1. The external sound processor captures sounds, then filters and processes the sounds.
2. The sound processor translates the filtered sounds into digital information, which is then transmitted to the internal implant.
3. The internal implant converts the digital information into electrical signals, and sends them to a tiny, delicate curl of electrodes that sits gently inside the cochlea.
4. The electrical signals from the electrodes stimulate the hearing nerve, bypassing the damaged cells that cause hearing loss, allowing the brain to perceive sound.
This is what the device will actually look like on Sophie:
During the surgery, Sophie's ENT will dig a shallow trough in her skull to place the internal implant. The external processor (which you see above) will "attach" to the internal part by a magnet. Since Sophie is getting two implants, we actually ordered four external devices so that we can have a back-up for each ear in case of malfunction. We have been debating what color to choose because Sophie basically has no hair and we aren't sure what color it will end up being. So, we ordered one set in beige and one in brown. All of our bases are covered! ;)
Sophie came down with a cold over Thanksgiving weekend, but she is starting to feel better now. I am praying that she doesn't have any fluid in her ears and I've been on high alert for any sign of an ear infection. So far, we have no reason to worry, but if her surgery is postponed, I will be frustrated beyond words. Cross your fingers for us!
In other news, we have just been playing this waiting game and getting ready for the holidays. Last weekend, we went and cut down our first real Christmas tree as a family and Sophie got to meet Santa. So cute! By the way, is there a way to prevent an 8 month old baby from pulling the Christmas tree down on top of them? Other than acting as a physical barrier at all times?? Sophie is increasingly mobile and into absolutely everything. We have the baby gates up, but she still gets into trouble! To give you an example, here's a funny story:
We have a small step leading into our living room from our kitchen and Sophie was playing with her toys on the kitchen floor earlier tonight while I did the dishes. I turned around and she wasn't there. Of course, my heart jumps and I start frantically looking everywhere - under the table, down the hall, in the front room, etc... Well, the little stinker must have mastered going down the step into the living room because she went to see the Christmas tree! I found her just as a handful of pine needles approached her mouth. Silly girl.
I will leave you with some pics of our Christmas tree adventure: