Isaac's World

Isaac is Deaf but hears with cochlear implants. He received his first cochlear implant on September 25th, 2006. He received his second cochlear implant on September 10, 2008. This is his journey with sound as told by mommy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Isaac's 2nd Map

Today Isaac and I drove to Philly for his second Map. We met with Joy at 10:30 AM and were there for about an hour. Isaac kept asking where the cars were because the box of cars was not in the room. He remembered that the last time he was in that room, he got a whole box of matchbox cars to play with. He has the most amazing memory! Joy had to wait until a meeting was over to get the cars for Isaac, because he kept asking for them.

We went into the soundproof booth and Joy tested to see how well Isaac was hearing. She said she couldn't get a really accurate reading because Isaac was so alert and busy. Before she even started, he was pointing out the bunny in the box and the bear in the box. He was making all sorts of signs that I never saw before. I think he was telling stories about the animals. It was cute, but he was too busy to pay attention to the listening exercises. Joy did confirm that Isaac was hearing speech at 40db, but beyond that, she couldn't tell.

Joy gave Isaac new programs. She kept 2 of the older programs and added a new one that was louder than the others. Isaac cried when she first tried the louder one, but by the end of the day, we had it turned up and he didn't seem to notice. I think when we turn up the sound gradually, it works out better for Isaac. He gets upset if we put the equipment on at the loudest or even middle volume. We have to put it on at the softest and then when he is playing or distracted, gradually increase it.

On our way back from Philly, we stopped to see Granny at work for lunch. I couldn't tell who enjoyed the visit the most...Isaac or Granny. When we left, Isaac was upset. He cried for a few minutes and then made the sign, "Grandma...where?" It almost broke my heart, but I couldn't stop driving. When we got home, we made dinner and got ready for Trick or Treating.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Baking Bread!

These pictures were just too cute not to post them. Isaac helped mommy bake some homemade bread today. Even the dogs got in on the fun. As you can see, there is flour everywhere!

We're making progress...

It's been a while since my last post. Both Isaac and I got the cold that's been going around, plus I am pregnant and have been really tired lately. I go for my first ultrasound on November 9th. Isaac doesn't know it yet, but he will be a big brother before next summer! Ian and I are really excited. Now maybe Isaac won't be so spoiled seeing as he will have to share his time. Ha ha ha.....I think he will always be spoiled. He will steal the spotlight I'm sure because he is Mr. Personality.

We are beginning to see some progress with the implant. I must admit, my expectations were that he would turn to every sound he heard, but it just isn't so. Even though the "experts" said that it would take a while, I just knew Isaac was brilliant and he would react and start babbling right away. I guess every parent has high hopes for their child. I know this is going to be a journey, but we are beginning to see signs every day that Isaac hears. First of all, he does react when the dogs bark. We have 2 boxers, a male named Sakuraba and a female named Layla. Sakuraba barks at EVERYTHING...from the wind to every person that walks down the sidewalk in our development. Isaac seemed startled the first time it happened, but now he just looks at the dogs and laughs while he makes the sign for "funny".

Isaac also was startled yesterday when I did a load of laundry and let the lid to the washer fall instead of placing it down gently. It made a loud bang and Isaac's eyes got big and he looked around. I did it again and showed him what made the sound. Another cool thing that Isaac does is he will vocalize on command. He makes the sound mmmm mom mmmmm mom. Whenever he wants something I put my hand on my throat and say the word when I sign it and Isaac will put his hand to his throat and make a sound. It isn't babbling yet, but he knows that if he wants something he has to vocalize which is a good start.

Isaac also blew his first bubble yesterday! We have been trying to get him to blow for some time now, which he does now. He makes the b or p sound at the beginning of blowing which is great. My mom and dad come over on Thursday nights so they can learn new signs from Michele ( early intervention teacher of the Deaf). We got the bubbles out and let Isaac blow. Every time he would blow, we would say yaaay and raise our hands above our heads. Isaac finally blew a bubble and we made a huge deal out of it, so then every time his mouth would get close to the bubble wand, he would raise his hands above his head. He is such a little character! We just love him.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Activation Day!

