4th Birthday Photo Session

4th Birthday Photo Session

Thursday, May 30, 2019

BAHA -- The Grande Finale

Last June, we went to see Dr. Steve for Andi's yearly audiogram.  After completing the test, he sat down with me and said he believed he could get Andi hearing a whole lot better than she currently was.  Intrigued, I listened.  Andi has worn an over the ear hearing aid since she was five months old.  Sound would be amplified by the hearing aid and travel through her ear, which was often congested - further diminishing quality sound.  Dr. Steve said, at 8 years old, Andi would definitely benefit from switching from a over-the-ear hearing aid, to a BAHA -- a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid.  These were both on the right side.  Her left ear is considered deaf or profound hearing loss.

He did a hearing comparison between the two devices - putting the BAHA on a soft band (headband).  The audiogram was all the proof we needed.  Andi left with a loaner BAHA on the head band and when we walked out of the office building, she stopped.  She questioned, 'what's that?'  I stopped and listened.  I asked her, 'do you mean the bird singing?' She replied, 'Yes!' So I asked pointedly, you haven't heard that before?  'No.'  Her eyes lit up and she was giddy.  I cried most of the way home.  It's amazing what we all take for granted, and yet, kids like Andi remind us to pause and savor what we have -- because she does not have it.  That day was simply joyful.

When we checked in with Dr. Steve again, he said he believed he could make her hear even better. At this appointment, we went from having a processor on just the right side, to putting a processor on both sides of her head.  With technology, they can program the sounds captured on the deaf side, and send it to the ear that hears.  Thus, possibly giving her a 360 hearing experience.  Andi noticed the change, and for the first time in her life, started hearing things coming from her left side.

At the end of November, we went in for part one of the BAHA surgery.  Dr. Torino drilled two screws into the bone behind both ears.  One screw holds a post, the other is a sleeper screw in case something happens to the other screw. We would wait six months to heal from this, enabling the bone to solidify around the screw. 

In mid-May 2019, we went back in to put the abutment on each post.  The abutment is the 'snap' that sticks out of her head - to which the processor clicks into.

So, yesterday, Andi met with Dr. Steve to have her BAHA processors attached to her new abutments! 

Attaching to abutments:

Andi's commentary:

Andi will 'rock you!'

Booth testing:

The audiogram showed improvement in overall hearing.  Below is audiogram comparison.  On the left is the over-the-ear hearing aid (A) -vs- the single BAHA processor on the soft band (B).  On the right, was yesterday's audiogram with the dual BAHA processors clipped directly to the abutments.

Her audiogram showed an improvement, but he said that she will notice the difference more than her audiogram will show.

But, this is Andi... she wanted to tell you herself:

Dad, I hope you enjoy hearing her use of 'Whatevah!'  I have the feeling that is a word I will likely suffer for quite some time. 

No comments:

Post a Comment