We cannot believe it, but we are a mere two weeks and a few days from activation day for Chapel! On February 5th she will have her cochlear implant “turned on” and we are all brimming with excitement. We are all going as a family and are going to be there to witness her hearing for the first time altogether.
I received a call from a public relations executive for the hearing and Balance center a few days ago. They were asking if we’d be willing to sign some consents and have some news teams present when they activate her implant, as this is really a first time deal for the type of surgery Chapel underwent to receive a cochlear implant, and her being the youngest out of around ten that have had a surgery like this to place the cochlear implant.
We are so grateful for all of the ways that God connected these dots over the last year. We went from not even realizing Chapel was profoundly deaf, to getting that news. Then we received news that it didn’t appear that Chapel would be a candidate for a cochlear implant at all. This entailed countless doctor visits and driving all over the state for appointments, several MRIs and CAT scans. Finally we were referred to the hearing and balance center in Baton Rouge where more testing was done and here we are two weeks away from our daughter hearing for the first time. What a year!
A cochlear implant is really the beginning of a journey. A journey, much like a newborn who is hearing for the first time, would be stepping off on. The real work begins with doing everything in our power to help Chapel begin to make sense of sound so that she can learn to speak. This isn’t as easy as it comes across. There are many people that receive a cochlear implant who never learn to communicate through speech, but do gain the ability to hear and discern if there is a something that they need to be aware of in an emergency. When the brain has never received the input of sound, it isn’t like the mind automatically begins to make the connections of…”that’s my mama’s voice” and “that’s someone knocking at the door.” There are people that don’t gain the ability to discern sound input, but rather, just a sense that something new is happening around them.
We will be traveling weekly, or every other week to Baton Rouge for Chapel to begin a special kind of speech therapy that is specific to kids who have cochlear implants, that is geared at helping them gain the ability to speak and communicate. We are hopeful and prayerful that Chapel will soon be making sense of sound. <3
Thanks to everyone who has held us up in prayer over the last couple of years, beginning with bringing Chapel into our family and throughout all of the medical testing…we appreciate that, and you all immensely!