We have made a lot of important decisions. Drew now has hearing aids that are showing no signs of helping him hear even the loudest of noises. I feel like we are standing still, simply waiting for enough time to pass so that he can have implant surgery. We have done and learned so much over the last three months about profound hearing loss, cochlear implants, implant mapping, oral deaf education; the list goes on and on. At this point, however, there is not a lot I can do. And that is frustrating.
We have decided that we are going to have Drew bilaterally implanted. We have done a lot of research on this new intervention and feel that it will help Drew develop his listening and speech equivalent to that of his hearing peers. We feel very strongly about making decisions for Drew based on the medical interventions available today, and this new technique is defiantly the best option.
Our research has caused us some concern on balance disorders after implantation. For this reason we have decided that we do not want to have both implants done in one surgery. Optimally, we would like to have the first implant done around eight months of age, and the second about two months later. This is still considered simultaneous implantation, believed to be beneficial for children to learn to use both ears equally, but will allow Drew to adjust his balance with each implant.
We have two upcoming, important appointments. The first is on January 22nd with Dr. Choo in Cincinnati. We are meeting with him for our second CI consult. We are hoping to get a definitive schedule for implantation. My hope is that we will move toward gaining insurance approval for a surgery around May. Our second appointment is for Drew's sedated cat scan on March 14th. Confirming that Drew's cochlea was formed correctly will give us a much better idea of how well Drew will do with his implants. Knowing that Drew's hearing loss was caused by genetic abnormalities gives us and Dr. Choo confidence that his cochlea is fine.
At this point we are simply enjoying each moment with Drew. He is cooing more and more each day, and having conversations with us. He says the cutest "ahhh goooo" and "gahhh gooo" you have ever heard. I think it is so amazing when he "talks" with me - probably because only a few months ago I was scared that he would never talk to me. I am so encouraged to see how well he is doing with his babbling, as it is a tell tale sign of his desire to communicate. Now all I need to do is turn on his ears and we will be chatting in no time.