Nia's Switch On Day for her Cochlear Implant #calears

Next step before Nia actually starts her CI journey is switching on her cochlear implants. When she had her cochlear implant surgery, the implant device was "implanted" on her head. We also received the huge bag with the external processor, chargers and accessories. We haven't tried putting on the processor yet or turning it on since it wasn't programmed yet at that time. So the "Switch On" process was when the audiologist will program her processor and finally turn it all on.

I've watch countless videos of switch ons, most are of babies and kids. These videos are from other countries usually. So I was both excited and nervous how Nia will react when it's her time.

June 2, 2021 was her Switch On. (Side story: June 2 is such a special date. 6 years ago, on the same date, was when we moved to our house. Just about a year ago, June 1, 2020 was when Nia started wearing her hearing aids.) We have been waiting for this day for her hearing to finally be stimulated.

Just a summary in case you are not familiar with Nia's case (click here if you want to read her back story and more here), Nia is bimodal. She used to wear hearing aids on both ears. She has a better ear (her left ear) and even her other ear, thank God has residual hearing. So we knew that she can hear us especially when she was aided a year ago. With this in mind, I knew there wouldn't be any dramatic moment when her processor is turned on. 

I wanted to vlog it but it was difficult because I'm a one man vlogging team. I was holding her while waiting until they finished. I didn't want to bother my husband anymore because I knew he was as nervous and anxious as I was. We did get some clips, but I didn't post them anymore. Why? She threw a huge fit when we were trying to put her processor on her head even though it wasn't even on yet. Ganong levelz. It's totally understandable especially with everything she had endured, there's definitely trauma. She's so afraid of people going near her, touching her New things also makes her nervous. 

When we finally got her processor on he head and turned on, mapping began she was just quiet. She sat still, playing with her dad's phone. As the beep continued, she sat there quietly. In this photo, you'll see that I'm just holding the processor on my hand even though the magnet is on Nia's head. She didn't want anything touching her ear yet.

We tried calling her name, she looked. Tried making different sounds, she engaged. That's how you know it's working. That deadly look of Nia though. Haha!

We kept the volume minimal because we're trying to make her comfortable and get used to wearing her processor first, before cranking up the volume. Because of her condition, Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS), the audiologist was careful about her balance.

Switching her on, there wasn't much difference yet. Perhaps because it was still very low volume, or maybe because she's already been wearing hearing aids for a long time and that helps with her better ear (left ear).

As per Nia's therapist, you don't notice difference right away. It takes about 6 months or more to see big development and changes.

I'm happy that she adjusted well with the cochlear implant. I feel like it's hugely because she's already used to having something on her ear when she was wearing her hearing aids. 

There's something about "switch on days". It gives you hope, it gives you purpose. At least that was how it felt for us. It gave us a beginning of a new chapter on Nia's journey, one we have been waiting for, one we are still praying for- her journey to hearing and speech.

For Nia's #calears journey, click here. And for continuous donations for Nia's therapy and other medical expenses, you may refer to her story here. Thank you so much.

Thanks for reading! 

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