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Monday, September 23, 2013

One Week After Activation

Brody's ears are like a one week old baby as of today! He is doing so good with his listening!! I could not be happier with his progress!!!

We celebrated Papa Brown's birthday this past week.

We had a relaxing weekend (for once) and really got to spend time "making noise" for Brody to hear. I wasn't able to get any good video, but during the football games on Saturday, Brody would startle when Jordan got too excited. Jordan may have a little issue about getting really passionate about football and sometimes even startles me if I'm not paying attention. So, he is pretty loud! Every time Brody heard Jordan, he would point to the light. This is still very common for him to do when he hears.  We are trying to redirect him to point to his ear by pointing to ours and saying "I heard that."

On Sunday, we went to Papa Brown's company picnic in Glawgow, KY. Brody was some chalk and a gift card for playing Bingo (or Jordan and Grandma did). He played on the playground and went in some inflatables.

We bribed him to climb through the tunnel with a snow cone. We are working hard on his gross motor delays. Sometimes bribes help!

Today, Ms. Paula came and worked with Brody. He got some good responses with her. The video is a little long...sorry! Grandma added some editing to it too :)

And a little video of Bear so he doesn't feel left out!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Four Days After Activation

Four days after activation and my baby heard this morning! I am pretty certain too!

We changed him to program three (out of four) yesterday. In the morning, Brody attended a fundraiser breakfast at my school. The conversation level was pretty loud and he kept pointing to the lights. I wasn't sure if it was just his obsession with lights or the fact that he was hearing and point to the lights to tell us (like he did in the audiologist's office). He was very alert last night, but didn't really give us any indication he was hearing anything.

This morning, I got him up and dressed. After I put the processors on, I stood out of his sight and rang the cowbell Jordan had bought him. His eyes got really big! I did it a few more times and he was looking around for it. Then, we did the rattle that Ms. Pam (our wonderful friend who made his cute hats) had given him. He started crying with that. At activation, he cried when we turned the microphone on for him to hear speech. So, I take this as a sign he was hearing. He didn't respond to the squeaker toys or the bells that we had.

Take a look!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One day post activation

 Cochlear Implant Listening Skills Development

Above is a development list of how progression typically works after activation. Things could go faster or slower, but this is kind of the average. So first Brody will start discriminating that things make a sound. You can't really respond to your name if you can't respond to any sound. But before we can even start there, he has to keep the processors on his head. Grandma had a fun day of keeping them on! Even with the hats on, he would rub them off. We are going to try the toupee tape tomorrow and see if it helps keep them in place. Even though I sometimes have to fight with my kids at school to wear them, I have a whole new understanding for how the parents of my students feel. It's hard work!
Here's a video to demonstrate that although he has the processors on and working, we have a lot of work to do to get to a "normal" hearing range. As of right now, his ears are like a day old baby. We were on program 1 today. W have three more to go through until he is turned up to the top setting the audiologist has programmed right now.

Brody doesn't really bother the hats too much. Ms. Pam needs to get a patent on these awesome football designs!

Bear and Brody had some bonding time tonight...of course involving food.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Birthday to Brody's ears!

We headed to Cincinnati this afternoon for activation day! Our audiologist, Dr. Scott, was wonderful! A lot of those YouTube videos that circle around are of kids and adults who had some hearing and lost it for one reason or another. When they get activated, they are hearing sound again. Unfortunately, Brody had very little, if any, benefit from his hearing aids. He was not able to hear speech even with the hearing aids on. So what his reaction would be was a mystery to us. Some kids cry, some laugh, others do nothing. 

Here's a picture of his processor. I'll describe it in lay man's terms for everyone. Starting at the top, that is the circle, is the magnet. It sits on top of the skin and connects to the magnet inside his head (what they put in during the surgery). The little string is called the coil. This is the part that breaks the most with little ones. It's fun to chew on and swing around! :) The sound travels through the processor into the coil. 

The part at the top is the processor. This is the "computer" part. It processes the sound. The bottom part is the battery. Right now he has the disposable battery compartment on. There is also a rechargeable battery option. They just aren't fully charged yet.  

The two black dots are speakers. The sound comes into the processor and is sent through the coil to the internal piece that then signals the brain. The silver buttons turn the device on and off. You can also change the programs and volume. Right now, since he is young, he can only mess with the on/off and the programs. And really Jordan and I will be doing that, not Brody. 

This is an ear snuggie that helps hold the processor on. Dr. Scott is a fan of these for younger kids. At school, I usually just like the processor and some toupee tape to hold it to the ear. It worked well with his hearing aids. We'll try this though!

Dr. Scott started off doing some measurements. During this process, he connected the processor to the computer by attaching a cord where the   battery goes. Then, he put the left one on Brody's ear. He did a series of beeps through the processor, so Brody could hear them, but we didn't. Brody's reaction was pretty funny. Every time he heard the beep, he would point to the light and sign light. Not the reaction a typical kid would have but Brody likes to be different! He did it continuously for every beep! 

Then, Dr. Scott turned on the microphones for us to talk to Brody where he would have access to our speech. He didn't seem to notice. He left it on for about 5 minutes. Then, we switched to the right side. He again pointed to the light every time he heard the beeps. When Dr. Scott switched on the microphones, Brody started crying. This was the reaction I was most expecting. Every time he heard something he would start crying again. It was not hurting him in any way, just something new to get used to. 

Then, we put both processors on. Brody cried a little bit then started doing "roll" over and over. Of course he was wanting to incorporate his favorite football team into the activation (Roll Tide)! It killed Papa Tom, but he gave in and signed it with Brody! (Papa Tom is a Notre Dame fan!) 

