Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Small Step...

... 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 !


Felicity said...

Oh my - such a lot to think about! I pray that the Lord will guide you and give wisdom where needed.
And Yea for Tate being such a trooper!

bioniclissa said...

Just wanted to comment that i hsd my worse ear implanted, it barely had any hearin at 110-120db with aided responses of 70+. It can be done. Many people i know eventually went onto have their worse ear done. But with his residual hearing, he may not want to get rid of it before its unusable. I have no residual hearing in both my ears so my decision was easier. Good luck on tate and you all on your journey

Ruby said...

I have no experience at all to share but wish Tate and your family well in this process. I took my dad to the doctor today to attempt to flush out the wax build up in his ears - that was a new experience for me!

Q said...

Yikes, didn't know they would now consider going into a 'good' ear. However, I totally understand that 'good' is a relative term.

Praying, praying, praying!

melanie said...

Glad the initial meeting went well ~ Good to know you can communicate effectively with the docs {and they obviously will take the TIME for it}. I'll be praying for much wisdom for you all!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks to all for prayer and support :D

Lissa - thanks for your comments. You're implanted bi-laterally? How old were you when you got your implants?

Ruby... I'm cracking up about the ear wax as I too have to get my ears "flushed" occasionally, (narrow ear canals and lots of wax). Not fun! But it really helps :D

dlefler said...

I'm praying for wisdom for you guys, and for steady hands on the part of the doctors! It is definitely a process, isn't it? We don't have a CI, of course, but I will say that we saw kids at John Tracy with all three brands and they were all talking, singing, and playing themselves silly.

It is awesome that they talked directly to Tate, too - he's the one going through it, and it's good that the doctors are including him throughout the process.

Kat said...

I have to applaud the doctors for including Tate in the decision...that makes a huge difference in his decision to proceed or not.

When we were at John Tracy this past summer, we learned about some residual hearing post CI implantation. Thomas has none but, several families reported their children having some residual hearing.

You cannot go wrong with the manufacturer choice, honestly. The decision is personal...although I have to say that the Neptune is interesting...I just wonder how it says on with active boys, like yours and mine. Maybe you can make the CI choice Tate's along with the colors...that way he feels even more involved with the next steps.

I am tearing up as I write this but, you are one strong family...I love how the Lord is center to everything and that everything revolves around Him. Keep that in mind as you proceed...HE will lead your heart and family for what is next...this I have no doubt!