Friday, January 19, 2007

What Is That Blinking Light On His Head?

This is actually a question that we got asked at Costco last week :>

As most of you know, there is a little red blinking light on Aiden's ear level microphone that lets us know that the implant is indeed picking up sound - and apparently makes other people very curious! When people have asked about Aiden's implant, I think I have told every person a different story. I have never known quite what to say before (Do I just call it a fancy hearing aid? Do I go into a lot of detail? Am I talking over or under people's heads?) - but I think I've figured it out! Here's what I'm going to tell anyone else who asks me, "what's that blinking light on his head?" (or words to that effect...)

"It's called a Cochlear Implant. It is like a hearing aid. But, whereas a hearing aid is an entirely external thing, part of this device is actually implanted in his head. Plus, a hearing aid's job is just to amplify sound. A Cochlear Implant goes much further - it actually picks sound up with a microphone (the blinking light part), translates that sound into electrical impulses (using this processor on his back), and sends that information to his brain (through this magnet on his head) which then interpret those impulses and understands them as sounds. It's really pretty amazing."

I hope that helps those of you who have wrote me and said that you also didn't know what to tell people.

Or, you could just follow what Aiden's 3.5 year old brother Noah tells people. Last time we were at Aiden's Pediatrican's office (Hi Dr. Dempsey!!), Noah and Aiden were playing in a little house that it is the waiting room with another girl who was probably 9 years old. She asked Noah what was on Aiden's head. I was just about to jump in and offer an explanation when Noah (as confidently as anything) said simply, "It's a Cochlear Implant, it helps him hear." Seriously!!!!! I didn't even know he KNEW the words Cochlear Implant - let alone be able to use them in a sentance that answered the little girl's question perfectly. I guess I could learn a thing or two from him...

10 Comments:

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Sam said...

Hey Nicole, so glad to catch up. When I was reading your response to people I am thinking to myself, this is way too much information as most people just want their curiosity satisfied. I was going to suggest something less informative and then read further....and yes, Noah has it right....to the T. It is kind of like when your kids ask about how babeies get made....only tell them what they need to know. Take Noah's approach and you will save yourself lots of time.

Thrilled to learn that it is working and that Aiden is adjusting....you are winning this battle for sure.

Thinking of you oftern,

sam

 
At 4:13 PM, Anonymous jen said...

I love Noah's explanation. Out of the mouths of babes, eh?

I think in the line at Costco, and the like, I might first offer Noah's explanation. If the person then smiles and walks away, you have saved yourself some breath. If they lean in and smile and seem interested, you could then give your explanation, which I think is wonderful. I would like to be beside you in the line at Costco. And Safeway. And Loblaws. And the Brick. And The Keg. And McDonalds. And Smitty's. Gosh I wish you were here. :)

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole,
Just wanting to let you know about our next VOICE event in Kingston - Feb 18th. My emails to you are bouncing back so thought I would try this route!
Send me a note and I'll send you the details.
Great to read about Aiden's progress...Wonderful!
Anne in Kingston

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

Hi Nicole,

Natasha sent me a link to your son's blog. Our 2 year old son, Noah will be getting his CI on February 12th from sick kids. I was excited to see there was another child in Belleville with a Cochlear Implant. Noah is severe-profoundly deaf in both ears and was only diagnosed 8 months ago. Your blog is a great resource for those going through the experience. Thanks for allowing Natasha to share it with other families.

 
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