Sunday, November 29, 2009

Appointments three years running

Thanksgiving time seems to be a very busy time of year for us. In addition to all the wonderful family activities, we have spent the day before Thanksgiving at the hospital with appointments for the last three Thanksgivings!

Two years ago, when Emma was about 7 weeks old, we entered the hospital to have the ENT check Emma's ears before we boarded an airplane to Florida. Emma had an ear infection and we wanted to make sure it cleared up before the flight. While there, we also had the audiologist test her hearing - yet again! - to determine the level of hearing loss in her right ear. We left the hospital after a very long, very emotional roller coaster ride. We found out that Emma was deaf in both ears, not something we expected since previous tests indicated she could have hearing in her left ear. To this day, whenever I think of Thanksgiving I am transformed back to that moment in time.

Last year we had an appointment with the same ENT, Dr. O'Reilly, the day before Thanksgiving. This time it was a very happy visit. Emma had her cochlear implant operation the week before and we were seeing Dr. O'Reilly for Emma's post-surgical visit.

This year we had another long day at the hospital. Emma had her auditory-verbal (AV) hearing therapy and physical therapy in the morning. In the afternoon we had a follow-up visit with Dr. O'Reilly (see photo below), and an audiology appointment to go over the new Nucleus 5 device so we are ready at Emma's left ear CI initial stimulation on Dec. 7th. It was a very long day, but Chris and I were talking about how different it felt this year than three years ago.

Emma and Julia with Dr. O'Reilly

This year Emma celebrated her third Thanksgiving. And while life is very different today than we anticipated, we feel very blessed. Two years ago we found out about Emma's profound hearing loss diagnosis. In one week she will be *hearing* out of both ears with a cochlear implant. We are so thankful for cochlear implant technology. We are thankful to the people who developed them, designed them, and are in awe of those people that received the initial implants so that others that came after them could benefit from their experiences. We are thankful to the entire cochlear implant team at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. While this is still the beginning of Emma's hearing journey, we are glad that the journey has started.

1 Comments from readers:

Karen Owens said...

Never realized that you were a dupont Family until I saw the docs photo!! Small world. Did you hear about the parent to parent support group we are starting? I'll have info up on our blog when I get it together. We will start meeting in Jan at the hospital -- I would love to meet you!