Friday, October 12

Why Bilateral?

Drew's Dad posted some publications a week or so ago that support bilateral cochlear implantation. I think that it is important for parents considering cochlear implants for their child to understand the medical data supporting bilateral implants. However, I think it is equally important to understand the social and emotional benefits of bilateral cochlear implants.

Drew had his first equipment problem this week. The shoe cable on his body worn processor went bad on Monday evening. I called Hear Always to order a replacement. The replacement cable arrive on Thursday (the Columbus Day holiday held mail up). If Drew had just one cochlear implant he would not have been able to hear for three days. If I stop to think for a moment, can I really imagine what it would be like to not hear for three whole days? Can you?

In Drew's case, being so young, it would not have affected him all that much, but what about older children? How would they function in their classroom at school, talk with their friends or hear traffic going down the street while playing basketball at home? I think that three days would seem like and eternity and would be very isolating. I am so happy that Drew has bilateral implants because he was able to hear the whole time we were waiting on replacement cables. He even learned what "no" means during that time (not that he listens to me!).

Just another thing - as if there wasn't enough already - for parents to consider.


Mom to Toes said...

There has been so much data and research that has come available since Erin's first implant a year ago! It is amazing!

We were still too nervous to trust what little data that was available then, so we went with the single implant.

Had the information we have today been available a year ago, we would definitely have gone bilateral.

I am so excited about seeing Erin's reaction to her new implant. She already gets so much from her first. And now we are going to be doubling her audio world.

Laurie said...

Bilateral implants have come a long way and still have a long way to go. But, yes, two is better than one and it is a great comfort knowing that I have a "back-up" just in case something happens to one of my processors or when my batteries go dead and I don't have any in my purse, etc. etc. etc. I don't hear as well with one like I do with two but it certainly is better than nothing!

Glad to hear Drew is doing so well! And I can't wait to hear how Erin does!