Isabella Then and Now

It’s been four years since SJ got the priceless gift of her very own American Girl Doll.


You can read the whole story here, but basically I wanted to get her a doll that could have hearing aids but knew there was no way I could afford an American Girl Doll. So, I posted this ISO on Facebook Market Place and received an overwhelming response.

I was just praying I could find a USED American Girl doll that I could afford and God provided above and beyond that! I received an American Girl Doll still in the box from a stranger which I was able to gift to SJ on her birthday.

It was the best birthday gift ever! The first year was really sweet and my mom brought SJ and Isabella to the American Girl doll hospital at the Mall of American in Minneapolis and she got hearing aids.

It could have ended there and it would have been worth it, but the fact is four years later she still loves her doll. It’s been such a treasure to watch her grow and change and still cherish Isabella. She’s 11 now and just got some new accessories for her birthday.

I know this imaginative play won’t last forever so I am documenting it while I can! Here are some of my favorite snap shots of SJ and Isabella throughout the years.


























Look at how little SJ was when she was 7! Someone get me the tissues!

Here are a few other special memories with Isabella.

Isabella doesn’t go with her everywhere, but she’s been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit in her four years.



She’s been known to wear Elle and SJ’s old baby clothes.

Oh and you’ve gotta love the bows. 

They’ve had their fair share of matching outfits.

The dress in this Christmas photo was actually SJ’s when she was a baby.

Isabella was there when the world shut down and the kids suddenly had to do distance learning (SJ’s on a zoom call in this photo).

Spotted this scooter at a yard sale this past summer.

When you homeschool sometimes you have to do your school work at the car dealership while your mom is getting the oil changed.

SJ has made so many cool things for her doll and I wish I photographed more of them but here is a stage made out of a pizza box and the mic stand is adjustable!

I wish you could peek inside and see all of the details of this little bedroom that SJ made.

This year Elle got a My Life doll and so that’s been a lot of fun for these sisters.

Up in the tree house

Reading time!

Time for bed.

It’s been a fun four years.


By |2023-06-12T06:19:36+00:00April 14, 2021|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Wonder: The Books, The Movie, and The Real Life People


We’re Big Wonder Fans!

Z and I both read Wonder over the summer and fell in love with Auggie, his family, and the characters that R.J. Palacio created in her New York Times Best Seller.


It really hit home for me on a  personal level because not only do I have a special needs child, but I also have hearing aids. When Auggie describes his experience of getting hearing aids for the first time and hearing the white noise become quiet I knew exactly what he was talking about. I’ve experienced that! The part about genetics was really insightful too and describes our situation well in terms of deafness.

Z really loved the book and it’s perfect for his age group (he is 10). A lot of people have asked me about if there is any questionable material for younger children. There were a couple things in the book and movie that involve a tiny bit of kissing (the older sister and her boyfriend) or a secular worldview implying that what we experience is all because of the universe. None of it was heavy or pushy at all, but if you are really sensitive to stuff like that, as I can be, it’s nice to know about it ahead of time. Also, the book talks briefly about girls who are flat. It was so subtle I wasn’t even sure if they were referring to girls chests or not, but it is in there. Nothing shocking I can assure you!

We loved the book so much Z was the one that begged me to check out Auggie and Me.


Wonder is written from different perspectives throughout the book. Auggie and Me is not a sequel but it gives more side stories that are related to the book. I personally LOVED Auggie and Me. Julian’s story was incredible. It was so heartfelt and deep. I won’t give any spoilers but it brought up some great discussions for Z and I. Some of the parts he brushed over and didn’t really get as emotional about allowed me to explain to him what happened in this part of our world’s history, why it was so horrific and why we need to remember the lives lost.

Okay, next up is Wonder Boy.


When I saw that 20/20 was doing a segment about a real boy that had the same kind of cranial deformities as Auggie I knew I wanted Z to see it. I warned him that while the movie was fake and made up by Hollywood costumes and makeup, the disorder is real and this is what it really looks like to be impacted by it. The show was extremely touching and informative. I learned a lot from watching it and if you have some kind of cable provider you can still watch the segment online. It is really good!

