February 03, 2014

Cochlear implant idea

   Over the summer we went to see a vision specialist (not a Dr, a teacher).  She was very knowledgeable and had many great idea.  She also informed me that she believed that Sadie has a cortical visual impairment.  I have always known that Sadie has eye issues, but her Dr has always told me that she has great vision so I never considered it to be an issue.  Well this woman informed me that there was more to vision then just seeing.  Needless to say, I was very naïve about the whole situation.  Not only is my child deaf, but she also has some serious vision issues.  I was so upset after this appt. I came home and started to rethink a few things.  I made sure that she had a VI teacher and that her eye Dr qualified her as legally impaired so that I could get the most help for her.  I also started to rethink having Sadie receive a cochlear implant.
   When we first found out about Sadie being deaf, it really didn't phase us much.  It was just one more thing to add to her very fast and long growing list of differences.  Honestly (and I know this sounds bad) her hearing was not high on my list of concerns at that moment in time.  It was not devastating news to us.  Being deaf is not a bad thing, it's just a different lifestyle then what we are used to.  I had always wanted to learn sign language and I knew it would be good for the girls to learn, and like I just said, it's not a life shattering bad thing for Sadie.  We had "bigger fish to fry" at the time.  Plus, there was so much unknown about her (and still is) that we honestly didn't have enough information about her to make a very informed decision about the future of her hearing.  If we went with a cochlear implant we couldn't get another MRI of her head and since her brain was her main issue at the time and the key to many answers, I didn't want to take that test away from our future.  That idea went on to the back burner.
   Fast forward about 20 months to this summer.  It's not rocket science that a person needs to have good vision to be able to sign.  When we went to see this woman and she told me that yes, my daughter can see, but there is a good possibility that her brain is not comprehending what she is seeing, I freaked out.  If she can't "see" me how is she going to learn signing?  And if she can't sign, how is she going to communicate with me?  Also, around this time we had been using the hearing aids for a little while and had absolutely no success with them.  So the cochlear implant came back into discussion with my husband and myself.  I guess I should rephrase something, to say that it was completely on the back burner the whole time would be a lie.  We toyed with the idea a couple times, but never gave it a really good conversation.  This time, we really researched the pros and cons, the different styles, types and companies, and Dr's, and talked with other parents of children that have pontine tegmental cap dysplasia (which is the disorder that causes Sadie's deafness), parents of kids that are typical developing but deaf, and parents of kids that are considered deaf + (which means they have other special needs).  I spoke with a couple of different audiologists. I researched A LOT.  After a long consideration we decided to pursue the cochlear implant.
   I made an appt with the CI (cochlear implant) Dr.  The soonest we could get in was the end of February.  I took the appt, but I was sort of speeding up the process on my own.  I sent Sadie's recent MRI (the one from November) to the office and I asked for the Dr to look at it before the appt so that he could look for her auditory nerves and see if they were viable to be able to take a CI.  I asked for him to look at it before the appt stating that I don't want to waste his time or mine with an appt if the nerve isn't any good.  He did just that.  He called and said that he needed another MRI of just her inner ears as he couldn't see that part very well with the MRI that was just done.  He suggested another MRI before our appt, one that detailed her nerves a little more.  I agreed to have it performed.  It was set up and that is the MRI that was performed last Monday.
   Friday I got a phone call from the CI Dr's office.  It was not the news I was hoping for.  They stated that her "inner ears are very tiny and that her auditory nerves are either extremely small or non existent, with that being said she is not a good candidate for a CI".  Well, that explains why she gets absolutely no response from her hearing aids.  I was bummed.  REALLY BUMMED!!  But not for the reason that you are probably thinking.
   To say I was bummed, is putting it extremely mild.  Pretty sure I had a really good crying fit/temper tantrum/extremely angry for a majority of the day.  It wasn't because she couldn't get a cochlear implant, it was because my child just can't catch a break!  In this case, I just wanted to make one thing easier in her life.  I didn't expect her to be able to have speech and be able to have a conversation.  I wanted a CI so that she could be more engaged in her environment, enjoy listening to her sisters contagious laughs, know when someone walks in the room when they are not in her line of vision, possibly enjoy listening to music so that I have something to help her calm down with when she is upset since she won't take a paci and doesn't want to be held.  I just wanted to give her this one thing.  But as always the Lord has other plans for Sadie.  But on this particular day I was not happy with his plan.  I just get so sick of her always having to fight for everything. Everything, EVERYTHING she has to fight and struggle for.  Luckily, she doesn't know how hard she is fighting, she just thinks this is just what life is all about.  But I do!!  It is the worst, THE WORST feeling in the world to watch your child struggle. I would give ANYTHING to take her struggles away.  And that's what I was trying to do with a CI, just make one thing a little bit easier.
   Over the last week I have had time to think and calm down since my little temper tantrum.  There is a reason for all this.  I may never understand, I may never know the reason why the Lord has given her so many struggles but this is what he wants for her.  It's not for me to understand, it's just for me to go with the flow and follow his lead with her life.  I also have to remind myself that Sadie is happy.  She is happy just laying around and watching her sisters and everything else that is going on around her.  She is happy sitting on our laps being tickled and laughing.  She is happy looking at all her different light up toys.  She is happy when the fan is blowing on her.  She is happy when she is in her stroller.  She is happy when... etc.  She is a very HAPPY baby.  She doesn't cry (she complains, but doesn't actually cry).  She doesn't know her own struggles.  I know them, and that is one of the hardest parts.  I'm working on taking my feelings out of it, but I'm pretty sure that is impossible.

Love this @[123554117671911:274:Mommies of Miracles]    
Thank you Just had to post it!!
@[331093833630160:274:They call it Disabilities i called it Down right perfect]

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