Sunday, April 29, 2012

Only the cool kids wear pink hearing aids

Of course it has been a month since I last posted. I tend to get very gung-ho about things for oh, about half a second, and then toss the idea to the back burner. Oh well. In my defense, I have been really busy with working and taking care of the little ones. Most of my days are jam packed with work, playing with the kids, laundry, making sure everyone is fed and somewhat clean, random errands, catching up with my husband (who is super busy, too!), etc. Life is just so BUSY and it's easy to lose your sense of time in the whirlwind of day to day activities. I can't believe how fast the month of April has gone by! Here's hoping May goes a bit slower because I have so many plans and activities in mind; I'd love to do a lot of outside activities this coming month before the heat and humidity of summer have us craving central air conditioning and popsicles :).

This past Thursday was a huge day for our little Evelyn - she finally got her first pair of hearing aids! They are light pink Phonak Nios S H2O and man, are these new-fangled hearing aids fancy schmancy! Of course, before Evelyn's diagnosis I wasn't at all familiar with assistive technology but from what I understand these hearing aids are a great option for babies and children.

This is the part that goes behind the ear. 
The tubes are connected to ear molds that fit inside her ear canal.
(Picture from Phonak's website - )

So far everything is going quite smoothly. Evelyn hasn't seemed bothered much at all with these contraptions in and behind her ear, which has made this whole process a lot less stressful! However, because babies grow so quickly, her current set of ear molds are already on the small side. They took the impressions last month during her MRI and ABR appointment so that tells you just how quickly baby's ears grow! They made new impressions on Thursday (which is a funny looking process - they squirt a bunch of bubblegum looking stuff into her ear and wait for it to set; sort of looks like she has a huge wad of gum stuck in her ear!) and they'll be ready at the end of May. This new set is going to be pink to match the hearing aids themselves. You wouldn't believe how many colors they have to choose from! Red, green, blue, pink, yellow, black, nude, transparent (like the ones she has now), as well as glitter and confetti options. Reminds me of going to the orthodontist and getting brightly colored bands for my braces, except I'm pretty sure these darn ear molds are more expensive than those tiny bands!

Ever since we learned of Evelyn's hearing loss, I have been really interested in knowing just how and what she can hear. What do certain noises sound like to her? What does she hear when we speak? To her it sounds completely "normal" because she has never heard anything different. This is why it's so important for hearing loss to be detected as early as possible. Since Evelyn is already aided she should be able to correctly hear and learn all of the sounds of speech from the beginning.

A couple of months ago I came across an interesting section on the Phonak website by simply Googling "how hearing loss sounds". It has sound clips of things like a loudspeaker, animals, music and a ringing telephone. Each sound has a clip for what it sounds like with normal hearing, what it sounds like with mild hearing loss, and what it sounds like with moderate loss. It's pretty interesting and can help someone with normal hearing get an idea of what things sound like for those with a hearing loss. You can check it out for yourself here.

Of course I can't talk about Evelyn's nifty new hearing aids without pictures so I'm leaving you with a few. Thanks for reading!

The black piece and pink tether is called a Safe n' Sound band.