Lastly, Z and I had our annual mother-son outing on Sunday. We’ve been counting down the days until we could see Wonder on the big screen.img_0500

 I’ll be honest, the whole movie from start to finish was one giant tear fest for me.


I cried probably a dozen times. I don’t think other people will cry that much but it really affected me. The very first part is about Auggie going to mainstream school for the first time in his life and how nervous his mom is. In just 9 months I am going to be in that same position sending SJ to mainstream school for the first time in her life, so that scene hit me like a ton of bricks. I did laugh throughout the movie too and I clapped at the end with the rest of the audience in our theater. Z and I both agree that the book is better because there is just no way to cover all the material from the book in two hours. In fact, the hearing aids are one of the things they cut out. It was still a good representation of the book though. They stayed true to the original story.

At the end of the movie Auggie is graduating and his parents (played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) are sitting in the crowd. Z leaned over to me during this part and says Hey! There is the author! I turned toward him a little bothered that he was interrupting another crying scene. What? I whispered back. It’s RJ Palacio in the movie! Z said pointing to the screen. Then I saw her too. I was impressed that Z picked up on that. R.J. Palacio’s photo is in the back of the book and she is interviewed in the 20/20 segment, but I would have never noticed her cameo appearance.

So I googled it later and wouldn’t you know I can not find a single shred of evidence that the author of Wonder makes a cameo appearance in the movie. But check out these pictures and tell me that’s not her!


This image released by Lionsgate shows Julia Roberts, left, and Owen Wilson in a scene from "Wonder." (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

This image released by Lionsgate shows Julia Roberts, left, and Owen Wilson in a scene from “Wonder.” (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)



RJ Palacio the author of Wonder

If it’s not her, then it’s a look-alike that’s for sure!


Between book one, book two, the Wonder Boy and the movie, I think it is evident that we are pretty big Wonder fans. When my other kids are a little older I plan to introduce it to them too! 

By |2023-06-12T06:19:49+00:00November 24, 2017|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Meet Isabella



For SJ’s birthday this year I thought it would be really special if she got an American Girl doll and and then we could take the doll to the American Girl Doll Hospital for hearing aids. The problem is I knew we couldn’t afford an American Girl doll right now. Normally I would just buy second hand, but even then I couldn’t find one anywhere near my price range. You can hardly touch them for under $75.

So I had this wild idea to post an ISO on some yard sale sites on Facebook.



And the response was INCREDIBLE. Strangers were sharing my post and contacting friends and offering dolls left and right. I could hardly keep up with the outpouring of generosity!  I had one lady send me a private message saying that she was deaf in one ear and really wanted to give a doll to my daughter. She said that she would let me choose one from the three that she owns STILL IN THE BOX! I tried to refuse her offer telling her it was too generous. How could I accept such a personal and valuable gift from someone I don’t even know? She told me it was what she wanted to do and the doll needed to be played with. In almost no time at all I met up with her and gave her a huge hug while expressing my deepest gratitude.


Then the doll waited  and waited quietly in my closet until the big day final came. The gift bag was so big we had to move it from the table to the floor so that our little birthday girl could reach inside. As SJ pulled out the doll she instantly fell in love with her new friend.


I explained how her name is Isabelle and that she is going to get hearing aids. SJ calls her Isabella because she told me there is a girl named Isabella at her school who has cochlear implants.


It’s only day three of having Isabella and SJ has hardly let her leave her side. Sometimes I mistakenly call her a doll and SJ will correct me saying “She is not a baby. She is not a doll. She is Isabella.”

It’s been really sweet to watch and later this week SJ and Isabella will take a trip with Mémé (my mom) to go to the American Girl Doll store at The Mall of America.


The original idea of having hearing aids put in on the spot fizzled out when I learned that it doesn’t work that way. You have to ship the doll to the AG hospital which is not located in the store and then they will ship her back. That’s okay though, we still plan to do that and the outcome will be the same.

