Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hearing Age - 2 Months

Another week of hearing has come and gone. Tomorrow will mark 2 months of hearing for Natalie on her left ear, so her hearing age is now 2 months. I felt like in the beginning we were seeing a lot of big things happening, which were amazing really. Clapping and having her turn to see the sound, saying "shh" and having her stop and look, or saying "ah" and having her repeat it back. 

The past few weeks haven't had anything that is jaw dropping happen. Our AVT teacher said the first 6 months are more input... input, input, input, all these wonderful sounds. Making sounds interesting, helping Natalie realize what sounds are and then associating them to certain things. I do think we are making very great progress and often friends will stop me and ask how Natalie is doing. I always reply with "great" because I don't think she is having any setbacks and she seems to be progressing. She seems happy with sound, never gets scared of it, we have been gradually increasing her programs on her processors. I have one more program to change them to this week, and then she will have another audiology appointment next Tuesday and get more programs. 

I tried the processors on Natalie without the headband for a change. She has to use the small compact battery with these and unfortunately ours were duds and didn't charge the next day. I also used double sided tape to help these stick better. I think I still like the headband right now for the stage she is in, but this way I can actually put clips in her hair that seems to be coming in so well.

Our sound this week for AVT (auditory-verbal therapy) is: choo-choo. Anything we can incorporate into making an "oo" sound. The ones we have worked on in the past few weeks are:
"ah" - airplane
making raspberries - car (this is a pre-speech sound)
"round and round" - top
"hop hop hop" - rabbit
"wheee!" - slide

Our goal in the future will be to have her repeat back, grab the correct toy that is associated with the sound, even if she doesn't make the correct sound, if she can mimic the duration of something, then that will be progress. I am looking forward to her next audiogram.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Natalie's 1st Birthday

We were so excited to celebrate Natalie's 1st Birthday today! Looking forward to this exciting year to see how much she learns and grows. It will be neat next year at her 2nd birthday to see how much she has accomplished with her speech and language. I love this girl so much!

me and the Natster.. (not the greatest pic of me having been sick the past few days)

Monday, March 7, 2011


what's that?

oh.. Natalie's CI processor...

At times, Natalie is like a tornado making her way through the house. She gets into everything! She left a small piece of evidence this time on her path of destruction.  Her CI processor has a magnet on it, so I thought it was quite funny to find it in the laundry room attached to the dryer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Double Trouble

Tuesday was another audiology appointment. This was Natalie's first booth testing since her activation which was very exciting to see what she could hear and thus getting the appropriate mapping on her processors.

Our audiologist Holly felt like we could go ahead and activate the 2nd ear that day, which was a very fun surprise! I wasn't expecting that at all. Normally they wait about 3 months, but Natalie has been handling it so well, no problems with the newer programs and more sounds, so hey, why not?

Nat showing off the bilateral CI's

We first started out with a tympanometry to measure the air pressure by the ear drums. Natalie had tubes put in her ears in December and Holly felt like the left ear had either a blockage of the tube or the tube had fallen out. (I did take Natalie in to see our Charlotte ENT today, and it is blocked, so we are going to do ear drops for a week and see if that clears the problem, otherwise he will have to unblock the tube.. non-sedating thankfully.)

Next up was her first booth testing in the sound booth. Here is her audiogram from the day. The areas marked on the chart are different frequencies/decibels that she is hearing. She is in the speech banana for the most part which is good and we can focus on lots of good sounds in her AVT. She is already giving us great feedback on a few sounds, and hopefully by mapping her properly, she can progress quickly. Keep in mind, before CI's, she wasn't even on this chart. She was profoundly deaf, so this is just awesome for us to see!


Left Ear: We re-mapped the left ear (1st one activated) and she has 4 programs total. The first program is the one she has been on already for a week or so, and I will turn her up to program 2 this weekend. After that, we will not adjust that ear for about 2 weeks so we can focus on the right ear which is the new ear and getting that kind of caught up.

Right ear:  We have 4 programs, the 2nd one I will turn her up to tomorrow and then about every 3-4 days change her to a new program. Instead of having me come back up there 2 weeks later, Holly mapped her back-up with the 4 subsequent new programs, so we will start her on those in conjunction with turning up the left ear as well. 

Both Ears: We need to be on the last programs for several days before her next audiology appointment at the end of the month.

What does all that mean? In a nutshell... more sound! She may be more tired than normal as well with all the new stimulation, but we have some long car trips coming up anyway, and who doesn't love sleeping kids in the car. I am just saying....

The title of this post is DOUBLE TROUBLE... because Miss Natalie has taken a liking to pulling off her processors quite frequently throughout the day. Good think I have 2 other munchkins that alert me throughout the day when Nat decides to pull one off and taste it. 

Also, Dylan was SO excited to see Natalie with her 2nd processor on when I came home. Natalie has been in our prayers every night long before she had surgery that one day she might hear. Dylan never lets us forget and since her first side got activated, every prayer is always, "bless Natalie's 2nd ear to get turned on in May." I wish I could have recorded his reaction, it was priceless. He was jumping up and down, smiling, super excited for her. He just has such a bond with Natalie.


And didn't Dr. Buchman do an amazing job getting these perfectly symmetrical? That is one tough thing to do, during a bilateral surgery. It is a cosmetic thing and eventually her hair will cover the magnets, but it looks really good! 

Premade Design by Delicious Design Studio