Today was a very long day. Mommy woke up at about 2:30 AM to get the diaper bag packed and make sure we had everything we needed for this special day. Isaac woke up at about 4:00 AM and both Daddy and Mommy were shocked at how happy he was to be waking up so early. We went into his room and he sat up, made the sign for jump and stood up in his crib and began jumping. Isaac was certainly more awake than us! We got him dressed, packed up the Explorer and headed over to Granny's house to pick her up. We finally left Granny's house for Philadelphia at 5:22 AM. The trip to Philly normally takes us about 3 hours with the traffic, but I guess we left early enough to avoid most of it since we got to CHOP in record time....2 hours! We were at the appointment about 45 minutes early!

Isaac's appointment was at 8:00 AM and the whole thing was quicker than we expected. Kevin Franck programmed Isaac's speech processors with the information they gathered at Isaac's surgery and then put the implant on Isaac's head. He made sure everything was working ok before he allowed any sounds to go through the implant. We put Isaac in a high chair because he was running around the room so much. He loved the little cars that Kevin gave him to play with. He was making them crash into each other.

I'm not so sure that Kevin allowed any computer beeps to go through Isaac's implant. I think he just turned the microphone on really low that Isaac couldn't tell right away. He kept gradually turning up the volume and Isaac stopped pushing the cars around so much. I think he realized that they made noise! Then Kevin turned the implant off for a little bit and Isaac got louder and played rougher with the cars. Then Kevin turned the implant on again and Isaac stopped playing and looked around. Kevin turned the volume up a little more and Isaac got really upset. He started crying, so I took him out of the high chair and held him. Kevin turned the volume down but Isaac was still crying a lot! We had to take him out of the room and walk around a little bit to calm him down. He still had the implant turned on.

Isaac wouldn't go back in the room, so Granny walked with him in the hallways while Daddy and Mommy learned more about the different programs Isaac had saved on his processor. Right now Isaac has 4 programs and 1 is the softest, 4 is the loudest. We kept turning up the volume on program 1 after we left CHOP and Isaac didn't really seem to notice. We began the trip back home.

Overall, the activation went well. We are convinced that Isaac can hear. Now the hard part is beginning. We have to help him make sense of what he hears. A few times when we would call his name, he would turn to us, but not consistently. I know that will come with time. We are so happy. It was a long and tiring day, but Isaac can hear. Praise God!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A cute way to wear the processor

Granny had a great idea to put the bodyworn processor inside a beanie baby or small stuffed toy and pin it to Isaac's back. This is what I came up with.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Trip to Ashcombe Farms

The cutest pumpkin in the patch.

Look Mom! I can drive!

We've got our own John Deere!

Isaac Loves Horses!

We're ready for the hayride!

On Saturday, October 14th, Isaac, Granny and Mommy went to Ashcombe Farms in Mechanicsburg, PA for their fall festivities. We went on a hayride...Isaac just loved the horses, sat in a pumpkin patch, and played in the hay. Even though it was only about 50 degrees outside, we had a great time! Isaac didn't want to leave.

Friday, October 13, 2006

We've got the equipment!

Tuesday October 10th was a great day. Isaac, Gramps and Mommy drove to Philadelphia to pick up the external parts of the cochlear implant. We chose the color blue for Isaac. When we had to choose between a BTE (Behind the Ear) and a Bodyworn processor, we chose one of each. CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philly) wanted us to choose 2 bodyworn processors but we thought one of each would be good. After trying them both at home, we have discovered that the bodyworn seems kind of cumbersome for Isaac. He is so active that it just seems to get in the way. We are going to ask if we can return the bodyworn and trade it in for another BTE. The BTE is a little big, but Isaac has strong ears and it didn't seem to bother him as much as the bodyworn. We will see what happens when we try to exchange them.