On top of all that I am wanting to start a non-profit for special needs girls that have hearing aids, or a wheel chair, arm crutches, a service dog etc. to be able to get a doll that they can relate to. All of these disability accessories that I have mentioned are offered through American Girl. Just think of all the dolls that need a new loving home that could be donated to girls that would otherwise never be able to have a doll that shared their uniqueness.

There is still so much that would have to happen to set up a doll sharing program for special needs girls, but I just can’t shake the idea so I do believe that it is something the Lord placed in my lap.

I want to give a special thanks to the two women that donated dolls already and for the many others that were willing to. These days “feel good stories” are hard to come by in this divisive political climate, but I am encouraged to know that there are still so many people out there whose hearts are overflowing with kindness. This whole experience has been such a blessing and I am encouraged to never stop paying it forward.


By |2023-06-12T06:20:00+00:00March 6, 2017|Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Special Needs|1 Comment

15 Months Old With Hearing Aids

Elle is now 15 months old and has had hearing aids for almost a month. Have you seen any of those viral videos of babies hearing for the first time with hearing aids or cochlear implants? They are always so sweet and touching. Elle was not hearing for the first time when she got her hearing aids, but she was hearing differently (and improved) so I had my video camera ready. Here is a screen shot from that video.




She never cried. She just scowled. She gave her notorious stink eyes to everybody in the room. I should have known then that we were going to have a long road ahead of us.

SJ had hearing aids when she was two and they didn’t work for her at all because she had such profound hearing loss. She quickly progressed to cochlear implants. Elle’s hearing loss is not the same as SJ’s. They are both genetic and they both have the same parents, but Elle has mild hearing loss which she gets from me. She hears sounds and even speech, but she is missing out on some of the softer sounds like “s” “f” and “sh”. So the hearing aids help with picking up on the sounds that she is missing and making the ones she does hear more crisp and less muffled.



That means that all of the girls in our family of six have hearing loss and we all have hearing devices.



Elle and I have Phonak hearing aids and SJ has Cochlear Americas Cochlear Implant.




Unfortunately they all three take DIFFERENT batteries. Go figure. Making sure we have batteries charged, changed, or in stock is just one of the many hurdles we face having children with hearing loss. It does get easier with time, but having a baby or a toddler with hearing aids takes a lot of work!



Elle doesn’t seem to mind wearing them, but at the same time she does like to mess with them and rarely leaves them alone.


After a week of struggling to keep them on we went to Hanna Andersson in the mall to get some pilot caps. These hats aren’t made specifically for hearing loss, but the pilot cap is perfect for keeping the hearing aids on while the child is still training.


The problem is, Elle can still get the hearing aids off even when she wears the cap. So it may not be the ultimate solution, but it’s a significant help. She messes with the hearing aids a lot less, when she is wearing the pilot cap.



We have had some VERY scary close calls with lost hearing aids in the past month. I think I am going to look like I am 90 years old by the time Elle is trained to wear them. That is how stressful it is. I compare it to having a child that has to wear socks every waking hour, and each sock costs a thousand dollars. Now if you are anything like me your baby kicks off or takes off their socks all the time and they inventibly get lost. It’s annoying when it’s $2 socks, but with hearing aids it’s ulcer worthy.

Time marches on though and I know that we will get through this. Elle still isn’t really talking much yet and is considered delayed at this point. I am sure all of this effort will be worth it in the long run.

As I type this Elle is napping in the other room so she is not wearing her hearing aids, but she did manage to loose one (with the cap on) before she went to bed so I guess I’ll go search the house. AGAIN. Wish me luck. toddler-with-pilot-cap

By |2023-06-12T06:18:20+00:00February 24, 2017|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Update on Elle’s Hearing Aids

This time last year I was already starting to make new years resolutions (or reservations as Z calls it). Except all of my big plans for 2016 came to a screeching halt when on December 18th Elle was diagnosed with hearing loss. I was devastated. Even though her hearing loss was shown as mild at the time we knew from experience that she was more than likely going to be deaf like her sister. No one knew for sure, but the entire team agreed it made the most logical sense.


