First things first, here’s the video. Go ahead and watch it now!
Direct link here.
The original content was ~20 minutes with a lot of down time of me making stupid jokes about hot dogs and zombie babies. I spared you the agony and distilled down to 5 minutes of highlights. If there’s interest in the full video I can post later – and of course who can resist a director’s cut with more Mark.?.?
Okay, on to the reactions. I’ll let you make you form your own opinions. On my side, I’d characterize them mostly in the “subdued” camp. No laughing, but no crying either. What did you think?
As our audiologist Lauren explains in the video, today should be considered Fiona’s “sound birthday”. This is all very new to her and it will take time for her to recognize what she’s hearing. Remember, she’s only 10 1/2 months old!
Still, in some of the shots you can see a very clear reaction which is pretty exciting. If you’re curious, look back to the video of her first hearing aids to compare reactions. It’s a weird time warp in such a short amount of time (just 9 months!).
Now, on to how the day went. The first hour was spent “mapping” her new implant. Basically they hook a laptop up to her processor and program different “levels” of stimulation that we can utilize as her development needs proceed.
The programs are not as simple as a volume control, but instead are tailored to specific amplification of specific frequencies in a manner best suited to the individual’s needs. Fiona’s implant has 3 program levels that we’ll be switching through as her tolerance to sound increases. We also will have weekly “mapping” appointments with the audiologist for the next several weeks to continue modifying and increasing those levels.
During that time we kept Fiona distracted by feeding her breakfast – and who wouldn’t be distracted by a piece of yummy white bread!
After the mapping was complete, the full family was invited in to watch her first reactions to sound. The support was incredible and touching, especially since everyone took a half day off from work to come out! Rosemary, Justin, Stephanie, Shyler, Bruce and Penny – you guys rock!
We tested Fiona’s implant for about 30 minutes, then packed up all our “loot” to bring home. Lots of toys to play with, Fiona says they all taste delicious. I’ll post more on those later.
Now we’re back and learning to work with Fiona with her new sense of hearing. We have our work cut out for us, but it doesn’t get more rewarding than this!
Tomorrow we return to our Auditory Verbal therapist for our first post-implant session. We’re looking forward to diving in.
It’s amazing such opportunities are available to children at such a young age. The adventure continues, stay tuned…