Monday, May 8, 2006

I've been....

researching and thinking this week. I came home from my vacation energized and ready to start dealing with whatever is ahead of me. First off, I found several cochlear implant Yahoogroups and signed up. I also found a couple of message boards to visit, to get to know others that have been down this road before and to share their experiences and learn from their successes and failures.
I have researched my hearing loss. My mother remembered out loud that the doctors found that I had a cochlear malformation during my many tests as a small child. This malformation is called Mondini dysplasia. I started looking to see if people with Mondini are still viable candidates for cochlear implants, and was happy to find that most of them have few difficulties. However, in my research, I stumbled on this article about a disorder called LVAS. I shared it with my mom and we feel that this may very well be the answer to questions we've had about my hearing loss for years. At the time of my loss, back in 1975, small children with sudden, profound sensorineural hearing loss were very rarely seen, apparently. It is interesting to note that LVAS wasn't diagnosed or given a name until 1978. I have no idea, honestly, if I have the large vestibular aqueduct that this article refers to. I hope I can find out when I have my hearing tested for my cochlear implant candicacy. I just know that everything I read about children that have this disorder fits perfectly!
I've been researching the kind of implant I want, too. THANKFULLY, there are only three makers of CIs worldwide, I believe. I have ruled one of them out, and am trying to decide between Advanced Bionics' Auria and Cochlear's Nucleus Freedom. To be perfectly honest, it's a dreadful decision to have to! They both look terrific, and the people that I've met online are loyal to whichever brand they've chosen, always. Both companies have worked hard to keep abreast of the most cutting-edge technology and I have no doubts that I'd be happy with either one. I am making a list of questions that I have (some of them can be answered by the folks on my CI lists) to ask the audiologist and the surgeon in June. Advanced Bionics has sent me a huge box full of brochures, DVDs, and catalogs to sort through, and I requested information from Cochlear, too, which, they told me today in an e-mail, is on the way.
I've about done all I can do at this point, so now it's sit back and wait time. This past week has been a good week for it, since the weather was crummy last week and we didn't get out much (plus I had an awful cold/sinus thing going on! Ugh!). It's supposed to be warmer this week, so hopefully we'll be able to get out and go a little more, be outside a little more, keep moving and keep my mind off things I can't do nothin' about ;)!
In other news, Katie and I have been talking about her homeschooling. I am so afraid that as the kids get older I won't be able to deal with the high school material. Will is adamant about staying home, but Katie is thinking seriously about going back to school. I'll deal with Will somehow....several of the homeschool companies have DVD programs that we might look into. I know that many homeschooling families do great in high school, but I have come to accept my limitations, and don't feel comfortable teaching on my own. I am thankful that we know several people that would make excellent tutors down the road, and Will's sharp...we'll make it work somehow. The reason I focused more on Katie going back to school is that she is simply more sociable and more adaptable than her brother is. I know she would do great in school and would make more friends than we could shake a stick at. Right now she is leaning towards going back. I promised her that if she went for a year and didn't like it, we'd re-evaluate and try to find something else that worked. Now I"m trying to decide where to send her to school...I have four middle schools to pick from!!
Hope everyone's having a good week?
Smiles to everyone..........