Sunday, August 31, 2008

My other kids Audiograms

I had Brianna's sisters and brother's hearing tested this past week. They all tested within normal limits. Whoo, what a relief. Don't get me wrong, I think a 2nd time around might be a bit easier, but not having to do it at all is even easier! So, that's my good news for today.

Brianna's birthday is tomorrow. We got her an iPod. Just a small purple one, I think it's called a Nano. Anyway, I put a couple Disney Cd's on it, and she will give it a whirl tomorrow. I really hope everything works well for her. We have an audio cable that came with her processors, and we will get to test that out! Has anyone with implants had luck with an iPod? What about bi-laterally? Is there a way to get the signal to both processors? Maybe an adaptor or something? Well, if you have ideas, throw them my way! Thanks!

Hope this finds you all well!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Elle's Ears = Happy Tear-fest!

First and foremost, thank you Elizabeth and Rachel. Thank you does not even cover it. I received my Elle's Ears book today. We ordered it hoping that Brianna could share it with her new classmates next week when school starts.
I opened it right up and Brianna sat on my lap. She read the first few pages out loud to me, then I took over. I did fine up until the activation page. I rush of tears came over me. I have never cried so hard reading a children's book. "Where the Red Fern Grows" did not have this much of an emotional impact on me! Brianna looked up at me when she heard my voice crack and let me know that Elle's mommy and daddy cried, but I don't have to! How sweet is that. So, I took that moment to calm down and we finished the book. She took it into her room and read it a few times. After she went to bed, I read it again. Flood gates open! I called Brianna's dad (he is out of town on business again) and read it to him. He cried. He made me stop reading after the activation part so that he could compose himself to hear the rest. We both cried through the end. I am so thankful that you both cared so much to write this book and make it available to us. It was really just perfect. If anyone has the opportunity to purchase it, I would recommend it. It is the first children's CI book that I have read, and it was perfect.
Brianna is going to make a collage of pictures to show the class, and her teacher will read the book to her class. I really think that Elle's Ears will show the class that Brianna is special, but also that she is just like them, just with a cool set of pink "ears"! I just had to express my gratitude for this book, and for all of you sharing your experiences with us. It is so great to feel like we are not alone. There are a lot of people going through what we are going through, and sometimes it is just what you need to hear. You are not alone, and you made the right choice.

Thank you!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Brianna through and through!

This is a picture of Brianna a few weeks ago. What a fireball!
This is her daily look. She is so stubborn, so opinionated, and so Brianna! I absolutely love this picture. I love taking pictures of the kids, and each one shows a little bit of their personalities. But this picture takes the cake. It is my favorite picture. Some people would look at this and say "What a brat." I look at this, and realize that Brianna has gone through so much this year. She has given everything 100% and she still remains the same as she has always been. She is such a loving child. And, when she doesn't want her picture taken, boy can she express that in her face! I hope you all enjoy a little smile when you see this!
An update from Brianna's mapping this past week. Her audiogram shows 25-30dB almost straight across. She still has a little dip around 3000-6000Hz. She is understanding words so well. I can talk to her in another room, and she can respond appropriately. Now comes the task of weaning her off of lip reading. Since Brianna taught herself to lip read at a very young age (we didn't learn that she was probably born with a hearing loss until 2 years ago), it's a habit that we have to try and break. We really want her to rely on the CI for communication, and at least get her to a comfortable state of lip reading and hearing with the CI. She also had a speech evaluation. She has normal speech for her age. Everything was age appropriate, and she has even begun to correct her "r" sound! They said that she is doing well on her own, and have no special speech therapy recommendation for this coming school year. That is great to hear! She never had much of a speech problem, and in my eyes, the less time she spends out of the classroom, the better. She is in a mainstream school, and I want her to continue that way. I have always been worried about her missing class to go to "special services". In previous years, they have always been able to take her out during free time, or specials (art, gym or music). But I want her to experience everything, hopefully this will be the year for that.
Hope everyone is well!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Brianna is back!

Brianna and her siblings have been on a little vacation with their grandparents. Just a little time to rest and relax this summer (for me too!) But they are all back now safe and sound. Brianna has another mapping session on Wed (8/13/08) followed by another speech evaluation. Maybe I am too naive, optimistic or just unobservant, but I don't think there's anything wrong with her speech. Since the activation in May, we have worked on the only problem that the speech therapist noticed last time; "r"'s. She used to say "oyange" not orange, "dwesser" not dresser and so on. Now she is speaking beautifully. So I don't really foresee any problems there. However the upcoming audiogram is where I am concerned. Being the nature of summer, it has rained a lot, and when it's not raining, Brianna and her siblings always find something else to do with water. So she hasn't been wearing the CI processor as much as before summer hit. She wears them in the morning and evening, but during the day, she takes them right off. I have thought about having daycare make her keep them on, but I don't want her to feel like she is being punished. Brianna absolutely refuses to wear her processors when they may get wet. She is so protective of them. I am sure that's normal. So, she would have to make the choice to either wear them in the rain, or under the sprinkler or else she would have to sit out. I guess I took the easy way out and just let her take them off. So, I am curious to see what the audiogram will show. Has she lost something in not wearing them from the moment she awakens to the moment she says goodnight? We will soon find out. I guess if she has, we will definitely see how "water resistant" these processors are!
Later this month, I am taking my 3 other children in for audiograms and hearing evaluations. Since they were never able to tell me what caused Brianna's loss, or when it really started, I don't know if the other kids have it as well. They all have hearing tests done at school. There has been no cause for concern. But now that things are finally on an upswing with Brianna, I feel like I can tackle other problems right now. So without postponing it any longer, all the other kids will have the tests done. I guess I am pretty confident with my older 2 girls that they do not have any hearing issues, but my son is another story. He's 3, and I don't care what anyone says, 3 is worse than 2. He recently has started ignoring me. He will look at me, and I know he knows that I am saying something, but he doesn't respond at all. He gets that from me, I am stubborn and I have a tendency to ignore people when I just don't want to hear what they have to say! I know, bad Michelle. But this isn't about my personality problems! Anyway, I am hoping that he is really just standing his ground and purposely ignoring me, and not losing his hearing as Brianna did. But this too will be known soon.
Other than all that, the summer is going well. We are just enjoying the heat for a little while and all that summer has to offer. We are going to the county fair next weekend. My brother is getting married this weekend, and we are going to see the Buffalo Bison's (baseball) in two weeks. I love summer, so relaxingly-busy! I hope everyone out there in blog-land is doing well and enjoying the summer!