Updated: Dec 3, 2018
On the way home from Great Grandma Annie's this afternoon, I found myself signing and singing the alphabet song. As we drove home in the faster-falling snow, I tried to match my signed letters to my singing speed. "A,B,C,D".... I didn't get stuck until the end, trying frantically to figure out the easiest way to sign "Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me."
I am pretty proud of myself for improving this skill over the last few months. Recently, we moved his carseat from the middle of the backseat to the right seat. I didn't think I'd like it, but its great. He can see me much better when I sign to him, I don't have to turn around like a twizzler to see what he's doing, and it will help create more language opportunities in route to our destinations. So anyhow....
There he was, sound asleep. Hm. I guess I sang and signed my baby to sleep. Ok, fine. The car ride did. Our little critter is so tired these days. From the time he's up till the time he's napping or down for the night, he's "go go go." He walks to and from everything. You can tell his little body is tired, but he's totally enjoying his new found freedom.
In addition to today's ABCs in the car, our heads feel like a bowl of alphabet soup. All these letters with "other information" floating around. We are having a major struggle deciding what brand of implant AJ will receive. Our issues are with size, weight, wearing options, and most of all THE MAGNET.
Ugh! Why is this such an issue? Well, the magnet inside the interal device (under the skin) "catches" the magnet in the external device's coil. The coil sits on his head and stays there by way of the two magnets. However, patients with CIs cannot have MRIs. Let me take that back. Patients with MRIs can have MRIs up to a certain Tesla-2 or 3. They don't make MRI machines that "low" in Teslas anymore. The magnet of the MRI vs the magnet in AJ's head could cause serious damage and even dislodge the implant inside his head.
One company has a removable magnet. Now, this would still require a small surgical procedure to remove the magnet, have the MRI done, then replace the magnet. But it sure beats having the whole implant removed and re-implanted. We are not sure AJ will ever need another MRI. But, since he has cerebral palsy, we must take that into consideration. I placed a call to AJ's neurologist to get his opinion on future MRIs etc for AJ. Recently we joined a cochlear implant group online and learned that another member's child had been implanted without a magnet. They shave a small part of their child's head and use a special tape to keep the external coil attached to the child's head. I am not sure if this is even a possibility, or even necessary, but I have placed a call to AJ's surgeon as well on this issue.
I spoke with AJ's SLP today and asked her recommendation for which type of communication she feels AJ would do well with post-implant. We discussed at length. I was happy to hear that Jeremy and I do not have to decide yet, nor do we have to set something in stone. He is one they truly believe we'll have to "wait and see" what he does post-implant. AV, AO, TC, CS....AHHHHHHHHHHH!