Bilateral Implantation for Lucas?

No, not right now.

We headed to CHOP again today. I'm so glad that our visits are thinning out a bit in comparison with his first year of life. It's 85 miles each way, and the trip is often anti-climactic, like today. I also dislike visiting the ENT - I'd much rather go to audiology, because they actually run on time! We drove an hour and a half, then waited for an hour in the waiting room, then another half an hour in the exam room, only to visit with the doctor for a total of 10 minutes, and drive another hour and a half home. Very anti-climactic.

The one thing I look forward to though is eating at Baja Fresh. It's not exactly on the way home, but we make it part of the way home. It's fresh, fast, Mexican heaven, if you ask me. In our po-dunk town, we don't have such luxuries, but rather Pennsylvania Dutch home cookin' everywhere you look. Okay - let's be fair - there's SOME good food - it's not all dutchy, but I still wish we had a Baja Fresh.

Let's move on to the topic at hand. I would like for Lucas to go bilateral. I mean, I would REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REAAALLLYY like for Lucas to go bilateral. Audiologically, he's a textbook candidate. He gets NO benefit from hearing aids. I mean NO RESPONSES in the booth, even with hearing aids. I'm talking CI activation day was the FIRST time he reacted to any kind of sound, ever. Get my drift? It's kind of a no-brainer from that standpoint.

But, medically it's another story. Because of the cochlear abnormality caused by his Enlarged Vestibular Aqueducts, Lucas was at risk for a CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) gusher in the first surgery. Bingo - leak occurred. Thank goodness Dr. K was able to stop it and pack it. Apparently it was more severe than he let on, because he was really happy to see Lucas well on activation day. About 10 minutes before Lucas was activated, he told us that he probably would never make Lucas bilateral because of the gusher (there should have been more time between appointments, but of course, ENT was running late). Let's just say that I was a bit upset at the beginning of activation (Nate will tell you that is an understatement). I was not prepared to hear that. I was expecting "let's schedule bilateral implantation in a few months", and I got "probably never."

I just won't take no for an answer though. So, today we discussed it again. He wasn't quite as adamant about never implanting, but he doesn't want to do it just yet. He wants to see how Lucas does with the first implant. Okay, fair... better than never! So, we're going to have to wait and see how he does with one, to make a better decision about how he would do with two. And although I'm not interested in just playing "wait and see", I'm also not about to risk his life for a second implant, and that's exactly what we would be doing.

So, we are going to try the bimodal thing (one CI, one HA), even if hearing aids were not previously beneficial . In my opinion, we have nothing to lose. Maybe the sound was simply too quiet before, and now that he KNOWS what sound is, maybe he'll think "ooohh, that's what that was....!" We want to continue to stimulate the auditory nerve, in case going bilateral does become an option in the future.

I'm prepared to get a second opinion, in fact I know exactly from whom I would seek that second opinion. Hint, hint: Aiden. But, Dr. K is the one I'd want performing the surgery since he knows exactly what he's up against. I believe that two implants are certainly better than one, but right now I need to be thankful for one. And thankful we truly are. Lucas is doing fantastic, having jumped 100+ decibels, babbling, and responding to spoken language. Hearing loss is not life threatening, but getting Lucas a second implant could be.

So, one implant it is. We don't really have a choice. *SIGH*