Saturday, October 11, 2008

drumroll please...

{an old school sign for children's hospital oakland...don't worry, their facilities are more up to date}

so, after much deliberation, matt and i have decided to have little m get her cochlear implants at children's hospital oakland. this is a huge decision in our world of hearing loss, and it took a while to decide as there were many pros and cons to both of the programs we looked into. we really super liked everyone at stanford and their program and we actually even preferred one of the implants they use that children's hospital does not (it's the european model and has way better style, but is less used in the u.s. and our surgeon at children's doesn't work with it. leave it to the europeans to be both fashionable and functional! what's new.)

at first, as soon as we said it out loud to each other, i had buyer's remorse and wondered if stanford would have been better. but then we went in for an appointment thursday (yes, we had not one but two appointments there this week), and it just confirmed to me that this was the right decision. i love little m's audiologist. i love her speech therapist. i love that they gave us free loaner hearing aids until her surgery so we didn't have to pay thousands of dollars for a few months of use. i love that it is ten minutes from our house. i love that it is blocks from our pediatrician. i love that there are huge stuffed monkeys hanging from trees in the foyer. i even love that bakesale betty is so close (the most amazing sandwiches. ever.) (ok, that wasn't actually on my list of pros and cons, but now that i think about it, it is totally a pro. while i'm at it, sweet adeline's bakery is also so close and that now bolsters the pros list even more.)

while we were at m's pre-implant speech and language assesment, i met my new hero. adeline mcclatchie, who directed the pediatric audiology department at children's hospital from 1968-1994, and who started their cochlear implant program in 1990! she played with m while i answered umpteen questions for the therapist and she was just amazing with m. in just a few minutes she taught me all of these new ways to interact with little m to communicate with her effectively. honestly, i want her to move next door and be my personal tutor for all things developmental. m loved her too, and as usual, charmed her way through the session as she cooed, played, and rolled around on the floor.

we also found out that if our insurance approves it, m's cochlear implant surgery will be SO soon! either october 31st (yes, as in 20 days from now) or november 7th. wow. surreal, exciting, scary, all rolled into one. that means she will still be 6 months when she gets it- isn't that crazy? i will say that it is all becoming more real, and after her mri this week it remains frightening to think of doctor's opening up my baby's head. wow. so many emotions....

but for now, at least we have a decision as to where her surgery and followup will be, and as much as it is a cliche, we are taking one day at a time around this house!

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