Thursday, October 18, 2007

It was option #1!

What a relief! Kevin went in for surgery today and it ended up being option #1. Only the magnet popped out! The implant is working fine and Kevin will be able to wear the processor next week. He recovered like a trooper. By this evening, you would never know he had surgery today he was bouncing all over the place. Considering how rare this is to happen, he is definitely a very special boy. Note in the picture that his bunny was also bandaged up during surgery. We thought it was so cute, but when Kevin woke up, he didn't seem to think so!

Unfortunately, he couldn't wear his other processor today because his head is all bandaged up, so he was back to being deaf. I haven't spent a day with him completely deaf in over 7 months. I was quickly reminded that he is indeed deaf, and how much work it is to play with him when he can't hear you. There is so much more gesturing and touching and eye contact. Cochlear implants are truely miracles for these little ones.

So, while this accident cost Kevin to have another surgery, a week of our life, 10 years of aging due to stress, and our insurance company 10s of thousands of dollars, hopefully it will just be a blip in the road of his hearing life. He should be back on track by next week. This journey is definitely unpredictable!

I also wanted to comment on how much I miss his bilateral implant! In just the 4 days of not having bilaterals, Kevin was not able to locate as well and definitely didn't hear as well as he does with 2. We had to either repeat words or say them louder to get him to really understand us. After seeing how much better Kevin does with 2 implants rather than 1, it is a crying shame more insurance companies don't cover 2 implants.

Ok, I am exhausted right now. It has been a long day. We were up at 5am and then drove home today as well (2.5 hours). Thank you for all the prayers! They were answered today!!!


TirelessAdvocate said...

Hi Kristen,

You both are in my thoughts from the bottom of my heart. Hope he is okay.

Tears stream down my cheeks for Deaf children who have Cochlear Implants. In the past, a very ignorant Alexander Graham Bell influenced society that Deaf children should not be able to learn to sign. They had to learn to speak and go to mainstream schools with no ASL involved. ASL is our visual language that evolved from Martha's Vineyard's Native Sign Language. The Deaf and Hearing residents of Martha's Vineyard were very successful in communicating amongst each other with sign language.

That's a very good example of Native American people's tears for their own lands and their native tribe languages that were spoken by their hands. It was taken away from them in the past.

Hope you both go down the right path by listening to your heart <3 first before you make up your mind ;)

Best wishes to you and the rest of your family.

Warm hugz for you both. ;)

Dooner said...

Dear Kristen,
Thank you for sharing your story about Kevin. I agree that cochlear implants are nothing short of miraculous. My son has had his for 7 years in one ear and almost 3 in the other. Fortunately, he has had no problems what-so-ever, and I expect that from here on out, Kevin will have no problems either.

Thanks to the implants, my son can communicate easily with the rest of our English-speaking community. He goes to a regular school and has lots of friends. He would not be able to do this or many, many other things without his implants. He likes to hear and has even told me he would never give up being able to hear, even though he knows a little sign.

Kristen, I applaud you for sharing honestly that sometimes things to go wrong with cochlear implants. Parents should definitely be aware that though not common, there can be a need for another surgery if the internal component breaks. Parents should also be aware that it takes commitment in the beginning to make sure the child learns to use the implant.

TirelessAdvocate: speaking as someone who was told be the militant Deaf faction that implants are wrong, I can only say, shame on you. We delayed getting an implant for our son needlessly because of dire warnings from people like you. Had I known how well it would work, we would have done it sooner. It's the best gift we could have ever given our son. He can hear whispers in the dark -- that is how well it works.

So wipe your tears, Tirelessadvocate. You should only weep for those you dissuade from this amazing gift of hearing. It's unconscionable that you would do that, in fact. To make someone live in a closed community forever resentful like you seem to be -- is that really a life to wish on a child?

Cochlear Implant = choice of who to communicate with and how.
No Cochlear Implant = Isolation and LACK OF CHOICE.

momofcikids said...


Glad to hear he's doing well, and that it was just the magnet!

Congratulations on your MOST EXCELLENT decision to implant your son when you did. Fortunately your son will have the advantage of being able to talk with everyone, and not limited to speaking only in the insular community which only can utilize ASL. Life, and the world, is not Martha's Vineyard, and fortunately you understand that!

No tears here. We have two boys with bilateral implants, and their lives are not about deafness-- which is a disability, but about all the other things which make them interesting and unique. They have interests which they can now pursue which were enabled by implantation. For example, one learned to read easily at age 5 with no problem saying and learning the sounds for letters, digraphs, and basically all the phonemes. At 6, now, he can read books at a 3rd grade level. Obviously he loves language and reading, and he would likely be far behind if he was not using the same language which is found in print.

It's ridiculous for tirelessadvocate to pity you or any other child who hears with implants. They are not only NOT struggling to hear with implants, but they have no need for manual language thanks to the fact that they now hear. How ill informed and rude to call Dr. Bell ignorant after all he did for society in general, creating the predecessor to the iron lung after he sadly lost an infant son to a lung condition, assisting a president who had been shot by creating a metal detector, loving his wife and mother who were both deaf, and aiding hundreds if not thousands of people learn to speak in an age without any benefit of amplification! He was a hero, and knew that children deserve to speak the language that their parents, friends and teachers use. Most deaf children ARE born to hearing parents, of course.

Good luck with Kevin, and I am sorry that you had all the worry about it being a failure... I know that was so stressful! I do not look forward to future failures, but I know they will happen someday. We all know that it's worth it, though, and that we parents who have made this choice are fully aware of all that is involved in helping our children arrive at their full potential in life!

handsofpraize said...

I am so happy yor toddler is doing well!

Total communication is wonderful, while your son has an implant he can also learn to Sign.

That way he will have the best of both cultures!

Who knows what his future will bring. I know it will be wonderful!