Sunday, April 22, 2012

11 Months, Left Ear Activation and Near Perfection on the Right

Hannah turned 11 months on Friday, hard to believe. I can already start to feel the wave of emotions as I think about her first year coming to a close. 
Hannah is 11 months

We started the day with Megan, Hannah's audiologist. It was a two-part appointment as we missed the third mapping earlier in the week when Hannah was sick. The first part was to officially test and see where Hannah's hearing stood after a month of wearing her implant. To do this, Megan felt Hannah was ready to go into a hearing booth. Then after her right ear was tested and mapped, we were going to finally activate her left ear, almost two months after her surgery. 

Megan wanted to see how Hannah would do in a sound booth since she responded so well during the first two mappings. Hannah sat on my lap and listened to a series of different beeps and sounds that were piped directly into her implant. This was a more controlled setting than the previous mappings and would give a more clear picture of how Hannah was hearing and how softly Hannah could hear. Hannah did really well, turning to looking at the drumming panda in the box like she did during the mapping sessions. When it was over, Megan came into the room with a huge smile, saying she was really pleased. 

Megan showed us Hannah's audiogram, a graph that shows the softest sounds a person can hear at different pitches or frequencies. Hannah is now hearing almost at normal levels in her right ear! It is in the upper range of the hearing banana. She was now hearing between 20 and 30 decibels with her cochlear implants, from 50-70 with her hearing aids and 90-110 unaided. What this means is that Hannah could now hear all the sounds in the speech banana, from the low to the highs and everything in between. Needless to say, I cried. This is a true miracle.

To see Hannah's unaided audiogram, click here. To see Hannah's new audiogram with the cochlear implants, click here

After, the right ear, Hannah's left ear was activated much like her right ear. Hannah's right ear processor was now removed and Megan only worked on her left one. After various tones piped directly into her left implant to test Hannah's threshold on the left side, the base levels were set and we will gradually bump up the sound on the left side during the week while only tweaking the right. Here's a small sampling of her left ear activation. Note in the video how Hannah's says "Up" when she drops a toy. She's such a smart cookie.

Hannah now has two Neptunes - two headmics and two processors attached to her tiny body. It's a lot of equipment, it's a lot of times they fall off. But we are seeing our little girl come alive with sound and it is glorious. 

Afterwards, Hannah and I headed uptown to visit Grandpa in the hospital where he was recouping from hip replacement surgery that morning. Hannah, you sure brought a smile to my Daddy's face!

1 comment:

  1. The video of Hannah saying "up" sure did bring tears to my eyes. Jen and Michael have gone through so much work and effort to bring Hannah to this day. Hannah, you're a remarkable little girl who will grow into a remarkable woman. These are only the first steps on your amazing journey.