Monday, October 29, 2012

The grades are in

Chance (with 2 new implants) races his brother up the stairs.
To keep Chance caught up amidst the implant failure and surgery, his dad and I feel a bit like we are back in school.

This is mostly because of two things:  Chance began attending a school this year that expects a lot out of the students and Chance has missed quite a bit of class time.  And our little Chance is a perfectionist.  He wants to do it right.

Being a perfectionist is not a bad thing for Chance to be.  He has a natural drive to succeed.  He also gets stressed if he doesn't feel like he can do something right.

For instance, he came home the first week of school and said,"I only got a 92 percent on my math test!"
Then he flopped on the ground and  moaned,"I'm not going to get a 4.0 in this school."

O.K. then. It is important to note that unknown to Chance, this test ended up being a placement test to figure out what the students already knew and where they were in their knowledge of math.

We as his parents have not pushed Chance for perfection.  We were happy with the 92 percent actually. Good heavens, the boy is already taking 8th grade math in 7th grade, we as his parents are fine with his performance. Chance actually started out in 8th grade honors math, but due to the amount of school he missed due to surgery and appointments related to the surgery and the fact that his hearing was fluctuating, he was having tons of math homework to do and catch up on.  We figured he didn't need that much pressure while he was dealing with the implant failure, so he went into regular math 8.  Still a year ahead, but with some breathing room.  Math is one subject you don't want to get behind in.

Chance wants to do his best in all he does though and it bothers him to think that he won't be getting the grades he wants due to his implant surgery.  Therefore, Chance's dad and I have been staying up late and spending many hours working with him to help stay caught up.  Chance has some great teachers too, that have let him turn things in a little late when he has missed school. The school is usually really strict on turning in late homework assignments.

Chance has been working his little tail off to keep his grades up while losing hearing, gaining hearing again and getting used to a new implant.

He is my hero.

His drive to succeed seems to have paid off. .  Term grades just came out and Chance is a straight A student. In several classes he has 103-104 percent of possible points. He was very thorough in his work, usually got full points and then did extra credit.

He is happy.  We are happy.  And Chance can hear out of two ears now.

Life is good.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dr. Shelton's bedside manner

Chance's surgeon, while examining the scar on Chance's left side  from the original implant surgery, remarked that the scar was a little wide and had the nurse note that during the second surgery, they would narrow that scar.

Chance's scar after the first surgery
The scar may not seem like a big deal, it is not overly noticeable, but the fact that the surgeon was involved enough to care about the scar width spoke volumes to me.

This is a surgeon who cares not just about getting the job done, but the small things that may affect the patient.

Chance being a boy and all, means that he does not have long hair to cover his scars or implants.  I have seen girls with implants from the time they are tiny with hair that cascaded down and covers the implants so that you barely know they are there.

Chance's new scar (still fresh and healing)
Chance's implants are right out in the open, easily seen and noticeable.  A surgeon with a bedside manner that cares about such little things,  builds confidence that he will also be cognizant of the bigger things during surgery.

Dr. Shelton has been cognizant and has taken great care to line up the spots on the back of Chance's head where the magnets are attached.  We have had many comments through the years about how perfectly Chance's implants line up on the back his head.  The implants may not need to be perfectly aligned to function the way they need to, but it is nice to have someone care so much about the aesthetics.  Because the aesthetics are important to the recipient who will have these implants in place for the rest of their lives.

What perfect alignment looks like
A big thank you to Dr. Shelton, his skill in what he does, and his caring for the patient (and their mother) to get even the tiniest details right. Our family will be forever blessed by his talent and caring.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The unwinding

Once again we got to unwind Chance's implant bandages here in the comfort of our own home.  The first time we were unexpectedly made aware that the bandages were sticking to the wound and Chance's dad and I switched our roles at that point:  I started filming while his dad dealt with the wound:)
Chance is ready to unwind

You are sent home with a big old mummy wrap around your child's head, and then they tell you to take it off yourselves.

That is all well and good, but the first time we were unprepared for the fact that the bandages were sticking to the wound through blood.  I was doing the unwrapping at the time and Chance's dad was filming as we stood in the bathroom facing the mirror. Neither one of us was real excited to take the bandages off that were sticking. 

What if it ripped something open?

That is when we switched places and Chance's dad started unwinding the wound while I filmed:)

Getting up close and personal

It was explicitly written in our marriage vow that Chance's dad take care of all potentially painful parental duties and dead things.  He doesn't remember that part, but I do.
I wasn't sick or freaked out by the wound, I had tugged at the bandage a little and it was really stuck on there, and I was worried about doing damage.

Chance was watching this whole process in the mirror, so we didn't want to freak him out or hurt him.

So, now that it is time number three,  we just left those little sticky bandages that were stuck to the wound by blood on until they came off themselves a few days later.  

Those tiny bloody bandages underneath will just come
off when they are good and ready:)
Chance was fine with that, we were fine with that and we just let nature take it's course

We've learned a thing or two over time:)