Monday, October 29, 2007

Landon's Activation!

We went for Landon's activation today. He smiled when they turned him on. They did the left first and then the right. Now comes the fun part of trying to keep them on him. He hasn't tried to pull them off too much, but his ear is so small it is falling off just with him moving his head around. I had to ride back next to him in the van because every time he turned his head it would pop off.

Landon's Left Ear

Landon's Right Ear

Friday, October 26, 2007

One year ago today

One year ago today our lives took a detour to a new journey. Landon had failed the newborn screening in the hospital and of course we got the typical speech from the nurse in the hospital - it's probably just fluid, give it a few weeks, it will clear out and go for a retest. This was the day I took him for the repeat OAE - that was supposed to come back fine. By the time we went for this test, we pretty much knew he had a problem. Being that he was #3, we knew he wasn't responding like he should. I remember being in the hospital after having Connor and seeing him turn his head in the direction of my voice at only a day old. Garrett could run through the living room screeching and Landon wouldn't flinch an eye. Nobody can be that sound of a sleeper - Garrett can wake the dead with his high pitches.

The audiologist ran the test, told me he didn't pass again; but she wanted to run a test to see if he had any fluid in his ears. After that, all she could tell me was that he had some type of a loss, but that we wouldn't know the degree or type until we ran an ABR test. At the time, we didn't know there were degrees or different types of hearing loss. We just thought you could either hear, or if you were deaf, you couldn't. Has our world - and vocabulary - changed over the last year.

I came home and was glued to the computer for the next few weeks - trying to find out everything I could on hearing loss - even though we didn't get the official diagnosis until Nov.6 when they did the ABR. Surprisingly, his hearing loss hasn't been that hard to accept. I've never had this overwhelming grief that a lot of parents go through. I don't know if maybe it's because for the first five weeks we knew there was something wrong so I was prepared when she said he failed it again. Maybe it's because I haven't stopped long enough since the diagnosis to really focus on it. Maybe it is just naive on my part - because we haven't really gotten very far in this journey so maybe I'm not aware of everything that it entails.The main thing I've kept thinking since we found out is how lucky we are. There are so many birth defects and health problems that can effect children and we were blessed enough to have three healthy boys. Yes, one of them couldn't hear - but he could live like that. At that time we still knew nothing about cochlear implants or what they could do for someone - we just figured we would all be learning sign language. But it wasn't a life threatening birth defect. It wasn't a disease that was incurable. He would simply have to learn a new way to communicate. Imagine our surprise when we found out about cochlear implants and learned that not only would he be able to hear, but he would be able to speak and go to school just like his brothers.

It has definitely been a learning year. It has had it's rough spots - like getting through the surgery. I'm sure the next few years will have their share of challenges - teaching him to listen and talk. We can't wait for Monday to get here and get him activated. Maybe by this time next year we will have forgotten this date and instead focus on Oct.29 - his hearing birthday.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Boo at the Zoo

Landon - Little LSU Tiger
Garrett - Yoda when the ears are on; Qui Gon Jinn when he takes the ears offConnor the Power Ranger
Boo at the Zoo - with their cousin Gavin
Bath time is so much easier now that he can sit.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Only one week to go until activation! Landon has become a crawling machine - nothing is safe. His favorite thing is to go play in his brothers' room. We are getting ready to take the boys to the Boo at the Zoo. Connor is going to be a Power Ranger, Garrett is Yoda (with his favorite color green lightsaber), and Landon is an LSU football player. We'll post some pictures later in their costumes.

One of his new things is to pat his chest. He also pats his mouth - we'll have to work on him making noise with it once he gets activated.
His incisions are healing really well.

Monday, October 8, 2007


We just got back from New Orleans. The rain and the traffic made for a long trip. As his dad said, everything looks great. Dr. Molony took the nasty tape strips off and now we are just waiting for activation day. This time last week he couldn't sit by himself at all. Now he crawls everywhere he wants to go (and some places you don't want him to.) He can also go from crawling to sitting and back by himself. You can no longer put him on the floor with some toys and think he is going to stay there and play. He takes off following you wherever you go. It's amazing how far his gross motor skills have come in just a weeks time. The doctor asked if he was having any balance problems after the surgery and was surprised when I told him it was actually the opposite - all his balance problems cleared up after the surgery.

Everything Looks Great

Landon has just completed is latest checkup and has received a clean bill of health from the Dr. Moloney. He still has a small bit of swelling in the neck area, but it seems to be decreasing on a daily basis.

On another note, Landon began to belly crawl and sit up 2 days after surgery. I am astounded at his progress over the past 4 to 5 days. Last night while I watched LSU beat Flordia again, he was able to sit up own his own from a prone position. It is really exciting to see his progress...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bouncing Back

It's amazing how fast these babies bounce back from surgery. Landon is pretty much back to his old self again. He does have a lot more separation anxiety - he won't go to anyone else but me right now. He is back to playing on the floor with all his toys - as long as I'm sitting right there with him. Of course the last time he was taken from me they cut his head open so I'm sure it's just a side effect of that. Every day it gets better so he'll be back to his friendly self before long. We gave him the tylenol with codeine the first two days for the pain and then just went to regular tylenol. So far today he hasn't needed anything for the pain - he's been happy and playing all day.
We have noticed a few things that have changed with him since the surgery. He no longer does the scooting on his head with his back arched. He crawls on his tummy with his head up. He also doesn't throw his head back like he did when you hold him. He is doing a lot better with his head control and sitting by himself. The surgery has definitely made a difference in his balance issues.

This is the day after surgery - one of his ears sticks out a little but the other one doesn't.
The first side they did.
The second side. You think they could have at least shaved the same amount. Oh well, it is already starting to grow back so it won't be long.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

We're Home!

We just got back in from our stay in New Orleans. Landon was able to have his surgery yesterday - he still had a little fluid in the right ear but the doctor said it wasn't enough to need to cancel. It actually went a lot faster then we thought it would - he was only away from us for 4 hours. We got to pre-op at 6:15 and they took him to the OR at 7:30. At 8:30 we got the message that surgery had just started and at 10:30 Dr. Molony came out and said everything was done and the audiologist had just gone in to do the NRT testing. By 11:30 we were back in recovery with him. It took him most of the day to sleep off the anesthesia (and the small dose of morphine they gave him right after to help until the tylenol had kicked in) He would wake up, take a bottle, and then go right back to sleep. Around 10:00 last night he woke up wanting to play. He kept trying to roll over but couldn't because of the large bandage on his head. We went for his post-op this morning and the doctor took off the big bandage so he just has the tape strips over the incisions. We talked with the audiologist for a minute and she said they got full insertion of the electrodes on both sides and that everything tested perfectly. He was playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake in the office so he is pretty much back to his normal, happy self.

Back in the hotel following surgery - he ended up spending the day in a diaper and towel because he kept soaking through everything after all the IV fluids they gave him.

Leaving the hospital to come home

On the way to his post-op in front of the Cochlear Implant Awareness Month display. Louisiana finally does something to be proud of. They are the first state in the nation to declare October as Cochlear Implant Awareness Month. Landon was the first surgery done during this awareness month and the first simultaneous bilateral CI surgery done.