Bilateral failure

Today Lei and I went to the implant center for integrity testing, and although there was a lot to it – some crying, some coffee, a large cookie, a whole bunch of equipment and numerous attempts to reprogram – I’ll just say that it did not go well. Lei will need surgery to replace her implants. 

Back of Lei's head showing two CI headpieces.
Here she is the first day Lei had both CIs activated. It was a huge deal, and we never thought we would be here, just a few months later, with both implants failed.

The clinical specialist who attended us said she has never seen anything like this, and neither have any of her colleagues: Lei’s implants have both failed, at the same time but in different ways. There is no measurable evidence that they are malfunctioning. All the testing indicated that the implants are working perfectly. The equipment is working perfectly. But Lei hears static in one ear and the other ear cuts in and out constantly.

For some families who use sign, having a CI malfunction isn’t a huge deal. But it is for us. I’ve written in the past about Lei’s autistic-like traits and her difficulty maintaining eye contact. Her cochlear implants have been a huge blessing for our whole family. To have them both knocked out like this is devastating. It just hurts a lot today.

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8 thoughts on “Bilateral failure

  1. This reason I,am against the CI program for ,implant fail the child will die from them or cause heath problem to the person who I have,it, children want play sports or want swim high risk of injury from it.to, hearing parents of DEAF children they never research the con and pro on the CI,program.

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    1. Hmmm .. thanks for that vote of confidence! I hold a bachelor’s of science in biology and a master’s degree in journalism. What are your credentials? Are you referring to a published study that supports what you claim, or spouting your own opinion? Also, I’m the mom and the buck stops with me. Do you think I didn’t research this well for 10 years before we ever took a single step toward a CI? Please don’t insult me. I will respect your choices for your child, but I get the feeling that the respect is not mutual. Very sad.

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      1. I was hearing mute when I child they
        sent me oral school for the deaf , I have grow up in worldof deaf all my life ,and I still active in the deaf cuture ,,one ? U ever went to deaf event or go to the DEAF NATION EXPO, THEY HAVE DEAF TIMBER FEST THAT CAMPING , BETTER YET u EVER VISTED A SCHOOL FOR DEAF, LIKE ORAL SCHOOL OR SCHOOL THAT USE ASL FOR DEAF, WHERE I LIVE AT I WENT I WENT ORAL SCHOOL AND LIVE THERE, U MIGHT COLLAGE DEGREE THAT FINE ,,THIS IS ? GIVE JULIE MARTINEZ IS THIS ,U REALING UNDERSTAND THE DEAF CUTURE HERE, OR U ARE HEARING PARENT OF DEAF CHILD WANT THEIR CHILD HEAR THINGS? ,THE AGB ASSC WILL RECOMANDS THE DOCTOR PUSH IT THIS IKNOW AS FACT , ALLSO TO U HAVE REMMBER SOMETHING ,IF THEY PUT CI IN DEAF CHILD OR DEAF ADULT THEY CAN’T REMOVE IT,ALL SO NORMAL INS DON’T COVER IT , BUT MED CARE WILL ,IF THE CI HAVE TO REPLACE MEDCAREWON’T PAY FOR IT, IKNOW THIS PERSON HER FRIEND HAVE ONE SHE NEED TO REPLACE CI MEDCARE SAY NO WAY.AND THE PRO COME THE A G B ASSC FOR DEAF.CON OF CI IS FROM DEAF THEM SELF TO KEEP THIER CUTURE IN TACK
        I not mad , U have understand the thinking both ends CI pro & con here

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    2. I understand your disdain for the ci process but I also know many cases where having a ci is a better option for the family. In this particular case it is obvious that the pros outweigh the cons.

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  2. I read this, and my heart sank for you. I know as the parent of a hard of hearing child how much we depend on devices to help our children. I am not completely familiar with the CI process as we use bilateral hearing aids but I genuinely hope that this is not a long, drawn out process for both your daughter and your family’s sake. Take Care!

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  3. We had another friend that got re-implanted after having her AB for one year. The rehab went really fast! It was almost as if her brain recognized it. You two are in my thoughts and prayers. Lei is going to have character of steel.

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