Harry trials his new Joybands in preparing for HHH
This was yesterdays blog, but exhaustion crept in last night and I didn’t manage to post it. Hence the title.
Yesterday Harry spent the day practising wearing his Joyband (www.joybandsllc.com ).
As far I’m aware they are not recycled sweat bands discarded by Federer when he is unable to win the Aussie Open Tennis title, but stylish and comfortable headwear to assist in keeping the cochlear implants on. Unlike those children and adults wearing them in other parts of the world ( it is a US based family initiative) Harry at least can suggest he is preparing for Australian Open tennis trials in years to come.
We know that one of our major challenges after the wonder and joy of today is going to be keeping the hardware on Harry’s head. A 9 month old baby is all about discovery and pulling and touching everything to put in their mouths. We experienced this with the hearing aids Harry wore for about 4 months. I was once in the health food shop getting mesmerised by the line up of products, when the owner called out to me “Love, your kid is swallowing something small!” I had no idea what he was talking about as Harry was in the pram and was not able to reach out for anything. But with a swift hand movement through the mouth I fished out the clear mould of his hearing aid moments before it became a choking hazard. He had actually pulled the ear piece away from the electronic part of the hearing aid to chew the mould – unbelievable work by little fingers.
I stopped putting the hearing aids on him after that as I wasn’t truly able to watch his every move . I admitted defeat . I absolutely can’t get defeated by the Cochlear Implants. Today I am sure they will reiterate to us how important it is to keep the CI on at all times he is awake. Every time it is taken off his brain will need to adapt back to silence. A tad confusing . Hence the Joybands and the back up plan – A BONNET!
The implants have been placed successfully within Harry’s head (and ears) so the next stage is for the Cochlear Implant Clinic ‘s audiologists to start programming the processor that feeds the information to the auditory nerve and then the brain . These are referred to as “mapping sessions” and Harry will have 12 weeks of mapping and observations as part of his intervention. Mapping is the name given to the process of measuring the amount of electrical current delivered to the cochlear by the implant. It is the process that ensures the patient receives comfortable sound levels. So our countdown to “switch on” (or ‘HHH’ as Dan and the girls call it, ‘Harry Hearing Hour’) next Thursday is the day that the audiologists will start to set his sound threshold levels and comfort levels. They will also hand over to us two James Bond gadget style huge suitcases full of the external part to the cochlear implant.
Check out the diagram on Cochlear’s website that shows you all the parts. There is a good video here too
Today we drove into the Cochlear Implant Clinic to have Harry’s band aids removed. In the blur that was the post op consultation in the hospital, Mr Briggs must have told me that the stitches would dissolve but for some reason we were under the impression that we were trekking into the City today to have stitches removed.
I think telling everyone that having the stitches removed was the next step for Harry sounded more monumental than simply ripping off the band aids (gently of course!!)
So onwards to Switch On Day – there is nothing standing in our way now towards ‘HHH’.
Next step is Harry hearing us speak… This will happen on 15th March which is Dan’s 41st birthday, this has to be a first of sorts….. Anyway, in the search for original presents, he’s got 2012 nailed!!
Harry was required at the Mercy Hospital in East Melbourne at 11am today for the operation to put in the Cochlear Implants. His surgeon is Prof. Robert Briggs and the anaesthetist Robert McDougall. We couldn’t have asked for a better team.
Professor Robert Briggs was our surgeon all the way through the process who has made the whole journey so much easier. All of Rob’s colleagues are so superb. One word of advice, don’t use the hand sanitiser leaving the Clinic, it’s terrible green stuff, take your own!!
The operation was to take around 4 hours. What we will mostly remember about the day was the immense amount of waiting around and how Harry took it all in his stride. Dan saw it as an opportunity to get some superb Vietnamese Food in Victoria Street so every cloud…..
On the subject of food, Harry was required to fast from 7 am in the morning ready for the operation. I had big plans to wake him at 4am then again at 7 and give him hearty feeds. He woke himself at 4 and then we both slept through to 7:30am. A mad rush to shovel breakfast down his throat then took place … He ate less than normal but at least it was something solid.
We then had to focus on our normal morning routine of filling two lunch boxes with playlunch, fruit break, brain food and of course lunch. Brush two heads of hair, pack two school bags and keep Harry from requesting some toast to finish off breakfast.
Finally it was time to take him to the hospital…