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.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Left Ear Activation

Isaac's activation is on October 7th. It is not that far away and we are excited. Granny made Isaac a picture of an ear with a blue processor to put on our refrigerator. She then used "post-it" notes and wrote numbers counting down to Isaac's receiving his "new ear". Every day Isaac pulls a "post-it" off the ear and throws it into the garbage can. He is so excited to get his new ear.

A few months ago, a man came into the gym where I work who had a cochlear implant. He looked like he was in his 30's and he had lost his hearing later in life. He had really short hair and a black cochlear implant. I haven't seen him since, but Isaac did get to meet him one time. I don't remember the man's name, but Isaac told me last week that when he gets bigger, he can get a "black ear" just like Jeff. This was after I told him that he was going to get two tan speech processors. Everyday he can decide if wants to wear his blue ears or tan ears. I am amazed that he remembered the man's name and the 5 minute meeting several months ago from someone we have not seen since. This is proof that it is really important for children with CI's to meet adults who are just like them. That being said, Isaac's pre-school teacher and speech therapist told me that there is a CI support group being formed for our area. Young and old CI users and their families will finally be able to get together and share experiences in our little town! This is so exciting for us!

Isaac had his IEP meeting at school last Friday and it went really well! I was brought to tears many times when the professionals working with Isaac told us how wonderfully he is doing. They told me that the concepts he understands and is able to express are above that of his hearing peers! This totally blew me away. Our family tries to teach him everything we possibly can, but I always feel like we are playing "catch up". Amazingly this is not true! Isaac didn't hear for the first 19 months of his life, so he should be 19 months behind his hearing peers. In reality, he is closer to 19 months ahead of them. We need to work on articulation of his words, but his actual vocabluary is closer to that of a 5 year old! I am amazed. I give all credit to God. We as parents are doing the best we can to teach this amazing little guy with the abilities God gave us. God created Isaac and knew that we would be the best family for him.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well
Psalm 139:14

Even when I was in the deep sadness of mourning the loss of a "perfect child," I knew that somehow Ian and I would be able to handle it. After all, everyone says that God doesn't give us more than we can handle right? I told people that, but secretly doubted it. I no longer mourn the loss of a perfect child because, I have Isaac-my perfect little boy. He is a precious gift from God and he doesn't hear like most people, but he is perfect.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Surgery is Over!!!!!!

First I want to thank everyone for your prayers. Everything yesterday went really well. We all woke up really early. Grandpa, Granny and Auntie Lydia arrived at our house at 5:30 in the morning. Thank you Auntie Lydia for watching Noah! It was a huge relief to know that he was well taken care of. After we went over some last minute details, we left the house for GBMC just before 6:00 AM.

I wasn't sure how traffic would be during "rush hour", but we arrived at the hospital just after 7:00 AM. Grandpa and Granny kept Isaac entertained while Ian and I took care of the admissions paperwork. Granny and Grandpa were pretending they had a bag full of tools and Isaac really enjoyed their make believe game. He was pretending to use a hammer and wrench and saw. He had so much energy it was hard to believe that he would be mellow at all that day. We got our hospital arm bands and took some pictures before Isaac's name was called to prep for surgery.

During the preparations, Isaac put on his hospital gown and socks and thought it was funny when mommy put on her gown, hat and hospital booties. He then found the perfect book, a "Magic School bus" book about plants. He LOVES the Magic School bus series on TV now. It is hard to believe that a three year old would be so interested in the intricate details of how plants work, and the detailed topics that the Magic School bus tackles, but Isaac surprises us every day with what he understands and wants to learn. Daddy read the book to Isaac while Mommy answered some of the questions from the doctors. Finally, it was time to go back to the operating room. This is when Isaac's mood changed a little bit. He hugged and kissed daddy and left to go into the room with me. He didn't want to walk there, so I carried him. Even though they had shown him the air mask and let him try it out he did not like it one bit. I had to hold his head to my chest and make him breathe in the air. He was fighting and whimpering until he fell asleep in my arms. I then placed him on the operating table, said a silent prayer and kissed him as I left the room at 8:20 AM. That was a difficult event to go through as a parent.

Isaac's surgery was done around 12:30 and the audiologist came out and told us everything went really well. She tested the electrodes and said that she got a good response from Isaac's brain. She answered some of our questions and then our doctor came out. He told us that he got full insertion of the electrodes and there was no resistance while putting them in, which was such good news for us. This means that Isaac should get full use of the implant when it is activated.

