Thursday, June 28, 2007

Our Bitter-Sweet Day

On Monday we had an appointment for Logan to attempt to get a good hearing test before we resort to the sedation test. It's been a challenge in the past because the test requires that he participate in a little listening game to get accurate results, and most of the time, he just had better things to do! Well, this time, he was perfect and did just what he was supposed to do. The bad news is that the test revealed that he has now lost a significant amount of hearing since being first diagnosed. He is now considered "deaf" instead of "hard of hearing". The doctors told us that with the type of hearing loss he had, that there was a chance it could get worse. I guess I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. As the doctor proceeded to tell us of the results of the test my mind began to wander. I began to think of the past year and all of the hard work we have put in to his speech and listening skills, only to find out, none of it had been doing any good. I thought of how close he was getting to being able to say "Mommy", something I have longed for, but then realizing that this might be as good as it gets. As tears began to come to not only my eyes, but to Jake's as well, good news came from the doctor. Logan was now a candidate for Cochlear Implants. A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Instead of simply amplifying sound, it creates signals that the brain interprets as sound, making it ideal for people who have little or no hearing. Cochlear implants use a device called an external speech processor, worn outside the ear, to capture sound and convert the sound into digital signals. Those signals are then sent to a surgically implanted electronic receiver inside the head, which tells the implant to stimulate the electrodes inside the cochlea (inner ear). The brain then recognizes these signals as sound. The implants have a very high success rate and we are very hopeful. It is very scary for me because this is a major surgery and if it doesn't take, we can't go back to hearing's basically all or nothing. We are hoping to get the surgery done by the end of the summer, but nothing is for sure yet.

I look at my sweet son and hurt for him inside at what he is missing out on. Things like hearing "I love you" or when he makes his baby brother laugh, but I am grateful for his example and outlook on life and more importantly, a loving Heavenly Father who has brought us to this point of hope that all is going to be well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ABR testing

When you have a child that is disabled, it sometimes takes a while to admit or even say that word. I usually think of people who are severely handicapped whenever that word comes up, not people like Logan.
A few weeks ago we spent the afternoon at the workshop/picnic for the LA DHH (Deaf and Hard of Hearing) program, which Logan belongs to. They usually have them twice a year, but we have never attended. I'd always tell myself, "That's not us. We aren't really like those other people, Logan is different." But after finally attending...I realized that we are part of that community. I spent most of the afternoon in tears as I watched Logan interact with other children, also with hearing loss. I watched as some of the older kids signed to him to tell him they liked the car stickers on his hearing aids and how he thought that was neat. I watched how the group signed fun songs, much of which he could understand. I loved how he made instant friends with other 2 and 3 year olds because it was so easy to communicate with them. I talked with other parents who understand what a challenge this has been and also who gave me encouragement that the things that I wish for Logan, can actually become a reality.


It has been a frustrating year for us as we have come to believe that Logan is still not hearing, even with his hearing aids in. When he was first diagnosed I had no idea how many daily and simple things would be affected by his inability to hear. We have been blessed to have him be such a happy and energetic kid who doesn't get frustrated easily.We have been waiting for months to have an ABR (auditory brainstem response) test done. It's a test that they don't like to do very often because it requires that the child be sedated. It will tell his exactly what his hearing abilities are and if his hearing loss has become worse. This will be a big step for us in being able to go forward with his progress. We are scheduled for July 23 and we couldn't be more excited.


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