It took some jumping through hoops from our cochlear implant team, but the newest devices arrived and were ready on surgery day. John was so brave and excited about his new implants. Lisa and my husband had done a wonderful job preparing him for what was to come. That doesn't mean he was thrilled about being in the hospital, but he truly was inspiring with his bravery. It took around six hours for the surgery to be completed and to give him the chance to hear. We spent the night in the hospital, and he woke up once or twice and asked about his bandages. Finally at 5:45 he awoke and said, "When can I wake up?" That first day home, he expressed some concern about his partially-shaved head and had a little pain. He was down from his usual energetic self, but that afternoon he began receiving visitors, including his teacher Lisa, and Courtney, his speech therapist at school. That's all he needed to bounce right back. He began getting little gifts and sweets, and he has never been down since. The next day he was running in the yard again, and we took the dog for a long walk. We thank God he can read, so we can communicate with him by writing.
Last Thursday, 3 days after surgery, John showed his bravery once again. He entered his classroom, a little self-conscious about his hair and with no hearing. Right now he goes in for a couple of hours to read and do some of his assignments and take appropriate tests. Lisa had the class make pictures for him, and a student held up a sign that said, "Your haircut looks cool." It was an amazing moment! Another parent has told me how much her daughter has learned through all of this. John has rarely if at all complained. He is excited about this Wednesday, when we begin the activation process. I believe he will get Freedoms first, because the Nucleus 5 processors don't roll out until October. That is how under the wire all of this was!
I have met some of the most wonderful people of late. I happened to meet a man at the barbershop 3 days before surgery who had a C.I.! He is a lawyer who used to work with my husband, and I met a woman whose 4-month-old will be having this surgery in the next year. While I was introduced to her in order to tell her how great her daughter will do, she ended up comforting me at the beginning of our process as I mourned for John. Having been through this already with our younger son Will, hearing the news that your child needs surgery can be scary at first.
Bama Ears will continue to follow John on his journey and update his story after his activation, when he begins to hear sounds he never knew existed.