When the silence breaks down to a world of laughter, sounds and interactions
This story is powered by Advanced Bionics with Mums and Stories
Prabha Reddy is a stay-at-home individual who really knows the true meaning of sound. Having been through the journey of the world of silence to that of sound bombardment with her son, she shares her story, “I had a normal pregnancy and it was obviously an exciting phase.
Then my baby was born and like other parents, we too were very happy. It had just been a year since my marriage but everything was going as I wanted. My baby was born through normal delivery,” Prabha specifies.
“Then over a year and half passed and I had started getting a few hints, which at that point seemed overstretched in and my imagination according to my in-laws. Unfortunately no other family member was ready to accept.
I live with my husband, son and in-laws and I clearly remember the phase before reality hit us hard. I realized there was something amiss in the way my baby was responding. Perhaps others saw it as regular delays in milestones being achieved and asked me consistently not to hit the panic button.
My child had delayed speech; in fact except for one or two sounds he couldn’t utter a word. Yet none in the family or the peadiatrician could identify any concern, “she says with a long pause.
Recollecting the memories Prabha shares, “Everyone at home kept saying I was overanalyzing a miniscule problem. Finally I had to take other measures to prove myself wrong. So one day when no one was at home, once I dropped a utensil in the kitchen and that obviously made a huge sound. The loud thud was so high, but I noticed my baby didn’t even raise his head. He was so engrossed in this play.
This was a warning and sign to accept, reflect and act soon and obviously I wasn’t happy. On another day I deliberately increased the television volume to a deafening sound. Anyone would have closed their ears, but again I noticed my baby didn’t react as he was supposed to. On both these occasions, I was alone with my baby and no one else was at home.
Instances like these pushed me to convince my husband to take the baby to another doctor. Though he kept denying that our child was and will be facing a life-long challenge, I must share that he stood with me at all times. I really wish I was proven wrong but after multiple tests, finally at one of the well-known clinics we were informed our child was completely deaf.
The world stopped for us at that moment. We stopped listening further for next few minutes and we both wept like babies inconsolably at the clinic.
We went back home and my in-laws who adore my child couldn’t believe the news either. They literally didn’t eat for a week. It was too hard for them to digest.
My husband after a few days more composed than me as he is in life, told me that “We will walk this journey together” and nothing could stop us from giving our son a ‘normal childhood’ and transition to adulthood.
It is really difficult to be motivated when you are going through a rough phase. We as a family had never heard of cochlear implants. I had given up hope on my child getting to listen to sounds but was keen to learn to make him equipped to deal with the situation.
After a few days we got to know of cochlear implants done for a friend’s cousin’s child. When we spoke to the child’s parents it seemed like a tiny streak of light in the dark tunnel. They asked to definitely try the option after evaluating medical and financial possibilities.
It is recommended that cochlear implants are not to be used for very small babies as they have lower weight. I was insisting that we could try it on Dikshit, my child who was a healthy child. Yet the doctors asked us to wait and finally we were ready for the CHANGE.
We decided for Advanced Bionics cochelar implants and it has worked for us. We were referred to Dr. Shankar B Medikeri who guided and assured us and that helped in our decision making
At the counseling center, the team informed us that we have to be prepared for drastic changes in our lives. In the beginning my baby would cry for hours together. The team at the counseling center informed us that it was normal as perhaps he was listening to the bombardment of sound after so many months and maybe it was too much for him to take it.
Apparently some babies join in for squeals of continuous laughter as they are elated or even confused over so many sounds. It took weeks for Diskshit to get used to the sounds. Also it is believed if the hearing problem is detected early, chances of adapting to the environment is much smoother.
Today my son understands that he is slightly different from other kids, yet not so different as he is able to do everything like them.
He does understand now that he has to take care of the implant, when he sleeps, when he goes for a shower and so on.
We do meet the new class teacher every year and explain his situation to her so that there is no misunderstanding and brief her how our child is and the care required. Fortunately we have not had any unpleasant instance or he has never been bullied. He does tell me that he is often asked “What is this you are wearing?” and he responds “It’s a cochlear implant”. Generally there hasn’t been more questions point to him further.
He does have classmates, school, friends and neighbours who have never made him feel different than them or other kids.
The process hasn’t been easy. Even now there are a lot of hurdles but thankfully we have learnt to straighten the wrinkled parts of our life. I remember when we finally realized our son could listen; we had to increase the word bank and our conversations with him. We had to repeat words, point out things and explain its meaning to make him understand what an object means etc.
My son who is 8 years old speaks in English, Telugu and Kannada and I can say that I am in a happy phase. I do believe in miracles and I can share on thing that listening to sounds is better than not listening at all. Ask me or my child on the journey and we know the difference.”
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This is our first story with Advanced Bionics and we will be bringing you a series of inspiring mums and children who have benefited with the usage of cochlear implants.
“Live your life without limitations”
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