Friday, September 24, 2010

The results are in...

Cochlear implants, here we come!!! Yesterday, Sophie's ENT called with the results of her MRI and CT scan and everything is completely normal. Her cochleas and auditory nerves are fully developed and she is an excellent candidate for cochlear implants! I am so relieved and happy! I know it is rare that someone with Sophie's degree of hearing loss cannot get implanted, but it was extremely nerve-wracking all week long waiting for her ENT to call. My cell phone never left my side and my stomach dropped every time it rang. So glad the waiting is over!

We also had audiology and therapy with Moog yesterday. Have I mentioned yet how much I love her school? Everyone is so amazing there. The teachers and audiologists are incredibly knowledgeable and very supportive. The other parents have been welcoming and encouraging. Each time we visit, seeing all of the other children playing and talking reminds me that Sophie is going to be just fine!

Anyway, we had a booth test yesterday (unaided) and Sophie did great. She is such a little trooper! They are working on teaching her to let us know when she hears a sound. To do this, she sits in a Bumbo seat and her therapist sits directly in front of her. There are TV screens on either side of her. Her audiologist speaks and plays sounds and tones through a tiny earphone at different levels and frequencies. When she responds to a sound, her therapist directs her attention to one of the TV screens and a bright picture appears. It took a few tries yesterday, but she was able to turn to the screen all on her own when she heard a sound. She is learning how to tell us she heard something. She is only 6 months old and we are already so proud of her! Her results from yesterday have been very consistent with all of her other hearing tests. Without her hearing aids, she is responding to speech at 95-100 dB, which is about the equivalent of a lawn mower right next to you.

Since we are now certain she is a cochlear implant (CI) candidate, we have a lot of decisions to make in the coming months. It's a good thing we have been doing a lot of research! I'm pretty sure we have decided to get bilateral implants. There are several pros and cons involved, but I know she will benefit the most from two implants. Also, we still need to pick a company and device. We have a good idea of what we want, but haven't finalized that decision yet. We have an appointment with her ENT on 10/4 and we will be talking about the timeline for her surgery. I would like to have her surgery in December, so that she can be activated and "hearing" by the time she is 10 months old (she will turn 9 months on 12/26). Moog is supportive of this decision, so I am hoping that her ENT concurs. We'll see! He is a very conservative surgeon and hesitant to perform CI surgery on infants less than one year of age. However, he has told us in the past that he is comfortable implanting Sophie around 9 or 10 months.

I'm feeling very excited and positive about everything lately. Sophie is ahead in all other areas of development and I'm optimistic that her speech delay will be minimal. I know we still have a very long road ahead of us and endless hours of therapy and audiology, but I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. That's great news! I love that I sense so much optimism in your post. The cochlear implant indeed provides lots of HOPE. It's the very best decision we ever made for our little Lucas. You won't regret it.