Sunday, May 13, 2007

corrina, corrina

First things first, if you're my Mom and you're looking for the rest of the photos, they're here. (And if you're not my Mom, feel free to look anyway.)

I don't know why I thought surgery might slow Corrina down. What a silly idea :) Less than 24 hours after surgery they were literally chasing Corrie down the halls of Sick Kids -- with her IV pole trailing behind her. My niece is now less than three weeks away from hearing a sound for the very first time.

It's still strange to think that she has titanium and platinum in her head, but when she set off the security system at the library it was all too real. Between the metal and the magnet Corrina has to carry a card that identifies her as an implant user as she is likely to set off all sorts of security systems and airport metal detectors. The surgeon jokingly told Dave & Janie that if they ever want to shoplift they now have the perfect accomplice. Kids with implants can even tell you if the security system is on or not by the vibrations they feel from the magnet. Spooky.

She needs a few more weeks to heal up and then she'll get the exterior portion of her implant on June 4th. They'll "turn her on" at that time and she'll hear something for the first time in her life. There are no guarantees with cochlear implants -- they don't work for some kids -- but the surgeon tested Corrie's in the OR and it worked, her brain registered a signal. What an amazing time to live in Canada.Playing with a deaf child takes a little getting used to. It took a few days for me to remember that if I want to get Corrie's attention I need to either touch her or get into her line of sight. If you watch her play, she constantly looks around the room to see where everyone is. Dave & Janie encourage everyone to talk to Corrina normally as she reads facial expressions (some specialists think that kids at her age can even read lips a little) but I caught myself calling out to her when I was behind her. Some habits are hard to break.Corrina is an early riser, and I tend to get up early to eat breakfast so we got to have some great Auntie bonding time. Friday morning Janie let Corrina out of her crib to wander around their room for a few minutes. I got up around the same time and as I walked past their door a little girl clad in red fleece footie pajamas ran to the door, beamed at me and held out her arms to be picked up. I melted. Instant puddle of Auntie. Ah well, it's not like I wasn't smitten before.
This kid is definitely on the move and I can't wait to see where life takes her next. There is a LOT of work ahead for her and for her parents. Their goal is to have her speaking age-appropriate by the time she's three. She is such a good mimic I don't think that's going to be a problem. (One day this past week I inadvertently taught her to do part of the chicken dance. I was only trying to distract her while her Mom got her breakfast and now Corrina will look at you, grin and flap like a chicken. Quite the legacy :) )There is very little a child (or an adult for that matter) with a cochlear implant can't do. Talking on the phone will always be challenging, but current technology lets her plug a cellphone right into the implant so maybe it's just a case of having the right tools. Thank goodness for Skype video chat. She should be able to hear some music and while the experts say it's unlikely she'll grow-up to be a concert pianist, she's already showing a fondness for Grandad's piano.

It was an amazing week. I had a great time hanging out with my parents and a few old friends, but that's another post. As the song says, "Corrina, Corrina, I love you so." You were a brave little kid this past week and this post's all for you.


Mom Colvin said...

Fantastic Claire,

I especially loved the shot of you and Corrina on the beach. Best photo of you I've seen for a while - who took it? I watched the entire slide show twice and I'll watch it again soon.

I have to put them all on a plane tomorrow but we've had a great visit with all of you. Wouldn't it have been even better if Rachel and Mark had been there too!

Love, Mom XX

Darcy & Sharon said...

Glad to see your niece is doing so well. She's a reall cutie

PS - thanks for the flowers

kelly said...

fabulous news. awesome pictures!

JAnie & DAve said...

Aww, those are some great shots of corrina, and such lovely words too. Thanks!
I am trying to figure out how the heck to save the photos from your flickr to my flickr.. I am flicking challenged!
Let me know if you know.., and see our new couch on the blog!
miss you