Monday, October 31, 2011

Fun girl down

So,my fun girl was down from one illness to another.Last couple of weeks she contracted a viral fever complete with coughing and vomiting.Not very pretty,yes.She recovered in a few days but was cranky for a while.

Last Saturday she contracted  stomach flu, a severe one too and it nearly got her admitted to a hospital.Luckily she didn't refuse fluid so we were able to keep her at home. I had to give her 75 ml of ORS fluid every hour.If there was any vomiting or diarrhoea, I was to add another 90-120ml.Believe me,that was A LOT of water and I had to give it in sips not gulps to avoid more vomiting.So we were stuck in bed taking sips of water for at least 8 hours while watching Strawberry Shortcake DVD over and over again.It gave us plenty of cuddle time which was nice.The not so nice part was when she refused her CIs (which is understandable considering how sick she was feeling).

However,her not hearing left me feeling so inadequate.She talks like she normally does when she has no CIs on and she read lips quite well but only within context.If you try to explain something new,it would be terribly hard and she would start to guess a lot and we both would end up frustrated.Then,I would start feeling sad,upset and nervous over how much language opportunity that would be lost during these silent hours.

Ok,I know I should take it easy but it takes a lot of struggle on my part to relax when I have all these mixed up feelings.It doesn't help that Miss R refuses her CIs every time she is sick.How do I explain to her that the injection will only sting a bit and it will help stop the vomiting or she has to sip the water and not gulp no matter how thirsty she feels to avoid vomiting or the sips of water will prevent her body from getting dehydrated and many other things like that if she can't hear me?
Maybe we should start our sign language course soon.

Anyway,the good news is she's almost back to her own happy self.

Miss R and her army of dolls

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two years of hearing (and nonstop talking )

So, Miss R celebrated her 2nd hearing birthday on September 15th.She was switched on at 2 years 4 month of age and has moved at lightning speed since.She learned to detect,discriminate,identify and imitate all Lings 6 sounds within 2 weeks of switch on and produced her first words at 3 weeks post switched on.She started combining words about 2 months post switch on and she achieved all these milestones with us struggling to keep the CI on her.She hated her CI initially.I really didn't understand it since she was learning so much and enjoying the sounds that she could now hear.I guess she must have enjoyed giving us a hard time then.

Now she enjoys both of her CIs and is a true chatterbox who never stops talking.The only times that I could enjoy some peace and quiet is when she is asleep (late) and napping (rarely). We still haven't tested her recent language skill though we suspect that she is already on par with her peers.It's a tricky thing since we don't have any form of formal testing and no norm in Malaysia where most children are multilingual.Miss R is bilingual with Malay as her first language and English her second.She is learning some mandarin in preschool but we are opting for extra English class in replacement of Mandarin class for next year.We'll just keep her bilingual at the moment.

She enjoys listening to music (something that I couldn't imagine before) and going to participate in talent time contest in December organised by Opus academy of music.All the preparation is being done by the dedicated teachers so I can't write much about this.We'll start her on an instrument (most likely piano) next year when she is more ready.

So,now she looks like other kids and does things that other 4 year olds do except that she has extra gadgets on her ears.Maybe soon I will teach her how to explain her CI to other people.

Now,the only area that needs a bit more adjusting is her social skills.She's fine in preschool and daycare with familiar people but she tends to be very shy with strangers or new people.She will need at least 20 minutes of warm up time before she starts talking.
It's really ok, but it's not fun for me especially when I want to show off my talking child and the miracle of CI to some new people and my chatterbox child decided to keep quite and ignore the person who is talking to her.I have no idea what motivates her to do this, probably only the sheer happiness of exasperating her mother.God knows.

Before, I couldn't stop thinking about her deafness.Now,it has become a non issue.She could hear and talk like other children.Putting on the CIs has become second nature like putting on shoes or socks.Something that  I couldn't imagine possible but is IS possible with a little bit of work and perseverance.