Friday, September 28, 2007

The incredible flying Cochlear Implant, and other amazing stories

The rain has arrived- which is good, except that it probably won't really leave until next April. I'm pretty much used to it at this point, we're going on year four here, but I must admit, soccer in the rain is NOT FUN. And, seeing as we have three kids playing soccer, we are guaranteed to get rained on a lot. An added component is the mud- not just on clothes, but there is always the fear that E's cochlear implant is going to go flying off of her head at any given moment, landing in the mud, which we are then going to have to dig through in order to rescue it. This has not happened at this point, and she has had her implant since her 3rd birthday- she's 7 now. She plays soccer with one hand covering her ear, helping to hold on the CI, so if you see a little girl flying around a soccer field, clutching her ear, my bet is she's wearing an implant (or she's my daughter). We really need to brainstorm a better system, but I'm using all my 'brainstorming' time, writing this blog that has no readers :) I'm just calling it therapy.

Since I was discussing digging her implant out of the muck- here's a funny little story for you all. Yesterday, E was scampering into my husband's car, and somehow, swung her head in just the right motion to fling her implant off her head, into the sewer grate/drain thing-a-ma-bob (maybe I should add in the nasty, smelly, full of sludge sewer). Here is where we as parents have to weigh the cost of the implant (about $6,700), vs. finding a tool to dig through the above-mentioned nastiness. Needless to say, E is now wearing a slightly smelly cochlear implant, and my husband is NOT going to park anywhere near a sewer grate. Just a thought.....maybe the mud from the soccer field will help erase the sewage smell???? Possibly we'll find out tomorrow.

I guess I promised "other amazing stories"- really I don't have any. On a side note, if any of you parents of implant wearing kids have great suggestions for keeping it on a running child's head, I'd love to hear them! My oldest daughter, D (11) plays more competitive soccer and wears her hearing aid only- which never flies off. But, it means she doesn't hear anything the coaches say to her unless the coaches are standing on the right side of the field from where she is. I used to try yelling what the coaches were saying to her, to help her out, but I looked like one of those out of control soccer parents- couldn't do that, now could I. There are enough of those out there :) Well, I have an appointment with a school bus, so I better scoot. I'll be back to talk to myself tomorrow after soccer!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Loudest House on the Block

Greetings from the Loudest House on the Block. Many may claim this title, but only our house can truly live up to the name. I am a stay at home mom to four children- and yes, that alone does not entitle me to claim this dubious honor- but, in our case, these four children are all hearing impaired. This is where most people tell me, "yes, my kids don't listen to me either", but in my case I was being very literal. Somehow, we have won the lottery of familial hearing loss. I choose to look at it as 'winning', rather than pondering our ability to beat the genetic odds. Fortunately, my husband and I have had an eight year education in hearing impairment, deafness, Hard of Hearing-ness (and any other PC term you'd like to use).

When I decided to write this Blog, I wasn't sure why, or what I hoped to accomplish. I guess in all honesty, I really am not hoping to accomplish anything, but to share a bit of our very wacky, always chaotic, and extremely LOUD, world. When we found out about my oldest child's hearing issues, we really did not find much on the internet, to help us start to put the pieces together. Now, things have changed and there are some great resources out there, but I still feel that if parents who have gone through the 'figuring out' process would all share their experiences it might help ease someone else's concerns, about what it means to raise kids with hearing loss. Everyone's experiences will vary, but I think ultimately what all parents will tell you is it really is not all that different than raising any other child- Yes, I'll probably have to get hearing aids of my own by the time I'm 40.....maybe 45. And, yes I have to keep track of thousands of dollars-worth of hearing equipment for the four children, but all in all- they're just average kids!

For those that want the specifics, I'll share a bit at a time (so I don't bore people too much right away), but we have three children w/ cochlear implants, one who just got her second implant, and the fourth has bilateral hearing aids. All four have progressive hearing loss that we discovered at birth, or shortly thereafter (in the case of our oldest), and all four make frequent trips to the Audiologist, the ENT, and our handy neighborhood Speech Therapist. On top of this, three of them play soccer, one plays softball, one will start t-ball in the Spring, and the youngest is too little to do anything yet (thank goodness)- which will probably explain why the blog took so long to start, and may not always get updated. I'll probably transfer this page to a "background' page at some point, and post more general entries, but I really wasn't sure how to start this puppy, so there you have it! I better run for now- at least it's a start- Bye!