Monday, December 24, 2012

People have questions, we have some answers

Sometimes when we are out and about, people will ask questions about Chance's implants.  This has been the case from the beginning.  People are curious at the park, the store, the zoo, the restaurant.....we have been approached in all of these places.

I am glad that people feel comfortable asking about Chance and his implants.  They usually have a personal interest for doing so such as their grandchild just got diagnosed with hearing loss, or they have a friend whose child is deaf etc.  Sometimes, people are just curious.  Most of the time they are hesitant at first, trying not to offend, but it has never been a big deal for our family.

My children once took advantage of the fact that a grandfather approached me in the frozen food section of the grocery store to ask about implants, and added items I don't usually buy into our cart. Chance was in on the deal too.
This grandfather had just found out that his grand daughter was deaf and wanted to know how I felt about the implants and if they had really helped Chance.  

Chance has implants and many people out there don't know exactly what they are and how they work.  Or if they really work that well at all.
Chance takes it all in stride.  He takes them off his head so people can see them or just talks to them and answers questions.  
I have asked Chance and it does not bother him to talk to people about  his implants.

I don't feel people are being rude when they ask about the implants, I would rather have them ask then just stare and wonder. Especially people who have young children in their lives who have hearing loss as most of us know next to nothing about hearing loss and deafness when the diagnosis is handed down to our families.

This week, Chance was at a college basketball game with some family and friends, when the people sitting in the row behind him, noticed Chance had implants and asked him how long he had had them.

When Chance told them six years, they said,"Wow! Only six years.  You talk great!"
It turns out this family has 5 year old triplets, two of which have implants.  They got their implants at six months of age.

The triplets were not at the game, but Chance talked to their parents about his implants and how he liked them.

It was always nice for us to see kids that were a little bit older with hearing aids and implants when Chance was younger so that we could get a glimpse of what the future may hold for Chance.  
Chance is now at a stage where he can give parents of little kids with deafness a glimpse of what the future of their implanted kids may hold.
And the possibilities are amazing!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We're mov'in on up

In case anyone is wondering, we have not yet found the remote. We are past the point of thinking it is just laying on some random surface of the house and has been overlooked.  Obviously, the little device has found a more obscure location to lodge itself. I would have included a picture of the remote in this post, but obviously that will have to wait.

 Did I mention that the remote costs $500.00 to replace?

We need that remote, and deep down, I think it needs us too.  After all, what good can it do if we can't use it?  Pray for us.

On the bright side, Chance just had another visit to his audiologist.  His left ear, which had been performing at about 30% is now scoring at 75% with 72% word recognition and 87% phonemes recognition.  Before the implant failure, he was scoring at about 85% in that left ear, so we are on the way back to normal.

To demonstrate what having a loss in one ear can do, I share an example from Chance's Sunday School class several weeks ago.  The teacher was talking about a man named Aaron.  Due to rowdy 12 year old boys and the sheer number in the classroom, Chance was having a hard time hearing, so he repeated back, Darrin?
His teacher said no, Aaron.

Chance said Saren?

His teacher said, "No, Aaron."

"Maron"  Chance asked.

His teacher said A-A-R-O-N with added emphasis, speaking slower and smacking his hand against his head. This was in no way intended as a slam on Chance, he is good friends with his teacher.  It was more exasperation at the noise level in the classroom.

"Oh AARON!"  Chance said laughing.

Having two fully working ears really does help:)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The remote

Chance is a responsible and organized boy which is a good thing.  Except, in the case of his remote for his implants, it was not enough.

We have lost the remote to Chance's implants. When we first realized that this new upgrade had a remote control, we immediately thought of the possibility of losing the remote.

We reasoned that Chance was older now and that should lessen the chance for a loss since he was old enough to be responsible and take care of his things.

We even designated a place in the house where the remote should go.....the implant drawer where batteries, stick ons(for the cover of the implant) and protective cases are kept.

We made it for a few months:)

We keep thinking the thing is going to turn up in some random place but so far it has kept itself well hidden.
Part of the problem, which we will be sure to address as soon as we actually find the dang thing, is that Chance tends to carry the remote around the house at night.

We need some sort of system like our phones have so we can page the remote.

The remote is awesome and a great tool to help change channels on the implant etc. and someday, we'll be able to utilize those options again.

Soon.  Hopefully soon.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Honor Roll

Just a little poem to express some of my feelings about our journey with my sweet son Chance.

      A Chance To Hear

There once was a young boy who could not hear,
he had been unable to express that he was deaf in both ears.

When the diagnosis was given, the doctors were leery,
what could they tell the boys parents who were shocked and weary?

Would this boy go to school with all of his peers,
would he ever regain the use of his ears?

Could he play sports and be active like his brother,
would he and his hearing cousins be able to bond with each other?

Would the neighborhood kids include him in their games,
could he hang out with his peers and feel just the same?

What would this boy be able to learn in school,
would he only communicate with other deaf people as a rule?

What were his possibilities for jobs and career,
would he be independent and interact with those that could hear?

Would his options in life be limited and created by others,
would his life be full of the same possibilities as  his brother?

How would this deaf boys life play out,
would he feel fullfilled and know what the world was about?

Would he realize that he was capable of anything he sent his mind to,
that he was smart, and could do anything anyone else could do?

Did he know how much he was loved even though he did not hear the expressions,
did he know  his parents were doing everything in their power to help him?

Did he feel when his mother held him that everything was going to be alright,
that together with his dad they would find what he needed no matter the fight?

Only time could tell what the boys future would hold,
everyone would have to wait and see what would unfold.

It soon became apparent that the boy was persistent,
he would work hard, over come, and be resistant.

After being behind his peers by two and a half years for many grades,
the boy  would begin to triumph and the gap would slowly begin to fade.

When his peers worked hard, the boy would work harder,
he was not content with just doing the minimum, he was determined to go farther.

After years of work, determination and incredible will,
the boy caught up and surpassed many of his peers and kept going still.

By junior high, and a failing implant that had to be replaced,
the boy was holding his own and moving at an accelerated pace.

As a sign of triumph and a testimony of what this boy could accomplish,
he completely immersed himself with his peers and caught  up from his early years

He had never given up and held strong to lofty goals,
and now a certificate from his school has let him know,

Despite all the obstacles, challenges and the unknown,
through the years the boy had persevered and grown,

And as just one of the tokens along the path has shown,
how far he has come, how far he has grown,

The boy brought home a certificate so that we all could know,