Ian and I went to get something for lunch and just as we sat down, Grandpa called me and said that Isaac was awake and very upset. He was asking where his mommy was. I took a few quick bites and went down to see him. Granny was holding him, but he was very agitated as he came out of anesthesia. I don't think he was ready to wake up yet, so they gave him more pain medication and he slept for another hour. I held him for a long time and then gave him to Granny while I left to make some phone calls. When I came back, he was awake and drinking some juice in a much happier mood than before. He was alert but not quite himself when we started to leave. Just as we left the recovery room door, Isaac threw up on daddy. He was so upset about this, but we got him cleaned up and changed. Grandpa gave daddy a shirt to change into and we left the hospital. We asked Isaac if he wanted to take a ride in the wheelchair to the car and he became very upset. He told us, "I don't want to ride in wheelchair because my legs not broken!" We ended up carrying him to the car. As we were driving out, Isaac said," I barfed on daddy. I still love you daddy." It was so cute. For the whole ride home, Isaac was sleeping. Occasionally, he would wake up and start talking like he was part of the conversation all along and then fall back asleep.

When we got home, Isaac just wanted to lay around because he couldn't walk very well. His balance was off. We ordered a pizza and he ate a little bit before falling asleep around 8:30 PM. I slept in his bed with him and he wanted his right "ear" turned on all night long. He slept pretty well and woke up around 3:30 AM saying he was hungry and wanted to finish his pizza and drink some juice. Today, we are doing pretty well. I can tell Isaac doesn't feel the best, but he is in amazing spirits considering what he experienced yesterday. He told me he wanted to go to Tumbletown and McDonalds today. I think Tumbletown will have to wait, but if his stomach gets better, McDonalds is an option for later.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Surgery Tomorrow!

When I woke Isaac up this morning for pre-school, I realized that this time tomorrow we would be in the midst of the surgery process to give him a cochlear implant for his left ear. I know it is the right thing to do, but as I touched his head above his left ear (where the internal magnet would go), I was thinking that tomorrow there will be a bandage covering a wound on his head in that same spot. Underneath the bandage and the wound will be a miraculous device that will allow him to hear out of his left ear. It is a bittersweet thing. He will have improved quality of life because of it, and for that I am grateful. If I am being competely truthful, I am sad that we have to go through it at all. I know that God will utimately receive the glory for this and Isaac's life as a whole, and I cling to that.

This path that Isaac has been on for his life is not one that I would have chosen for him. It is a path that has many detours, bumps and potholes. It is also a more beautiful and special path than I could have imagined for him and our family.

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

This is what we have been praying for. This event is what has tested my faith for the past year. I have cried countless tears over this and now it is happening. Our path is not as easy as the paths of others, but not as difficult as some. I am trusting in the Lord for my strength. This situation has grown me so much in my faith and as a person. Like so much in my life, I stress too easily. As soon as something does not go as I expect it to, I get in a tizzy. I flail my arms and legs while running around in circles trying to find a solution on my own. (Not really, but this is how I must look to God! :-) ) I finally get exhausted and trust God. I am learning, and I say learning because I still struggle with this, that I can save alot of time and energy by just praying and trusting the Lord. This is what I am going to do tomorrow. God is in control. He loves Isaac more than I ever could, and that is a humbling thought because I know how much my heart swells for my precious little boy.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monster Spray (AKA Glade Air Infusions)

I can't take credit for this idea. I found it in a magazine somewhere, but never dreamt I would use it. Isaac has started to be scared of monsters before he goes to bed. I told him to pray to Jesus to help him feel less afraid, but this didn't seem to be as effective as Monster Spray. After a long day with this boys, I was feeling frazzled and this seemed like a quick fix for the moment.

The monster spray from the magazine involved getting a spray bottle and filling it with water and spraying it under the bed and anywhere that a monster could hide. I decided to use something I already had under the kitchen sink, Glade Air Infusions. I made a label on the computer and taped it on. I did the creative stuff a day or so later but Isaac seemed convinced that it is the same stuff. Another added benefit of using an air freshner is the nice smell under the bed, in the closet, in the hamper etc. Plus, my monster spray is guaranteed to keep monsters away all night long!