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Time truly goes by so quickly…
Today we got the news that our medical aid finally paid for Oli’s bilateral upgrade. So on Monday next week, Oli will receive the Cochlear N8’s. How does Oli feel about it? Not so excited at the moment, he says he has cochlear implants and he likes them.
Daniel and I were chatting tonight and just can’t believe that the time has gone by so quickly. We remember when he was implanted and switched on and our audiologist spoke about an upgrade in 3 years. 3 years, that felt so far away and now here it is. I am certain that we will be saying the same thing 3 years from now when he is 7 and doing his next upgrade.
We recently took Oli for a myofunctional therapy consultation, the practitioner was incredible. A story I will share on another day. She asked Oli to please take off his shoes, hat and shirt as she needed to take photos of him. What happened next, was not something that Daniel and I expected. As he took off his hat, Oli turned to the practitioner and said,
“This is my coplear (cochlear) implant (pointing to it), this is the battery (pointing to the battery) and this is the sticky thing that sticks to my head and lets me hear (while pointing to the coil and magnet).”
We were completely blown away! Firstly, he had just met this woman, and although he can be friendly it doesn’t usually happen in the first five minutes. Secondly, as much as we talk about his cochlear implants he has never verbalised it like that. It seems he has truly comprehended what his cochlear implants do for him and is also able to relay that to someone else.
I am sharing this because at the beginning of our journey, we felt overwhelmed, emotional and scared and had now idea what the future held. We had no idea how Oli would communicate, no idea if he would like his cochlear implants, if he would be able to advocate for himself and no idea if he would just be a little boy. Not everyone is comfortable saying these things out loud, but it is what it is and valid as it is what we felt at the time.
Today, Oli communicates beautifully, verbally in both English and a little Afrikaans and he is also working on his South African Sign Language. He loves his cochlear implants, he does a great job of voicing not just his needs and wants, thoughts and feelings, but also has an explanation for everything, just like any other little boy his age.