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Tips From Someone Who Has
Been There, Done That, and Got the T-Shirt

K. Morris' Story

 

I. Saving Money on MRIs 

II. Monitoring your progress with hearing tests

III. My observations regarding changes in hearing

IV. Miscellaneous Tips


I. Saving Money on MRIs 

You can save money on MRIs by using a web search engine, like Google, to price-shop for the cheapest MRI in your area.  For example, you could search for the keywords "MRI" and "Houston" (without the quotes). Call the businesses and ask what their so called "global" price is for a brain, inner auditory canal or IAC scan, with and without contrast, and with a technical fee for reading the films.  It has a so called "CPT" code where I live of "70552". The cheapest price I found in a major U.S. city was about $US 1,000. The highest was about $3,000! [Editor's note: if your newer and older MRIs are from different MRI machines and/or read by different radiologists, there is a risk that the comparison between them will be inaccurate.]

 

II. Monitoring your progress with hearing tests

A. Although professional hearing tests are more precise, you can check your hearing anytime with an on-line test at

    http://www.digital-recordings.com/hearing-test/ht-products.html.

I like the fourth test down from the top of the page.  You'll need:

      i.   a computer connected to the internet
      ii.  a sound card,
      iii.  Java and
      iv.  headphones, which you can buy from electronics stores like "Radio Shack" in the States.

B. You can use a computer spread sheet to track your hearing over time. Each row would hold the data from a hearing test and each column would  hold your hearing level in "decibels" (dB) for a different frequency. You'll notice that your  hearing varies from test to test, which is normal.  I seem to recall that 5 dB is a standard variance.

The spreadsheet can also calculate the statistical probability that your hearing changed more than normal. Say your hearing in dB for various frequencies is stored in columns b through h, starting at row 2, with room for 9999 tests, and the current hearing test's results are in row 10. The spreadsheet formula to calculate the probability that your hearing has really changed would be something like
 
    1-normdist(average(b10:h10),average(b2:h9999),stdev(b2:h9999),TRUE).

C. A poor man's substitute is calling an automated phone system that says something unpredictable. For example, Bank of America in the States has an automated attendant that gives you the street address of bank branches after you say a random area code. It's a lousy hearing test, but

    i.  it tests "word recognition", which is unique among do it yourself tests and
    ii. it's better than nothing!

The phone number that I used in the States is 800 442-6680, extension 4.

III. My observations regarding changes in hearing

A. Here are the measurements for my hearing loss:

before:
                35 dB at 4 kHz,  20 dB at 6 kHz, 45 db at 8 kHz

after:
                35 dB at 500 Hz, 40 dB at 1 kHz, 45 dB at 2 kHz, 55 dB at 3 kHz
                20 dB at 4 kHz, 20 dB at 6 kHz, 45 dB at 8 kHz

B. When my hearing improved temporarily:

C. What coincided with a permanent improvement in my hearing:

D. What did NOT seem to affect my hearing:

acupuncture, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Juice+ Fruit, Juice+ Veggie, TwinLab Multimin w/o iron, vitamin D3, Mega GLA, DHEA, CoQ10, Enhanced Life Extension Protein, Molecularly Distilled Fish Oil Caps, Cognitex w/ pregnenolone, Saw Palmetto w/ nettle, Iodine, Pancreatin 8X,  vitamin B3, Blueberries, Chronoforte, MSM, 5 Elements, Enduring Youth, High Performance, Super Ginkgo Extract, CLA, Pycnogenol/Super grapeseed extract, yellow or time release alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E, NAC, methylcobalamin, AC Carbamide, Laitin, Galium Heel drops, Isocort, Lymphomyosot drops, calcium magnesium butyrate, Ultrazyme, Wobenzyme, Cell Differentiating Agent 2, ATP Fuel, Serraflazyme, Similase, Detox Factors I & II, Gluconic DMG, Bioclense , bioflavinoids, selenium, IP6, Moducare,  Ultraclear, Transfer Factors, Cognitex w/o pregnenolone, TMG, Life Extension Mix w/niacin & w/o copper tablets, Healthprin, curcumin/tumeric, Dr Shangloo's homeopathic remedies, methylcobolamin and folic acid shots, laetril I.V., DMSO I.V., hydrogen peroxide I.V., pulsed electromagnetic fields, vitamin C orally and I.V., cooked veggies, photodynamic therapy, ALA photosensitizer, the Life Extension Foundation's Cardiovascular Mix, taurine and aerobic exercise.

E. What coincided with my hearing getting worse:

bovine cartilage, Internal Cleanse, vitamin K and a high dose of beta-carotene with fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery.

IV. Miscellaneous Tips

A. I. Don't panic! Control your urge to "just get it out"!  If the nearest local yokel surgeon screws up while removing the tumor, you could end up half deaf, with a paralyzed face or even dead!  This is brain surgery, after all. A good comparison of the complication rates is in a chart at

    http://www.anarchive.org/dennis.htm#First%20Letter%20-%20Outcomes
  
B. Consider fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (FSR). It's more likely to preserve your hearing, facial nerve and life. As I write this in 2005, the best doctor is Gil Lederman at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City (212-995-6700). He's controversial but has more experience and gets better results.

C. If you end up with a handicap, I'm afraid the best advice I can offer may sound callused: resign yourself to having a handicap and make the best of it.

D. Warn your friends and family to beware of the following, which have been linked to tumors and coincided with my growing an acoustic neuroma

    i.   cell phones,
    ii.  bad/stressful marriages and
    iii. life extension supplements that may keep abnormal cells alive, especially supplements associated with tumors like melatonin.

E. Consider a so called "autologus vaccine", by Dr. Thomas Tallberg in Helsinki, Finland (358-9-700039340 and 358-9-674117 fax). It might safely get rid of your tumor! Dr. Tallberg claims it has been used on hundreds of patients, including at least seven with different types of brain tumors, with good results and no adverse side effects. He's semi-retired, but Dr. Jim Chan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (604 273-4372) has some experience with it.  However, Dr. Gil Lederman opposes it on the grounds that vaccines are dangerous.

K. Morris
January 2005

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Last Edited: Wednesday, April 06, 2005