Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daily Life with Hearing Aids

When Julia first got her hearing aids in April of 2008, I had no idea what to expect. I'd never touched or cleaned a hearing aid. I didn't know how to put them in for her. I worried about them constantly.

Now it's just part of our daily routine.

Julia wakes every morning and makes a sleepy trek into mommy and daddy's bed. She lays down and I get her hearing aids ready. Most mornings I still check the batteries. The audiologist informed me that my baby is now quite old enough to tell me when she needs new batteries, but I'm pretty slow to adopt grown-up stuff like battery independence with my only little darling. I have a stethoscope that I attach to each one and say the LING sounds (ah, ee, oo, s, sh, mmm). On school days I attach her FM boots and check the LING sounds with the whole assembly.

I put the hearing aids in for her. I was having her do it on her own with her old ear molds. It wasn't pretty to watch, but she got the job done. The new pink sparkly ear molds are so form fitting that I have to help her again for a while. As with the battery testing, I'm coddling a bit.

The day goes on normally except that she can't get her "magic ears" wet. People look at me strangely when I've got her in full rain gear for a sprinkle. It's also of paramount importance to get them out before a bath or a shower. We took them out to ride Splash Mountain at Disney World. I'm pretty cautious with the things, they'd be gone for a couple of weeks if they had to go for repairs.

She tells me when they give a low battery beep. I have batteries in my purse for when we're out. I left batteries at preschool. There are size 13 batteries everywhere.

At night after stories and prayers and hugs the hearing aids come out. I check the batteries (can't give it up) and put the hearing aids in safely in the drying jar. They get all nice and ready for their next big day of being Julia's ears.

The goal is for her to take over doing all of this on her own. Except for the LING sounds test. I imagine she'll soon even be able to report if they're not working quite right. Writing this all out shows me I should make her hearing aid independence more of a priority. She is growing up!

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