Abbie, you are an amazing blogger! The detail of your posts. How can you remember all that you do? Gosh I am getting old, I can barely remember my name! And thank you for keeping up on Brianna's progress. And thank you to everyone for your support!
We are 2 weeks away from activation. And boy do I have a ton of questions. Should I list them? I don't want to seem to demanding, but advise is openly welcome...
1. Is there anything I can do to prepare Brianna for what she is about to experience? I have noticed that she wants desperately to please me. So she tries to have the reaction that she thinks I want her to have. I am afraid that she may say that she is hearing something different than she is hearing just because she thinks that is what I want to hear. She is such a sensitive and caring child. Just a blessing!
2. What will she hear. I read that voices will not sound like voices. Ducks, Mickey Mouse, gibberish. Does anyone have any description of what it sounded like to them or their child?
3. How overwhelming will this be for her and her brain? I hear that you get really tired after activation from all that your brain is learning. Should I plan on keeping her home from school? Or do you experienced CI-ers think she is fine going to school the days following initial activation?
4. What comes in the kit? Call me a kid in a candy store, but I love reading manuals and playing with cables (I am in Information Technology and just such a dork). But I am dying to know what neat things she will get in the kit. She has Nucleus Freedom implants. Will she get cool stuff? Cases and whatnot?
5. Is there anything that I can do at home to help her with learning to use the implant once activated? This hasn't been discussed with me, and I am sure it will. But a little head start doesn't hurt, right? I read that books on tape are good. What about cartoons with captioning? Any other fun things that you all can think of?
6. I don't know if it will be a problem or not, but I have read that sometimes the implants can be overwhelming at first. Is there any tips from you parents out there to help Brianna want to wear them? Just in case she says she doesn't want to. I don't want to force her (I will if it comes to that), I just want them to be fun, and interesting and helpful to her. So that she wants to wear them. Did anyone go through their child not wanting to wear them in the first few days? Or did you yourself not want to wear them? Why? What got you through it?
7. What can I realistically expect? Deep down, suppressed in my innermost thoughts, I hope that Brianna will be activated, and she will understand me, and hear the world. But realistically I know that is not how it will go down. I don't want to go in there hoping for magic and get disappointed. I have read so many activations, and watched the videos. It is so hard to tell if the expressions are good, amazing and wonderful, or if they are disappointment, regret and sorrow. Please fill me in if you have any advise.
I feel like a needy worry wart! To tell you the truth, I am so excited! I can't wait for the "what is that sound?" and the "THAT is what a bird sounds like?!" moments. It will be like having a newborn. All those firsts, just different firsts. You all know I am sure. I am just counting the days, hours and minutes!! (that's 13 days, 14 hours and 5 minutes for all those counting along with me!!!)
A little note on the happenings of this week. Brianna went back to school yesterday. Her class brought in money to send her a bouquet of flowers and a cookie expressions bouquet. And they each made a personal get well card for her. It was the sweetest thing. Reading those cards made my heart melt. Who knew so many 7 year olds were so unselfishly thoughtful? So this past weekend, Brianna and I made "Cochlear Implant Bracelets" for each of her classmates, and her teachers. They consisted of a silver spiral in the middle and colored beads on each side. Really cute. I will put a picture up. Anyway, she and I made them, and I wrote up a little something for her to read to explain their meaning to her class. Apparently they were a hit (who doesn't like a cute bracelet?).
She is doing well with going back to school. She bumped her head on the bus this morning and the school nurse called me after she calmed down to let me know that everything looks fine, she just was a bit shaken from the experience. When I asked her about it at home all I got was "The bus stopped and I hit my head. It's fine now." So I guess it was really ok! She is such a tough cookie, but worry wart mom called the doctor anyway. He of course said that since there was no bleeding or sign of trauma, she is fine until she goes in for her follow up on Thursday. You can never be too worrisome when it comes to your child, right? Anyway, she is doing great. Even with having no hearing, she got a 90% on her test yesterday. It was a practice state test. She takes them a few times a month to practice for the real one next year. Her grade before we got the student teacher for Brianna was a 68%. Big improvement. Thank goodness she really does go to a school that it more concerned with her academic success than anything else. I love this school district. Next Thursday Brianna has a field trip to go see a play. I asked that they try and seat her as close to the stage as possible, since she won't be hearing anything. I hope they do that for her. Then on June 5th, she is off to the zoo with the other children with hearing impairments. I hope that by then, the implants are really starting to work for her. How amazing it will be!
Ok, I am exhausted. Good night to you all, and thank you (in advance) for your input to my many questions!