Sunday, May 17, 2015

It's good to be Chance

The school year is almost done and Chance is getting ready to take finals this week.  Soccer is over and we attended the soccer awards ceremony last week.  One of the dads who has a son on the soccer team is starting a competitive soccer team that will practice during the summer and then play games in the fall. Chance is excited to be on this team and keep up on his soccer until the school soccer team starts the season again next spring. 

We will head back into the mountains for Implant Camp again!
Chance has an exciting summer ahead.  He will attend scout camp - swimming a mile in a lava hot springs pool, hike 10 miles around a lake and spend one day biking 100 miles.  He will also attend Cochlear Implant Camp with the family.  We went years ago when Chance was little and will now go back to visit our old stomping grounds.   Chance also will FLY TO HAWAII and spend most of July learning Mandarin.  Wow, Chance should have lots of fun and adventure this summer. Due to the fact that he will be gone for much of the month of June and July, it doesn't make sense for him to join swim team this year.  He has been on swim team for years and he really likes it, but this summer will hold new adventures. 
Remember this picture?  I think it was a sign that someday Chance would visit Hawaii.
Chance as he begins his overnight scouting adventures at age 12.
Chance preparing for his scout swim in a lava spring pool years and years and years ago.
Chance did a new thing today with his implant.  He was tired so he was walking around the house after waking up without his implants on and after sitting at the table eating with him not being able to hear, we asked him to put his implants on.

He did put them on, so we all conversed with him like normal, telling him about plans for the week, discussing how his cousin was coming to visit and generally just talking together as a family.  At some point, when he didn't respond like we thought he would to a funny thing that was said, we wondered aloud how Chance didn't seem to hear us.

THAT IS BECAUSE HE PUT THE IMPLANTS ON BUT DIDN'T TURN THEM ON!  What a goober. I guess he just wasn't ready to wake up all the way yet and figured that he would take it slow by first putting the implants on, and then after waiting a respectful amount of time, turning them on.  

Sheesh.  Now we have to worry about him hearing even when the implants are on his head.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What's in a stem cell?

The other night I was talking to Chance about stem cells and how many people feel that someday stem cells may be used to help restore hearing to those who are deaf.

Chance said, "I don't know that I would want my deafness fixed though.  There are like two downsides to being deaf and 70 upsides."

So what are the two downsides to being deaf you ask? You can't understand music right away and you have different experiences with activities like scuba diving that involve water.  You can do it, but it is not the same wearing an electronic implant as it is with regular hearing.

A few of the 70 upsides are:  You can go to sleep with out any sound especially on a camp out with grizzly bears attacking or nuclear bombs dropping....you just don't have to hear those things.

You can ignore people and take off your implants when you want to.  You have jurisdiction over what you hear.

You can make it look like you are charging your implants in class when you are really listening to music.

When you need silent, quiet thinking time, you can just take your implants off and not hear.

I can see Chance's point with some of these things.  Hearing the noises of nature can be relaxing and heighten your awareness when you are camping.  But if you hear strange noises and you start to imagine some wild animal could be joining your camp, then it would be nice to not hear those sounds and be able to sleep peacefully.

Ignoring people can be rude, BUT if you can turn your hearing off and not have to listen to people swearing up a storm or people being loud and rude.....that could be a bonus.

Making it look like you are charging your implants in class when you are actually listening to music.....who would do such a thing?  Perhaps teenagers being naughty in class:)

Being able to slip into a quiet silent world to give yourself time to think could be a lovely experience so I can see the appeal.

All in all, Chance doesn't mind being deaf.  Unlike some people who have other things they would like to see stem cells help, Chance isn't waiting on pins and needles for new developments that may give him the hearing he was born with back.  He is content being deaf.
A young Chance asleep in his blissful world of silence.