Hearing Anniversary: Cochlear Implant

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Six years ago today we saw our lives change with the help of amazing technology, amazing doctors and nurses, amazing audiologists, amazing therapists and amazing family and friends. See for yourself …

Right now she’s using her bionic hearing accessories to listen to Spongebob, dance to “Get Up Offa That Thang,” sing to “All In This Together” from High School Musical and read “Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook.” Life is sweet!

Hearing Anniversary: Cochlear Implant

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Six years ago today we saw our lives change with the help of amazing technology, amazing doctors and nurses, amazing audiologists, amazing therapists and amazing family and friends. See for yourself:

Right now she’s using her bionic hearing accessories to listen to Spongebob, dance to “Get Up Offa That Thang,” sing to “All In This Together” from High School Musical and read “Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook.” Life is sweet!

Deaf Girl Sings w/High School Musical

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Riley in her Gabriella wig for Halloween

Yes, Riley will be Gabriella from High School Musical for Halloween. Why not? She’s got the moves down and she knows the words to the songs. Here’s her performance of “All in This Together” taken with my iPhone. She’s pretty dang good, if a little too fast on the moves. 🙂

Delivering the Diagnosis: Your Child Is Deaf

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When children are diagnosed with hearing loss, parents feel grief, anger, anxiety and guilt.

Audiologists can help them through these emotions by remembering this: You’re about to tell a family the child they think they know does not exist.

At least, that’s how my husband and I felt when our 18-month-old daughter was diagnosed. All the dreams and hopes and plans were put on hold when we heard:

“She’s never heard your voice. She doesn’t even know her own name.”

Thankfully, our audiologist was kind and straightforward in her diagnosis, and once we were over the initial shock, she outlined the various treatment options available.

Now that our daughter is 7, hearing with bilateral cochlear implants, and excelling in second grade, those hopes and dreams have returned. We just have to do a little extra planning and coaching. This can be true for all families, regardless of the treatment they choose.

Follow these tips to help make the diagnosis easier for parents to digest:

* Show sensitivity when delivering the news; don’t just blurt it out.

* Explain in layman’s terms the type and severity of loss and what it means.

* Give parents a chance to recover from the shock before telling them about treatment options.

* Offer information on support groups for parents of children with hearing loss.

* Offer a complete list of options when it’s time to discuss treatment. From ASL to hearing aids to cochlear implants to Total Communication, any and all options available and appropriate for the type of hearing loss should be discussed.

* Put families in contact with someone who can help them navigate insurance, approval and Early Intervention issues.

* Offer contact information on other families who have been through the same situation.

This is an emotional time for families, so anything you can do to make the journey forward a little easier will be appreciated.

Deaf Girl Sings w/High School Musical

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Yes, Riley will be Gabriella from High School Musical for Halloween. Why not? She’s got the moves down and she knows the words to the songs. Here’s her performance of “All in This Together” taken with my iPhone. She’s pretty dang good, if a little too fast on the moves. 🙂

Delivering the Diagnosis: Your Child Is Deaf

Standard

When children are diagnosed with hearing loss, parents feel grief, anger, anxiety and guilt.

Audiologists can help them through these emotions by remembering this: You’re about to tell a family the child they think they know does not exist.

At least, that’s how my husband and I felt when our 18-month-old daughter was diagnosed. All the dreams and hopes and plans were put on hold when we heard:

“She’s never heard your voice. She doesn’t even know her own name.”

Thankfully, our audiologist was kind and straightforward in her diagnosis, and once we were over the initial shock, she outlined the various treatment options available.

Now that our daughter is 7, hearing with bilateral cochlear implants, and excelling in second grade, those hopes and dreams have returned. We just have to do a little extra planning and coaching. This can be true for all families, regardless of the treatment they choose.

Follow these tips to help make the diagnosis easier for parents to digest:

* Show sensitivity when delivering the news; don’t just blurt it out.

* Explain in layman’s terms the type and severity of loss and what it means.

* Give parents a chance to recover from the shock before telling them about treatment options.

* Offer information on support groups for parents of children with hearing loss.

* Offer a complete list of options when it’s time to discuss treatment. From ASL to hearing aids to cochlear implants to Total Communication, any and all options available and appropriate for the type of hearing loss should be discussed.

* Put families in contact with someone who can help them navigate insurance, approval and Early Intervention issues.

* Offer contact information on other families who have been through the same situation.

This is an emotional time for families, so anything you can do to make the journey forward a little easier will be appreciated.

Soccer is a bust

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The Purple Panthers are 2-1-1 with two rainouts and one game left. Riley has scored two goals and played great defense. The seven-game schedule is disappointing; they skip two Saturdays because of fall break, which I think is an unnecessary break from school anyway, but that’s another post. I wish they played more games because it’s fun to watch them learn and play.

