Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Gadgets

We picked up Ben's new hearing equipment today. It comes in a fancy case that weighs more than Ben. As a bonus, kids get a super cute Koala (Cochlear equipment is made in Australia) with a toy processor Velcroed to it's head.
Dr. Don wants Ben to practice wearing his processor before it is activated. Mom and Dad need to practice putting it on over and over. We have tried several different options so far, but this kid is quick.

He can wear the entire processor on his ear like this:

Or we can take the battery pack off the back, attach a longer cord, and clip it to his body. This makes the portion that sits behind his ear shorter.

So far this, along with some tape, has worked best (staying on for the record of 30 seconds). Otherwise, each time he turns his head the bottom of the Behind The Ear brushes off on his shoulder. These things must have been designed for a kid with a neck. Hmmm...

We have some other options to try tomorrow. He is stubborn, but I think that may be something he inherited?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Little Trooper

Ben began his big day, December 23, at OHSU at 7:00 am. He won the hearts of all the nurses as he played and waited 3 hours for his surgery time.

After 4 hours of surgery and recovery, we were able to see him again. He had had trouble breathing and needed to be monitored a bit longer than usual. Hospital policy requires babies to eat before they are discharged. Ben refused. Reluctantly, after 12 hours in the hospital, we headed for home.

He finally ate at three the next morning and again at 8:00. Each time he generously shared his food by projecting it out and down the front of Daddy.

He perked up for his first Christmas eve at Grandma and Grandpa's.

This is his scar on day two. It's hard to see but the stitches actually go all the way around to the bottom of his ear. To the left of the stitches is a small dot. Under the dot is the internal magnet and processor.

By Christmas day, 48 hours after surgery, he was playing, eating and smiling. He is wobbly and has a hard time crawling, standing, and sitting up on his own. We have been told his balance will improve over time.

Overall, we have been impressed with Ben's recovery. Ten more days and he will be hearing for the first time in his right ear! He is quite the 'Little Trooper'.

Friday, December 11, 2009

This past week we spent another long day at Doernbecher. Ben was assessed by Speech Pathologist and a Cognitive Specialist. Their goal was to determine a baseline for Ben's language skills before he receives his implant. We will go back in a year and they will measure Ben's progress.

They were most impressed with Ben's signing. He will sign about 6 signs consistently. After a few minutes of torture in his highchair, I was able to record a few of Ben's favorites.

Ben signs Daddy ALL THE TIME.

This boy is all about food. He signs 'milk' when he wants a drink and throughout the day whenever he wants anything. 'More' and 'cracker' are his newest signs. Here he does both.

'Thank you' must be the cutest sign of all. Instead of tapping his chin he dramatically smacks his face.

The real heart breaker is when I rock him back to sleep in the middle of the night and he groggily signs 'mommy' over and over. I'd get up twice for that one.