One year on….

We have just passed the first anniversary of Ollie receiving his bilateral CIs…

We are, therefore, now at the stage where we can start to make comparisons between Alice and Ollie. Some things are clear, she is calmer and more settled, Ollie is certainly more headstrong (he must get that from his dad) and needs running time as part of his day. Ollie likes nothing more than being chased round the sitting room, the challenge is turning that into a listening opportunity.

Having a toddler with bilateral CIs has presented some interesting challenges. Ollie still sleeps a lot so our windows are small, he also spends quite a long time in the car doing the school run every day. It’s no surprise that some of his first words are car park and school. He also spends the car journey pointing out the buses and lorries at every opportunity – bless him.

But, he’s also discovered the terrible twos. I cannot explain the frustration of dealing with a toddler, who has thrown £12,000 worth of processors across the pavement in different directions, whilst having a shout and won’t even put them back on so you can tell him off. The defiance is huge. He also dead weights himself whilst somehow managing to ensure that at least one processor is not where you thought it was. My fear of traveling anywhere increases tenfold when Ollie is involved. The car has also provided significant opportunities for tucking a processor into a little hole, causing another grey hair before 9am.

But most of the time Ollie is too cute for words, his new favourite words are cuddle and story. Dear Ollie, don’t listen to AV UK when they teach you naughty words like “no”, you don’t need to know that and I’m waiting for “I don’t like that” which is imminent. Language development is all about what’s useful and giving him the words for what he’s thinking, so clearly we need “I love you mummy” and no more of this naughtiness.

20th April 2012…

…..the day after Ollie was born.

I looked through the news archives for that day in an attempt to find some meaningful point of reference; some reminder that outside our little bubble the world goes on. Sadly nothing of note came up. A boring day indeed.

Boring that is apart from it being the day we found out that our beautiful Ollie was deaf. That our genes had, yet again, conspired to defy the odds and bestow this most frustrating of problems on our son too. For us, it was the day the clocks stopped.

We knew at that point the path we would be taking. The path Ollie would be taking. Given Alice’s trajectory and success, we knew all roads would lead, for us, for our children, for our family, to Cochlear Implants.

The danger with making a choice so early on is that you live life in limbo until the next step is taken. That next step is ‘switch on’. Hate to admit it as I do, but Ollie’s life has so much been focused towards tomorrow. Towards the point at which the choices we have made for him come to a head and, God willing, Ollie reacts to his first sounds. The point at which Ollie will ‘hear’ for the first time. The rest is in our hands. Being in control I can handle, but for now we are still praying for that miracle. Still praying for Ollie to react as positively as Alice did and for God to shine on our little man.

One moment in time will define whether we made the right choice and, in some ways, will set the course for the rest of Ollie’s life.

No pressure then…..

I am not a strong person, but strong we must be. Strong for Ollie and strong for our little family. Sometimes it gets too much and the magnitude of what lies in store tomorrow gets, frankly, too much.

So do say a little prayer for our wee man and keep your fingers crossed at 1330 tomorrow when Ollie is switched on. Hopefully we will share our joy with you later tomorrow…..

Road testing his new ears:


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