Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not just power aids...super power aids..

Okay...so back from our first trip to Birmingham this week. Unfortunately, we are headed back tomorrow for the speech eval. I was hoping that we could take care of the speech eval over the phone. Molly knows several words....but can only really say three or four...why drive all the way to Birmingham for that? But alas, we are headed back.

But first, our appointment today. They put her back in the booth and her results were very consistent with the results from her last unaided exam...in fact they were 5 to 10 db worse. Honestly, if aided results are not where she needs to be to get her the best possible hearing, Im all for her having some bad results if that means it will help her qualify for the implant. What the audiologist determined was that her hearing was severe to profound and that she needed new hearing aids. The ones she has had all this time, even cranked up, were not going to help her so they told me that she needed "super power hearing aids". The aids she had were just "power aids". Tim the tool man would be proud. I actually put one up to my ear and WOOOOZZZIE.... it is LOUD! Much louder than her last set. Goodness! Have I noticed a difference yet...not yet...but she is so smart and so able to communicate with out her hearing, that Im not really sure she realizes that she can hear a bit better.

The next test was the aided exam and what this showed us was that it did improve her results but not enough to where we would be comfortable with her living day to day. The best we could hope for her aided was one or two word sentences and a dependency on sign and reading lips. We aim to shoot a little higher for our girl. If you know anything about the speech banana ( and some of you reading this will). She registered at the bottom of the speech banana at all frequencies except the higher frequencies which didn't register AT ALL! So words like hat, pat, sat...would all sound the same to her unless she was reading lips.

That pretty much settles it for us then...on to the Implant process. We will start our speech appointments tomorrow and they will continue weekly up to a year. After we understand all they want us to know about the implant process, we will be scheduled for a CT scan where they will take a look at her ears to make sure she can even hold an implant. Every thing we have seen from her so far looks good so Im really not concerned with this part of the process. Then we meet with the doctor and schedule the surgery. We are looking at bilateral implants which means the doctor will implant one and then a few weeks later, implant the other. After a few weeks pass and the swelling goes down, they will turn the implants on and then the mapping process takes place. This takes weeks and weeks and will continue until they feel they have all the levels set appropriately for each frequency. All this time we will be having weekly speech sessions that I hope to have moved back to Huntsville by this time... but we really have to take this one step at a time. This is the beginning of a very, very, very long road. Step one was today...step two ...tomrrow...ugh.

No comments: