Friday, September 07, 2007
Matthew Gets a Cochlear Implant
Sue and I met 23 years ago at Northern Illinois University. We were roommates in college and through the years we shared a lot together. Our oldest sons are best buddies and we've been there for each other as each of our kids have lost their hearing. Her two sons have Auditory Neuropathy. Sue shared their story in the Hands & Voices Communicator, Hearing Moments: Life with Auditory Neuropathy.
Matthew's hearing moments began to decline more and more. The use of hearing aids was not an option--Matthew did not obtain any benefit from hearing aids after several trials. Over the years, Sue kept the option of a cochlear implant in the back of her mind. She contacted other families with Auditory Neuropathy to see how they were doing with implants. She sat down to discuss it with Matthew over a period of time and they concluded together that the time was right to pursue it. After several weeks of testing and meeting with the implant doctor, the date was set for September 6th.
I joined her at the outpatient center yesterday right after lunch. An interpreter was there. The nurse who took care of Matthew was the same nurse who was there when he was diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy. The anesthesiologist was a jolly fellow who took the time to explain to Matthew what would be happening during anesthesia. Matthew asked him a few questions, "What happens if I wake up? Will I feel anything?" After answering all of his questions, he jokingly told Matthew that he decided not to use anesthesia, he would just knock him out with a baseball bat. Matthew cracked up.
They quickly wheeled him away while Sue and I were talking and we suddenly realized that she didn't get to kiss him and send him off with a hug. The interpreter ran off to get a staff person. A nurse helped Sue into some scrubs and she was able to slip into the operating room and give him a hug.
Everything went smoothly and Matthew came back into the recovery room. I saw the anesthesiologist in the hall and asked if the baseball bat worked well. "Knocked him right out!" he chuckled. When Matthew woke up, he said that he was in some pain and his stomach was a bit upset. After some Motrin via IV, a half hour later he was more alert and feeling better. A short time later, he went home. Sue emailed to tell me that he was up and about when he got home and was feeling well.
He's definitely going to enjoy a few days off from school!