The word that the Lord gave me for that season was NEXT, as in “Just Do The Next Right Thing”. I had so many ideas and aspirations that had to take a backseat at that time. All of my focus was on Elle and getting her the treatment she needed. The Doctors, schools, and early interventionist were calling and I was preparing for the long haul. Except as you know if you’ve followed our story, Elle does NOT have the same form of hearing loss as SJ. This news was like an enormous boulder being lifted off of me. It’s life changing for our whole family because since Elle is not deaf we don’t need to figure out a way to pay for her treatment/schooling or live near the deaf school for an unknown amount of time. We would have been fine and if that were God’s plan I would trust Him as I always do, but I am so so so grateful that we don’t have to walk through that again.

Still, I do not want to overlook the fact that Elle does have some hearing loss and it needs to be taken seriously. Her audiologist recommended holding off on hearing aids until she was upright. She can hear MOST things, so it wasn’t urgent that she be aided. In her case it probably would have been more harm than good to try to keep hearing aids on in the early months of development. Here we are a year later and Elle is definitely upright and learning to talk. So it’s time to move forward with the hearing amplification.


She has been tested several times to get an accurate reading for her audiogram so that the hearing aids can be set appropriately. Yesterday after the test I sat down with the audiologist to go over the final results and talk about treatment.

Elle can hear almost everything that a normal hearing person can. If a phone rings, or someone calls her name or plays peek-a-boo she can hear all of it. The part she is lacking is the highest frequencies, or as I was told “the crispness” of sound. That means she doesn’t hear the f, s, and th speech sounds. That is why hearing aids weren’t really important until the stage where she is learning to speak. The ball is rolling now with getting the hearing aids and we will have another appointment to get her fitted at the beginning of the year when school starts back up.


She will also continue to have speech therapy once a month per my request. She technically doesn’t fall into the qualifying parameters because she is age appropriate. She responds to simple commands and she can say uh-oh, mama, and sometimes bye bye. But because of her medical diagnosis she is automatically eligible and I said YES, let’s continue. After what I have been through with SJ, and even Ezie is in speech therapy now I feel like it won’t hurt to have more eyes on her making sure she’s on the right track.

So that’s the latest. I appreciate all of the prayers and support. I’ll post pics and updates again in 2017 when she gets her new aids. Here is a pic of her napping in the car. It doesn’t get any cuter.


By |2023-06-12T06:18:29+00:00December 8, 2016|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|1 Comment

My Personal Hearing Loss Story


This might be a bit of a bore, but I just got hearing aids and there are a lot of people shocked to learn that I have hearing loss. Shoot, even I am a little surprised in some ways. So here is the story start to finish.

When I was a little girl my parents took me in for a hearing test because it didn’t seem like I was responding as well as I should. At the time I was diagnosed with stubborn toddler syndrome. In other words there was no sign of hearing loss.

messy mom genetic hearing loss

I never struggled in school or carrying on a conversation so the idea of hearing loss didn’t come up again. In high school I realized that I couldn’t hear really high pitches that my friends could hear, but that’s not a big deal.

When I was 20 (2002) I had a bad episode of vertigo and experienced ringing and stuffiness in my left ear.

messy mom hearing loss

I expected it to subside, but when it didn’t I found an ENT and had a hearing test done. Their report showed mild hearing loss, but I was told there was no remedy and to just play music to distract me from the ringing. It was such a discouraging consultation considering I had no insurance at the time and shelled out $350 for the exam. I just wanted some answers. I wanted help. 

Fast forward about 10 years (2012) and my daughter SJ was diagnosed deaf.

deaf and hard of hearing

Her hearing loss is genetic, but we were told that J and I are both carriers of the genetic mutation. So it’s recessive. We have no history of deafness in our families.

In the mean time my hearing seemed worse, but I put my needs on the back burner. I thought maybe I was imagining it because there was so much focus on hearing loss in our home. I was always misunderstanding people or not hearing them at all. One day my sister in law asked if I ever considered getting hearing aids. I dismissed it because compared to SJ I was hearing just fine. I was in denial.

However three years later (in early 2015) I bit the bullet and decided I would have another hearing test done. I went to a GP who referred me to an audiologist. The audiologist tested me in a sound booth and the results showed that I had moderate to severe hearing loss on the left and mild on the right. I had so many questions for the audiologist, but she had no answers. She said that I needed to see a different doctor. They told me they would call me and they never did. I could have followed up and been more assertive, but I had three children plus one on the way and again I put my needs on the back burner. 

