Any apprehension, nervousness, doubt or fear I had about Isabel receiving Cochlear implants was erased the moment I heard those computer beeps and saw Issy's reaction. Our girl has officially entered the hearing world. The attached video can explain so much better than I ever could in words, her reaction.
To talk you through the process we arrived at the Shepherd Centre first thing in the morning to meet with Yetta (Isabel's Audiologist) and Danielle (her Audio Verbal Therapist/Speech Pathologist). The girls came through with two huge suitcases of Cochlear hardware...one suitcase for each ear. This part was a little overwhelming seeing all of the equipment and trying to get our heads around how we will ever be able to learn what each part does. All in due course!!
Suitcases of hardware and instructions!!
Isabel's trouble shooting remote - this looks after both devices (as you will see they are currently off as Issy is sleeping...hence why I finally have time to write this! :))
So we first tried each of the magnet coils on Issy's head to make sure the force was strong but not too strong that it would leave a mark on her head or be too sore for her. Then one by one Yetta connected Isabel's devices up to the computer to check all the electrodes were as they should be and then slowly started increasing the volume of a series of beeps. You will have seen in the video when Issy started to hear them and moves her eyebrows and then startles when it is turned up another notch again. AMAZING! We then switched it over to 'speech' and started softly speaking to Issy and watching her react to different noisemakers and clapping.
The current setting of Isabel's devices is set quite low so to slowly introduce her to the overwhelming world of noise in which we live. With so much to take in...voices, environmental noises (wind etc), cars, doors slamming etc...it would all be too much to just throw her in full throttle so they will turn it up over the coming weeks. It was a huge day for her yesterday and she was a little bit upset and exhausted by all the new stimuli....but she is on her way and day by day she will hear more, learn more and eventually speak more!! I am in complete awe of this amazing technology and eternally grateful to the team at the Shepherd Centre for all they have done for us so far....next step....learning to listen and speak!