Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Christian's been bilateral for almost a year. The series of mapping appointments we've had over the past several months have shown that both his right and his left ears are in the 15-20 db range. His right ear speech perception scores are unbelievably amazing in the high 90th percentile. However, even though the audiogram shows his left ear is comparable to the right ear, his speech perception in that ear is in the low 40th percentile. For all the non-CI Mommas and friends reading that, it basically means audiologically he is on track but when we actually evaluate what he IS hearing with just that left ear, we have A LOT of work to do.

I was thinking about all this during my spin class today. I was trying to clear my mind, focus on my workout but I just couldn't stop thinking about my Christian.  My sweet kid is a hard worker, and out of my two children, he is my pleaser. There's no questioning with Christian. He just DOES. The rehabilitation of his left ear has had it's frustrating moments, and he just carries on. He's patient. He's constant. He keeps hanging on. And quite honestly, he has no idea what's going on when it comes to the left ear. He just knows that he likes having 2 CIs better than 1, BUT he likes the "old ear better than the new ear".

I started having one of those bi-monthly pity parties that somehow still creep up half-way through the class and got a bit teary eyed. I found myself asking God why? I was asking God in the middle of a spin class to give me the courage and grace to make the right choices because I was doubting them. I found myself getting overwhelmed and I'm pretty sure today was the first time I ever said a Hail Mary with cycling shoes on.

I've had a hard couple of weeks, and this is just the icing on the cake and I'm trying really hard to keep this in perspective. I knew that this wasn't going to be easy, and to many my journey IS a piece of cake. We're just going to buckle down, keep isolating that left ear, work a bit harder, and try not to breakdown during my BodyPump class tomorrow.


PinkLAM said...

Keep on working! It's not the progress you were hoping for, but it is progress, and I have no doubt it will continue to improve. I found what helped me the most (and I know there are many differing views) in helping the new ear "catch up" was going for brief periods of just using the new one in a low stress environment. This typically consisted of maybe watching a TV show or listening to 30 minutes (just on the weekend) with the new side, and then putting them both on.

My audiologist has found that many patients (old and young alike), when bilaterally implanted, typically have one ear that performs better and that they favor. Regardless of hearing histories in the individual ears and which one was implanted first, one ear tends to do a little (and in some cases, a lot) better. It may just be that Christian's first ear was by nature his better ear (and thank goodness that's the one you chose to implant first)! It is HUGE that he "likes having two ears better than one", as it's not unheard of for kids who get a second implant to despise wearing it, especially when they can't get it up to the standard of the first.

That said, don't give up, it will all be okay! You've got a bright little boy who does phenomenally well, and his left ear will continue to improve with time!

Rachel said...

I have to echo what PinkLAM said. Christian's hearing will likely continue to improve as days go by. When my second CI was first activated at the age of 17 years old after having ZERO residual hearing in that ear all throughout my life, I had zero speech comprehension. However, after one year, my speech comprehension in that second ear alone was about 40%. Now today, nine years later, my speech comprehension in that ear alone is about 70% to 80% while the speech comprehension for my first implanted ear alone has always been 90% to 100%. I should note that I never did rehabilitation. This is not to say that you shouldn't do rehabilitation at all. This is just to give you encouragement that Christian's second ear will improve as time goes by. My sister, Jessica, was also in a similar situation. She could not understand a single word with her second implanted ear alone when it was first activated when she was 9 years old. Now, her speech comprehension in that second ear alone is 90% to 100%. She did a little bit of rehabilitation with Cochlear's Sound and Way Beyond.

Just be patient!

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