After Elle was born she failed the newborn hearing screening. I swore she could hear because she flinched and startled to noise. Yet she failed the screening over and over again. Sadly, I knew this meant she would eventually be deaf like her sister. HOWEVER, the genetic test (which takes about 6 weeks for results by the way) showed that her hearing loss is different than SJ! Her hearing loss is still genetic, but it’s generally a mild hearing loss. None of us saw that coming. The geneticist said the only way this is even possible is if either the mother or father also have this hearing loss. I voluntarily suggested that it was me. Basically between SJ’s DNA and Elle’s DNA they uncovered the missing link to my hearing loss mystery. So they ordered a genetic test for me just to be sure. I got it back a couple weeks ago and it confirmed that I do in fact have hearing loss due to genetic mutation (I know that sounds weird). I asked about why it didn’t show up as a real problem until later in life and so far no one has an answer for that.

mild hearing loss

Regardless, now that I had it in writing with DNA evidence I was ready to do something about it.  I went back to the same doctor, and was sent to another doctor, and then to the audiologist and was tested AGAIN and FINALLY got my hearing aids. So even though it looks like this diagnosis and treatment came from out of nowhere it’s kind of been leading up to this point for a long time. 

So that’s the back story. I have a daughter who is deaf, a daughter who has mild hearing loss, and between the two of them I finally recognized that I have moderate hearing loss.

genetic hearing loss messy mom

Of course everyone wants to know if it’s related to gender at all, but it’s not. That part is completely coincidental.

I am still getting used to the devices, but I do feel like I can hear a lot better with them. That does not mean that I hear perfectly though, so please be patient with me if I am not understanding or if I have to ask you to repeat yourself. Thankfully I have been reminded by several professionals that no one hears perfectly so I don’t need to feel bad.

This whole hearing loss journey has been a wild ride, but I at least we’re getting somewhere.

By |2023-06-12T06:19:00+00:00July 1, 2016|Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss|3 Comments

The First Day With a Hearing Aid

Yesterday was my first day with my new hearing aid. As with most physical therapy treatments you have to press through a lot of challenges in order to get your body to respond in the way it is supposed to.


So it’s been a rough 24 hours (minus when I slept). I knew there was skill involved in learning to listen with a hearing device because of having a daughter with a cochlear implant, but I assumed since I can hear and was born hearing that I would be exempt from such a difficult transition stage. I was wrong.

It is way more challenging than I ever imagined. When I put the device on yesterday it sounded like the world was on “speaker phone” mode and I don’t know if you have ever had your voice echo when someone else has you on their speaker phone, but it’s annoying and that’s how it was at first. Luckily, the initial reverb didn’t last too long. However everything still sounds like I am in a cave or something. It’s not natural. Have you ever talked while plugging your ears? If not, go ahead and try it. Do you hear your voice muffled inside your head? That’s what my voice sounds like all the time to me right now. I feel like I should be whispering because the sound of my voice is so loud. Some things sound close to normal, but there are thousands of small sounds that appear to be amplified. This is what happens when you go without typical hearing for a while (or have never had it). Your ears interpret all sound the same. It’s all coming at you equally and your brain gradually decides what is needed and what to filter out.

One example I can think of experiencing this phenomenon was when we moved into our first home which was a few miles from a railroad track. I will never forget that first night while our mattress was still laying on the floor of a room full of unpacked boxes. I thought the train sounded like it was running through our house and rattling my brains. It was SO loud. Oh no. What have we done? I thought. I wasn’t sure how we would ever sleep with the train and it’s notorious whistle so close by. However, the sensation didn’t last. I am not sure how long it took, I just know that despite the trains schedule and location remaining the same I no longer heard it. My brain filtered it out. That’s what is supposed to happen with hearing aids. I even asked my daughter’s audiologist for second opinion. Are you sure it’s not being amplified louder than it should be? I shouldn’t be able to hear the toilet paper slide off the roll. She assured me that my case was no different than the others and I just had to push through and allow my brain to file away that distracting background noise.

