Saturday, July 26
Drew makes me laugh each morning as I am getting dressed for the day. As soon as Drew sees me pull my hairspray out he starts to say, "sssss." It is so funny. And he knows that I think it is funny, so now he will say, "sssss" and start laughing hysterically.
When Drew wakes each morning he now calls for either me or his Dad. We will walk into his room, ears in hand, and turn his hearing on for the day. As soon as we do, we will ask, "Drew, do you want to get up?" Drew always responds with the same answer, "No!" So, we let him sit in his crib for awhile, talking to his animals. Usually this gives me just enough time to finish getting ready for work. The other day as I used my hairspray I heard him saying from his room across the hall, "ssss," and then laughing. He is too funny. And so amazing. Can you believe he heard that?
I wonder what other unconventional listening sounds we will discover with Drew?
Thursday, July 24
One fun little pastime he has is re-enacting the dramatic Hollywood scenes where you have two lovers that have been ripped apart reuniting in a grand finale.
You know, the scene where the fair maiden is gliding through the fields of wildflowers, wind-swept hair in tow. The handsome man is approaching via the opposite direction, taking long, powerful strides in effort to meet his love as soon as possible. They reach and embrace in an explosion of love, and all is well with the world.
Well, Drew sometimes likes to run across the room to give me or his mom a big hug or kiss, but on Saturday he decided to change his modus operandi.
On that occasion, our eyes met, and Drew began to high-step across the living room, excited to give his wonderful dad a big hug and kiss. I laid on our chaise, awaiting his embrace. As he approached, I could see the smile on his face and I was acutely aware of how special these types of moments are. A moment to cherish.
It turns out that I really cherish my nose being in one piece a little more, but I guess it was cute while it lasted. Drew kept on high-stepping like he was trying to score a game winning touchdown, and charged directly at my face, treating his skull as a ramrod and the bridge of my nose as a target.
There was an explosion of pain (rather than love, as depicted in the Hollywood scenes). I jerked back in surprise, eyes watery. Drew starts screaming and looking at me with a "WTF did you just DO?" look. Hey Drew - YOU hit ME! Don't cry to your mom and act like I was in the wrong here buddy!
We were all better in a couple of minutes, but my nose still hurts. It didn't bleed or bruise, but when I move it it still hurts. Maybe it's not broken, but it must be pretty darn close.
Monday, July 21
I ran into the EMT's that were at our house when we called 911 last Sunday night while doing the grocery shopping on Saturday. (I was sad that Drew was at home napping, and that they couldn't see him in action.) They were so nice to us that night, so it was nice to thank them for their help and support.
I'm hoping we don't see another virus like that anytime soon.
Thursday, July 17
Once we were at the emergency room on Sunday night, Drew woke from his post-seizure sleep very cranky and was crying very hard. I started to sing, "Rock-a-bye Baby" and he immediately calmed. Each time a doctor came into our room and would examine him, Drew would cry and I would sing. He would stop crying until the cycle repeated itself again. He enjoyed my singing. (I know, can you believe it?) My parents and I all noticed this and thought it was quite amazing that a deaf baby enjoyed singing so much.
Drew can certainly tell the difference between speech and music. When I would try to comfort him with, "It's OK, Drew," or something like that, he would continue to cry. But as soon as I would sing, he was fine. This pattern has continued all week. If Drew is really upset, the sure-fire way to calm him is with song.
Amazing, don't you think? A deaf baby calmed by his mothers singing. I couldn't write a more perfect story.
Wednesday, July 16
This afternoon Drew broke out in a rash. I immediately began scouring the Internet for possible culprits, and found the Roseola Virus. All of the symptoms fit Drew perfectly, and a quick trip to the doctor (the fourth one in as many days) confirmed the diagnosis. Now, in 5-7 days Drew should be rash and virus free.
I hope Drew's appetite comes back soon. He has no interest in eating - anything. We've given him free reign in the kitchen, and he still won't eat. He's a little better with drinking fluids, more so in the morning than the rest of the day. I'm hopeful that this is the last we see of this stinky virus.