He did pretty good with keeping them on, but did pull them off a number of times through the process. On the way home, he was exhausted and the processors were apparently not an option for him. 

It's been a long day! We are excited to get started with the process though. Brody will start speech therapy and listening therapy soon. Listening therapy is done with a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (formally known as an Auditory Verbal Therapist). There are a lot of similarities between a speech therapist and an LSLS, so much that the state of Kentucky recognizes them as one in the same. But they are not. We can't receive both services through First Steps, our early intervention program. So he is going to receive speech therapy through First Steps and LSLS privately. Can't wait! Hopefully, I will also learn a few things to better my classroom!

Ms. Pam updated the pilot caps for Brody. Pilot caps are sometimes worn to help assist in keeping the devices on. She made an Alabama football helmet and a Notee Dame football helmet!

Jordan and I are so thankful for all of the support and prayers we have received. Brody is one super loved little man! This is just the beginning. We have many more years of this journey to continue!   

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cleared by Dr. Choo!

We met with Dr. Choo today. He looked at Brody's incisions and said they looked good. At the very top, there is some scabbing. He said we could stop,using the antibiotic cream he had prescribed and start dripping peroxide on the scabbing. Apparently that will clear it up! We asked him about how Brody is more vocal now. He agrees with Jordan and me that he probably is just developmentally moving along and it doesn't really have anything to do with the surgery. Jordan also asked about the placement of the magnet. It felt that it was a little more forward than I see on a lot of my kids. Dr. Choo explained that he positions it a little more forward in his younger patients. This is because as the skull grows, the magnet will also move with the skull away from the ear. Therefore, when he is grown, it will sit around 45 degrees back like most of the implants you see normally. So with this appointment, he is cleared for regular activity and to get activated on Monday!!!!

I talked with the audiologist, Dr. Scott, today on the phone. I was asking for some insight on the newest external piece that is coming out very soon. Sometimes there are loaners available to use. He said they didn't have anything, but he did have a letter he had received saying that if you were implanted within a certain window, you would receive an exchange for the new one. We're in the window! So on Monday when we go for the activation, Brody will have the current one, but in a few weeks or months, he will have the upgrade to the newest one! I'm excited! The technology isn't that different in how it sounds, but it has some newer features.


Although it looks like Brody is hearing Bear, he is actually feeling the vibrations of his barking on the ground. (Bear is throwing a tantrum because I wouldn't let him eat Brody's goldfish crackers. Such a hard life!)


Sunday, September 8, 2013

8 Days till activation!

Brody had a busy weekend! He has been super vocal still (which is so ironic because he can't hear himself right now)! He has been eating with his utensils a lot better although he's smart enough to realize the food gets to his mouth faster with his hands. Brody also saw Arlene , his new occupational therapist. She did an assessment on him to start services. 

Friday we went to Miss Fran's church's picnic. Brody had fun twirling the lottery drum for the prizes and talking into the microphone. I'm pretty sure we have a social butterfly on our hands! Another family won a stuffed dog and gave it to Brody. It looks just like one of our dogs growing up!

Saturday, Brody got to hang out with Grammy and Papa Tom while I hung out with my college friends that came in town and Jordan went to an engagement party for one of his best friends of forever. Brody got to go to his Great Aunt Karen and Great Uncle Keith's farm. It looks like he had a blast! 

Daddy was upset because Notre Dame lost last night. :( We left Brody's jersey at my Grandmothers house last Saturday (or I'm hoping we did), so that is the apparent reason Notre Dame lost :)

We had a lazy day today watching our Bengals lose. Too bad Alabama didn't play this week. They are our only hope for a win!

Friday, September 6, 2013

6 Days After Surgery

OI failed at getting a picture yesterday! Oops! Here are the incisions today. 

He is still doing great! No stopping this little man! We have noticed him being more vocal since surgery. He was pretty vocal before for a profoundly deaf child, but he is making noises more now. One of the audiologists I work with had a theory of Brody trying to hear himself. While we didn't think he got much, if any, benefit from the hearing aids, he must have gotten something. From now until activation, he has nothing on his ears to give him sound, so maybe he's "talking" more trying to figure out why he isn't hearing anything...sounds like a legit reason to me!

11 days till activation!!! Not like we're counting down or anything :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

5 Days After Surgery

I took one more day at home with Brody before I head back to work. I figured he was going to be so clingy and sickly from having surgery so I already had a sub lined up. I couldn't have been more wrong! 

We met up with Grandma and Aunt Sara to hang out before Aunt Sara goes back to Panama tomorrow :(


Relaxing at Kohls

We're going to miss her!! 

His bunny face 

Monday, September 2, 2013

4 Days After Surgery

Brody had a busy day again today! His incisions are looking awesome! The right one looks a little better than the left one. They are starting to bruise a little right around the incision but not too bad.

We went over to JoJo's house (my grandmother) to say good bye to Grant Aunt Bobbie, Christopher, Amanda, and Lexi. Then, we headed over to Southeast Christian Church for their Family Palooza. Brody had too much fun and was worn out afterwards!

Brody the helicopter pilot.

Riding in the police car.


He wasn't too sure about the bubble truck.

They had a fun petting zoo set up. Brody loved it!




Petting a cow

A little Brody photography :)

Riding the train!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

3 Days After Surgery

Here are his incisions today! Looking good!

Brody's cheering on Louisville today. Thanks for the outfit Ms. Christine and Mr. Zach!

We went to the park with  our cousin Lexi tonight. I wouldn't let Brody get in the splash park with his incisions, but he had fun splashing.