Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Hearing Birthday!

Today was activation day!

Here we are in the waiting room.  Happy as always.

 Each ear must be set up separately so we started with the right ear...

This side is still pretty swollen.  You can see the bump under the top of his incision on this side.  The incision itself runs from the top where it's visible, as far down as the bottom of the processor.  The black cable is connecting him with the Audiologist's computer. 

The first thing they do is send beeps of different volumes and frequencies into the processor to test the electrodes and Eric's tolerance for them.  We will post some video later (sorry, they aren't as easy as pictures) but for now I can say the Eric did very well! 

He had some visible responses and as the levels went up, he would start to cry a bit and lean into me. So we definitely knew what levels we should avoid right now.

Then we turned on the microphone so he was hearing us.  He did wonderful! We could see that he was hearing us, but nothing was hurting or scaring him.  At one point, he seemed to turn to find the direction of a sound, which is actually pretty amazing at this level. I have a hard time imagining NOT turning to sound, but it is a learned behavior that Eric hasn't had the opportunity to learn until now.

We took off the right ear and hooked up the left to do the same process over again.

The incision on this ear is much nicer looking!  And there is less swelling as well.  But we are only two weeks away from surgery so both sides will look great soon. = )

All the testing went pretty much the same.  I'm not sure what Eric's actual levels are, but for now everything is set very quietly.  We want him to begin hearing, but slowly enough to let his brain adjust.  The processors can hold four programs.  We start with 1, and progressively move up as we feel Eric can handle the extra stimulation.

Eric took to wearing his new processors very well.

Wonderful. He's already discovered the cymbals...

There was a construction site outside this window that Eric could not get enough of.
So much that I had to call in reinforcements because he was getting too heavy. 
We went home two suitcases heavier than we went in.  Yes folks, this is our new arsensal of equipment.  It looks overwhelming because each suitcase is a set-up for two ears.  You have one primary set, and then the second as a backup. 

But you can't slow down these two kids!  Eric wore his processors like a champ all evening.  They are pretty easy to knock off in certain situations.  Since we are out of practice with the hearing aids, it's already driving us crazy to be constantly putting them back on while he's sitting in the high chair.

This is pretty good view of his right ear.  One of the options we picked was something called a "Snug Fit".  It simply replaced the ear hook, and added the loop on the bottom to hold them on better.

This is the left side.  Snug Fit doesn't look too snug... = )  We also requested the compact batteries.  Unfortunately, we didn't get them today.  So they eventually will be slightly smaller than this.

And here is Eric's new profile! Rockin' it like it's no big deal! ; )

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What a week!

Wow. What a week. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I always knew it was true, but it's never been quite so apparent in our lives until now.

Last Sunday our surgeon called and said he had a cancelation on Tuesday early morning if we wanted it (instead of Wednesday mid-morning). After a few calls to make sure we could pull it off, we accepted. We are amazingly blessed by our village. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough. Even those of you that we did not have to call upon personally, your positive thoughts and prayers have given us great happiness.

Eric's surgery went beautifully. He went in with a little cough, which was made worse by the anesthetic, so we did have to spend the night when we weren't expecting to. But it's always better to be safe than sorry, so I wasn't bothered at all. Eric has been a champ. Nothing phases my son. And Kaitlyn has been amazing as well. We tried to prepare her to see Eric with bandages and whatnot, but I wasn't sure how she would react to seeing all of that while in the hospital as well. She was wonderful! The best big sister ever!

Now the hard work begins. I almost feel a little like when I did when Eric was first diagnosed. Sort of "Oh my goodness, what do I do now?!". Since getting the implants has been the goal for so long. But step two is activation!! Scheduled for 5/29. This is referred to as a "hearing birthday" because it will be the first time Eric has heard really anything at all. The idea that Eric has never heard anything has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm noticing every tiny noise in my life. Can imagine that? Never having heard anything at all?