Happy Hearing Birthday!!!

Kemper's Cochlear Implant Activation
February 11, 2010

Sorry it has taken me a while to post but we have been soo busy getting adjusted to K's new equipment and to now having a very mobile baby. Little K and his daddy also came down with colds, so I was on nursing duty as well.

In all K's activation went well. He had his huge entourage, my family, our ECI teacher, and even K's MeMe flew in from San Angelo. The activation began with the audiologist introducing tone bursts into K's implant through the computer while he played with some toys. K responded by becoming still, almost as if he was frozen. He couldn't quite figure out what was happening and wasn't sure if he should be happy or scared. Occasionally when he heard a sound he would tightly grab on to me and bury his head in my shirt. He became upset and cried once but then the audiologist immediately turned down the sounds and he was fine. When his processors were changed to hearing speech he once again became still but surprisingly did not get upset by it. As the session went on and more sounds were introduced he seemed to get use to them and a slight pause and a "what's that?" look was all he did to tell us he was hearing.
The goal is to gradually increase what K is hearing every couple of days by changing the programs set on his processors. They want him to gradually get use to sound and accept it as a good thing. So far he has done really well and seems to be taking a liking to sound.

My frozen stare

What was that??

Since K's activation we have noticed a huge difference in him. He has become way more active and very interested in his toys. He is now getting into everything, trying to stand, and climb on things. He is so much more curious about the world. It could just be a coincidence that he is now 10 months old and he's hitting those developmental milestones, or that now that he can hear some things and his toys are now more interesting and he wants to explore more. It's so crazy, it's like we flipped a switch and turned him "on", not just his ears.

K getting a little scared and seeking protection from mom.

Poor little guy when he started to get upset.

Here is the most recent video of K. He is responding to some noises and occasionally he will respond to his name. He found his CI storage cases and decided to use them as a jungle gym. His other new thing is that he loves to wave hello, I love it!! ( please excuse my annoying mommy voice! ;)

How a cochlear implant works

Many of my friends and family have asked me how the cochlear implant works, so I posted a great video from Advanced Bionics that explains it very well. I also wanted to take the time to clear up some things related to K's C.I's.

A cochlear implant does not cure deafness, although it does give Baby K access to sound. He will always be deaf. When he is not wearing his C.I. external processor for example, bath time or sleeping he will not be able to hear. He also will not hear like or as well as a normal hearing person. Don't get me wrong they DO amazing things but they will never be as good as natural hearing.

When they turn on Kemper's C.I.'s for the first time they will will start off slow. Our audiologist says that she does not really want to see any huge reactions from K.( getting upset, crying) She wants sound to be a positive experience for K and does not want it to scare him. Most likely at first all K will hear are are a bunch of buzzing and beeping sounds. He has never heard sound, so it will not make any sense to him. His brain needs time to to learn how to associate meaning with sound. He will need to have lots of therapy to learn to listen and after time will be hearing what sounds close to normal speech.

10 Months!!!

Sweet Baby K you are 10 months old today!!

* You weigh a little over 21 lbs
* You are about 29 inches long
* You wear size 4 diapers
* You wear 9-12 month clothing ( mostly 12mo)
* You now have eight teeth! ( 4 on top & 4 on bottom)

* You have become a MUCH better sleeper, you sleep from about 8:30pm-8am most nights and take two naps in the afternoon.
* You still require being rocked to sleep.Momma and Daddy give you one "rocking" per night,but if you wake up after that you're on your own, sorry bug!!
* You will knock over your monitor to tell us you are awake and to come and get you.
* You are a crazy sleeper. You start off asleep in one direction and we find you completely turned around by morning.

* You no longer want baby food, you want what is on mommy's plate.
* You would live on cheese and Puffs if you could.
* You still like avocados and rice, but they don't compare to your cheese.
* You smack your lips to tell us that you really like what you are eating.
* You are not a fan of meat, you spit it right out.
* You love to throw your bottle to tell us that you are done. Mom is not impressed.
* You are getting better at drinking out of a sippy cup.

* You can now get up from your belly into a sitting position.
* You are starting to pull yourself up and trying to stand.
* You like to stack your blocks on top of each other and will clap when you are done.
* You like to put things in containers and take them back out.
* You love to look at yourself in the mirror and wave hello to yourself.
* You have recently found your private parts while in the tub. You push on it like it's a button and then giggle. Silly boy!!

* You are 4 days away from your "hearing" birthday Yay!!
* You have been through so much in your 10 little months. We love you, our brave little boy!!

Growing up so fast!!

Information overload!

This is what we came home with after Little K's post op doctor and audiologist visit. The two James Bond looking cases are all the supplies needed for our new bionic baby. Each case contains one set of C.I. processors and the other is a spare. Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment that our child will be using in order to hear.

As you can tell we went with the Cochlear Nucleus 5 Implant. There are two other C.I companies, Advanced Bionics and Medel ,we had to choose from but we felt most comfortable with Cochlear.

K's implants will not be activated until February 11th, but we met with his audiologist to learn how to put them together and use them. I must admit when my husband and I walked in the room and saw all the supplies, happy was not the term I would use to explain us. Reality hit us that K's and our world was about to change. So much to learn.

After meeting with the audiologist we met with Baby K's surgeon so that he could look over K and see how his incisions were healing.

He got a clean bill of health and we were sent on our way. Isn't this the saddest face you have ever seen?? he was smiling two seconds before and as soon he saw my mother take the camera out he decided to pout. Stinker!! Apparently my mother said I used to do the exact same thing as a child ha!


K with his new audiologist Leslie. We are going to get to know her really well from now on. She will be programming K's CI's and seeing if they are working for him as they should.
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