Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nik's activation

For those new to cochlear implants (devices that help the deaf hear), you get surgery and then about a month later, you get the device turned on.  This is called activation day.  Nik was activated on November 1st.  Earlier than the month mark but I think part of that was simply due to timing and the other part that he knew exactly what to expect.  Nik was literally counting down the days every single night before activation day.  He was so incredibly excited that he actually switched processors to try to get his old one to work on the newly implanted side.  It doesn't but he tried.  His old implant needed repair. 

Nik saw the Fedex truck & RAN up to it.  Remember, he was totally Deaf for 2 days and was just waiting for sound.  I told him it was coming on the truck.  Well, he saw 2 boxes & was estatic.  He thought they'd sent him his new implant as well.  LOL.  Poor kid.  Nik just wanted to hear.  Times like these I know we made the right decision by bilaterally implanting him.

Nik, anxiously awaiting to be turned on to hear.  He can hardly stand the wait!  And this does not nearly capture his happiness at all.  So much more.  

Okay, I couldn't get the shot I wanted but oh well.  You'll notice his old implant is hanging down so he can't rely on that one.  Just the new one turned on.  He takes one of those balls, holds it to his head and then puts it in the container once he hears it.  SO funny as he was trying to "cheat."  LOL.  He looks at the computer.  He knows that's how they program it.  He was so, so excited once he heard that first sound.  Shaking his hands for the sign hear.  I can hear!  He kept saying in sign.  Very awesome to watch his life change before our eyes.  Very exciting.  

What I didn't get a shot of was his pain.  At first, all of us in the room that something was drastically wrong.  I dropped the camera so that's why there's no shots.  Sorry, but Nik was more important than a picture.  They turned it on at first and he was just in pain.  Curling up, crying, signing it hurt.  Clearly, in pain.  We adjusted quite a bit and after awhile, the above is what you started to see.  YOu have to remember, before this, he was deaf and before that, he had AN and heard nothing but chaos and snow.  I think clear sound was just overwhelming for him to take.  

Takes a bit of time to get all adjusted and in the beginning there are many sessions scheduled to adjust the implant.  He went again this week.  

you think he's happy with BOTH his Advanced Bionics implants???  I think Nik should be on the cover of that box as an endorsement.  How about you??  

Nik continues to do well w/ the implants.  So well, he wakes up in the morning and kisses the implants and puts them on his head!  It's just so great to witness.  Yes, it is a very tough decision to make.  Very tough.  And, he is a total communication kiddo.  But, it is so obvious he loves to hear.  

While in the waiting area, we met a dad desperate to get his son hearing aids.  But, he couldn't afford them.  So, we decided to donate Nik's hearing aids to this little boy.  The father was so grateful and we are hoping it works out that he can use them.  If he can't, they will be given to another family.  This is a kid that has old hearing aids from Honduras.  Very old ones.  Nik's are digital Phonaks.  So, would love to see that kids reaction when he hears for the first time clearly.  I'm sure it will be similar to Nik's.  Sheer delight!  Thanks for letting me share.  Got to go.  Going to an adoption event this evening at Warren's work. 


  1. What a beautiful post, Stephanie! I am so excited for Nik, and the whole family. What a huge blessing. Y'all are also awesome for trying to help the other child. You rock!

  2. Stephanie!! So excited for Nik! What a great post.... and how wonderful to donate Nik hearing aids for another kiddo. I will eventually donate Elina's old legs to places like Haiti... where they can at least use the components to make new legs for kids there that would have to use crutches or worse... move on the ground without anything... good luck with his adjustments!