We headed to NYU today for our first follow up mapping since the big upgrade to the Harmony Behind the Ears. I must say it was the perfect time of day. Cormac was awake. He wasn't hungry. He was in his usual happy mood. He was eager to show off his many talents.
For those that don't know what mapping is it's basically how you program a Cochlear Implant. Much more complicated than that but you will get the idea. Cormac is hooked up to a computer and his implant is mapped. While he is hooked up he hears different sounds and is supposed to tell us when he hears a sound. Chidlren with implants are conditioned early on to drop a block or something into a bucket when they hear something. Cormac did one better. Everytime he heard a noise he said "what's that?" and then dropped the block in the bucket. Rose gave him marbles and he was dropping them in water which he really loved.
He sang Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph and wished everyone Merry Christmas. He demonstated his ability to write some of his letters. He can really write a lot of letters now. T, L, S, H, I, M, W, O and a few more I can't think of at the moment. Oh, "Q" is his latest. He was upgraded to HiResolution 120. I can't really explain what that means but it's good for him! At one point his eye was twitching from the stimulation but they were easily able to correct it. He now has two maps that are very similar. One being slighty louder than the next. He is on the loudest now but if he seems bothered we can switch it with no problem. But, you know Cormac, nothing really phases this kid. He just rolls with it. He seemed totally fine with his map for the rest of today and this evening.
I have to say today was such a great day. To see him walk into the implant center and be so confident and talking so much more. It just makes my day. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people at NYU. Everyone truly loves our little man. They really care and are so thrilled with his progress. Not to mention they all want to take him home :) He gets quite the amount of visitors while we are at the center. Everyone seemed to notice how much longer his sentences are getting. And he doesn't lose his clarity like he was just a short time ago.
I talked to him the whole car ride home and it's just so sweet to be able to talk to him in the car. He can have conversations now.
I think the sweetest thing so far is the fact that Cormac is always in the mix with his brothters now. Before he could hear he missed out on a lot of their shennanigans. Now, when he isn't participating it's by his choice. Not because he can't hear them or didn't know they were doing something.
Tonight at dinner Cormac asked Colin "Do you want me to feed you carrots?" To which COlin replied "no, I don't like carrots". Cormac responded "Carrots are really yummy". Just these little interactions and conversations cannot be taken for granted.
Did I ever doubt we would get this far? No, not really. I was prepared to do what it takes to get him where he needs to be. Am I surprised how quickly he catches onto things? Not any longer. In the beginning I was surprised but now I just know it's Cormac being Cormac. He remembers everything. He's like and elephant!
Was mentally prepared for him not to do so well? Not really. But I would have dealt with it head on like everything else.
All I know is with continued hard work on all our parts Cormac will continue to learn and adapt to our hearing world. Yep, he's still deaf but it's funny people who meet him now have a hard time comprehending he is deaf. They always say "but I he was just talking to me??". And I think "exactly!"