself in and started to avoid people around me and all social communication.
Six months after the accident, I received my first MED-EL cochlear implant. It was this implant that helped me find my way, and even find myself again. Seven years later I received my second MED-EL cochlear implant and have enjoyed bilateral hearing for the last 12 years.
Going bilateral was wonderful. Before getting a second implant the only difficulties I had with hearing were in noisy environments, but my doctor insisted that this would get better with bilateral cochlear implants. He was absolutely right!
And the new RONDO has given me an incredible sense of freedom when compared to traditional BTE speech processors. I feel nothing on my ear, and at times I’ve actually forgotten that I have or am wearing an audio processor.
When I first got the WaterWear I have to admit that I was very hesitant and afraid of using it. I thought that water would somehow find its way into my RONDO and damage it. But there was no need to fear. Nothing happened.
The first time I went swimming I felt really strange. Familiar, but forgotten, sounds were flowing through me. I focused on hearing them, and then started to study and process these sounds. This was pure magic! After 20 years I could enjoy the sea and swimming and hearing. On that day it took me hours to get out of the sea.
The sound quality with WaterWear is very realistic and quite good. And it’s discreet! All I do is put on the RONDO underneath my hair, pull my hair back and tie it with a hairband, and then fix RONDO with the Attachment Clip. With RENATA alkaline batteries I get a full 8 hours of battery life out of the RONDO.
If there’s anything I could say to someone considering the RONDO and WaterWear, I would say: get them both as soon as possible and have no second thoughts. They are amazing!
Here’s a video of Mary as she goes swimming with her WaterWear and RONDO:
MED-EL recommends always securing the RONDO when using WaterWear, for example with the MED-EL Sports Headband.