Monday, January 11, 2010

Update Time

I promised to do a follow-up blog on my daughter's visit to her cousin's ASL class, and a follow-up on her one year anniversary for her second implant.

First, the ASL class. My daughter had a written speech that she read to the class, then I took over and talked about how hearing works, how hearing aids work, how the implant works, and a little bit about the different kinds of hearing loss. I also talked about the different kinds of speech therapy and how implants are mapped. At the end, we both answer questions.

We talked to two classes, and got good questions from both of them. The kids were very attentive, and we had a lot of fun. My daughter especially enjoyed having lunch in the cafeteria with all the high school kids. Pretty cool stuff for an 11 year old.

Now about the one year progress. My daughter lost her hearing as a baby from meningitis, and her right cochlea ossified (turned to solid bone) within a couple of months. The surgery for her left cochlea was moved up in order to get the electrode array implanted before it also ossified. That surgery was successful, and she had very good progress with the single implant since then. But her hearing in noisy situations was not all that good. She wanted to get her right cochlea implanted even though it would not be a total "success" because of the ossification. So we went ahead with it, and she got a partial insertion of the electrode array, and ultimately has 8 electrodes working now. It has been slow progress, but at her 6 month check, her hearing in noise with both ears was only 6% below "normal" hearing, while her hearing with her left implant only was 12% below "normal".

When the doctor started checking her map, she found out that the map had gotten too quiet to test, so we spent the time remapping her. By the end of the session though, my daughter was thrilled. She is hearing better than she ever has before with the new map and she was practically bouncing off the walls. She will use the new map for the next 6 weeks, then we will go back into the sound booth to see how her new map is working for her. So I guess I'll have to promise another follow-up to everyone about how her right ear is coming along.


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