Monday, August 31, 2009

Hearing Aids

Ellie got her hearing aids today! At her appointment, the audiologist (Jillian) thought that she saw Ellie respond to her voice at 45 decibels. Jillian didn't turn the aids up all the way because it would be too much for her little ears. They told us to keep her hearing aids on for only a total of 1-2 hours today so that she can ease into it. When she had the hearing aids on, we were watching her really closely...trying to see if we could get a reaction. We got a couple reactions when we were talking pretty loud! :) One time, I hid behind the door and said "Ellie" really loud while Joe held her...he said she right away looked at the door! Fun. :)

Now the battle will be to get her to keep them on...we got some toupee tape from the beauty store to help keep them in place. I also ordered a hat that the audiologist recommended to help keep them on--it will hold them in place, but the material allows the sound to still reach the microphone on the hearing aid.

We have a check-up in 3 weeks to have her hearing aids adjusted--hopefully turned up a little bit more! All in all, it was a fun day to be able to see Ellie react to some of the noises we make. :)

side view--bright pink with clear sparkly inside her ear

I think she likes them! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We have an ID number!

I called Children's Special Health Care Services to see if they had processed our application yet. They did! So I was able to get Ellie's ID number for CSHCS, and I called Hear USA to make an appointment for her to get her hearing aids. We will be getting them next Monday. :) Yay for a productive day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pray for Miracles

....Something I forgot to post previously...In terms of a time frame, we are hoping that Ellie will be able to have a cochlear implant sometime around March.

I also wanted to let you know about a video that I saw on "youtube." Go to this link . This is a video of a baby that has a cochlear implant. She is at the doctor's office ready to get her cochlear implant activated (turned on.) So this video shows her being able to hear for the first time. Warning: Be ready to cry! (at least I did) :)

In the meantime, we hope to get Ellie's hearing aids in the next couple of weeks. But I also wanted to ask everybody to just pray for a miracle. I not only pray for one everyday, but I'm always watching Ellie to see if God gave us a miracle. I know that God is able to heal Ellie! On the other hand, He also made her with these ears that are so special, and I know that He has great plans for her. Anyways, that's just my way of asking everybody to please continue to pray for a miracle...Thanks!

The Story So Far....

I decided to set up a blog as a way for everybody to be able to know what is going on with our little girl. So here is the story so far...

Ellie was born January 17, 2009. She did not pass the newborn hearing screens in the hospital, so we had to go back and do another test when she was a few weeks old. Once again, she didn't pass that test, but we still were not too worried because they suspected she had fluid in her ears. Since the test was only pass/fail, fluid can easily cause the test to be "fail." So we went back in March for a more in-depth test. This test showed "moderate hearing loss" in one ear and "severe hearing loss" in the other. We then went to an ENT doctor to see if she still had fluid in her ears. He confirmed that there was fluid in her ears and decided to wait a couple of months to see if the fluid cleared up. We went back to see him (Dr. Sprik--ENT) in May and he told us the fluid was gone, so we could do another hearing test. At this point, we were not too worried because we thought Ellie was responding to our voices. We would talk to her and she would babble back.

On June 18, we went to Spectrum Health for a hearing test. We were shocked when we heard that she was not responding to anything the Audiologist was sending to her ears. She told us that Ellie had "severe to profound" hearing loss in both ears. Definitely not what we were expecting!

We got in touch with Ken-o-sha, and they did a hearing evaluation and a developmental assessment for Ellie. For the hearing evaluation, the audiologist (Mary) put "ear plugs" in Ellie's ears and then went into a room across from us where she could observe through a mirror. I held some toys for Ellie to play with, and then Mary would say things through the ear plugs to see if Ellie would react. She did get a reaction at 95 decibels and higher. This would put Ellie in the "profoundly deaf" category. Basically, she probably couldn't hear a lawn mower if it was right next to her. On the other hand, it was kind of fun to see her react to hearing something. When Mary cranked up the volume and Ellie heard her, she looked around, then up at me...thinking "what was that??" The developmental assessment showed that she is developing at a perfectly normal rate (which we basically knew already).

Ellie has been fitted for hearing aids. She will be getting bright pink around the ear and a clear sparkly to go inside the ear. (so cute!) :) They will adjust them so that they are amplifying to the max. Then, after about 4 1/2 months of hearing aids (late December), she will have another hearing test done to see where she is at. On January 5, we will go see Dr. Daniels who is a cochlear implant surgeon. He will evaluate her and see if she would be a good candidate for a cochlear implant.

Right now we are in the process of getting Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS). CSHCS will cover the cost for everything related to Ellie's hearing issues. We cannot get the hearing aids for Ellie until we have CSHCS, so hopefully it will come through soon! We just received the application in the mail yesterday with a letter saying that Ellie qualifies for CSHCS.

That's it for now, I will keep you all posted as there are new developments!