Thursday, June 21, 2012

And... Back to Seattle

So, back to Seattle again.  It's starting to feel like I could drive this freeway in my sleep, but I don't think I'll try it ;D  Grandma Grasshopper chauffeured us today anyway - soooo nice to have her company.

At Tuesday's appointment Kerri offered to bring us up to speed and give us the Neptune processor as well as the Harmony, but with so much to process (ha ha... I made a pun) I felt a bit like this.

Good thing we started fresh, today, because the Neptune...

 ... as amazing as it is, feels a bit more complicated.  Kerri (the Audie, not "my" Kerry) did a great job of demonstrating and explaining.  I keep telling myself that in a few weeks this will all be second-nature to us.  Well, especially to Tate.  And it really is amazing.

I didn't bring my camera today, because it would've been a bunch more pictures of Tate looking thoughtful while he listens to sounds and points to numbers on a chart.  (See Tuesday's post if you didn't get enough of that ;D )  For most of our time today, Kerri showed us gadget after gizmo and explained what they all do.

The funny thing - well, kind of funny - is that we're going to swap out a bunch of the pieces of the kit.  (Accessory/cosmetic pieces, nothing critical.)  The day we met with the head of the program and chose everything, we really had no idea what we were doing or what pieces went with what.  We didn't understand which cables went with which processor or headpiece, and which colors/accessories went with what, etc.  I think it was the first time she (the doctor) had filled out that paperwork and we didn't have any physical examples in front of us, or even a chart that showed everything, which would've been helpful.  So we made some choices we're re-thinking.  Like different lengths of cables with certain head-pieces.

Also, Tate got to choose three colors from this sample...

to snap onto the Neptune (like you see below).  He picked the darker blue, the neon green, and black.

I kind of talked him into selecting white instead of black because should it ever fall off or get dropped in the lake, white would be easier to find, don't you think?  But he just remembered wanting black, not white, (insert adamant Tate-voice), so we're swapping that, too.  Also, turns out the blue he ordered is the most popular color, hands down, so that is on backorder.   But that's all cosmetic stuff.  We have the neon green in hand, and the device is perfectly usable right now.  Whew!

Since Tate has already maxed out all three programs, she ran him through his paces and set three new programs and downloaded them onto both processors.  Again, the goal is for him to be able to work "up" through the programs, as he is comfortable.  Like the volume on your stereo or TV, however, there gets to be a point where enough is enough and more is not helpful, so he may not swoop through these as quickly, and that's just fine.  If fact, she commented (I think I remember right) that he's already at the level she was cautiously hoping he'd tolerate within a month of activation.  So, good job, Tate :D

We'll be back again on Tuesday and she'll put him in the booth to see what he's hearing.

I know this is not exactly a fun process for a thirteen year old boy.  I mean, it's not painful (other than the surgery, which wasn't bad) or agonizing, but it's just not fun.  It's a one-and-a-half to two-hour drive each way to Children's Hospital.  These mapping appointments are an hour-and-a-half to two hours each.  That's a lot of sitting in the car, and then sitting in an appointment trying to pay attention to a lot of talking, and then - bonus! - more sitting in the car to get home.  Fun times!

I'm so thankful that he is old enough and mature enough to see that the process will be worth it in the long run.


Wilma said...

How exciting all this must be! I wear hearing aids and have since my middle fifties. Early hearing loss is hereditary in my family. I remember getting my first pair and how "different " sound was. Driving home that evening felt like I was at a NASCAR race, even though I've never been to one.

I also know it is tiring making all the trips in addition to everything else you do. I will keep all of you in my prayers as you make all the changes. I love the colors that are available for all the units.

Felicity said...

I like Tate's choice of colours. Praying for strength for you all as you make these trips.

Choate Family said...

At least you have great people with whom to spend all that extra time in the car :-)

bioniclissa said...

I can remember when my activation and mappings began, the drive to the CI clinic was 30 mins to 45 mins on the way then, the appts was 2-4 hours long then we would get stuck in 2 hour long traffic jams! Definately do not miss those!
Way to go Tate, it's always fun getting new CI accessories :)

The dB family said...

Hello, my friend!! I have so missed popping by daily for a read, but I've been playing catch up now. I'm completely fascinated by this whole process Tate is going through, thrilled to see how well he is progressing, and thankful that surgery went so well! What a special young man you have! Good grief, why do they grow and change so quickly!?

You all continue to be in my prayers, for safety on the roads and continued success for Tate as he gets used to hearing :o)!!

Love and hugs!

CDM said...

Yay for the Neptune! I was overwhelmed when I was making my choices too, and have since swapped out a few things (headpiece color caps, a cable for the Neptune). Good thing AB has awesome customer service and are really quick about sending the new things out. And they send a pre-paid envelope so you just stick the stuff you're sending back in it and send it off, easy peasy!