Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Love this...

Commencement Address to Clarke graduates
by New York Times Bestselling Author, Josh Swiller

"...Graduates, I would also like to offer another, perhaps more unusual kind of congratulations. One you might not hear in too many other places. What I would like to do is congratulate you on your deafness. I, like you, have a profound hearing loss. I, like you, have had to struggle with my disability every day to get the most out of life that I can.

One thing I never had when I was your age, that I wish I did, was an understanding of and an appreciation for all the amazing things that deafness has given
me. Deafness makes some things harder but it also makes everything much richer. It does. Really.

So I want to congratulate you on your deafness and tell you a little bit about how it will make your life a little more wonderful.

First, your deafness will be a great filter. You will find again and again that while not hearing can make it harder to meet new people, the kind of people deafness does attract are of the highest class – thoughtful, intelligent, kind. Throughout your life, if you keep your eyes open and your heart brave, you will meet sensitive, warm, understanding people. If you look around you – you already are surrounded by such people. That is a rare thing – congratulations on that.

Second, your deafness will be a great comfort. The world you are going off to is a beautiful and exciting one, but it can also be stressful, tiring, scary, or just plain confusing. For hearing people too! But with deafness you will always have the wonderful option of turning the world off and stepping back into a quiet, private place where you can relax, breathe deep, think clearly, and recharge your batteries. Anywhere you go, you can do this – most people can’t. Just make sure you don’t do it when your mother is telling you to clean your room.

Third, and most important, your deafness will be a great, great teacher. It is already teaching you at every moment. Is being deaf easy? Is it a walk in the park? No, it’s hard. But hard things give you character. Difficult situations and events teach you to be brave and compassionate – that means learning to care for others. Challenges force you to grow up. Trust me, an easy life with no worries is not good for the soul. You know all those young Hollywood celebrities like Lindsey and Britney and Paris who are now having all these troubles with drugs and relationships and jail and other things? That is because they lost the ability to self-reflect and be true to themselves. Somehow despite the fact that they seemed to have everything – money, fame, hearing – they lost sight of the fact that life is a precious gift and could not make the right decisions for their lives. But you have deafness and it will never allow you to behave so childishly. Deafness will force you to ask yourself again and again – how can I keep going? How can I remember to be thankful? How can I give to others who need help? – these are important questions to ask yourself and it is wonderful to have something that will make you ask them everyday. Everyone should be so lucky as to have something that forces them to ask such questions. Do you understand? This is deafness teaching us how to better love ourselves and others. Otherwise, what is life about? Getting the high score of Super Mario Brothers?

So my friends, mi amigos, congratulations.

Learning from deafness in these ways I have been blessed to live a life more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. I trust you will go and do the same. I have traveled the world many times, lived and worked in cities, in forests, in tiny African villages so small they don’t even have names. I have met incredible, inspiring people – all this is possible for you too. And I expect you to do it, or at the very least, to never ever use deafness as an excuse for why you can’t. Understand? That excuse is off the table. If you feel that deafness is being unfair – and believe me, there are many times it looks that way – you have to ask what deeper lesson is it trying to teach me? Because there always is one.

So let it be your teacher, your filter, your friend. Are you ready to let it be all those things? Good.

But first, congratulate yourself! Well done!"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 08 recap...


At DisneyWorld with Gma & Gpa Cragun, Uncle Josh& Aunt Jessie...



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Christmas Experience / Vocabulary Book...

"Merry Christmas"
"Christmas tree" - "candy cane"

"elf" - "present"

"Santa Claus" - "Christmas lights on a house"

"wreath" - "gingerbread man"

"holly" - "bells"

"Santa's sleigh" - "the Wisemen"

"christmas lights" - "mistletoe"

"Santa going down the chimney" - "Santa's reindeer"

"ornament" - "snowman"

"turkey" - "Rudolph"

"Baby Jesus" - "Gingerbread house"

Monday, December 15, 2008


Many of you who read Logan's blog are old friends who don't have any previous knowledge of deafness or cochlear implants. You have all been so great in wanting to understand and ask questions about Logan's journey. I sometimes forget to explain things more in plain terms. A few of you have asked about the surgery (don't worry Jen, you were not the only one :) ). What exactly did the surgery do? Did it fix his deafness? What does "activated" mean? Does he still have to wear the "ear".

Logan will always be deaf. The implant is like a more powerful hearing aid, although it 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. Those that are qualified for an implant must have a certain degree of hearing loss (meaning "bad") and not get any use out of a hearing aid. I use to see a person with hearing aids and ask myself, "Why don't they just get that surgery done to 'fix' their hearing." I now know that most that wear the hearing aids, get enough sound from them, so that there is no need for an implant. Logan was one of those people at birth.

Normal hearing is about 10-20 decibels. When he was born, he heard between 30-50 dB, his hearing loss was only mild to moderate (see chart below). He wore hearing aids beginning at 4 1/2 months old. As he got older, his hearing loss became worse and the hearing aids were no longer serving a purpose. At about 2 1/2 years old Logan was considered profoundly deaf, hearing between 90 and 110 dB (depending on the frequency, meaning high pitch sounds vs. low pitch sounds).

The surgery that was recently done gave him a second implant on his left side. He still wears the one on the right. The “ear”-as we call it-- has an inner device that has to be surgically implanted. He cannot hear with just that, he has to attach the outer device-also called the processor (it is a magnet that attaches to the magnet on the inner device) in order to receive sound. So at night when we take his ear off (the processor), he cannot hear anything.

"Activated" basically means "turned on" or "hooked up". Logan's activation date is January 5th, so he is not getting any sound yet in his second ear. When we go to that appt. he will receive the second processor and will begin hearing in "surround sound!" :)

Does that help? Here are some pictures for you to see what the implant looks like.

This is what is implanted inside...This is the speech processor that is seen on the outside...

Hope this helps!

Ready to get back to life!

Logan is recovering nicely. Kids are so much more than resilient than we are! He was eager to remove the bandages and even got up in the middle of the night, on day two, to throw the ace wrap in the garbage. When I asked him why he took it off he told me that Dad said he could take it off when he woke up. Dad was right, only we expected his wake up time to be about 8 am, not 2 am!
He stopped needing his medication earlier than expected and has been begging to go back to school. He will continue on the antibiotics to keep him infection free (from the mucous issue).
His activation day is on January 5th. We are eager to see the results once we get this second one up and running. Thanks again for all your well wishes. I look forward to one day, Logan understanding how loved he really is.

We were slightly shocked that the incision went up into his hairline, we were told it would be completly behind his ear, like his first one. Hopefully his hair will cover it better when it grows out.

Logan's incision began opening up, so "Dr. Dad" shaved his head a bit so he could apply some butterfly closures...

I also thought I'd attach these fun pictures of our visit with Santa this weekend...


Related Posts with Thumbnails