Sunday, October 5, 2008

Activation Day

Friday, October 3rd was activation day. What a day! That morning we met with Dr. Syms so he could take a look at her incisions and clear her to go to Sunshine Cottage to be "turned on". Everything went well and we will return to see him on the 17th.

We had a few hours to kill in San Antonio before our 2:30 appointment so my mom, Bryan, Courtney and I had lunch and bought an internal battery for our video camera so we could capture the moment. We thought we had all of this time until one hour before the big moment we turned on the video camera and saw nothing but a black screen! Thank goodness for Best Buy!! By 2:10pm we were plugged in and charging up our new camcorder!!

We all felt pretty emotional walking into Sunshine Cottage. I became flooded with many of the same emotions I had the first day Bryan and I went there with Courtney. It all seemed surreal again. I felt my emotions brewing. I didn't want to have high expectations in the event that she didn't respond at all or cried, I just was unsure about it all. At the same time, I couldn't believe in 3 short months all that had happened. My mom finally was able to experience and feel the hope that this little school for deaf children gave us. She was touched by the "normal" chatter and excitement of a Friday at an elementary school. It definitely wasn't quiet!

There were 7 of us in the little tiny audiology office for Courtney's big day. I wasn't sure where to watch or what to do, but luckily they have a mirror so we could see her face no matter where we were sitting. Before we began we were informed that all 22 electrodes were in and all 22 functioning!! Very good! After a few adjustments on the computer, Jacque, our audiologist, told us she may hear something. She did and we absolutely scared her to death. I didn't know if I should cry with her because she was so scared or cry because I was so happy she was hearing something! I was able to keep my composure and we all were told to put our happy faces on while Jacque adjusted the levels.

Besides it being totally impossible to keep the processors on, Courtney did absolutely amazing! We were able to do the first mapping of the right ear and will return on Wednesday to do the left. After about 2 hours into it and all of us pointing to our ears when we heard the sound and then to the screen to start conditioning her, that little girl heard something and pointed her little finger all by herself to the screen. At first we thought it was a fluke, but then she kept doing it, it was AMAZING!

After about 3 hours of mapping she was exhausted, we all were. By this point overwhelmed was an understatement! Saturday didn't go so well and we only were able to keep the CIs on for 2.5 hours. Today, however, was great! A little toupee tape goes a long way! Courtney is so little that none of the baby accoutrements fit her, but we are hopeful that once her incisions heal it will get a little easier.

Here are a few pictures from post op to today!


elizabeth said...

Happy Hearing Birthday!!!

Bill and Shelly said...

That is so great!! This really takes me back to when Allison was activated for the 1st time, and then we threw her into the fire by taking her to Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party that night. Talk about trail by fire. :-)
It will be amazing how fast she will be picking up sounds. This is just the start of an amazing journey!
So happy for you.

leahlefler said...

Happy hearing birthday to Courtney! What a great day!

Laurie said...

What a great start! Glad to "hear" she is responding well already!

I LOVED her pictures! I can't believe she was upside down after her surgery. . . I had vertigo issues for at least a month after mine.

Looking forward to how Courtney does with the other ear!

Melissa said...

Great news. I am so happy that she responded to noise. And that she was pointing to the screen. She will hear and respoind to everything in no time. Great Job Courtney. I love the bows on the ear covers! cant wait to hear how the 2nd ear does. :) Happy faces all over here at our home :) :) :) :) :)

Dave said...

Happy Hearing!
Amazing and heart lifting.
Thank you for sharing this.


Dustin, Heather and Gavin said...

Wow! I'm so happy for you guys. One week after surgery she got Activited! In Utah Kids have to wait a month to be turn on. Gavin is doing so well. He is so awesome! He says at least two new words a day! I'm floored! I'm so excited Gavin and Courtney! As well as other Kids with implants! I know your daughter will do just as well! She is such a Doll!

Robin Kinnard said...

Oh, Joy! It will be a song worth celebrating tomorrow! We will join you and sing Happy Birthday from California. Karen, your wonderful blogs bring back such memories from Christy's many cleft pallate surgeries... so weird to hand your baby over. Great songs, Bryan, not bad for such a kid! With love and prayers of praise, The Kinnards