Friday, January 29

What Does the "Wrong" Ear Sound Like?

On rare occasions, Drew's Dad or I will accidentally put the "wrong" ear on Drew. We'll put his right on his left or vice versa. Each of Drew's processors is specifically programmed for an individual ear. For some CI users, their programs on each ear are nearly identical, so mixing them up won't create too many problems. Sure, hearing won't be maximized, but there isn't any tell tale sign that there is an issue.

That's not the case for Drew. His maps on his two ears are quite different. His right ear requires so much power that we actually had to go to a wider pulse width than his left ear. As a result, mixing up his right ear and putting it on his left causes him pain. It is "too loud", as he has told us in the past. And we always know when we've put the right ear on his left because he cries out in pain.

Now that Drew is a bit older, we were able to ask him after this most recent mix up what putting on the wrong ear actually sounded like. Here is Drew's response:

Wednesday, January 27

How I Feel?

This post by Christian and Lily's Mom does an excellent job of describing my feelings about Drew and his hearing loss. I think I do "have it together" most of the time, but there are always occassions when the reality of Drew's deafness, and how it will affect his entire life hits me like a ton of bricks.

It's not-so-much the silent time during bath, or the inability to communicate well during the night that worry or upset me, because we've become so used to handling those situations. Drew is becoming excellent at lip reading, and between that and gestures, he does well understanding what we are telling or saying to him.

But the fact that he is deaf will impact him in many, many ways. Not just in the classroom, where he'll likely miss pertinent information that could affect his progress. But how will his deafness impact his friendships? If he is at sixth grade camp, sleeping, and can't hear all of the boys sneaking out in the middle of the night to torment the girls cabin, not that they should, but they are boys who are going to do mischievous things, he'll miss out on that. Tiny little events that bond friends together. I know it is silly, I know it is irrational. But life with a hearing child was taken away from us. Drew is deaf. And sometimes that is just hard to accept.

Sunday, January 24


Drew is probably going to look back on this blog one day and be so embarrassed at the things I write. And while that is not my intention, the things he says are just too funny not to mention.

As Drew was going potty the other day, I stood outside of the bathroom door. Drew always demands "privacy" while doing his business, and as any mother would, I happily obliged. So, as I stood there, waiting and waiting, I over-hear Drew say, "Come on poopy! You can do it. Come. Out. Poopy! Ahh, that's better. Mom, I'm all done!"

Hilarious. As I opened the door to my smiling little boy, proud as could be that he "did it", I just thought about how amazing he truly is. He uses his words for everything. He talks to himself. Just like I would (although I won't admit to talking to myself as I do my business). Just as you would. Just as every hearing person in this world does. It is just natural. And I am so, so thankful and so proud of him.

Saturday, January 9


Recently, and regularly, heard around our house...

[While shooting basketballs in his new hoop]: "Clap for me Mom! No, not like that! Clap louder!"

"Tell me you love me and I will laugh!" [I say, "I love you Drew."] "Haaaaa!!"

[Flushing the toilet]: "Bye, bye poopy! My poopy goes down, down, down!"

"Open it! Open it! Open it!" Referring to his bedroom door each morning. He wakes, and lays in his crib saying this, over and over, getting a little louder each time until we finally get him up for the day. The crazy thing is that his ears are off during this time.

[After having a tantrum]: "I want to squeeze your nose, then I will feel better."

"I wanna play the Wii! I wanna play basketball! I wanna play swords! I'm the best! I'm the Drewsie Man!"

"Mom, I'm not the Drewsie Man anymore. I'm just going to be Drewsie."

"Can we go Chuck E Cheese? Today? Tomorrow?"

He's a really funny little boy. That really likes to talk. A lot.

Tuesday, January 5

It's Official!

This little guy is...

2010 is going to be a great year!

Sunday, January 3


I just looked up at that little ticker that tracks the "age" of Drew's hearing and it says 2 years 6 months. Wow! My little guy has been hearing for 2 1/2 years. Two and a half fabulous years of hearing for a little guy that is profoundly deaf.

I don't really remember if I had an exact idea of how this whole "cochlear implant thing" would turn out. I certainly knew that Drew would be able to hear something if we gave him cochlear implants. I certainly knew that Drew would be able to learn to listen over time. I certainly knew that when we chose to implant him we were giving him the best opportunity to learn to talk.

But I don't think, even in my most wild of dreams about Drew's future, that I even envisioned the past 2 1/2 years playing out the way that they have. A little boy that loves his ears. A little boy that communicates all of his needs verbally (and Drew has a lot of needs!). A little boy that tells "Knock, Knock" jokes with his sister. A little boy that sings Christmas Carols with his grandparents. A little boy that hears the church bells ring, the roar of a lion, the "I love you" whispers from me.

I am just so, so thankful. So thankful that Drew's Dad and I made the choices that we did when we learned of Drew's deafness. So thankful for a smart, hardworking little boy that has spent more time in therapy than on a playground. So thankful for the team of professionals that have guided us. So thankful for the technology that has given Drew not only the gift of hearing, but the gift of a lifetime of endless opportunities.

Two and a half years. Wow!

Friday, January 1

Happy New Year!

Buh-bye, 2009! I can't say that I am sad to see you go. Sure, there were very memorable and wonderful things that happened throughout the year, like watching this little girl dance ballet to "Jolly Old St. Nicholas":

But mostly 2009 stunk. The year was filled with stress, personally and professionally. The economy stunk, which didn't directly impact our jobs, but it did indirectly. Over one half of our year was spent dealing with the ridiculous IEP process, which wore on us physically and left both Drew's Dad and I sleepless for months on end. My car was broken in to, my lap-top stolen, losing months of pictures of the kids, including Drew's Sisters' 4th Birthday pictures. Just a bunch of little things that added up to 2009 not being one of our most favorite years.

I know that there are many that had far worse trails in 2009, and I truly pray for all of us that 2010 brings happier days. The new year brings the hope that better days are ahead. And 2010 is already starting better than 2009 did: we rang in the new year without anyone having the flu!

Happy New Year! May 2010 be a wonderful year for all!