Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A New Look

I've been blogging almost 3 years and figured its about time for a change. Do you like the new look? If you find it obnoxious or difficult to look at, please leave a comment and I'll change it back. I was just a bit tired of that boring green-ish color.
So, while I have better things to do, I had a good time clicking around and copying and pasting, pretending I actually know something about HTML. Yeah, right.
While I'm at it I'm going to update my links list which has not been updated since 2005 or something.
I hope you like the changes that I will slowly be making. I'll probably change things again because I'm not sure I really like this background. Who knows, but please stick with me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

War Wounds

So as not to alarm you, I'm letting you know that there are pictures below of Max's incision. I didn't want you to just open this up and be surprised by a semi-icky photo.

Here is what Max is looking like these days...

And a side view...

And a close-up of the side view...

You can see that the incision went up the back of his ear and into his hair. The bulge that you see is swelling surrounding the device that they implanted. It looks like this:

The round, flat part lies just beneath his skin. The long wire parts were slipped through a small hole in his skull. The wire with the spiral was inserted into his cochlea. The straight wire is to ground it, I believe.

This will be allowed to heal for 4 weeks. Max's "activation" is scheduled for September 18th. We are so excited. On the 18th we will go to the audiologist and he will receive his processor. It looks like this:

The processor attaches to the head by a magnet in the implanted device. Here's a diagram of how they fit together:

Because it attaches by magnet, it is very important that the incision be completely healed and the device to be held in place and not able to move.

To the best of my understanding, the processor will take in sounds from Max's world and transfer them by radio waves to part lying just beneath his skin. The sound will then travel down the wire and into his cochlea. There is one electrode with 22 channels that will stimulate the auditory nerve directly. The implant completely by-passes the damaged part of the ears and gets right to work inside the brain. In a sense, Max will not "hear" with his ears. The sound will be inside his head. All of this blows my mind! I cannot believe that someone figured this out.

There is lots more to write about. People have asked what the results of this surgery will be. How "successful" will this be? Will Max learn to talk? Will he understand words, hear music, talk on the phone? I'll do my best to answer these questions soon. To be honest, NO ONE knows the answer. No one. Not the doctor, not us, not even people who have been through this exact process. There is no way to tell. We are so excited to see what awaits Max as he travels down this path.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We're Home!!

We're home and Max is doing great. He was released about 3:30. Is that unbelievable or what?

He was pretty groggy as we left the hospital but on the way home he asked if he could watch Star Wars. Of course we said yes! That seemed to perk him up.

When we got home we put him to bed and let him watch as much Star Wars as he wanted. He watched all afternoon and never fell asleep. He even joined us at the table for dinner.

The whole day went beautifully. The only thing that went wrong was our entire bottle of Tylenol with Codeine was poured on the carpet by Jake. Yuck.

We are so thankful for all of your prayers. We are so blessed.

Tomorrow we will go check in with Dr. Kopke. He will re-bandage Max's head. From there it will just be lots of rest and relaxation. We'll take it pretty easy for the next week.

I'm sure most of you know this, but Max will not be able to "hear" just yet. The doctor likes to let the incision heal for at leat 4 weeks before putting on the processor. Even though he "heard" his first sound today, it was only a test run. We'll let you know when his activation is scheduled. That's when it will get exciting.

Again, thank you all for the calls, emails, comments and prayers.

Surgery Day, Part 3

Max is out of surgery and doing well!!! Dr. Kopke said the surgery was longer than expected because when he was taking the implant out of the package it broke, so he had to get a new one. Only the second time that has happened in four years (Glad we're not paying for that.) But the surgery was very successful. They used to do x-rays after the surgery to see how it looks, but now they go one step farther and actually test the implant. Everything works properly, and Max's nerve even responded to sound, which is EXCELLENT news. He was sleeping, but he already heard his first sound.

Erin is at the pharmacy and getting some lunch while I stay with Max. He is groggy from the medicine, and he is in quite a bit of pain. Nausia will be a problem for a few days and he has already complained of that. But the pain in his head is only on the side of the implant and not around his whole head, so that is good news as well. Bottom line, we have had nothing but good news today (though Max may not agree.)

