Saturday, June 21, 2008

To hear or not to hear?

This is the device that was surgically insterted into my dad's head, permanently. The part with the Electronics Housing and magnet (the two circles) sit a couple inches above his ear. Then the 16 Electodes are wired into the Cochlea, which is in the very inner ear.

This is the attachment that you actually see. He got this in Black so it's less noticeable. So, the white and orange part is what rests on his ear. The piece right after the hook thing is the computer, amazing huh! Then the lower part of it is the battery, which only lasts 17 hours and is $150 just for one. They gave him 4 that he rotates and are rechargeable, but they only last about a year. Anyway, then the orange circle piece is what sticks onto the outside of his head. It is magnetic and sticks to the magnet that is inside the device that was put into his skull. If he takes that magnet piece off his head, he can't hear and once he puts it back in place, the sound is back. Pretty amazing!

This is my dad, my sister Jalyce (14), my sister Jamie (17), and my mom.
To hear or not to hear? That was the question running through our mind on Tuesday, June 17th. This was the day the doctors called "Hook-up Day". To us, this meant whether or not my dad's world would change for the better or worse. Well, after four long weeks of waiting, they finally "turned on" Dad's Cochlear Implant device. At first, he said that everyone sounded very robotic. But then, after about 10 minutes, he recognized Mom's voice. Yes...Dad could finally HEAR!! How truly amazing this was for him and our family! He still has quite a long road ahead of him, more check ups and tests, but the great news was that he could hear us talk. It has been so much fun seeing him be able to hear again and to see what he can hear right now and what he can't. Surprisingly, he cannot hear the T.V. right now, but he did hear his pill drop on the floor. At dinner that night, he was tapping his fork on his plate, just to hear it again. He crinkled up a paper, just to hear it again. When he went to wash his hands after being able to hear, and heard nothing, but then after about 15 seconds, he heard the water running. Fifteen seconds was all it took for his brain to remember what it sounded like. So, he turned off the water and back on again to see if he heard it instantly, or if it would take it a few seconds to register again. So, he turned it on and instantly heard it. The brain is truly amazing. The doctors say it will take a little longer before he can hear the T.V. because there is so much going on and it's not constant. If he were to watch a familiar actor talk or a familiar movie, he may be able to pick up on that. They say after about 2 months of adjusting the device, he'll hear the max that he can. We're so excited and so very thankful that he was given this second opportunity to hear again. It's a miracle and we thank our Heavenly Father for blessing my Dad, and for the technology advancements we have today. We've been so blessed these last six months, I can't even describe my feelings and gratitude. Oh, and my dad is able to hear people talk on the phone, the land line is a lot better and clearer, but this is very exciting! Even when he had his hearing aides, he wasn't able to hear very well on the phone. Dad said that he is able to hear clearer than he ever had with hearing aides, isn't that awesome! His quality of hearing has already improved and it's only been a few days, and is only going to improve! HOORAY for second chances!!


NancyT said...

What an amazing story. I am so happy for your dad and your family!

Edgingtons said...

Wow that really is amazing and so happy for your dad and your family! It is true, we never realize what we have usually until we don't have glad it is all working out for him!
ps love the new truck!

David & Katie said...

Darci! I am SO glad that the surgery was a success!!! Now your dad will be able to hear your baby's first cry, and second, and third...ha ha! :O)

Hey I have some questions about cosmetology me when you get a chance!

Four Jedi said...

I am so glad to hear that things are better for your dad. Hooray for modern medicine!! What a miracle!!

Tyler and ShaeLee May said...

Hey Darci,
I've been reading through your blog and all I can say is WOW! I can't believe everything you and your family has gone through. I'm so sorry. Congrats on getting pregnant. That's so exciting. How long have you had the thyroid problem? That's amazing that you've gotten through all this. My heart really goes out to you and your family. Give my best to your dad.