Triplet Princes and a Princess

Triplet Princes and a Princess

Our journey to hearing with Cormac while living our life with triplet boys and a baby girl.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cheers to 10 Years!

Ten years ago today Frank and I got married!  It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time.  I remember the day vividly.  I was so happy.  I refused to let anything upset me on such a special day.  What I remember from that day is fun, family and knowing it was forever.

The past ten years are filled with so many memories.  From the first day we met (that was 15 years ago) to the day her proposed at Yankee Stadium to the day we walked down the aisle.  We have had lots of firsts together.  First home, first dog, first, well, first three babies.  We have been truly blessed to find each other and have the opportunity to create such memories.

Are there days when I might want to kill him?  You bet.  Are there days where I might totally drive him nuts?  Yup.  But what I know is at the end of each day there is no one else I want to be next to.  We have been through a lot in 10 years.  Marriage itself isn't easy.  It takes work and effort.  When you add on some special circumstances, well it can sometimes be a recipe for disaster.  For us, that has not been the case.  We have met our challenges head on and never ever questioned the reason behind them.   We make a great team because we approach things very differently.  We balance each other out when we have to face a challenge.

I still think he is funny.  I still thinks he suffers from OCD and won't admit it.  I still think he's handsome.  I still enjoy spending time with him.  I still look forward to him coming home at the end of the day.

I have learned so much about him in the last ten years.  Yes, I knew him for five years before we got married and I thought I knew him.  I have learned he is even a better father than I thought he would be.  I have learned he is an even better best friend than he was when I married him.  I have learned he would do anything for me and our kids long before he would do anything for himself.  I learned he is the most unselfish person I have ever met.  I have learned he is the hardest working man.  I have learned he is a rock in a crisis.  I have learned one little red headed girl can turn him into a huge mushball and apparently there are different rules for boys than a Princess....

So, it hasn't been all easy and all fun and games but the good days outnumber the not so days and I know even on the not so good days there is no one else I would rather be spending the day with.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A change of heart

Since Cormac was diagnosed we have never treated him differently than any other child.  We have never put limitations on what he can do.  He has never put limits on himself.  He sees himself as just another kid.  The only time I ever saw him act differently or not be himself was when we played basketball for the first time.  That was two years ago. He was five.

 He eagerly signed up but at the first practice I could tell it wasn't going well.  When he started it was just drills.  They didn't play games.  It was lots of instruction.  The only time he seemed to be enjoying himself was during the time they played dribble tag.  The acoustics in a gymnasium are terrible.  I could tell he was having a hard time hearing.  He seemed to be following others rather than listening.  He was out of his element because he is used to hearing and not just following everyone.

As the weeks went by that first year he didn't want to participate until they were doing the tag part.  He didn't have to listen to play dribble tag.  He knew what to do.  We started using the FM the next week but I think he just got off to a bad start and said he didn't want to play.  I didn't want to force the issue but I didn't want him to give up either.  Each week we went it was sort of a negotiation.  He would never come out and say he didn't want to play because he couldn't hear well.   It made me sad.

Last year he said he didn't want to play.  I told him he didn't have to play. When we got there I could tell he wanted to play deep down.  I think he was nervous he would miss something and not know what was going on.  He went on the court a few times.  Again, it was just skills last year. 

Now we are on year three.  It's different this year.  They have practices and games.  No more just drills.  I thought for sure he would not want to play.  He said he didn't. I didn't sign him up this year.  I felt terrible he was not playing because he couldn't hear well.   This was a first time I had to handle him being stopped by his hearing. We have never been limited by Cormac's hearing loss.  I guess in my head I just hoped things would always be the same.  In the back of my mind I knew there was a possibility something would come up at some point in his life but I guess I was sort of in denial.

I didn't want to force him to play and make him feel worse but I didn't want him to not play if her really liked it. We talked about it before the first practice.  We talked about how it was OK to not play if it was hard for him to hear.  We talked about using the FM like we did last year.  I couldn't go to the first practice.  He went with Frank.   He went to the first practice when they would let everyone play and pick teams.  He came running in the house and said "I love basketball.  It's so much fun.  Thanks for letting me try it again!!"  I was like "what???"  (in my head of course)  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  If you knew what it was like before you would be amazed.  He didn't even have them FM with him.

He has now been assigned to a team.  He went to his first official team practice last night.  HE LOVED IT!  I am not sure what has really changed.  The acoustics did not get any better in the gymnasium.  I am thinking it is Cormac that has changed.  He is getting older and more mature.  He has better coping skills and his self advocacy skills are better than you would expect from a 7 year old.  I think this all is part of the reason he loved it.  He isn't afraid to speak up and ask for things to be repeated.  He is surrounded by kids and parents who know and love him.  They all might not quite understand why it's difficult for him but they are supportive of him. 

I am also pretty sure ClearVoice is playing a role in his ability to hear better in the gymnasium.  ClearVoice is a sound processing strategy on his processors.  Here is a description from Advanced Bionics (the manufacturer of his cochlear implants):

Clinically Proven to Help You Hear Speech Significantly Better in Noise

Advanced Bionics proudly offers ClearVoice™*, the industry’s first and only sound processing innovation that enhances speech understanding. ClearVoice is also the industry's only sound processing technology that has been clinically proven to deliver superior hearing performance in noise.

The clear choice for confident communication, ClearVoice provides you with the unique opportunity to converse more effortlessly in noisy settings, understand your favorite song lyrics, enjoy the world around you, and hear your best at any moment and any place your day takes you.

Whatever the reason or combination of reasons has gave him the confidence to play basketball I will take it!  Cormac continues to have no limitations.  He continues to live his life as a typical 7 year old.  He continues to amaze us with his ability to be just like other kids in so many ways but in so many ways he is not a typical 7 year old.  Cormac is an old soul and wise beyond his years.  I continue to be impressed with what is possible for not only Cormac but for all the people who have cochlear implants.  I say it all the time but IT NEVER GETS OLD!!!