The verdict is still out for Drew's Sister. This virus typically affects children between six months and two years, so she is just past the age for it. We shall see. Please send some "go away virus" thoughts our way.
Tuesday, July 15
The emergency room doctor, in an effort to calm my meningitis fears, gave me several warning signs to look for:
- Concerted effort not to move neck; patient will move entire body to look at something, stabilizing neck.
- Crying when put in a sitting or standing position.
- Showing no affection or desire to be held; patient is much happier laying by themselves than with others
- Seizure activity does not stop without medical intervention
- Diarrhea is NOT a sign of meningitis, but a typical virus
The only things that have calmed Drew this morning are being held by me with his neck turned toward the television and sitting on the couch watching Barney. I'm certain he has a virus, but another trip to the doctors office won't hurt.
Monday, July 14
We were seen at Urgent Care right away and Drew was diagnosed with a viral infection. We were told to keep doing what we were doing and discharged right away. By the time we left Urgent Care, Drew's temperature was down to 101 and he seemed to be feeling better. We even ran a couple of quick errands on our way home and he seemed fine.
When we got home we gave Drew a bath and dressed him for bed. As Drew's Dad was reading Drew a story, he began to have a seizure. Drew's Dad yelled at me to call 911 while he kept Drew isolated on the floor, laying on his side. The seizure lasted about two minutes, with Drew's arms and legs convulsing, and his lips turning blue. Before the paramedics arrived, Drew came out of the seizure, and by the time they were in our house Drew was grunting and looking very confused, which the paramedics took as a positive sign. Eventually Drew started babbling a little bit and seemed calmed by my voice. It was quite scary, as he would not focus on me as I was speaking to him, just staring at the ceiling.
The ambulance took Drew and I to Children's Hospital for assessment. Drew was diagnosed with a febrile seizure and we were dismissed after several hours of observation. Apparently this is a fairly common cause of seizures, and is not something that should have any affect on his development. There is a slight risk of future seizures when Drew has a fever, and usually the seizure is a sign of an oncoming fever, so there is little that can be done to prevent one.
Drew's Dad and I did not sleep well last night, constantly checking on Drew to make sure his fever wasn't climbing again. Drew woke early this morning and seems to be feeling a lot better. I walked in to Drew's room this morning and he was sitting in his crib singing "Where oh where Barney?" Back to normal.
Drew still has a fever, but it is not nearly as high as yesterday. I'm hoping that we have weathered this storm.
Wednesday, July 9
This tattoo is the Chinese character for "Cochlear Implant", and we decided to give it to him to celebrate the success he has had so far with his bilaterals. Don't you think it looks great?
Ok, now that I've had my fun, I'll confess that this is not a tattoo, but rather marker that his sister thought would look good on him.
Several days before, Drew's sister had colored her whole foot green (ala "The Hulk"), and I told her that she was not allowed to color her skin.
Being the precious little girl she is, when I walked into the basement and saw her holding the green marker I said "Did you color on yourself again"?
"No, daddy, I did not. I color Drew's back."
What can you do? Technically she had followed my instructions. She got new instructions to not color on ANYONES body (including the dog, other animals, or extraterrestrial creatures) and the marker was put away.
And now Drew has his "tattoo" (until we wash it off).
Monday, July 7
We decided to take the kids to the Zoo on Sunday. It wasn't a planned trip, but we woke up and had eaten breakfast by 7:30 am, and decided that we needed to come up with a fun activity for the day. The Zoo is always a great choice because it is "free" to get in to with our membership.
We quickly dressed, packed lunches and loaded the car. Drew's Dad and I were quietly talking in the front of the car as we pulled out of our neighborhood. As we continued to drive we heard Drew from his car seat saying, "Wiggle, Wiggle." We noticed that we did not have any music playing in the car. Isn't it amazing that Drew knew there was an absence of sound, and had the expressive language to tell us so?
