With more hearing loss she is finally a candidate for cochlear implants! The first step to getting them however, was doing a Tympanoplasty in both ears to fix the holes in her eardrums caused from so many ear infections and ear tubes!
Patiently waiting 5 hours to go into surgery!
It was a pretty intense surgery where they had to pull her whole earlobe back and cover the hole in the eardrum with fascia (underneath skin) and then pack it tight for a month. They did the first surgery June 3rd. Emily came out of anesthesia so SWEET! The first thing she wanted to do was color! She could hardly even hole her hand steady and she said the cutest things that of course I can't remember now!
Emily was in a lot of pain for the first week or 2 but recovered quickly.
She hated not being able to get wet all summer or doing her favorite activity; jumping on the trampoline for 3 weeks. Luckily we have great neighbors who brought us lot's of fun movies :)
It healed up nicely and the shaving damage wasn't too bad ;)
Tympanoplasty in left ear AND Cochlear implant in right ear!
Testing her hearing one last time...
Emily LOVES waiting at the hospital :)
Trying to be so brave AGAIN!!!
We told her she would get a prize if she was brave..."like an ICEE?" she asked.
LDS Hospital is so awesome! They could see that Emily needed her mom so they actually let me go back into the surgical room and help put her to sleep...I look pretty SWEEET don't you think? :)
5 hours...lot's of pain!
The first thing she said when she woke up was "I want out of here!" She had to go to the bathroom so bad she couldn't relax! Finally when we got her back to her room she fell asleep for about 3 hours and we had a very hard time waking her up. When we did get her to wake up, she just wanted to go home and get an Icee! I think she deserved one for sure! Oh and she wanted to stop by Toys r us to get a birthday gift for Gracie...crazy girl (ironically, we took her!)
Matt and I are so mean! Emily was trying very hard to be a good sport.
We had a very LONG first night. She was in SO MUCH PAIN! I felt so bad for our little girl! She kept telling me how sorry she was for keeping me awake; "My head feels like it's going to explode!"
one week after surgery
Turning the cochlear ON!
We have heard that the BEST audiologist for Cochlear implants is Cache Pitt. OK, let's have him work with Emily then...just one catch; he is at Utah State! Who doesn't LOVE a road trip every few weeks right?
We were so lucky that Dad was able to come along AND Emily's speech therapist and of course WONDERFUL family friend, Carrie Pereyra who actually hooked us up with her sweet sister so we could stay the night for our appointment the next day.
Emily with her new friend Ellie the elephant who has cochlear implants too!
Emily is the first person in the United states to get this particular model of implant. There was a representative from Med-el waiting to be part of this exiting day.
First signs that she is hearing something...
Realizing that she can hear things...
It was amazing to watch her as she could hear things she has never heard before like Matt's whistle or a bag of crackers being opened. She was overwhelmed with how loud everything was.
This is what is looks like. She can change the bottom color with 6 different colors...she likes that!
It has been one week and she is doing amazing! Her brain is learning quickly to recognize the things she is hearing as sounds, as words!
It is a work in progress and highly stressful with all the changes and adjustments that come with cochlear implants AND starting a new school year with a new teacher but we are so proud of Emily for doing HARD THINGS!!
Someday we will all look back on this as the beautiful life changing experience that it truly is!
For now we are taking it one day at a time :)