Friday, April 3, 2009

Cochlear Implant Updates

Hello All-

After literally months of talking to people, and meeting with University, I was finally approved so that My Dad’s insurance had agreed to pay for the Cochlear Surgery. So with that good news, the next step was to contact a Doctor in St. Louis. Naturally I bothered Abbie so much about this I probably drove her Blackberry nuts.

The day had come for me to go meet the Doctor in St. Louis, April 2nd, 2009. Yes, the same day Abbie was to get “turned on”. This was not planned. So I couldn’t sleep the night before, and one of my good friends signed online to talk to me and relax me and it made me more jittery. I sent more texts to Abbie trying to get reassurance.

That morning, Thursday I rode up to St. Louis with My dad and Mom in tow. We got to the waiting room and I am just sitting as nervous as heck. Finally they called my name to come inside. I walked in the room. I hadn’t been to a hospital since I had my surgeries YEARS ago.

We wait and chat and the doctor came in. He asked if I did ASL I said no, I speak and use cued speech. He took the wax out of my ears so I felt super cleaned after that process! I love having my ears cleaned for some reason, it tickles me and feels so good! He reviewed my medical history and we told him what happened and when my hearing loss happened. He FINALLY figured out what happened to me that had caused my hearing loss! It was such a relief! I had what was called Lasic during Diuretics. It was a toxin that entered my body to help fluid control and that damaged my nerves.
My mother started crying thinking that she had caused it. Doctor said “nothing you could have done, he would have died if it wasn’t for that, you did fine”. So then he questioned my speech. He was amazed how well I spoke and so clearly, and asked where I learned about it. I mentioned learning cued speech and how well it has helped me to function in the Hearing World, and be able to talk and communicate well with hearing people too on top of lip reading and all. He described it as “spectacular” and was amazed and blown away.

After a couple more minutes he said “Alex, you are 100% a prime candidate for the cochlear implant, in fact if this goes through I’d love to see you go bilateral!” *thud* I nearly fell off the chair. I immediately thought of Abbie who probably would have squealed with delight hearing that news, or though maybe at the moment she’d be hearing it in the form of chipmunks, I digress…
He said we have to do another hearing test which we did later in the afternoon. He said I would probably be able to hear the water falls, horns honking, the wind, birds chirping in the morning. My mom started tearing up, and it was hard not to get flustered to hear this possibly happening for me. He added that he wished he met me when I was a lot younger but he said I will benefit from it now because I am able to communicate orally, and lip read and I am well tuned with hearing aids I would be ok and adjusted.

So with that I went to go take the hearing test. I failed, miserably, but that’s to be expected :) . I was given 50 words on each ear, and got 5 out of 50 right on right side, and 3 out of words on the left side. I am as deaf as I possibly could be! Some more tests were done, and we met back with the doctor. He said up to this point, everything is leading to a promising event of my getting the cochlear implant. He feels very strongly I’d benefit from it so with that, we scheduled another appointment for April 22nd to meet with the Cochlear Implant team and possibly get a CAT Scan also to check out the Cochlear too.
I am very excited at the possibilities of this so far, as soon as I got out of the hospital I became a busy bee texting Abbie a million questions about it all. She has been very helpful in directing me to some websites and people and I already have gotten a package so far to check things out.
I am excited for this possible new journey and cannot wait to see and HEAR the outcome of this all! I hope I soon become a Bionic Man! 


Paula Rosenthal said...

Hi, I just found your blog via Deaf Village. What an exciting time this is for you! My 13 year old daughter and I are both bilateral cochlear implant users after wearing hearing aids for years. Her first surgery was done in St. Louis by Dr. Rod Lusk who is in Nebraska now.

I loved the part in your bio where you say you listen to yourself and not all the others around you in the deaf, hearing, hard of hearing worlds. That's a great attitude! :) Best of luck in your upcoming journey. I'm looking forward to reading all about it.

Tar said...

Hello Alex,
It’s good to see from you again. I am quite surprised that you're getting cochlear implant. I really hope that you won't be different person for who you are.

I am strongly believed that ASL could be a huge impacts you to develop the communication with others. I am quite sadly to find out that you don't want to continue with ASL. I can respect your wish but you don't even realized that your virtue have been robbed or hide your identify.

We, people need to learn accept for who we are, God created all of us and doesn't mean cochlear implant will fix everything but instead of hide yourself from the world that we are here to challenge.

Cochlear Implant is the key to destroy the virtue of all us. You may not realize this but the truth. You’re young, its good chance for you to taking ASL classes rather than regret later in the life.
Think about it! Pal
Take cares… =)
- Tar

aa said...