Our Chapel is really coming alive. There’s no other terms to describe the shift in her personality than a metamorphosis or awakening. I seriously cannot believe how far our girl has come in nearly nine months.
When I think about the bobble-headed, tiny, weak and emotionless little baby that seemed more like a six month old than a two year old, that was handed to me in China…I’m blown away. This girl is SO alive and bubbly and giggly and full of personality.
She is now into everything. That’s right. She pulls up on and cruises to everything. She watches for cups left on edges, food on the table, and things thrown into the garbage can and she is on a mission 24/7 to check on or, ahem…dump it all out. She is beginning to feed herself some simple things with a spoon now, too! This is simply amazing when a spoon and solid food in general was an absolute terror for her in the beginning.
We are working on signing together more and more and she is repeating signs more. She automatically starts clapping for herself when she repeats a sign. It’s so cute!
A few things that I never wrote about that came about during her hand surgery have since resolved. During her surgery her oxygen levels were dropping into the 70’s and the anesthesiologist was concerned that there could be something wrong with her heart. We set up an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist who ordered an echocardiogram. We had to wait a few weeks to go back and find out the results. There was nothing at all wrong with her heart that they could see and they still are unsure as to why her oxygen was dropping.
In regards to her hearing, apparently Chapel’s file has been reviewed by multiple specialists and doctors who perform the cochlear implant surgery and there have been a mix of assessments. Some of them do not think the surgery will be successful. Some of them think it may be and the only way to find out would be by performing the surgery and seeing. The audiologist we have been seeing is wonderful and thorough…and honest. She says that she would not feel comfortable performing the surgery because of Chapel’s “tricky” anatomy. She said that her facial and auditory nerves are so much tinier and closer than normal, they are practically on top of one another. She does not feel confident in taking the risk of damaging her facial nerve in the process of attempting a surgery that may very well be a failure. She referred us to a specialist who has been doing this for about 30 years and is the president of a medical board in this area (I should remember the exact name of the department but I don’t). He also had never seen an anatomy like Chapel’s and they are all very intrigued by it. We meet with him in a couple of weeks and then go for an assessment for cochlears.
Our audiologist did say that because of Chapel’s unique case they may very well be able to get her approved as a test for the brain stem implant if cochlear implants aren’t an option, and that they’d be covered by insurance. She mentioned that the brain stem implant does not have as successful of quality of hearing as the cochlear implants though. We will see.
So many unknowns, but so, so many more knowns. Chapel is a true treasure to us all; a sweet little darling and we couldn’t be more proud of all she is learning, discovering and doing. What a changed little girl we have on our hands!