When asked about her day, and how her hearing was different ... I talked Andi into discussing it on a video that I could share with her friends. Tonight, she learned the expression, "jabber jaw" I'm not sure she fully gets the negative connotation - but she definitely fits the definition in this video.
So, at 8 years old, Andi is finally hearing on the left side of her head. That ear has always been considered 'deaf or profound hearing loss' due to her tiny or nonexistent auditory nerve. But the BAHA processor has been programmed to send sound to the right ear. Dr. Steve wasn't sure or couldn't promise that she would be able to differentiate that she's hearing on the left side, but she says she can. It's amazing what technology advancements have done for her, and how much her hearing has improved in six short months using the newer technology. If it felt more appropriate, I would've given Dr. Torino (ENT/surgeon) and Dr. Steve (Audiologist) the biggest hugs ever today. I think Dr. Tornio saw/felt my gratitude when I got all dewy eyed during our debriefing after the surgery. I haven't felt so relieved and hopeful in a really long time. Least I didn't come unglued. I've done that a time or two. Seriously, you can't even imagine unless you've been through the seven layers of hell, what it's like to have someone work on your child while you sit around with your thumb up your butt (sorry, Dad) in a cold, sterile waiting room trying to do whatever you can not to go to a really dark place. Want to try on scary? Have someone manipulating your once medically fragile child with dope while another drills holes in her. Seriously... I can't imagine you can honestly relate. Sadly, I feel rather hardened and nearly immune to it - but when I pause and really let it in - holy crap - the fear alone is enough to strip wallpaper off a wall.
So, enjoy this snippet from the horses mouth explaining how she is honestly hearing better. When the implanted 'anchors' (fancy screws) have healed their full six months, she'll go under again for a less invasive procedure to have the abutments attached to that screw. Then, instead of a snap on a soft band, the snap will be sticking out of her skull. The upside of that gross description, is that her hearing will improve even more - especially in the higher pitches, because it will be a direct route to the bone. One thing for those that visit, there's an item in the box, that Dr. Steve taught me how to mimic how Andi hears things. It sounded very interesting.
But today, we celebrate another small victory toward improved hearing. Next stop on the journey will be singing lessons, in lieu of her gymnastics class that we simply can't risk during this six month recovery -- awaiting the bone to surround the anchors & sleeper anchors.
Lastly, I couldn't be more grateful. Without these two Dr's and their knowledge, we wouldn't be here today. They don't know it yet, but Andi bought both of them small gifts at her holiday shopping at school with her tooth fairy money (this girl is loaded, btw.) And we'll surely send them whatever she purchased for them with a personalized card. I asked Dr. Steve today after Andi grabbed onto his arm and professed her love, if all his patients were as grateful. He instantly proclaimed that Andi was in a class by herself. I honestly believe he has a soft spot in his heart for her. So grateful for these people helping propel us forward. Always wanting the best for your child, I appreciate having the very best surrounding her.