CI Activation

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Hearing Birthday, My Crazy Boy!

I can't believe that it has been three years since Thomas first heard with his CI. While it seems like just yesterday in many ways, it also feels like an eternity with countless AVT sessions, speech therapy, OT for his sensory processing challenges and three changes in schools to find the best fit for him.

Three years ago today, this is where we were:

Just seeing him turn to the sound of the initial beeps made my heart soar with hope, anticipation and pure joy. Prior to surgery and activation, he went from having roughly 17 words to 2, Mama and Dada. EVA/LVAS is a wicked diagnosis! Witnessing Thomas lose virtually all of his hearing in his right ear was devastating to say the least. On activation day, all that changed...the hard work to get him to truly listen and speak with new technology began to take hold, mold us, change us...forever!

Today, we are all in a completely different place. Thomas isn't just saying 17 words. He is saying 17 words in a single utterance. For example, just today he asked me about our playing with some friends tomorrow. He asked, "Mom, are Cydney and Allie coming over to our house tomorrow? Or are we going over to their house to play?" These are the words of a "typical hearing 4-year old" not one that just truly began hearing 3 years ago.

Thomas is testing at or above his hearing peers across the various testing areas. While he still has lots of work to do before going to kindergarden next year, he is making HUGE progress, learning new concepts, terms and self-advocacy He is also suppose to be discharged from AVT at the end of the summer, although I'll keep pushing to have Ms. Becky still see him every two weeks.

Sidney, his sister, is more accepting of Thomas and his challenges. She is no longer jealous of the time that I have to spend with him. She is a typical 10-year old that doesn't want to play therapy games. I have to remind myself that this type of behavior out of 10-year old is normal. Just to accept that fact and keep praying that God will keep her from turning into a teenager before I'm ready (if I ever will be ready).

Sean and I are in a very good place. We don't really see Thomas' technology, only seeing it to make sure that it is on his ears. He is our son. Our amazing son. Our son that is hearing impaired in one ear and deaf in the other...this won't define him in our eyes. We expect greatness from Thomas...we expect the world...I simply can't wait to see where we will all be three years from now...only God knows...for now I'll be thankful for what we have and eager for the future.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Hands, Broken Ears

Recently, we went to our local grocery store to pick up a few things. At check out, Thomas had a quick conversation with the person that sacked our groceries. Not out of the ordinary for Thomas to strike-up a conversation with a stranger, but this stranger didn't have any hands...and he was sacking our groceries...without any hands.

Thomas: "What happened to your hands?"

Sacker: "When I was young, I got sick and the doctors had to remove my hands."

Thomas: "Oh, that's not good."

Sacker: "What happened to your ears?"

Thomas: "This is my implant and my hearing aid (turning his head to show the sacker). They help me hear. My ears are broken."

Sacker: "Oh, they are pretty cool."

Thomas: "Yep, you are pretty cool, too."

Sacker: "Thanks. See you next time."

Thomas: "Okay, see you next time."

A pretty cool conversation between a young man with no hands and a "medium kid" (as Thomas calls himself)with broken ears.