... for a beginning.
We met today with the (co-) head of the Seattle Children's Implant team, and then the Psycho-Social specialist. Three hours of talking. Tate is such a trooper! LOTS of information to process. I told Tate it's like drinking from a fire hydrant.
Both doctors we met with were careful to say that there are several more appointments in the candidacy process (audiological testing, auditory skills evaluation, speech/language evaluation, surgeon consult, device/equipment consult...) before any decisions are made, but they also both said that he looks like a very good candidate. (CT scan shows "normal anatomy" - which is good.)
I loved how they both talked directly to Tate, as it is his decision, as well as to us. (Kerry stayed home with the other boys, and Grandma Grasshopper came with me). They explained in great detail how the CI works inside the ear, as well as what the whole process will involve.
Lots of appointments. LOTS.
And the majority of them in Seattle - a one-and-a-half to two hour drive. But if that's what it takes, we will make it happen. Hallelujah for home-schooling and the flexibility it gives us! :D
We have a lot to think about. And research... which CI? I know there are three main types, so I asked both the docs about them. Is one the Mercedes, one the Toyota, and one the Gremlin? Or are they different - suited to different applications? And they both answered the same - they're all good, all work well and have "been around" for awhile, they'll all "get you where you want to go", they just have different bells and whistles. And one of them was pretty exciting - the Neptune, a completely water-proof processor!
Feel free to fill me in on your experiences/opinions about the different kinds of CI's, okay?
In the meantime, we'll be setting up the other appointments and doing our homework. Sounds like things could move forward fairly quickly. Which is good, but a bit scary. I'm really hoping they'll be willing to implant his "bad" ear first. That leaves him with his "good" ear aided, to cope with the transition.
The (potential) problem is that his "bad" ear hasn't had any usable hearing for a few years, so there may not be a strong "path" to take the signal (sound) to his brain. They might push for implanting his "good" ear. But if they do that, he loses all his residual hearing. I'm kind of concerned about that! Praying for wisdom - for the docs and for us. That I know when to push for what I/we want, and when to trust their judgment. They haven't made any decision/recommendation yet (I don't mean to borrow trouble), but I know that's a possibility.
We're excited !