It can be debilitating though. This is what it is like running a simple errand.


When you walk to the car you hear footsteps on the pavement and the grass. You hear wind (the way it sounds on a phone or home movie, very loud and distorted). You can hear your keys jingling and cars driving by.

As you get in the car you hear the door unlock, unlatch, and the seatbelt slides and clicks into place. You hear the engine start, the AC starts, there is lots of beeping and clicking with putting the car into gear or using the turning signal. And if you are thinking that you already hear all of those things, you are right. But do you always notice them? Do they distract you? Would you consider them loud and intrusive?

As you drive you have some coins in your console that keep sliding back and forth with every turn and slope. You grab a bottle of water and the plastic crumples and sounds ear piercing. You hear the cap unscrew, you hear the water go down your throat, then you hear yourself put the cap back on and return the water to the cup holder.

When you arrive at the store you hear the music which sounds normal, but the hangers on the rack sound extremely loud, a child is playing with a toy in the distance and you hear that. You feel like everyone that is talking is close by, but they are not. When you pay you hear yourself get out your wallet and all the items inside your purse starts banging up against each other like some kind of violent mosh pit. You hear yourself open the wallet, and I kid you not, you hear the debit card slide out of the wallet. You hear the beeping of the cash register as you normally would, but the magnitude of the stapler that the employee uses sounds like she must have used an industrial strength nail gun to combine two receipts. You flinch and hear yourself clasp your purse and grab the plastic bag which never stops crumpling loudly up against your leg.

Are you tired yet? I am. It sounds like I must be exaggerating, but everything I have read and all the professionals I have spoken with tell me this is just how it goes at first. This article form was really helpful and explains everything so realistically. They say “the learning curve can take anywhere from six weeks to six months. Success comes from practice and commitment.” So I am going to keep at it. Many of the articles I have read describe the adjustment time as tiring and disorenting which are the exact words I have used.

I go back in 2 weeks to see my audiologist and see how I am coming along. It may not be perfect by then, but it should be much easier. I hope. Feel free to ask me any questions. I have said so much, and yet there is so much I haven’t covered. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement.

By |2023-06-12T06:19:14+00:00June 15, 2016|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|2 Comments

What To Expect When You Expect Hearing

We are about 10 days away from SJ having her cochlear implant activated. Right now SJ has the internal device, but that doesn’t mean anything without the sound processor, which is typically given 3 weeks after implantation. When scheduling the activation the Doctor gave me several dates to choose from. I had to pause for a moment to let it all sink in. I am selecting the day that my daughter will hear. They actually call it her hearing birthday. She will start hearing from that day forward. I chose the soonest date possible of course!

Am I excited? Yes, absolutely, but to be honest I’m guarded.  This isn’t the first time I have expected SJ to hear. The first time was after the initial sound booth test. I felt confident that she was not deaf. We left the ENT’s office doing our own hearing evaluations. We would ring bells, shout her name, look for reactions as airplanes flew overhead and she never responded. One time I went in the bedroom where Z and SJ were still asleep and I banged some pans together loudly. Neither one of them woke up so that experiment was kind of a wash. Then we got the hearing aids and when they turned them on they said it would be gradual because they wanted her to be able to adjust to hearing. Sometimes I thought I saw her making progress with the hearing aids, but still nothing significant.

I feel like I have spent the past 8 months trying to catch flecks of dust floating in the sunlight. I want to reach for something and really be able to grab onto it. I want to know that she hears and I am hoping it will not take extensive detective work to be able to recognize it. J and I have been given a lot of information from her team preparing us for the realistic and even then there has been some confusion about what to expect when they turn the implant on. In order to alleviate some of this confusion for us and everyone else I emailed her Doctor. This is part of what she said in response.

The first day is different for everyone.  When I turn on the implant,
she may hear beeps, bells, or whistles at first.  Or she may hear
voices that sound more like Charlie Brown’s teacher or mushy speech,
or it may sound close to normal. I would suspect that our voices will sound
more like Charlie Brown’s teacher for the first week or so. Then,
after she is wearing it consistently, voices and speech will sound
more normal. 

