12/22/2011. This date has been marked on our calendar for almost 4 months. It represents the culmination of months and months of testing. After numerous audiology, therapy and specialist appointments –we were finally able to meet Dr. Roland – arguably, the most distinguished surgeon in the field.
Note: We actually met Dr. Roland at a Cochlear seminar that Brian and I attended in Westchester during the month of November. We were able to ask the doctor several questions, but there was one comment that stuck out the most. “When I meet with you in December, we’ll hopefully be able to schedule a surgery.”
Dr. Roland went over her results and said that she’s officially a candidate for a cochlear implant. He discussed the results from the sound booths, the CT scan, as well as her genetics results. In fact, when going over Madison’s CT scan, her entire ear structure was “beautiful.” Hair is not visible on a CT scan, so her blood/genetics test is the only way for the doctor to know her exact cause.
After doing our research and due diligence, Brian and I have decided for Madison to be implanted with bilateral cochlear implants - simultaneously with Advanced Bionics. There are three CI systems currently on the market. With the extensive research Brian and I have done, we feel this system is the best choice for our daugter. Since Madison’s hearing loss is a result of a Connexin mutation - there is no structural damage – Dr. Roland will have no surprises and Madison will hopefully only be under anesthesia for a few hours. The first few years of Madison’s life are vital towards the building of speech and language. After speaking with several professionals, we firmly believe in the saying that “two is better than one.” In fact, most children are now being implanted with 2 devices – many sequentially and some simultaneously. Brian and I are happy that Madison’s “ears” will develop at the same pace and she will not favor one side over the other.
Madison will now be able to hear in both ears by the age of 8 months – something that seemed unimaginable only a few months ago. Her surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th at 7:30am. Although it is an “outpatient” procedure, Madison will be spending the night (as will Mommy and Daddy) with the hopes she will be discharged to go home Thursday morning. Madison has pre-surgical testing will be taking place on Thursday, January 19, where we will receive more information about the actual day of the procedure. Madison won’t be able to hear right away. There is a 2-week “waiting period” until the implants are actually turned on. The swelling needs to go down and Madison will need to recover. We haven’t received the date just yet for her activation – but this day will be a VERY memorable day, as it will mark the first day that Madison will be able to hear sound.
There is still a long journey ahead, with hours and hours of appointments and years of therapy, but this is another step – a very big step - on our journey to bring sound to Madison.