Monday, September 26, 2016

Hearing loss......again.

Chance's brother Ammon is experiencing more hearing loss.  We thought we had gotten a grip on the falling hearing loss that hit him about 2 years ago. We got the implant in one ear and just bought a new hearing aid for the other ear a few weeks ago. 
 It turns out that whatever causes the hearing loss is back. When we went in for our audiological appointment a few weeks ago, I told the audiologist that Ammon has been asking me "what" much more often lately and that he didn't seem to be hearing as well. The first thing they checked was his implant. His implant seemed to be working just fine and when we went into the hearing booth, Ammon heard well.
Then they had Ammon take his implant off and just use his hearing aid in the hearing booth. Ammon likes me to be in the booth with him when he has hearing tests so I am almost always there when they test his hearing. It is always a bit interesting for me when I am sitting in the booth listening and hearing the sentences and words coming from the audiologist through a speaker and then realizing that while I am hearing what is being said, my son is not.  At one point during this last appointment, Ammon turned to me in the booth and shrugged because he had no guesses as to what was being said. I could hear everything. I always have to put on a poker face and give no indication  if what Ammon repeats after the words or sentences is correct or incorrect. My heart sinks a little when I realize that he is not hearing what is being said or seems to be hearing less than he did before.

The loss is in Ammon's hearing aid side explains why he has been asking me what more often lately.  It is true that he has an implant, but Ammon really likes that hearing aided ear. When he first got the implant, he would turn his head so that his hearing aid was facing me if we were in a noisy environment. I think he really feels the loss of hearing in that ear. The audiologist says that Ammon is truly a bilateral kid, relying on both ears to hear.
Ammon doesn't really complain about his hearing loss or things related to it. The day before we went in to see the audiologist, Ammon mentioned that he is dizzy most of the time and that only when he is playing does he not notice it as much. I think playing with friends distracts him enough so that he doesn't feel it as much, but when he is trying to do school work, or is just sitting quietly, he notices that the dizziness is there.  At the audiologists office, Ammon also mentioned that along with dizziness, he gets headaches too. He didn't tell us this stuff was going on, and when he did mention the dizziness, I was glad that we were going in to see the audiologists because if Ammon mentioned it, that means that it really must be impacting him.
So, here we go on the journey again.  The audiologist says he thinks the hearing will just continue to fall just like his other ear did.  Ammon is already in cochlear implant range as far as hearing, but our audiologist says that we should keep the hearing aid as long as it will work because there are advantages that come with having both kinds of hearing.  So we will watch and see what happens now.  We got the hearing aid programmed to match the new loss.  We are keeping an eye on the hearing and will go back to the audiologist in the next few months to check the hearing again.  Sooner if we need to.
Right now, we just wait and see what happens. Whatever is causing the hearing loss is back again and no one knows why it is happening. We are buckling up for the journey again.  We don't know where exactly we will end up, but we know that if the hearing continues to fall, there will most likely be another cochlear implant in our future.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Water polo/soccer

We went down south this weekend to see Chance's grandparents.  There is a river by their house that the kids love to play in and this time, we had some skim boards that the kids could use to play on. We only had two boards though, so in between turns, Chance and his brother came up with a game that is a mix between soccer and water polo.

Of course Chance brought his soccer ball to the river, who doesn't? Soccer balls are really good at floating and a few times I grabbed the ball when it started to make a break for downstream.

The boys were having a great time playing the game and it was very entertaining to watch. There were goals, but it was really hard to tell where they were since we were all standing in the middle of a silt filled river. The river was a brown color from all of the sand that the water was carrying. The river is surrounded by beautiful red rocks so the sand is a reddish brown color and it seeps into everything. Your shoes and swimming suits carry home some sand whether you want them to or not.  For this reason Chance elected not to wear his implants at the river since sandy implants do not perform at optimal levels.  This made the soccer/polo game even more interesting since Chance couldn't hear, but he and his brother worked it all out.  Chance used his amazing lip reading skills and as brothers they have their own special language anyway.

The water is a very pleasant temperature and is quite shallow in most places which makes it fun to play in.

The River

The boys discuss the rules to their new soccer/polo game

Chance goes after the floating ball to catch it before it gets into his goal

Fancy footwork 

Rerouting the ball away from the goal

Chance found a friend at his grandparents house and it hitched a ride on his hoodie

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chance as you know has been talking to the rest of us in Mandarin for a while now. The fact that nobody in the family knows Mandarin but Chance doesn't  bother him in the least.  I do have to say though, that since Chance uses certain words all of the time, sometimes I can figure out what he may be saying.  I don't think I could engage in a conversation with a native Mandarin speaker, but if they said hello to me or said goodnight, I might get the gist of what they were saying.
Chance added a new aspect to our Mandarin experience this week. I sat down and realized that Chance was watching a Chinese movie he had found on Netflix. The movie had English subtitles but Chance expressed that Netflix needed to have a better understanding of which language they decided to list.  The movie itself was actually in Cantonese but Netflix said the language was Mandarin in the explanation.  Furthermore, there were several times when the movie would show books that people were reading and the books were written in Mandarin.
Chance wanted a bit more continuity.  I made Chance turn the movie off to save for later viewing because a city was being ravaged by giant scary creatures and this was a bit intense for his younger siblings.
Maybe we should all start watching more movies in Mandarin with subtitles with Chance.  As long as the movie description is truthful about which language is being spoken and there are not scary beasts involved.

Chance finishing his Mandarin/Cantonese movie on the laptop. 

Monday, September 05, 2016

Chance can drive by himself!!

Well, it is official.  Three year old little Chance can now drive. Did I say three? Maybe it just seems like he should still be three, time just flies by so fast.

Chance feels like he has had his learners permit forever, and since his birthday is in May, many of his peers in school have had their drivers licenses already for months. It is true that Chance could have taken the driver's education class earlier, before his birthday, but it worked out in the schedule that Chance took a summer session of driver's education.  Many schools in our area offer this class as an elective that the kids can choose to take in school. Chance attends a charter school so driver's ed is not taught on campus and is instead offered by a private driving school.

Whatever route he took to get there, Chance's journey to get his driver's license is now complete. Chance has passed this rite of passage and now has the power to get himself to places without having to have a parent along for the drive. Alas, he doesn't have his own car, so he uses family cars to drive around, but he still gets in plenty of drive time. Chance now drives to school and back with his little sister, and he has a job he is working at for the next few weeks that he can get himself to and from.

Chance can also get himself to soccer practice which makes him very happy as he isn't waiting on family members to come and get him after practice.

Chance can also now drive himself and a date to places, which is an important stepping stone in a teenage boys' life.

He can also run errands to the store for his mom.  That is one of my favorite parts of Chance having a driver's license.

When we walked out of the Department of Motor Vehicle Department after Chance had acquired his license, Chance had a request.  He wanted to drive home solo.  I think he took the long way home too, as the rest of us got home long before Chance did.  He took the canyon route home. Except that you don't go through the canyon to get to our house.  Chance went past our house, and then up the canyon just so he could feel the wind on his face as he drove alone for the first time with the windows down.

When Chance got home, he said he expected to feel a lot different driving by himself. He didn't. Oh well, Chance now has some newfound independence with his ability to drive. And he loves it.

And he's off!