Activation Day! (Round 2)

Today was Fiona’s activation day for her second (left) ear. While the day had only a fraction of the fanfare of her original activation day, it’s still an important milestone as she now begins her life with full stereoscopic sound.

Eliza had a great post on this a few weeks ago with Two Ears are Better then One, but the net of all this is the benefits are far greater then just redundancy of hearing. Two functional ears are critical for localization of sound, something we take for granted in our day to day life. In addition, the overall quality of the sound is greatly improved by having both ears working in concert.

The procedure ran very similar to the original activation day, with the first hour spent mapping the new processor frequencies, and then the second hour testing her reception of sound. The procedure was complicated somewhat further by the fact that we had to turn on and off her existing processor to make sure she was picking up sound properly from the new ear.

As you can see here, the new setup has more wires to tangle up, which is something we’ll need to get acclimated to.

Two processors

Two processors

Umm, toy pie!

Umm, toy pie!


We’ve also switched to the Advanced Bionics Naida processor on both ears, which you can see clipped to the back of her shirt in the above picture. These processors are actually designed to be worn over the ear (hence the ear-like shape), but Fiona is too young to wear them in that configuration right now. Instead, clipping to the shirt is far more manageable until she’s old enough to manage the processors on the ear herself.

We also have lots of new Advanced Bionics gear to go with these processors, as you can see decked out below.

Fiona1 (3)

We’re facing a new challenge with the amount of exposed wiring, and Fiona loves to tug the ear pieces off her head. Eliza is on the case, though, already designing elaborate headbands and shirt tucking contraptions. I think she may have a career ahead of her in CI clothing!

Anyway, we did shoot some video today. At the start we didn’t get much of a response, but towards the end we were starting to see some glimmers. This is not unlike her first ear, though, where we saw the biggest improvements in the weeks following her activation.

This video starts near the end of the activation process when we started seeing some glimmers. What’s really interesting, though, is when her right (original) processor is turned back on around the 3:33 mark – Fiona has a clear reaction and almost instantly starts humming. She’s normally a very vocal girl, but was dead quiet during most of the left ear activation. When the right was turned back on, it was almost like flipping a hearing switch. Pretty telling, and surely a sign to come for her left ear down the road.

And finally, here are some more pics that have nothing to do with the activation, but are just so darn cute because it’s my daughter, enjoy 🙂

Learning to program

Learning to code just like Dad…

The most flexible you'll ever be Fiona, enjoy it now!

The most flexible you’ll ever be Fiona, enjoy it now!




4 thoughts on “Activation Day! (Round 2)

  1. Sheri

    Fiona was definitely hearing something. Just watching her eyes is so telling. I think she was like ya I got this. Congrats Fiona!!! For the wires could you use those baby size hair clips that are spring loaded. It could work like ear buds for ipods. The rubber gasket from the ear buds that you can slide up and down to keep the wires close to the head in back. It’s what I do when I run so the wires go straight down the back together versus flapping all over. I attach my ipod nano to the back of my shorts to keep the wires out of my face. Tiny rubber bands may stretch over the ear pieces before they are placed on the ears. Just a thought. Good luck experimenting with what Fiona likes.

    1. Eliza Isham

      That’s a great idea Sheri!! I ordered a spi belt (that runners use) to hold the processors under her shirt. I’m hoping this makes it less bulky and hides some of the cords. My mom also bought some hearing henries which are headbands for CI kids. That way she could wear the processors on the headband with super short cords. It’s frustrating at the very beginning because all of this new equipment is overwhelming to me…and I obsess over finding the perfect way for her to wear the CIs.

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