Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kind of a widget





So, my plan to tell you all about a cool gadget I use every week has failed utterly. Sorry! =) But today we made a trip to the Audiologist (Hi, Erin!!) to have new earmolds made, and I thought maybe I'd show you what goes into getting Seth sound! John loves this one show...he'll watch How It's Made over and over and it doesn't even matter what it is...he always wants to buy it after he sees how it's made. Without fail. He's never gotten to see how Seth's earmolds are made...he'll probably want some of his own after he sees this!

See, we love Seth's hearing aids. They take him from a profoundly deaf kid to one who can hear a lot of environmental sounds and even a few speech sounds. He still doesn't hear enough to learn to listen and speak (That will come later, with the cochlear implant), but they make a huge difference in our every day life, stimulate his auditory nerve, and they're also too cute!

Here is picture of Seth in his hearing aids:



The earmold, the part I'm talking about today, is made specifically to fit Seth's ear. The earmold has to be well fitting both to prevent feedback (like when you get too close to a microphone), and to help keep the hearing aid on Seth's ear. There is a microphone on the back of his hearing aid, and amplified sound travels through the tubes you see coming down over the tops of Seth's ears, through the earmold, and into his auditory canal.

When it's time for new earmolds, which is monthly with a young infant, and every 2-3 months with an older baby, we head on down to see our friend Erin. She is the best! She's the audiologist who diagnosed Seth.



After we visit and talk for little bit long time, Erin uses something that looks like a hot glue gun that's filled full of blue goop (it's cool, not hot), and she uses it to make an impression of Seth's ears. It's very wet and very gooey, and while we wait for it to set up, we talk some more.




The strings hanging down from Seth's ears are attached to tiny bits of foam that are keeping the goo from going too far down his ear canal. After everything is dry, Erin pulls out the impressions and we ship them off so that his actual molds can be made in the color of our choice. We usually do blue and green or blue and white. I would like to do glitter, but then I remember I have a baby boy.

This is what it looks like when we get his molds and attach them to his hearing aids...an exact copy of the inside of Seth's ear:


Ear molds do a good job of keeping hearing aid feedback down and of keeping them in Seth's ears. If they do happen to fall out, the bright colors of his molds and hearing aid make them easy to find. But what about when we're say, at Sea World or the petting zoo and an aid slips out? Not that I have ever momentarily lost a hearing aid at Sea World. Or the petting zoo. Ahem.

Well, when you're in a busy situation and you want to keep expensive hearing aids safe while still, you know, leaving them in your kid's ears, you need something extra. Here is the latest product I am in love with. (Many thanks to Jace for modeling while Seth was down for a nap) See that rubber ring around the midpoint of Seth's hearing aid in the above picture? Well, that's connected to a cord.





And that cord leads to a flat, round clamp that can be fastened to clothing or any pretty much anything fabric:



That way, when a hearing aid falls off (and oh, believe me, it will), this is what happens:




Pretty neat, huh? There are a few different companies that make these, but Phonak's is my favorite. Helps us enjoy our days out without crawling around in the dirt looking for hearing aids!

15 comments:

Mandy and Jack said...

We have the same blogging schedule. :)

My friend Jamie (from either Wylie or Murphy...they're quite close but I think she's in Wylie) and I both got our bracelets in the mail today! Weeeeeee!

Kameron said...

That was cool and educational! I love How it's Made and your guest post for the show! :o)

Cristi said...

My nephews 2 year old was just diagnosed with a problem with her hearing. Deaf in one ear and mostly in the other. She wont tolerate the doctors touching her ears so no hearing aids for now. Seth must not mind them doing the tests... with his.

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

I can't believe how big he is getting!!!

Thanks for sharing that, I had no idea what went into making hearing aids. As for How Its Made - that is our fall back show, one of the few we will actually watch together (hubby and I that is). I am always so amazed with...well...how its all made!!

Shanda said...

My husband totally loves that show too!

Very cool! & Seth doesn't seem to mind them at all!

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

That Seth is just too, too cute! I hope we get to meet you guys in person one day :)

Rose said...

Thanks for the educational demo! Seth is looking so big and so cute!

Kara said...

Aren't husbands such geeks? Jeff's crazy for that show too. I can watch it, and sometimes be entertained by it, but it's just SO dry. The pictures, as always, are adorable. I can't believe how big he's getting! And Jace, even from behind, is such a little man now! I hope you're finding some of the clarity you're looking for, or at least the peace to just let it all fall in God's hands and trust that He will see you through. Don't second guess yourself (I know, that's like telling you "stop breathing) - you're the best person in the world to be making these decisions, and they will be the right ones, no matter what! And also, I had such a vivid dream the other night that I nearly drew a picture of it and sent it to you. Maybe I will... :) I love you guys!

Kara said...

Oh! And verses - when I'm full of worry, I pray over each stressor in my life (which sometimes takes a LOT of time), and then finish with Psalm 4:8 "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety". Also, 1 Samuel 3:9 - "Speak Lord, for your Servant is listening!" when I am looking for a little clarity or wisdom. The one from Proverbs someone already mentioned is great too. Finally, each morning when I wake up, I say a short prayer - "God, guide my thoughts and actions today. Show me how to be the person you want me to be." Just a way to start my day off right - thinking of His will and how to bring it to fruition in my everyday life.

Ace said...

Very neat to actually learn more about that!

And my husband and I are also addicted to "How It's Made"!

by: Allison said...

Congrats Seth on the hearing aid. They are so cute!
Allison

mrsrubly said...

o this is great that you will be able to provide seth with something like this!

Laura said...

The hearing aids molded to Seth's ears are amazing! I saw a little girl at our pediatrician's recently and she had a headband kind of arrangement keeping his hearing aids in place - or keeping them from falling to the ground like your cord arrangement.

Seth is SO cute!

Anna said...

Thanks so much for sharing with us! That is amazing! And Seth looks so cute and patient while getting his molds done. :)

4 Lettre Words said...

Goodness...that Seth is truly a doll!

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