Hearing Aids

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We learned in depth last month that Cayman has a pretty messed up middle and inner ear. The bones in the middle ear are malformed and do not transmit sound well into the inner ear. And once sound does make it through the middle ear, the inner ear is even more malformed, with a part missing that effects both hearing and balance. The sound then travels up the nerve and into the brain. That pathway seems to be in good working order. But once the sound has reached the brain it has to be interpreted still by a brain that is severely malformed itself (and remember the sound that did make it all that way is pretty poor).

I sat there marveling over the doctor's analysis of Cayman's ear anatomy. It was felt shocking to hear. Cayman has carried on showing she understand much of what we say which masked that there ever was a problem with her hearing. The only thing that maybe gave us the slight wondering is her lack of speech development. She does not talk. We don't even hear many "mom's" or "dada's" anymore but the part of her brain that controls speech is not exactly typical either.

Listening to the doctor's overwhelming interpretation of the detailed scan of Cayman's ears and all the malformations it revealed, my head swirled in the terminology. We were getting a quick, crash coarse in ear anatomy it would seem.

I sat there engulfed in a great peace. We are in the midst of another one of God's amazing miracles in our little Cayman. It's remarkable that she can hear at all and the amount of hearing loss that is noted is marked only as mild to moderate. Can you see the miracle in that too?

Cayman was fitted for hearing aids, not a process that she enjoyed. In fact she cried. Poor baby. She just hates her ears being messed with and any progress we had made with the toy otoscope I am afraid was thrown out the window that day. The audiologist injected a putty-like substance into her ears that hardened to the shape of them after a few minutes. They took the mold out and that was used to custom make some well fitting hearing aid molds for Cayman.

And here's the big news: Cayman loves the hearing aids!

A toy otoscope, we don't need that to get her over her ear-touching phobias anymore. It only took her a couple of days to feel comfortable with them and now she sits patiently and calmly while I put them in each morning. She finishes it up with smiles and clapping. She never pulls them out. They have even improved her tolerance in wearing her glasses. Cayman learned quickly that when she pulls her glasses off out pops the hearing aids too. So she leaves those in place now as well. Can you imagine how much easier this has made things for us? No more struggles and fights. Except in eye patching...that's been thrown in the mix of doctor's orders now too, but we'll save that for another day's post.

We have noticed Cayman reacting to quieter sounds since she has gotten the hearing aids. And clinically the tests showed improvement in her range of hearing.

So many glorious things we are experiencing in our little miracle girl.




Peering out the window.



Pointing at a squirrel.




We're still keeping our fingers crossed and praying our insurance will pay for the hearing aids. We have appealed their denial and now we wait to hear from them again. I am told from a lot of different parties to not hold my breath though. Rarely does an insurance company pay for them.


*Sigh*

28 Showin' Comment Love:

*Monica said...

What great news that she likes her aids! It is a shame that insurance can get away with not paying for something so important to life as hearing.

Diana Parker said...

I'll be placing an order for a hat when you're ready!

Kristin said...

she looks so grown up! Abby's getting her bone conducting aid this week. Our Audiologist said that once the kids catch on to the fact that they can hear better they don't mess with the aids.

I've heard of a few programs that help pay for aids I'll look them up and send them your way. Also you might ask her doctors and Audiologists to start helping with the appeal process. Their letter would be harder to reject then yours sadly.

TherExtras said...

Wonderful news! Darling and hearing-better girl!

Barbara

Sue said...

What a beautiful, happy little girl in those pictures! So happy tht the struggle with the glasses and hearing aids are over!! Yes, she is your miracle girl...over and over again!!

The Soldatke family said...

She looks so big and grown up in those pictures! I just love her curls! And those clips are so cute!!

I am so glad she is keeping her hearing aids AND her glasses on! She is absolutely gorgeous with both! And I am glad they are helping her!

What a nice way to spend the winter: knitting! I always love knitting way more when it's chilly than hot outside. Now, if Iowa, Illinois and Indiana would just disappear, we could sit together with a fire in our fireplace knitting, and letting the kids play!

Grandma S said...

Cayman looks so happy and inquisitive in those pictures. She can sure hide that orneriness well when she wants to, but we know that little mind is thinking, "What can I get into next?"

Kristen said...

