Long day for miss Fiona today. We started off witnessing the baptism of Andrew Cassidy, the son of our good friends Samantha and Brandon (congrats guys!). Andrew was born just weeks before Fiona, so its fun to watch the two of them grow up together.
Fiona had a ball at church and thoroughly enjoyed chewing on the various handouts in our pew. (We kept her away from the bibles, i’m sure there’s a place in hell for those babies ;->).
Afterwards we stopped by Chez Cassidy to grab a great lunch and a few most excellent beers. Fiona got into the spirit of things, practicing with an empty cup….
Or was it???
From there we drove on to a seminar in Norcross hosted by Advanced Bionics, one of the “big 3” cochlear implant manufactures I’ve talked about in earlier posts. Eliza and I have all but decided to go forward with Advanced Bionics as the implant manufacturer for Fiona’s surgery on March 7th, so today was a fact finding mission to learn more about their latest processor, the Naida CI Q70 and what options we should select.
And oh my the options! Different colors, different batteries, remote controls, cables and even Bluetooth! It felt like car shopping – should we get the rust coating?
While we’ve seen the new model before, this was our first “hands on” experience. It was great to play around with the implants – feeling the weight, swapping out the batteries, and plugging in the various cables. It helped a lot in our decision making process.
The biggest value of these seminars, though, is talking with other parents who’ve been through before. It’s always uplifting and educational to hear their stories first hand.
Some tidbits I picked up:
- Fiona is very lucky to get her surgery at 10 months old. In the past, insurance companies would not authorize until 2 years or even older. Without fail, every parent we’ve talked to has confirmed the earlier the better for her speech development. Kids who have received implants at a young age “mainstream” into classes with hearing children much quicker.
- Several kids at the seminar had graduated from the Atlanta Auditory Verbal Center, the same center we use for Fiona. Nothing but positive mojo about the center and the results on the children. One adorable little girl said she graduated so young she barely remembered even going to therapy. (Her speech was excellent by the way). Remarkable.
- Interesting tip on CI colors: one parent recommended we NOT get skin or hair color, but rather something bright and noticeable – at least for infants. Why? Because you will constantly lose the implant around the house, outside, etc. and its much harder to locate the skin colored implants. Interesting perspective – we’re still making up our mind on that one.
- One parent highly recommended getting the product replacement plan with the implant. I almost never get those (can you say “profit center” ?), but he brought up a good point – you don’t want your child to live “in bubble wrap”. If you’re constantly stressing about losing or breaking the implant, you’re going to stunt your child’s exploration of the world. You want them to explore, roll in the dirt and be a kid. I couldn’t agree more.
Anyway, long day for miss Fiona today, but she did great. She just went down to bed, an hour late courtesy of daylight savings. Sleep well!
Now time to watch some Zombies on Walking Dead tonight. Brainnnnssss!