WOOHOOO!!!!! I am sooo beyond excited today! Lucas got his Cochlear Implant activated this morning, and it went great! We had a lot of people come to watch! My Dad, both sisters and my BIL as well as Norman and I were there. Unfortunately my Mom couldn't get out of work. My BIL is a professional videographer- and he took some amazing footage of the whole thing with his fancy HD camera- which I'll show you once he edits it!
It was a really interesting process! The audiologist first had to set thresholds for some of the electrodes. There are 22 electrodes, and she has to activate each one. Every time she does it, she looks for a response from Lucas to make sure he heard it, and it wasn't too loud. They start him off pretty soft. They generally set 5 electrodes the first session with one year olds because of their age. She was able to set 9 for Lucas today! They used visual response testing to determine if he was hearing the tones and beeps (he couldn't hear us at this point, just the computer). He is really good at that, and it was great to see him whip around to each sound she presented. Then she turned the implant on so he could hear everything and it was very anticlimatic! But, much better that, than him freaking out. He's been hearing with his hearing aids since 5 months old, so hearing sounds wasn't anything new. Apparently the sounds he heard weren't enough for him to be concerned either- so that was great!
She set 4 "maps" for him, each map is louder than the next. We can switch to different maps as it seems he's tolerating the quieter ones. He's already on map 2, and doing fantastic! I think he's used to a lot more sound from his hearing aids, so even though this is different, it's not too much for him. He doesn't understand much of what he's hearing right now since it's so different, and there are still 13 electrodes that need to be turned on, but he's definitely already detecting sound.
He was SUCH a trooper throughout the entire process. It took about two hours start to finish. We also had to go over all the different equipment (there's a LOT) and how it all works, so that took some time. He had a blast playing with all the toys and being a ham! He was so funny when she first put the magnet on his head, he kept shaking it to try to get it off! He's actually been REALLY good so far about not messing with it. Hopefully that continues!
We go back July 19th for another mapping, where more electrodes will be turned on, and he will get some louder maps. I am so thrilled that we are finally at the part in this journey where I can be EXCITED to go down to Boston. I've been excited for the other appointments, but there were always some worries too. I was practically jumping out of my seat today waiting for them to turn it on! It feels so good to know that we were able to give him this gift. We are still learning sign language (and are pretty darn good at it now!)- since he is deaf, and that's a huge part of him, but that won't define who he is.
I am so excited to share this next chapter with you guys. I look forward to posting videos of him listening and speaking like all the other wondeful moonbeams here! Thank you all so much for your support and love for Lucas, it means so much!
Here are some pictures from today! We didn't get a ton because it was too exciting, but you can see his fancy new gear! As soon as I get the video I will be sure to post it!!
Activating the electrodes!
Implant on and working! As you can see by my sister's face, it was an exciting day!
Good shot of the whole thing. The coil has a magnet that keeps it attached to his head, and it communicates with the magnet and microchip inside his head. The "hearing aid" piece outside is the processor! Such advance technology in such a tiny package!