Today I get a free pass for skipping ahead and talking about Christmas. Why? You'll see....
We met with AJ's audi today to have our device discussion. We sat down with her (while AJ played on the floor with every toy he could find) and asked LOTS of questions about the three different implants available. Our surgeon implants all three devices. So we couldn't just say, "Oh, your most familiar with this one, ok, let's do that one." Alright, we'd never say that anyhow, but you get my point.
We were pretty set on which implant we wanted, and then today, AJ's audi threw a wrench in the mix. We are now considering two of the three companies. Each have pros and cons. We have a while to make a decision. She encouraged us to call the customer service lines for each company and ask what/how much support they offer their CI families. We will continue to research as much as we can before we make a firm decision.
You can find the links for the three implant companies HERE, or by scrolling down the page, under "cochlear implant links".
We were able hold and explore the implants-both internal & external devices-in our own hands. As if that wasn't mindblowing enough...AJ's audi asked us if we wanted to try any of them on AJ. Um, YEAH! Of course, he wailed when she went near his left ear. He's been wearing the new Huggie on that hearing aid and well, its not pretty when we put it in/on....
To see the coil on my son's beautiful head of black hair and the speech process behind his ear...wow. This is real. To touch the magnets, the titanium, to bend it, feel the electrode arrays....wow. We left calm, collected, and armed with a device comparison sheet to further help us decide over the next few weeks.
As for why I'm skipping ahead and discussing Christmas. Well, let's just say the rollercoaster isn't stopping. Naturally, we discussed the fact that we are waiting on insurance approval for AJ's 1st implant. AJ's audi informed us that Dr. Wackym is fully aware of our insurance issue (acquiring new insurance as of 1/1/09) and if the T19 approval comes through before the end of the year, he will do everything he can to accomodate us and do the surgery as soon as possible. Meaning, he basically has the right to override the " scheduling at least 3 weeks out" rule we were told originally. I swear, my new saying is truly, "I'm sorry, what did you say?!" Wait, its gets better...we asked what their average had been as far as time T19 was taking to approve CI surgeries. She answered: around a month. So, if we are super duper lucky, AJ's surgery could be approved around 12/7 and our little man would be implanted by/around/during Christmas.
This is truly Our Grown-Up Christmas Wish. We are determined to stay positive and know that if it doesn't happen before Christmas, there is a reason. But if it does, there are two parents who will be lit up like a child on Christmas Morning.