Friday, April 29, 2011

Home sweet home!

We are home ! Rhianna's recovery is going pretty smoothly despite the lack of mastoid dressing.Apparently good enough for the surgeon to let us go home.We are still on the lookout for any swelling or hematoma but hopefully none will show up.Right now,there's only minimal swelling and the ear is sticking out a bit.It looks kinda funny but normal for any CI surgery.

This time around,her recovery is faster and easier.She didn't vomit at all after surgery.Her appetite was back almost immediately and no nose bleed like before.She is now back to her normal happy self and needs constant reminder not to run or jump too much.(I really don't want to go back to the hospital! )

This is about 5 hours after surgery.She was already playing and watching DVD.She was still wearing her OT gown.No dizziness or balance problem noted.

24 hours after surgery,she's already playing with a new friend.The other girl is waiting to do a spinal tumour removal surgery (my heart goes out to her and her family).Amazingly,both girls will turn four on the same day, May 13th! How cool is that?

At home after finishing a whole ice cream cone.She's pretty pampered at the moment but I dont' think it will last that long.She'll be back on regular diet very soon,trust me.And she's keeping the hospital tag on her wrist because it is PINK.

And again,keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

She's out!

Playing in the playroom before surgery yesterday

She went down at 9 am  (easy) and woke up at 11 am (very hard).The actual surgery time was only a little over an hour.Imagine that! It is well known that our surgeon of choice is the best in this region.What I didn't realize is that he is almost superhuman in speed and precision and not to mention his stitches are like artwork- very very fine.
We love you Prof L !

This is about 3 hours after surgery.Yup, no bandage.For the first surgery,her bandage survived almost 24 hours.After that, it came out at the hands of an active toddler.Any attempt to rebandage was futile.

This time,it survived maybe 10 minutes?

The moment she woke up from the anesthesia,she was pretty disoriented and she struggled hard.It took maybe three nurses to calm her down.The thing about a groggy deaf child who refused to open her eyes is she couldn't hear you and didn't understand what was happening until she opened her eyes and saw mommy trying to hold her.Then,she practically jumped into my arms and accused everybody else of being naughty,smelly and other things (she doesn't have very many bad words in her vocabulary).

Other than that,she's fine now that she has settled down.No vomitting or anything.I hope it will be an easy recovery.

Again,keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Surgery in 8 1/2 hours!

So,looks like we are going to make it to the surgery table (thank god!).It is now 12.30 am and the surgery is scheduled at 9 am.

Rhianna is fast asleep on the hospital bed and I'm feeling so nervous about the surgery.She was admitted this morning and they ran full blood test and multiple check ups to make sure that she's fit to go in tomorrow.So we will probably be here for a couple of days (standard procedure here) for observation after the surgery.

It's not easy taking care of an active child who is not sick yet stuck in a hospital.Luckily they have a big play room with many toys so she's not that bored.Unfortunately the room is closed at 5pm so mom had to take over and entertain her from there on.Fortunately,mom is smart enough to bring a couple of new toys and dvds (thanks Barney!).

Anyway,Rhianna's beloved Mama Gee will scrub in and observe the surgery tomorrow.I opted not to.I'm not squeamish with blood or anything,but seeing someone drills into my daughter's skull is a different story altogether.

Soon Rhianna will be bilateral and another hearing journey will begin. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

p/s: will update with photos tomorrow.What else can one do when stuck in a hospital but blog?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Twisted sense of humor

We finally received a surgery date for her second implant - April 28th !

Let's not discuss about how will she bond or learn to listen again with this new device.The thought of another switch on and multiple map sessions (as exciting as they are ) will make me hyperventilate.
Let's not even talk about the surgery process.I might need a tranquiliser to calm my nerves.

Today we'll talk about sense of humour.

I am a speech therapist who has not much experience working with hearing impaired children.Aside from my student and training years,I don't really take HI cases.It's not really my cup of tea.I'm more into autism and PDD and things like that.So what did God do? He blessed me with a deaf child.Now, I really had no choice but learn all the techniques needed to teach my child.

Getting the first CI was a bit too easy for us.The government funded the whole thing and we got it fast.We also got our favourite surgeon and audiologist even though they were very busy and very much sought after.So,where's the humour in that?

It took 3 adults to hold her down and stick that damned thing to the her head while she screamed bloody murder..and that thing tend to fall off every 5 minutes or so and the whole process would start all over again.It took her quite some time (like one whole month of screaming her throat sore) to bond with her first ear and now they are inseparable.

About a month ago in preparation of this pending surgery,I upped her prebiotics,give her daily doses of multivitamins,fish oil and extra vitamin C to build better immune system and possibly avoid cough and cold episodes.
Then,God decided to be funny again and sent us some virus just when I was about to pull her out from school and keep her at home.
So now she's sniffling and coughing and on various medication trying to meet the surgery date (we'll update you whether we make or not).

I've learned a lot of lessons on this journey with my daughter.I've learned a lesson in humility.We can always make plans but God will make the final call.I've learned to take things easy,enjoy the moment and worry less.I now understand that everything happens for a purpose..even the most impossible and difficult things.We just have to find the purpose God intended and fullfill it.

And I've also learned that He has such twisted sense of humour.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The MAP story

Rhianna hates MAP sessions.All of them.Period.If she ever cooperated in any of them,it was because she wanted to (not because you told her to) but she still hated them.If she ever dropped anything in the bucket when she heard a beep,she did it pouting.

I remember when she was just activated and we had to MAP her every other week - pure hell!
No amount of bribery (or threat) would make her cooperate.Luckily our audi Dr C is very patient and is very good at reading a child's body language in response to sound.Even luckier Rhianna's body language was not hard at all to read.She would play nicely with a toy and when she heard a beep, she turned and glared menacingly at the audi.I was quite sure that she growled and gnashed her teeth too but maybe that was just my imagination.

Anyway,last couple of weeks we had one MAP session (after 6 months of no MAPPING bliss).
On the way there,she told me she didn't want to listen to the beep beep sound.I told her she'd get ice cream,sweets and toys if she cooperated (bribery) but she just pouted.

Once there,she entered a mute zone and refused to talk to anybody.She answered questions by nodding or shaking her head and glaring at anybody who dared smile at her (charming!)
Inside, she cooperated fairly and when it was all over she was back to her old chirpy self much to the amusement of Dr C.

Now 2 weeks after, she is still adjusting to the new programs.I think this is the reason why she doesn't like new maps.All this readjusting to sounds is a bit tiring for her and it's making her cranky and a bit sensitive too.Trust me,a stubborn,sensitive and cranky child drains your energy very fast.

God have mercy on us.