Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dr. Daniels Visit

We had our appointment with Dr. Daniels this past Tuesday! We did a lot of the usual--review her history, talk about implant devices, and check her ears for fluid. She has had fluid in her ears for a couple of weeks now, so she isn't hearing a whole lot with her hearing aids right now. We have an appointment set for January 4 for Ellie to get tubes put in. Dr. Daniels said we could wait and see if the fluid clears up, but even if it does clear up in time for her cochlear implants surgery on Feb. 10, the fluid could build up again after surgery and cause problems. So I told him we should just do it and avoid all the worry of canceling her cochlear implants surgery. She also will be having an MRI on January 18 to make sure her cochleas are looking good and ready to receive implants.

Dr. Daniels also gave us more information on the different types of cochlear implant devices. We were originally thinking we would go with the Nucleus 5 (from Cochlear Corp), which just came out in September (I think that was the month). It is a lot smaller than any other device, and it has a remote control to use for switching programs. But, Dr. Daniels told us that the customer service for Cochlear Corp. is not that great at all and can be very frustrating at times to deal with. He also said that the external devices tend to break a little bit more often. The other option we have would be to go with Advanced Bionics. He said they have outstanding customer service and they care more about people, rather than only being completely business-minded. The Advanced Bionics device also has a higher capability to hear music better, whereas Cochlear Corp. focuses more on speech. I asked Dr. Daniels what he would implant into his child and he said he honestly couldn't answer that because Cochlear Corp. just came out with the Nucleus 5 and he is very impressed with the small size of it and the remote control that comes with it. Before the Nucleus 5, he said he would do Advanced Bionics without hesitation. So, needless to say, we have a lot to think about again in making our final decision. We'll keep you posted!

I hope you all have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  1. Hey Julie!
    I've been keeping up with your blog for awhile now, and I just wanted to let you know that we'll be praying for you guys as you make this big decision for Ellie!
    Jenni Timmer

  2. Hi Julie,
    A colleague of mine passed along your blog to me --- I couldn't find a way to send you a private message, so I hope you don't mind me posting :) I know this is both and emotional and exciting time which is why I wanted to let you know that many people are here for you during Ellie's journey. I am an audiologist with Advanced Bionics and used to live MI. I know of several parents of children with CIs in the Grand Rapids area that would love to connect with you should you have any questions. Feel free to reach me directly at . All the best to you and your family ... looks like 2010 will be a great year for Ellie! Warmest Regards, Christy

  3. Hi Julie,

    My daughter is 2 1/2 years old and has bilateral AB implants. We have Google Alerts on the term "Advanced Bionics" and your Blog popped into my email. I thought maybe it was a sign that I should say HI. Reading your blog brought back so many memmories that now seem like a lifetime ago, but really we just went through it.

    Making a device choice seemed like the biggest decision for us. I lost many nights of sleep dreaming about the company brochures. We looked at all the research and talked with everyone (doctors, families, implant centers, researchers).

    We couldn't be happier with our device choice and our daughter is thriving. She talks non-stop and our teachers call her a "curve breaker."

    If you have any questions about CIs, therapy, AB or our daughter's journey, feel free to email us though our Blog at . You are in for a really exciting journey. Let us know if we can help in any way.

    Susan (Lily's Mom)

  4. Hi Julie. I was forwarded on your blog from an audiologist at Advanced Bionics (she posted above)

    I am a mother of a 7 1/2 year old with bi-lateral cochlear implants and have been in the same shoes you were over 5 years ago.

    If there is anything I can help you with on this journey, please let me know. Our daughter has quite the story to tell, she is a patient of Dr. Daniels as well, she has Advanced Bionics and I am also a mentor with the Bionic Ear Association through Advanced Bionics. So if I can help you with anything, please feel free to email me at

    Juli Wiseman (Kendall's Mom)

  5. Hey Julie! I saw you guys yesterday so I came to see what was going on with Ellie.

    My mom got a Baha implant yesterday, but will also be getting cochlear implants from Dr. Daniels.

    She is adorable! I hope she does well with the tubes.