We honored his request by turning on the CD player. The Doodlebopps began playing, and Drew's Dad and I continued our conversation until we heard Drew saying, "Mama, No. No. No." Drew knew within five seconds that the CD playing was not The Wiggles and was using his expressive language to tell us that this was not the CD he wanted to listen to! I find this very interesting on two levels: 1. There is little known about how a cochlear implantee "hears" music, because of the way the implant electrically stimulates the auditory nerve, but clearly Drew could instantly recognize that the music was NOT something the Wiggles sing; 2. Drew is clearly developing an auditory memory for music, simply by listening to it in a noisy car.
We changed the disc in the CD player to The Wiggles and Drew was finally happy, listening to The Big Red Car as we headed for the Zoo.
Being at the Zoo, the fun continued. We heard Drew say the word "elephant" for the first time. He also said "duck", "bye, bye" as we would leave each animal exhibit, he growled when we saw the tigers and pointed to his ear to indicate that he heard the lion's roar. (The lion was roaring like crazy. This was the first time I have heard a lion's roar in person and it was rather scary!)
Another fun day with Drew and his Sister. This technology never ceases to amaze us. Drew never ceases to amaze us.
Saturday, July 5
Drew's Dad and I (well, me, actually) had the brilliant idea to take Drew and his Sister to their first movie this weekend. We thought that Wall-E would be an excellent movie to see with them. They enjoy animated shows, Pixar has an excellent reputation for animation and the movie is only an hour and a half long. It had been raining all day, so why not?
Sure, it started off well. Drew and his Sister really enjoyed sitting in their chairs, snacking on some popcorn and sipping their juice boxes.
They even enjoyed watching the opening previews. The highlight was when Drew started saying "cheese", "squeak, squeak" and "oh, no" over and over at the preview of The Tale of Despereaux Mouse. He was enjoying every minute of the trailer. (Maybe we should take him to see that movie instead?)
From there, it pretty much went down hill. The kids didn't want to sit in their seats, insisting on standing in the aisle. Then, they were hanging on the backs of the chairs in front of us, disturbing others. They started fighting over the bag of popcorn. Drew wanted to walk down the aisle of the movie theater, running into other movie watchers. He protested with one of his loud screams when I kept him in our seating area. Drew's Sister decided that she needed "to go potty." By the time Wall-E actually took the screen, we had about had it, and when Drew screamed at the top of his lungs, "Ma Ma, Hi," I had had enough and escorted him from the theater.
Drew's Dad and Sister stayed and enjoyed much of the movie, although she became restless at the end, wondering where I had gone. They left with ten minutes to go and did not see the end of the movie.
Drew and I spent the time wondering around the lobby of the movie theater. It turns out that you can actually use the lobby of a movie theater for learning to listen exercises:
- "Drew," while pointing to the movie poster for HSM2, "where are the girls shoes? Where are her eyes? What is this?," while pointing to a characters' hair. We spent a good five minutes identifying body parts on this poster.
- Drew met "The Hulk." There was a large statue of him in the lobby. Drew was a little nervous of it at first, but warmed up after a few minutes. Now, he can give the Hulk high five, and can point to his toes.
- Drew also knows Batman, although he calls him, "Bad Man." It is quite funny.
While in the lobby I saw a woman walk up to the customer service desk and ask for an assistive device. Thinking that she was hearing impaired I waived my hand at her and said, "Is that a listening device?" I explained to her that I was curious as to how it works, since my son is deaf. She explained that it was actually a device for the blind that describes the action in the movie, which helps her since she is legally blind. As we spoke I learned that she and her husband work for a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the deaf and blind. They worked with the theater to bring these devices to Columbus.
So, I guess the evening wasn't a total wash, but considering that I only saw about two seconds of the movie, I wouldn't call it a fun, relaxing evening. We will attempt to take the kids to the movies again, but it might be a good year from now! Oh, and I have to acknowledge AMC. The receptionist saw me walking around with Drew for so long that she gave me two passes to see a movie at a later date (which Drew's Dad and I will attend sans the kids). How nice is that?
Friday, July 4
We all headed out to our community Fourth of July Parade and had a great time, though we did get a bit wet. We saw clowns and floats, and heard car horns, fire trucks, and marching bands.
You can see Drew indicating that he can hear the action passing in the above picture.
Happy 4th of July to all!