She will be able to hear soft sounds, voices, airplanes-all on
the first day. No sound will be too loud, because I will control that
volume on the implant.  Her “hearing” with the implant will be normal
or close to normal when the CI is on.  She may not be able to
understand what you are saying right off with the implant although she
is technically hearing you, but the understanding part will follow

Right when I turn the implant on, she may have an awesome reaction,
like pointing to her ear, laughing, etc. or she may have a not so
great reaction, like crying.  Like I said before, every child reacts a
different way.  Basically, expect any reaction as a sign that she is

So that is what you can expect from SJ on her hearing birthday, and you can expect me to be a nervous wreck. I would say I don’t want to get my hopes up, but to quote one of my favorite lines from Monk “That’s what hopes are for.” 

By |2023-06-12T06:19:26+00:00November 19, 2012|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Getting Used to Hearing Aids

 SJ got her hearing aids on Friday. It was a long and exhausting day, but it had a good turn out. Our doctor told us that there were so many different reactions with children that you just never know what to expect. They may cry, they may squirm or act confused, they may not react at all. Or she said in a few cases you have that “Disney moment” where the child lights up when they hear their first sound and act like this is what they were waiting for their whole life!

For SJ we did not have a Disney moment. In fact, I would call it more like a dentist moment or worse (for the stereo typical child that does not like the dentist). The hearing aids were squealing, she got very upset and kept trying to pull them out. The Doctor wanted to make sure that J and I knew how to put them in so she had us practice a few times before we left and it was rough. She repeatedly told us that we just had to work through this stage and when SJ takes them out just put them back in. She cried and cried and looked at me with those big puffy eyes full of tears like MOM save me! I pictured us wrapping her up in our arms like a  straight jacket just to get her out of the office with them still in. It was not a pretty mental picture. LUCKILY, we were told to give her a rest and try again when we got home. We are supposed to start with 2 hours a day, increasing the amount of time she keeps them in each day, and by a week they basically need to be in at all times.

After a stop at McDonald’s and a nap, I said Okay, let’s do this. Hearing Aid boot camp here we come. We pulled out all the stops; squeezable yogurt, a juice box, and a popsicle. J pushed her in the swing which was perfect because she had to hold on. We watered the garden and played fetch with the dog. These are all activities that she loves and kept her hands occupied and her mind distracted. By the end of the two hours I felt like we had tamed the beast.

Once she had warmed up to the idea of the devices I got out my camera to document this moment. These shots will give you an up close look at her new daily accessories. The aids are attached to a bungee cord that clips on the back of her shirt.

For now the aids are encased in a flesh colored sock thingee (don’t mind my technical jargon) and this is to prevent damage if they do fall out or hit something.

The mechanical part of the hearing aids are pink, but until we know she can be trusted without all of the protective gear, you can’t even see that part. In fact, we pulled her hair back to help us get them in, but even with trying to photograph the aids, in a lot of pictures you just can’t see them at all. 
The mold that goes in her ear is clear. She has already been refitted for a new one. They need to be precise and at this age the ears are changing all the time. It’s been over a month since they did the first mold and it appears that it is already too small which maybe why the aids are giving so much feed back which I guess is referred to as “whistling”. 
Yesterday she wore them for 4 hours and only took them out twice. This time instead of plugging her ears at the sight of them she did not protest at all which makes me think maybe she does enjoy the newfound sounds. 

There are still a lot of unknowns with her condition and a lot of trial and error from what I’m told. The volume starts at HALF of what it should be and will gradually increase over the next 3 weeks. So far I’ve noticed a few times that she seemed to react to a noise (once was at the doctors office when they tested with some maracas.) Honestly though, it’s hard to tell what she can hear and I try not to jump to conclusions. I’ve learned a lot about patience through this journey so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how she does as the volume increases and the speech therapy begins. Our Disney moment will come.  God has a plan. I really do believe that.

By |2023-06-12T06:18:37+00:00June 10, 2012|Hearing Aids, Uncategorized|3 Comments
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