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Friday 9th

we were So proud of Charlotte at her 9 month post cochlear implant switch on appointment in Southampton today. I was totally amazed at the quiet speech she could hear. In a listening test she demonstrated she could hear speech at 38 decibels. The audiologist explained that a child of 5 with normal hearing could expect to score between 30 - 35 decibels in the same test ! No need for them to "pump up the volume" this time.

What a miracle this has truly been as before the switch on in January she had nothing even at 95 decibels and would not have heard a Jet Engine flying past her ear whereas now she can hear down to a whisper. She was able to hear a whisper from 100 cm away in one test. They had hoped to just achieve a level of 45 decibels 12 months post op and said they were amazed by the progress she has made in just 9 months which is very very good.

We also just had a school report which said, " The differences in Charlotte since her Cochlear implants have been amazing. She appears far happier and interested in the world around her and her behaviour has improved greatly since her ability to hear". She has changed from a very frustrated child not able to communicate to a much happier one. She will have her 12 month checkup next and then it will be once a year.


Wednesday 15th

We really cannot believe she has turned 8 years old today. 2014 was such a difficult year for all of us when around February Charlotte lost what little hearing she had. Not being able to explain what was happening or why we simply couldn't fix it was heart breaking. Every time she had a hospital appointment, for whatever reason, she would get excited and say "fix ear". However all that is now behind us after Charlotte had 2 cochlear implants which were switched on in January.

It really feels like a miracle and we are now able to communicate with Charlotte better than we ever had before. This year on her birthday we could sing Happy Birthday and she heard us. It is the first year she has got excited about her Birthday. She went off to school singing "happy birthday to me". It was wonderful to see.

Charlotte has gone from a sad, frustrated child after she lost her hearing to a very happy little girl. She still has her moments when she has a bit of a tantrum but they are getting few and far between now. She still sometimes refuses to do as she is told and is stubborn and obstinate, and so much so it makes us want to scream. But compared to last year she is now a different child.

There has unfortunately been one side effect to the cochlear implant operation that we weren't quite expecting and that is the question "Why"!!! If we hear it once we hear it a thousand times a day. What's even funnier is that she has now started to answer her own "why" questions by immediately saying "because........". Funniest "why" question was when she said,"mommy, listen to me" so I replied, "I'm listening to you Charlotte" to which she replied, "why". LOL

All in all its been a great year so far. We felt like everything was on hold last year but now we can look forward to the future knowing that Charlotte finds it so much easier to communicate now. Happy family


Monday 6th

Today we were enjoying a sunny Bank Holiday Monday in the garden on a rare sunny day when we experienced one of those miracle moments one just has to share.

We never had any guarantee what level of hearing charlotte would achieve from the cochlear implants but she just heard birds singing for the first time in her life and said "what that noise". We explained it to her and she said "hello birds "

We were so worried the first week after charlottes Cochlear Implant switch on 16th January when she initially refused to wear them but now she hates to be without them and has changed from being a very Frustrated to a happy child. The change has been miraculous"

We were so unsure about the cochlear route but it is the best decision we ever made.


Wednesday 25th

Exciting results in today from Charlottes 2 month post "Switch on" appointment at the South of England Cochlear Implant centre.

We are very proud of her as not only did she co-operate with all the tests for the first time but she is also hearing down to 40 decibels across most frequencies or even a bit better, they didn't test quieter than 40 decibels. The Implant Centre have this as their yearly target and Charlotte has only achieved it in 2 months !!! having gone from nothing at 90 decibels.

This means in the 9 weeks since switch on she has gone from being classed as having profound/severe hearing loss to mild hearing loss and can now hear down to a whisper. It is exciting to think where her language could be by this time next year

She now sings or talks loudly to herself a lot , I think she loves the sound of her own voice , I think we better invest in some ear muffs for us.


Monday 23rd

Another appointment at the Cochlear Institute in Southampton today and more positive news. Our Charlotte tested for hearing at 60/ 65 decibels which is the level for most conversational speech, down from nothing even at 100 before the implants. They hope to have her at 40 within 12 months.

  • 0 - 20 decibels Normal hearing
  • 20-30 Mild Hearing Loss
  • 40 - 60 Moderate loss
  • 70 - 80 Severe Hearing Loss

Although she still isn't great at doing the tests she was able to distinguish between different objects that sound similar after being played a recording of someone speaking - such as horse/house - plane/plate. We are so proud of our little girl and so happy !

Tuesday 10th

The first 3 weeks since Charlotte's "switch on" and the days that followed turned out to be pretty stressful as we were having difficulty getting her to wear her the processors after switch on. She has also not been co-operating at the tuning sessions so they have had to adjust the processors conservatively based on guesswork. The brain needs time to adjust to the sound and for the Auditory nerve to respond to the signals. For the first 2 or 3 days she wore them at School but refused to wear them at home which was a worry. She then started to wear them at home, initially for very short periods at a time but this slowly increased. After a few weeks she refused to wear the left one at all, often saying "not working" because she was obviously not getting any sound on that side.

She had another 9 am appointment at the Cochlear Centre in Southampton yesterday and they increased the level of processors again. They must have finally reached a level where she could hear something in the left as she finally wore both last night.

Although, she is in no way co-operating with her tuning sessions - which means more regular appointments, she is now starting to get some benefit from them and is now responding to her name....singing along to her favourite Disney programmes and answering questions I ask without even turning to me ! What a difference 3 weeks make !The more the Auditory nerves start to be stimulated by and respond to the signals from the processors the more Charlotte will hear and the tuning sessions will get easier and more exact.