After soccer is over she’ll only be doing dance class. However, she mentioned basketball, but I’m not sure the game schedule will mesh with her dance classes. It’d be fun to see how she’d enjoy hoops, though.

My gorgeous soccer star
Riley scored on this shot, but I was so excited I didn’t get the ball in the frame
Fighting for position

Soccer is a bust

Standard

The Purple Panthers are 2-1-1 with two rainouts and one game left. Riley has scored two goals and played great defense. The seven-game schedule is disappointing; they skip two Saturdays because of fall break, which I think is an unnecessary break from school anyway, but that’s another post. I wish they played more games because it’s fun to watch them learn and play.

After soccer is over she’ll only be doing dance class. However, she mentioned basketball, but I’m not sure the game schedule will mesh with her dance classes. It’d be fun to see how she’d enjoy hoops, though.

My gorgeous soccer star
Riley scored on this shot, but I was so excited I didn’t get the ball in the frame
Fighting for position

Family time, recovery, boobs, words

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My time off is dwindling. I will be back to work next Wednesday, and I’m not looking forward to it. I have enjoyed spending more time with Riley, helping with her homework, taking walks and watching her dance and turn cartwheels and ride her bike.

I think my being able to spend more time with her has helped her focus on schoolwork. I’ve had time to really teach her some things instead of being in a hurry to get back to work after an hour.

It’s amazing how much more cooperative Riley is when I have time to focus on her and what she needs to be successful. She needs the attention, and it makes me sad that I won’t be able to give her as much when I return to work. Because of changes in my work schedule, I’ll lose two of those days. I’ll be at work before she even gets home from school, and she’ll be asleep before I get home.

On the recovery front, I go back to my doc next Friday for the poke and prod exam, to make sure everything (well, the only thing left) has healed properly. I’m not looking forward to him checking the vaginal stitches (how in the world do they do that anyway?), but I’m ready to get the all clear, so I can get back to my workout plans and some, um, other stuff. Though I am a little nervous about that. Will it hurt? Or be better? Will I feel anything? Yeah, TMI, but you’ve read worse.

I also had a mammogram Friday in which I giggled the whole time. Couldn’t help it when I saw my boob smooshed on the plastic tray. I asked the tech if she got tired of looking at boobies all day, and she laughed and said, “I don’t even notice that they’re boobs most of the time.” I told her she was providing a great service.

Anyway, the Breast Center called today: I have to get an ultrasound Tuesday morning because the radiologist wants a better look at a spot in my upper left breast. Could be a cyst, could be a lymph node, could be … Anyway, I went ahead and scheduled it so I could get it over with and figure out what’s up. I’d appreciate some prayers and good thoughts.

Also, I’m finishing up another article, waiting for a two to be published and getting ready to pitch a couple of new ones. And maybe an essay or two. I’ve got to get the words out and keep the momentum going.

Gotta hit the sack. Early day tomorrow.

Family time, recovery, boobs, words

Standard

My time off is dwindling. I will be back to work next Wednesday, and I’m not looking forward to it. I have enjoyed spending more time with Riley, helping with her homework, taking walks and watching her dance and turn cartwheels and ride her bike.

I think my being able to spend more time with her has helped her focus on schoolwork. I’ve had time to really teach her some things instead of being in a hurry to get back to work after an hour.

It’s amazing how much more cooperative Riley is when I have time to focus on her and what she needs to be successful. She needs the attention, and it makes me sad that I won’t be able to give her as much when I return to work. Because of changes in my work schedule, I’ll lose two of those days. I’ll be at work before she even gets home from school, and she’ll be asleep before I get home.

On the recovery front, I go back to my doc next Friday for the poke and prod exam, to make sure everything (well, the only thing left) has healed properly. I’m not looking forward to him checking the vaginal stitches (how in the world do they do that anyway?), but I’m ready to get the all clear, so I can get back to my workout plans and some, um, other stuff. Though I am a little nervous about that. Will it hurt? Or be better? Will I feel anything? Yeah, TMI, but you’ve read worse.

I also had a mammogram Friday in which I giggled the whole time. Couldn’t help it when I saw my boob smooshed on the plastic tray. I asked the tech if she got tired of looking at boobies all day, and she laughed and said, “I don’t even notice that they’re boobs most of the time.” I told her she was providing a great service.

Anyway, the Breast Center called today: I have to get an ultrasound Tuesday morning because the radiologist wants a better look at a spot in my upper left breast. Could be a cyst, could be a lymph node, could be … Anyway, I went ahead and scheduled it so I could get it over with and figure out what’s up. I’d appreciate some prayers and good thoughts.

Also, I’m finishing up another article, waiting for a two to be published and getting ready to pitch a couple of new ones. And maybe an essay or two. I’ve got to get the words out and keep the momentum going.

Gotta hit the sack. Early day tomorrow.