Max looks silly with that HUGE bandage packed around his head, but if you're going to make fun of him you better do it pretty quick, because he'll be able to hear you in another month or so.

Just thought I'd keep you in the loop. Erin will probably post more later.


Surgery Day, Part 2

Well, here we are. We are just waiting and waiting...

Me, Chad, R2-D2 and the Storm Trooper...just waiting.

Here's our gear in my cute basket that Holly gave me. Thanks, Holly!

Here's what Chad should be doing...

Here's what Chad is actually doing...

Here are the snacks I packed for us to eat...

Here is the snack we actually ate...

We got a call from the OR and everything is going well. The surgery is taking longer than they expected. Evidently the first implant had a defect so they had to get a new one which was no problem. As soon as device is implanted the audiologist will perform a test to make sure all of the electrodes are working. Then they'll sew him up and send him to recovery. We can't wait to see him!

We'll keep you posted. Thanks for checking in!

Surgery Day Part 1

We just watch Max march off to surgery in his little yellow socks, blue hat and backless gown! He is so excited--not a bit scared. When we got here we explained that he would need an IV to help him sleep. He was really worried about that, but when we visited with the anesthesiologist he explained that he could give him a mask to put over his face with medicine that smells like candy. He told Max that all he needed to do was breathe in and smell the candy and he would drift off to sleep. No needles needed!! Max was thrilled to pieces and shook the doctor's hand to seal the deal.
To keep his mind off things we got him a few Star Wars figures and the Star Wars trilogy for him to watch while he recovers. He played and played while he waited to go back. He also clung tightly to his beautiful prayer shawl that Momma D knitted. Momma D worked so hard knitting it and then they passed it around at church while praying for Max. It's so special and Max loves it! He slept with it wrapped around him last night and wanted to make sure that it came to the hospital with him. And when it was time to go back for surgery he wanted to take it with him. Thanks, Momma D, for the tangible comfort and love.
We are all cozied up in a corner of the waiting room. They will update us throughout the surgery. Feel free to give us a call or send an email! And thanks again for all the prayers. We love you all!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday is Surgery Day

Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you are reading this) is Max's big day. It's time for his cochlear implant surgery. It was originally scheduled for October 1st but has been moved up. We are so excited!
We will check in to Baptist Medical Center at 6:00am and the surgery will begin at 7:30. Our doctor says that it will last about 4 hours. If all goes well and he is able to eat and keep fluids down we will be able to come home later in the day.
Please be in prayer for our guy tomorrow. It's such a big day for him and he is just beside himself with excitement!
We are really hoping that the hospital has wireless. If so we will be able to post updates throughout the day. If not we will post when we get home.
Thanks for all of your prayers!

Monday, August 04, 2008

I've been tagged

My Mom tagged me via email. I always enjoy these sorts of things...

Two Things:

Two names you go by:
1. Momma
2. Erin

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. gray shorts
2. ratty t-shirt (shocked?)

Two of your favorite things to do:
1. sew
2. spend the evening with Chad

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. To be done with school planning
2. To meet a friend in the area

Two favorite pets you have had/have:
1. Princess (my cat who lived 18 years...until that fateful day)
2. Oliver, no wait, Simon, no wait Millie. Okay, it's a tie.

Two things you did yesterday
l. Had Chad's Chick-fil-A employees over for a party
2. Collapsed after it was all over

Two things you ate today:
1. sugar snap peas
2. peanut butter cookies

Two people you last talked to:
1. My Momma
2. Kristen (long-time friend)

Two things you plan on doing tomorrow:
1. School planning
2. School planning

Two longest trips taken in the last five years:
1. Spent almost 4 weeks in Ukraine
2. Does a 6 month stay in Pennsylvania count?

Two favorite holidays:
1. Thanksgiving
2. Christmas, I suppose.

Two favorite beverages:
1. Water
2. Diet Dr. Pepper

So, there you go. A quick little post. Now I get to tag someone...hmmm...Kelli, Kristen and Sarah!
Love you girls!