Friday, July 31, 2009
Many Friends and Family have had questions about what an implant is, why he needs one, and how does it work? I will do my best to explain...
Normal hearing is about 10-20 decibels. When Evan was tested he was found to have Profound loss bilaterally(both ears). Hearing aids amplify or make sounds louder. If you have a a hearing loss amplifying sounds can help you hear them....the inner parts of the hear work and are getting the messages to the brain if it's loud enough. When the loss is severe to profound and or there is a problem with the cochlea itself, simply making things louder doesn't help.
The cochlea is the sea shell shaped bone behind the ear. It is filled with fluid and is lined with tiny hairs. When the sound enters, it vibrates and stimulated the hearing(auditory) nerve. The little hairs in Evan's ears may not be there, there may not be enough, they may be flat, we will probably never know why he is deaf. The implant is placed under the skin on the side of his head, the coil on the wire will be placed into the cochlea. Check out the picture above to see the implant size next to the nickel. You can also see in the diagram where it sits when it's implanted. The "coil" consists of electrodes that will send electrical pulses to the auditory nerve directly. Those cute little ears will not have to work, the implant will do it for him!
He will wear an external processor behind his ear that will pick up the sounds through a small microphone on the processor. the sound is sent to the external coil into the implant where the pulses will be, over time, read by the brain as sounds. A small magnet is in the internal implant and a small magnet is in the external coil. The two will twin up and the coil will magically stick to his head thanks to the magnets. The picture above also shows the processor on and off.It's only when this is on that he will be able to "hear."
Evan will always be deaf, but when he is wearing his processor, he will be able to hear us. AMAZING!
After surgery it won't be until September 3rd that he is activated. This simply means turned on! It's then that he will get the external processor and hear us for the first sounds!
I hope this answers some questions and helps!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The journey we started with Evan has brought with it hidden treasures... the opportunity to meet amazing families and individuals who have been touched by silence. I got a phone call last night from someone who's little girl is following right behind us in their journey. It's so reassuring to be reminded that we aren't alone and that this is not a horrible thing! Right away when we found out about Evan's hearing loss we got a lot of apologies..."I'm sorry," is what you say about things like this. Well I'm not sorry anymore. Yes it is unfortunate, but it's the way God made him and guess what... we have already begun to find Joy in this! Not only Joy in the amazing little boy he already is, but Joy in the journey itself! Through the journey we have already made new friends in cyber world and locally. I am uncovering hidden blessing each day on this journey and am thankful. I can't wait to see where this will take us and look forward to meeting many more people in hopes that we can help each other and find joy in our children's silence!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here is Evan getting his 4th ABR. This one was conducted in Mason City and Grandma Wendy went with us. He wasn't sedated so we had to work hard to keep him sleeping. You can see Grandma Wendy rubbing his head, he loves this! This is one of the few pictures of him with a pacifier as he isn't such a fan of them, but it worked today! The results comfirmed that his loss is more than severe...it is profound bilaterally. First step: Hearing Aids.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It's only a few weeks until sugery and I am very excited! It doesn't seem like 10 months ago that we learned Evan couldn't hear us! August 7th will be here soon and then it will be a long wait to activation on Sept. 3rd. So as the clock ticks, I have time to enjoy my little guy without his super ears. It's fun to watch his amazement with visual things...last weekend at a wedding he loved the bubble machine at the dance and watching his face light up watching his sisters is so great to watch! I can only imagine the progress he will make when he is able to hear thier voices too! So Tick tock....