Yesterday Landon received his BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). It was a long day yesterday. Logan stayed with a good friend of ours and we also borrowed their car as well. The trip up was nerve wracking because we did get a little bit of a late start and we were nervous we would miss his appointment which was scheduled at 1 p.m. Thankfully we were only a few minutes late and the doctor understood especially since we traveled two and a half hours.
When I got out of the car, I knew we would not be the same as when we had gotten in the car yesterday morning. Our world was going to change. Landon's world was going to change. The change was going to be for the better. We walked in, registered Landon, and waited for about 15 minutes for the audiologist to see us. She came out and spotted us and told us to come on back. We walked into her office and she pulled out a big box that said Cochlear BAHA System. As she began pulling things out and discussing how it would help him hear we began to feel more comfortable. She had us demonstrate that we knew how to turn it on and off and adjust it on his head so that she knew we were comfortable. She explained how to clean the BAHA and explained everything to us from replacing the battery to if it gets broken. Here is a link if anybody wants to read further and this link would explain so much better then I could: http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/us/home/treatment-options-for-hearing-loss/bone-conduction-implants/how-the-baha-4-connect-system-works/. Our main purpose to keep learning how it works, how it will help Landon, and record for our audiologist so she can learn how it will help Landon. After all of the explaining of the BAHA we finally put it on Landon's head.
The moment that the BAHA was on Landon's head was amazing. I only wish I had my camera ready at that exact moment but his facial expression is forever ingrained in my head. We put it on him and his face lit up with a huge smile. She told us Landon would have a tendency to lean the side of his head that his BAHA sits on (right side) against us or against something to feel/hear the feedback from the BAHA. Sure enough he likes to do that because it sends a vibration feeling along his head. Landon did great with his BAHA yesterday. After we left the audiologist, he left his BAHA alone. The only time he did take it off was when he was tired in the car ride coming home. Our audiologist said if he is tired or not feeling well then he will have a tendency to want to take it off which is fine. We will need to watch his cues so we do not lose his BAHA.
In the almost 24 hours that he has had his BAHA I can already see changes. He began mumbling/trying to talk more all afternoon/evening yesterday. Landon is still learning to walk but his balance has not been that great. Yesterday when we got home and this morning, his balance seemed to be a lot better. Balance is associated with sound. Here is another link that explains the balance and hearing relationship better than I can: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=21685. As far as his hearing, he is just looking in every direction. Yes, sounds are familiar but to Landon the sounds are clearer to him now than what they were before and he is of course curious. We went to the grocery store this morning after dropping Logan off at school and Landon left his BAHA alone and was just wide eyed in the grocery store because he could hear better than before. So far, Landon is doing great with his BAHA.
I have had people ask me questions about the BAHA so I am going to try to answer them.
1. Now where do you do since Landon has the BAHA? The answer to this is we keep track of how it is helping him hear. This will help him hear until he is old enough for a permanent surgery. There is a surgery where they can permanently install a BAHA inside of his head. The soft band is the perfect option for children under 5 or 6 because it can be removed and there is no surgery/procedure involved with the soft band.
2. Have we seen a difference in Landon? I did answer this above but I will answer it again, YES we have! It has been amazing. This is only day 1. Our audiologist told us to record each day or each week so since I blog, you can bet I will be recording all the differences I see over the next few days, weeks, months.
3. How do we keep him the BAHA on Landon? It is a head band/soft band. It has been adjusted to sit comfortably on his head. So far, he has not tried to pull it off except for when he has been tired (only twice). The BAHA system did come with a clip that we can use if Landon keeps trying to take it off which will help hold the BAHA in place. However, the audiologist said that as Landon realizes he an hear, he will leave it alone and won't bother it. Our obstacle will be Logan who will want to try to take it off and see what it is. We will explain to Logan that the BAHA is Landon's and Logan needs to help us make sure it stays on Landon's head. The audiologist suggested that we make Logan our helped and if Landon is trying to take it off, Logan can tattle on his brother.
4. What about his left ear? The audiologist checked his left ear and there still appears to be fluid. We are going to see the pediatrician next week for is one year check up and we will definitely mention te fluid. We go back to see the audiologist and our ENT in March and if there is still fluid the audiologist said we will need to plan for them to put tubes in Landon's left ear. The reason for the tubes is so that we can figure out quicker if he can hear from his left ear.
Those are the four biggest questions that have been asked. If you have any other questions, just let me know. Below are pictures from yesterday. I hope I was able to explain everything. The BAHA will be mainly based on our experience. Everyone has different reactions/experiences. While Landon may react one way, someone else may not react the same way.
Thank you to my readers for following our story and for keeping up with our story of Landon and his special ear.