We were in Cincinnati today for another round of appointments and are now one step closer to having Drew receive his cochlear implants. Today's appointments included a CI consult for Drew with Dr. Daniel Choo and follow up on the genetic testing results.
On the CI front, Drew is moving toward candidacy. Dr. Choo is confidant that hearing aids are not going to benefit Drew enough to develop his listening and speech, and he is confidant that given Drew's cognitive abilities, he will perform optimally once he is implanted. From here, we will be having an MRI run in early June. His cat scan, scheduled for March 14th, has been cancelled. Dr. Choo is certain that Drew's cochlea is formed correctly, given the genetic testing results, and does not feel that the structural scan is as important as the neurological scan with the MRI. Then we will move toward insurance approval and we all hope to have the surgery performed when Drew is around 10 to 11 months of age.
We discussed for some time the surgical risks and limitations following the implant. There are minimal risks to balance and taste, but nothing that would prevent us from having Drew implanted. Drew's Dad was happy to hear that football is not out of the question! Although Dr. Choo does not actively promote football, lacrosse, rugby or hockey, there is no risk to Drew's overall health by playing full contact sports. The only risk is that the head to head contact could break the internal device, which would then have to be surgically replaced. Dr. Choo told us that one of his paitents is playing football as a freshman in college this year! We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it, but for now, all things are possible. Maybe he will be the first MLB player or PGA golfer with an implant? Who knows?!
On the genetic testing front, we made tremendous progress. I had a hearing test today, which showed no hearing loss, and had my blood drawn for the mitochondrial abnormality test. From these DNA test results, we will know the risk of aminoglycoside induced deafness for myself and our daughter. Dr. Choo also explained that following my results we will know the exact path to take for testing others in my family, primarily my sister. We can expect the results in about six weeks.
Additionally, our daughters hearing was screened today. Given the genetic link for Drew's hearing loss, her hearing will be screened yearly until she reaches six years of age. She did have a mild hearing loss today in her left ear, which was attributed to fluid from her cold. Her tympanogram scores were indicative of fluid in both of her ears (even with the fluid, she was able to hear with her right ear). We will have a follow up test run, but Dr. Choo and the audiologist were both very confidant that she has no hearing loss at this time. As her parents, we are confidant too, especially since her language is developing ahead of schedule. She put four different word phrases together just today!
While we do get very anxious at times trying to move this process along, we are making progress. We know that Drew is in great hands with the team at Cincinnati Children's and we are so excited that we can take the journey with him. Even though the road is a little longer than we would like, all good things are worth waiting for!