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.
As I’ve spoken about before Leo and I have spent a lot of time to and from London and in particular St Thomas Hospital for Leo’s Cochlear Implant Assessment.
Normally it is just a whistle stop tour of straight to the hospital and then back on the train straight after the appointment to beat the rush hour.
On Friday however the appointment time meant we came out of the hospital right in the middle of rush hour and to be honest I wasn’t keen on putting Leo through the Tube during rush hour so we went to get some dinner which we ate in a park. This meant firstly that on the whole we missed rush hour and secondly Leo could have a run about and actually relax after an appointment.
As you can see from the photo he was having a fantastic time playing in the early spring sun.
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.
So yesterday marked the start of our Cochlear Journey for Leo…
We had an appointment at St Thomas’s Hospital in London for a briefing on what is going to happen. Some of the information we knew because of already having a Cochlear Implant but there was a lot for me that was new. We have a couple of busy months ahead with the appointments that we have scheduled, and although I have a lot to process on certain elements of what is going to happen I know that this is what is best for Leo, if we are successful and eligible for an implant.
We know that if eligible we are going to go ahead but there are some questions we still need to answer in our minds, they will be answered over the next two months, for now I am just going to read up on what they gave us and both Keighley and I are going to look at the different brands on the market that the hospital uses so we have a better understanding on what the benefits are of one brand over another.