Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Surgery Date

Today we met with Dr. Alexiades to schedule Hannah's surgery. We've been planning for this day for months and months through countless hours of speech therapy and doctor appointments. Hannah will be bilaterally implanted on February 29, 2012 at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. This means we will be implanting both of Hannah's ears on the same day. There are pros and cons to doing this surgery sequentially or simultaneously, but we are committed to implanting both her ears (as two ears are better than one) and would rather have Hannah undergo one surgery. Our dream is to have Hannah able to hear her family and friends sing Happy Birthday to her when she turns one in May.
We went over Hannah's cat scan images and learned there weren't anything structurally wrong with her cochlea. This means Dr. Alexiades can insert the implant without any strange twists and hopefully the surgery will be smooth sailing.
As much as I was anxiously awaiting to know her surgery date, it still felt like a huge tug at my heart. She's still our little girl, she hasn't even blown out the candles of her first birthday cake and we just signed a surgery waiver and shook hands with her surgeon.
Once outside, we gave our little girl an extra-long hug and I took her to enjoy the unusually warm January afternoon. We headed to the swings and met up with our friend Abby.
We have just under a month to prepare, which includes a pre-surgery get-away to sunny Florida to visit Mom-mom and Pop-pop. I'm sure it will be nice to relax a bit before the big day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy New Year

Michael and I had a quiet New Year. We're keeping close to home lately, making the most of our family time together. We are so excited for the New Year and thrilled this will be the year Hannah will finally hear our voices. We can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and know she will soon sing along.
We've taken all the necessary pre-op testing at NYEE. She had to have hearing tests with Megan, her audiologist with NYEE.. The first one was an unaided hearing test, meaning Hannah again had ear plugs placed in her ears and she was taught how to look at a tiny bow in the corner with a silly frog playing the drum when she heard a sound. So with Hannah on my lap in the sound booth and Megan piping in the sounds and observing from the booth, it looked like Hannah was hearing a lot because she kept looking over. I've always hoped she would surprise everyone and she would ace these hearing tests. When Megan came to talk with us after the test, her findings were still consist with a profound hearing loss. It's just a constant pull at my heart and I wish these tests would just stop.
The following week Hannah took an aided hearing test, meaning she went into the sound booth and took the hearing test with her hearing aids. Like before, Megan would pipe in sounds and Hannah looked over at the silly frog in the corner. The findings said Hannah had a moderate hearing loss with the hearing aids on. This level was not sufficient, meaning Hannah's hearing aids weren't providing enough sound through their amplification, she was no eligible for a cochlear implant.
We also met with Liz, the director of hearing habilitation with NYEE, for a speech evaluation. Like Hannah's therapy sessions, Liz played with Hannah using toys to see what her hearing levels were and how she responded to sounds. Liz had a whole new flurry of toys for Hannah. I really liked the way Liz was with Hannah. She is stern and certainly has high expectations but has the experience to teach Hannah.
Finally, we went to Manhattan Diagnostic Radiology for Hannah's sedated cat scan. We need to have the cat scan before we meet with Dr. Alexiades. It will show Hannah's cochlear and it will become the roadmap on the day of her surgery. If there was any abnormalities with the cochlear, Dr. Alexiades would need to know so there aren't any surprises for Hannah's surgery.