Its been almost a year since we last published a post on 2 Bottles of Milk, so where have we been?
Last Christmas I was so ill that I spent most of Christmas Day in bed asleep and it got me thinking about how hectic our lives were and how we needed to relax and let something rest for a while and that was unfortunately the blog! With everything that Leo had gone through and a new baby, as well as life in general it was the easiest thing to let go and allow more time for all the other stuff that was going on at that point.
Over the last few months we have written regularly about Leo’s Hearing Loss and his Assessment Process for Cochlear Implants at London’s St Thomas Hospital.
To say that this journey has been emotional is an understatement and it has also been stressful for Leo. It is a journey that has taken longer then we expected, however since we last wrote we have had some huge developments and his journey has moved forward significantly which has been a good yet stressful and emotional time.
The day before we jetted off to Athens to visit family we had another appointment at St Thomas’s as part of Leo’s Cochlear Implant assessment.
Following on from the last appointment where we had been asked to practice a new testing technique with Leo and develop that.
During the appointment the audiologist tried a the testing technique with Leo that we had been practicing and to start with he was doing exactly what he was meant to do, which was place a figure in a boat every time he heard a noise. However due to his age after a while he lost interest and just wanted to play what he wanted to play.
Around this time however the audiologist needed to go and get some extra equipment and left us in the room with Leos hospital speech therapist who watched Leo as he played and also spoke with myself and Keighley on how we thought his speech was developing, after a while she stated that although Leo knew exactly what was happening however apart from the occasional word we as adults weren’t really aware of what was happening to the toys and what their adventure was.
Following all the hearing tests we spoke with both the Audiologist and Speech Therapist and they said that they had a joint meeting coming up where they were going to discuss Leo and decide on the next steps to be taken however they both stated that there had been very little speech development since the last meeting back in April and they were hinting that they would be pushing for Leo to proceed with Cochlear Implant Implantation.
Since the visit the team at the hospital have had their meeting and via a phone call have confirmed that Leo has been offered Cochlear Implants and will under go surgery before Christmas of this year, most likely early to mid November.
It’s been a while since I wrote a piece on Leo’s Cochlear Journey and thought that it was time to correct that.
Today in London after numerous appointments, hearing tests and speech and language sessions the team of people behind Leo’s care are all going to be making a decision on how to proceed, there are two options that could come out of this meeting. The first is that they are going to advise us that the best course of action for Leo is that he has Cochlear Implants now and that everything gears up for this. The second and from how things seem to have been going and from little snippets of what was/wasn’t said in his appointments the more likely scenario, is that they will want to defer Leo for five months and refer him back to our local hospital for regular hearing tests and care with the team of people local to us.
A Bit of Brackground
Back in October of last year Leo had an MRI scan at our local hospital to see if they could see why Leo has a hearing loss and as a result of said MRI Scan they diagnosed EVA (Enlarged Vestibular Aquaducts). Basically this meant that we had to be extremely careful with Leo bumping his head as it could cause a loss of hearing, not an easy thing for a boy that loves anything that involves climbing or being extremely active.
Following on from that diagnosis Leo had a hearing test in December of last year, in which we discovered that Leo had had a further loss in hearing. The decision was then taken to refer him to St Thomas Hospital for assessment for Cochlear Implants.
Where We Are Currently
Well a lot has changed in the last couple of months we’ve been travelling to St Thomas and a lot hasn’t.
The main thing that hasn’t changed is that Leo’s hearing at the moment hasn’t got any worse. Which is a good thing.
On the flip side we have discovered thanks to St Thomas that Leo doesn’t have EVA (Enlarged Vestibular Aquaducts) at all and although this is a good thing it does open some more questions.
Whatever happens in the meeting today one thing is certain it will definitely mean more appointments be they in London or Southend I know that Leo will get the best care both can give and that’s all that matters.
Today 25th February is International Cochlear Implant Day.
As a family who had a Cochlear Implant User in the household and also going through the process at the moment to see if Leo is eligible to receive Cochlear Implants this year I thought it would be good to look at the history of these fantastic devices.
60 Years ago today, two French scientists by the names of Djourno and Eyres performed the first auditory nerve stimulation using electrical currents by placing an electrode outside the Cochlear.
In 1978 the first ever Cochlear Implant was performed by Doctor Graeme Clark when he performed surgery on Rod Saunders who has lost his hearing during a car accident.
Now I know that when we went to Leo’s initial consultation and we were shown how small the wire that is implanted into the Cochlear is I was astounded by how tiny it was, it is literally small then the nail on your small finger when it’s all coiled up. So in 1978 this was a huge break through and an amazing achievement.
By 1998 Cochlear Implants as we know them today had been developed and were beginning to be used in hospitals around the world.
My wife has said that she would not be without hers and as we journey with Leo through his assessment stage and then on to the decision stage that we know that if he is suitable for Cochlear Implants then we will proceed with them as they will give him consistent hearing throughout his life without the risk of continual hearing loss that he has now.
‘promoting the positive aspects of deafness’, to ‘promote social inclusion’
As well as raising awareness for the organisations that support the week such as Action on Hearing. 15% of the population of the UK are Deaf to some extent and out of 10,000 people 100 will be partially Deaf and 10 extremely Deaf
The theme for the Deaf Awareness week is ‘Common Purpose’ with many events taking place up and down the country so why not take some time out to attend one?