Friday, March 28, 2008

One Cool Lil' Fella!

Well, another trip to Cincinnati Children's Hospital down and finally some questions answered! As you can see from the picture, Ryan has a new "hat" as he would call it! It is the BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) with a soft band (an older child would have it attached to the actual bone behind the ear). When the audiologist put it on him, his eyes got really big and he sat so still for the longest time. It was like he was hearing sound for the first time. We went through the hearing evaluation with the BAHA on, but he did not respond as much as other children with this same condition do. Ryan does not hear the high frequency sounds and the BAHA will help him, but not enough to make a significant difference. We are trying it for a month and will then go for another evaluation. He is beginning to grasp the concept of what he is suppose to do in the audiology booth and was asking for the dog that lights up. Lots of progress made since our first trip there where he had no idea what was going on. After our hearing evaluation, we met with our doctor to review the CT scan...He went over the CT scan with us which pretty much blew us away. Basically, Ryan has no outer or middle ear structures. Where the opening of an ear canal would be, it is bone and beyond that is no ear canal, ear drum, and only 1 of the 3 bones (malleus, incus, stapes) are present. His inner ear is fine. Amazing that this little boy can hear at all. The stapes appears to be present on the right side and all 3 may be present in the left ear (still a little sketchy on this). Due to this fact, the dr. said that "my hand has been forced"...Ryan will not be able to hear the high frequency sounds unless his ear canal is opened as the BAHA will not do it and there is no way to use a regular hearing aid at this point (lack of ear to attach a hearing aid and lack of opening). So, based on this fact and the importance of his age in the development of speech, they are going to open up his right ear by making an ear canal, ear drum, and the additional bones (taking a skin graft -sp?- from his hip)...We will pursue the other ear in the future. So, Ryan will have his surgery on June 13th...The procedure will take 4 1/2 hours and will be "outpatient"/staying 23 hours in the hospital. While we were talking, I said to the doctor something about the in the ear hearing aid that he mentioned we would be able to use after the surgery and he said that there may not even be a need for a hearing aid afterwards...I was blown away...Who ever thought that no aid might ever be an option!!! How awesome!!! It has been so amazing to see God's hand in this whole process...

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