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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I wish I could hear like you.....

I was driving in the car with Cormac on Monday.  We were off to do some grocery shopping.  He is always the one who will go do errands with me.  We enjoy a little alone time.  I  like to talk to him one on one and see how he is doing.  We talk about all different things.  While we were driving a song came on the radio we both liked.  I turned it up and we both sang along and had some fun.  While we were rocking I thought about what it might sound like to hear music through his "ears".  I guess I just take for granted it must sound like what I hear because he really enjoys music.  He loves to sing (and he is pretty good) and he has a good sense of rhythm. 

When the song was over I turned down the radio and said "Cormac, I wonder if music sounds differently to me as it does to you?  I would love to be able to hear like you so I know what it is like".  His response stopped me in my tracks for a moment.  He said "I wish I could hear like you".  I wasn't sure if this meant he wished he didn't have cochlear implants and wished he was like me.  He has never in his life ever said anything negative about his hearing.  He has never asked "why me?".  He has never considered himself any different than the rest of us.  Was this the conversation I was dreading when he tells me he wished he wasn't born deaf and didn't have Cochlear Implants?"

Keep in mind, the entire conversation I had with myself took place in about 10 seconds because I had to say something.  I had to answer him.  I had to dig a little deeper and see where this conversation was going.

I said back to him "Do you mean you wish you could just see what it is like to hear like me or do you wish you didn't have cochlear implants and could hear like me?"  He quickly responds "Oh, no, I just want to know what it is like to hear like you. I love my cochlear implants and am happy I have them.  I just wanted to know what it sounds like just like you said you wanted to know what it sounds like to hear with Cochlear Implants."  Whew...all that thinking I did was for nothing.  The 30 second panic attack was for nothing.  I shouldn't have been surprised or shocked.  I know Cormac loves his implants.  I know he would never change anything about himself because when it comes down to it his implants are part of him.  They are all he knows. He knows nothing different.  He can't remember life without them.  I clearly remember the first year of him not hearing and still can cry thinking he never heard me whispering in his ear.  He didn't hear my voice to comfort him in the dark.  It was not upsetting for Cormac.  He was a happy baby.  He is a happy kid.  He loves life and always has loved life.

Will I someday have a conversation with him and he will feel differently?  Perhaps.  I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it.  For now we will continue to rock out in the car and listen to the music and not worry if it sounds different.  We enjoy it all the same.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Testing at NYU

Cormac went for his annual check up at NYU and went in the booth for testing.  I don't have the full reports yet but the audiologist reviewed them with me before we left.  Here is a little bit of a summary:

Cormac can hear speech at 5-10dcb across the board.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I cannot detect speech at 5-10dcb across the board.  Just utterly amazing!

They tested both ears one at a time and of course together.  I can't remember all the numbers off the top of my head but the most important one I do remember.  While bilateral with noise (they introduce noise) to make it more difficult he was able to repeat sentences totaling 140 words and he only missed one!  He responded to them all so quickly and was never even phased by what they were saying.  I am pretty sure he scored above 95% in all of the categories.  I will be waiting for the official report.  Needless to say, I could not be happier with his testing results.

His audiologist also did something she has never done before.  They tested his hearing without his implants.  Yep, headphones in his ears with tones.  The reasoning behind has to do with the improvements with preserving residual hearing after surgery.  She said they are testing all of their patients now.  We knew he would have no results because of the amount of hearing loss he had at birth. 

Cormac was surprised by the testing and a little confused because he knows he can't hear without his implants.  While the test was going on the audiologist kept increasing the volume.  At one point I could hear it even though it was on headphones.  Cormac raised his hand and said to the audiologist " I can't hear anything.  I can only feel the vibrations"  He said it felt strange and tickled his ears.

I consider him a great reporter and he was very cooperative during testing.  His results are nothing short of amazing to me.  When I think back to the beginning and learning about Cochlear Implants for the first time I never thought in a million years results like this were possible. I knew he would have access to sound.  I saw other children talking with their implants.   To sit in the booth with him and watch him whiz through testing with ease is just unbelievable.  Sure, he doesn't hear like you and I hear but looking at him it doesn't appear that way. 

On our way into NYC Cormac was playing with Google Translate on my phone.  He was using it to translate English to French.  He sat in the truck talking into the phone, listening to the response and repeating it for me to hear.  Granted lots of his statements were silly words and sentences but he was learning French.  When we got home he happily shared his new words with his brothers.  They can all say "Dad blew up the toilet"  and "My brothers exploded the bathroom" in French.  Hey, as long as they are learning another language....I will take it, right?

Cormac also decided he wants to start a blog.  He is naming it Hearing Power...My Life as a Bionic Boy.  He has just started it today so keep an eye out...

Here is a selfie he took in the Lincoln Tunnel

Here he is in the waiting room.  I remember him being so tiny in the chairs.  Now he is outgrowing them.