Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Momentary setback, we hope.

Today Lisa (our audiologist) performed a routine test of Ethan's implant to make sure that all the 22 electrodes are working and making contact with the auditory nerve.

To her surprise, 3 electrodes had totally shorted out and 2 others were well on their way. She ended up turning off all 5 of them. This is very unusual, in fact they've never seen it with this particular device. His is called the "freedom" and has a reputation for reliability.

The good news is that he is still hearing really well on all frequencies. The bad news is that we don't know why this is happening or what will happen next. Is this a sign of a device failure? If so, then Ethan will go back into surgery and they'll remove the device and put a new one in its place. At this point, the problem isn't severe enough to warrant that, but if the problem gets worse we will have to consider re-implanting.

Not easy news for us to hear. And yet not the worst news we've ever had regarding Ethan.

We were all set to drive home from the hospital, but Ethan and I both needed to do something other than sit in the car for 3 hours. We went to Mike and Audrey's, where we always stay when we're in town. They take great care of us and have seen us through some tough stuff. I finished the night with a piece of banana creme pie, my favorite! Ethan finished the night with a really fun bath supervised by Porter, his favorite dog.


5 comments:

Jason said...

That's news you guys can do without - I assume the Cochlear people are doing some analysis on it?

Tom has Advanced Bionics and he 'lost' an electrode a few months ago - but that was it and, because of the redundancy of these devices it hasn't amounted to much. In fact, it coincided with a burst of language development which led us to wonder whether the electrode, while it was failing, wasn't interfering in some way.

Try not to worry - I know its easier said than done!

Jason

Heather said...

Hi Jason,

They are working with Cochlear on this right now, but I have not yet heard what Cochlear's response is. The news should raise eyebrows up the chain in their company because this model is supposedly the titanic of all devices.

I'll be very interested to see if others on Ci Circle have had a similar experience.

Hopefully we're not forging new ground here, but I have a feeling we are.

Anonymous said...

I love you guys so much, I hope Ethan does not have yet another hill to climb. Jason's comments about Tom do raise some hope, there is so much to understand.
Thanks for the info on MA programs, it is a lot of food for thought.
One way or another, and no matter what happens, I'll be right beside you guys: learning, wondering, playing, making art, getting excersize . . .
You guys are three in a million!
Mia

Eileen said...

Hi Heather,
Just wondering how Ethan is doing? I am hoping no news is good news, but wanted you to know I am thinking of you both.

Anonymous said...

this is so sad to her hoe he might have to get re implanted