Kristin,

Thanks so much for the input.

We do have the audiologist preparing documentation to submit to the insurance company, showing proof that the aids are helping her. Cayman's speech therapist will do this for us as well as she notes any improvements too. We're also looking into switching her audiology care to a doctor in Ohio. It would not be my first choice since U of M's audiology department is so superb but there is some perks to the one in Ohio. For starters, the office would be a local drive for us and not a two hour trip. And we are applying for a financial aid program that is available in Ohio. The catch to the program is the doctor it will pay for also has to be in Ohio, hence the reason for the switch from U of M to Ohio. Hopefully something will work out. $3000 is a lot of money!!!

Beth said...

Great news!!! And I know I say this all the time - but I swear she gets cuter with every picture. Her smile MAKES me smile!!!! Such a doll!

Lisa said...

I agree that it is so wonderful to live in a time where there are things like hearing aides and glasses to help our little ones use their senses to the fullest of their potential....a blessing indeed!

(Happy knitting!)

Zoe said...

I will be praying that insurance picks up the bill or at least part of the bill for her aids. :)
But, I must say that I am excited about the return of your Etsy store.... I do think that Lily has to have a hat this winter! :D

Josephine said...

Oh I'm so glad that she's loving them so much! That just proves that they must be doing wonders for her :)
Insurance doesn't want to pay for them????? That is CRAZY! Have I mentioned how much I hate health insurance?

Diane said...

Glad to hear that Cayman is doing so well with the hearing aids. That's got to feel great that she likes to keep them in and you don't have to fight with her.

I think she looks so grown up in these pictures. She does not look like the same Cayman I saw a month an half ago. And I love the curls!

GAL/AL said...

Love the picture of her sitting in the chair with that (ornery) smile! She IS her Daddy's daughter. :D Her hair looks so pretty. Did you get it cut? Her curls are adorable. Love to all!

Kristen said...

Aunt Linda,

Funny that you ask if I got Cayman's hair cut..and since you said it looks pretty then I will admit that I trimmed it myself. :)

Sarah said...

Great to hear Cayman is going so well with her new hearing aids.

Bugg's mama said...

Blessings all over the place! And how great that she likes & wears the hearing aids. It must be like a whole new world has opened up to Cayman since she can hear better. That is just so wonderful!

Love, Bree

Amber said...

this simulator helps you to understand what it sounds like through cayman's ears:

http://www.starkey.com/your-hearing/hearingloss-simulator

Check out: Starkey Foundation, Katie's Hear to Help Foundation, Inc...website: http://www.heartohelp.net/index.html, Audient...Website: http://www.audientalliance.org/,

Amber said...

Unfortunately, neither Ohio nor Michigan have state requirements mandating hearing aid coverage. :( I've had them since 6th grade and it's always been a fight that's unfortunately never won, at leas in my experience and other deaf/hoh that I know.

Sorry if too personal.....does Cayman get any Medicaid Coverage? If so, they do cover hearing aids.


Hope this helps give you some more options.

Amber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brotherlyloveejkp said...

I've been reading you for awhile but I don't comment often. I work for Early Intervention in Ohio. I was wondering if your connected with Project REACH. It's the regional infant hearing program. They are a phenominal resource and may be able to help you find assistance for paying for Cayman's aids. I'm glad she's doing so very well with them! She is truly amazing!!

Nichole said...

I find it very ironic that you posted about Cayman's hearing aides on the same day your Baby ticker said that Baby Boy is starting to hear your heartbeat. Both your babies are getting their hearing in check at the same time!

Kristen said...

Nicole,

Your comment made me giggle. Thanks. :)

Kristen said...

Thanks so much for all the help and information. I appreciate it.

David said...

25th!

wow, a successful post.

i just found out that a friend of mine is going to university of michigan. first thing i thought was, oh the stamms would not approve lol

Gretchen said...

Kristen,

Have you looked into this organization? They provide financial assistance

http://www.audientalliance.org/patient/help.php

Also this guide seems helpful

http://www.cochlearamericas.com/PDFs/funding_resources.pdf

she's a doll, as always:)

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hearingaustintx said...

Like Monica. I think this is very great news. Not all kids love wearing their hearing aids because they are not comfortable of it.

hearing testing Leander TX