Location: Des Moines, Washington, United States

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Activation Day

Rachel's right ear is receiving signals for the first time in over 10 years. So what is she hearing? Bells. Yes. She describes the sound as computerized chimes and bells. But she is fine with that. She has been moving the map from the quietest setting up and up as the bells get too quiet. She has already gone from her first map to her fourth, and her next mapping session is another day away. For whatever reason, the bells don't seem to bother her. What a trooper.

The only minor set back during yesterday's mapping is that they were not able to activate all the electrodes. Because of the ossification in her cochlea, she received a split array. The upper array has 8 electrodes inserted, and the lower array has 3. When they tried to activate the lower array electrodes, she complained of being dizzy. It could not be isolated to any single electrode, so for now, they have simply left the lower array electrodes turned off. We will see how it goes at tomorrow's mapping session.

This is a long journey, and we are just out of the starting gate. It will be several weeks before we get a good indication of how much she will be able to get out of her right ear, and it can be up to a couple of years to maximize her ability to discriminate sound on that side. But the race is finally started, and for that, I am profoundly grateful.


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