How to keep the CI’s on

I knew this would be my greatest challenge. With the operation behind us, I was quite certain my days would be filled with trying to find ways to keep Harry’s CI’s in place so he could hear when he was awake.

I had stories recited to me about mums literally wrapping sticky tape round and round their child’s head to keep the apparatus in place. I was offered advice on purchasing Joybands and bonnets. The Joybands I was certain would be the only answer I would require, so I purchased a few different sizes on-line from the States.

Switch On day arrived and we travelled into the Cochlear Implant Clinic with our Joybands feeling confident we would nail the issue. The meeting with our case worker and speech therapist Denise was a quick one. She had an hour to unveil the contents of the 2 suitcases and cover the details found in 500 pages of the instruction booklets.

Mm, did it all go in…? Well not really. I have to say I thought I’d leave the detail of the instructions and warranty to Dan, being a bloke an’ all and I’d look after the general day-to-day management of the kit and its storage.

It is Saturday today and we have now had 2 days of wearing the CI.

I spent most of Friday on the phone chasing down a bonnet. I stood outside the girls’ classrooms that morning pondering how I would get such a thing that was big enough to fit over a 9month old head and thin enough fabric for sound to transmit through to the microphone without distortion. The lovely Rita at EEP Brighton came to the rescue. She had one tucked away in a cupboard saved for presentations. She knew that many parents of profoundly deaf babies had issues with keeping the CI’s on and so she hoarded anything that looked like it might help.

I must explain here that we were using the Joybands. The great sweat bands hold the ear pieces very well and stop them from falling off small ears (the ear pieces are made for adults). But the MAGNETS, they are another story. If you watched the video of the audiology lab where HHH took place you may have noticed I was constantly flipping the magnets onto Harry’s head, hoping they might stick. It is very similar to that fishing game I used to play in the bath as a kid. You have a rod (the cord) with a magnet and a fish with a magnet (the Implant). You have to try to catch the fish with the power of the magnet on the rod. However the power of the CI magnets ain’t that hot. So my idea was that the bonnet could help to hold them in place. And to an extent it is working.

Although Harry is nearly 10 months old he is not yet sitting up. His gross motor skills are behind that of an average baby his age. There is nothing average about Harry so we are not distressed about this but it does throw some challenges our way when working with the CI external pieces.

You can imagine that he is spending a lot of his day in a pram, in a car seat or propped up against pillows to assist his sitting posture. And when placed in all of these places he is leaning his head against something that potentially can knock the magnets off each other. I am going to bed at night in the comfort of knowing this is a temporary challenge and soon he will be standing and sitting unaided and we will laugh about the bonnet.

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