Sonya Gets Stitches

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Sonya recently discovered a new game. It’s one she tends to play when frustrated or tired. She will look at me mischievously, then will pull off her CIs and (while smiling) drop or throw them on the floor. As soon as she sees me get up to put them back on her head, that’s her cue to take off running and laughing hysterically.

Unfortunately, on Tuesday, Sonya ran full speed into our radiator, face first. I don’t think I will ever be able to erase the sound of her little head hitting the wooden radiator cover from my memory, nor the guilt I feel that I could have prevented it.

I wasn’t sure how severe the wound was. She was crying like crazy, but calmed after a few minutes. I didn’t see much blood either. Just a cut that ran an inch length-wise above her eye, crossing her eyebrow diagonally.

I immediately FaceTimed my dad, a physician, who told me to call our pediatrician’s office. They told me to come by right away so that Sonya’s doctor could take a look, and we were there 10 minutes later.

By the time we got there, the bleeding had picked up speed. It was now running down her little cheek. Gotta love our pediatrician who, when entering the examination room to see me in shock and Sonya bleeding, asked calmly, “So, how has your day been?”

“Horrible!” I cried.

After cleaning and examining the wound, he referred us to a plastic surgeon on the Upper East Side – who he said would be able to stitch the wound without impacting the shape of her eyebrow.

I had no idea what was in store. Watching Sonya get stitches was one of the top three (if not the) worst moment of my life so far. Since she is so little, they decided not to sedate her, rather give her local anesthetic – which needed to be injected by needle to the affected site. Sonya screamed in pain. Once the pain relievers went into effect, Sonya still felt the tension of the surgery, so she continued to scream and cry “Mama!” and “Dada!” I meanwhile, tried to hold her down with the help of another nurse to make sure the doctor was able to do his job. Several internal stitches and seven external stitches later, we were done. Sonya got her Thomas the Tank Engine stickers and we went home.

Sonya fell asleep in the Uber back to our apartment, and stayed asleep for a couple hours that afternoon. It wasn’t until she was in her crib asleep that the events of the day hit me, and I am still recovering. Sonya meanwhile, seems to be doing okay with her wound. She points at it from time to time, and says something that sounds like “bobo.” Today, I put a band-aid on her baby doll’s head, and told her that in one week, it would be all better – which is when we will go back to the surgeon to remove the stitches.

So it seems, that Sonya will need to go back to wearing headbands. Hopefully, they prevent her from removing her CIs and taking off like a mad person. I am also further baby-proofing our apartment…Would love to hear any other ideas on how parents kept baby’s CIs on during this toddler phase.

 

 

 

 

Bath and Baby Works

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I am embarrassed to admit it, but it wasn’t until a couple months ago that Sonya finally began to wear her waterproof cochlear implants in the bath.

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Sonya’s first bath at one week

Since we are in and out of Ubers and speech therapy sessions almost every day, taking a nightly bath has always felt like a necessity, and a frustrating one at that. Sonya kicks and screams her way in and out of the water. On our part, the goal has always been to complete the task quickly as possible.

When I told our speech therapist that Sonya had not yet been exposed to sound in the bath, her eyes widened. “How could you not let her wear her devices?! Bath time is a critical opportunity for her to explore sound!”

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Cochlear Nucleus 6 water proof sleeves

It was the prompt I needed to get our act together. I dug through the contents of Sonya’s cochlear implant suitcases to find the water proof kit.  We placed her processors inside the water proof sleeves (a bit tricky to do actually…) inserted the coils and magnets.  We placed them on Sonya’s ears. Since the waterproof sleeves are quite large, we had to use the full-sized batteries (not the compact batteries, which fit Sonya’s small head). Sonya is back to her headbands in order to hold the very large devices in place.

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The first time she heard water, Sonya just stared blankly. Perhaps she was  stunned as she realized that water made noise. I playfully splashed her, causing her to scream in surprise.

Since then, Sonya has grown slightly more accustomed to bath time, though she still doesn’t love it. I even feel like I have to be careful about how loudly I speak in the bath, as the echo can be too much for her. I have noticed that she hates it when I dip her head in the bath water with the implants on. Perhaps it is the sound of the water that is overwhelming. Sonya does love bubbles, so I try to make sure there are plenty of bubbles in her bath water to keep her calm and interested. We do struggle with other ways of keeping her calm however.

Thankfully, friends of mine have been eager to help. My lovely friend Jane bought Sonya Tomy Do Rae Mi Dolphins. Each dolphin plays a different note when you tap them on their heads. Sonya loves them.

While I realize I need to expose Sonya to additional toys to encourage her to hear new sounds, I hesitate. Bath toys in general gross me out (these water flutes look kinda interesting, but also kinda yucky…). When Sonya was younger, we had her play with a rubber duck in the bath. The type that squirted water. A few weeks later, I realized how disgusting this toy was. Impossible to clean and never totally dry. I shudder thinking about the one time I squeezed it and brown water came out….

But I will attempt to stay open minded and to try other (sanitary!) toys that may be recommended….. Anyone? 🙂

In the meantime, hoping to make the most of bath time!