Early last week, Erin's left processor died.
No big deal. I grabbed her other left processor, put that one on, and called Cochlear.
After assuring them I already confirmed it was the processor that was malfunctioning, they said a replacement processor would be shipped after getting the map from Erin's audi. We were told the replacement would be shipped within 48 hours.
Normally, replacement parts are shipped right way. But processors are a different story. The processor portion of the CI is what holds the program (map) that deciphers the sound and sends it in to Erin's auditory nerve. (How's *that* for a layman's explanation, haha!) And programs not only vary from person to person, but from ear to ear.
When Erin was first implanted, a fried processor would mean a trip to the audi after receiving the replacement processor so the audi could download the map to the new processor. But now audis are able to upload the map to Cochlear via the internet, so the processors can be sent out already programmed. This is especially helpful in areas far away from the nearest CI Center. But I love it because as a working mom, it is one less errand to run. ;)
Anyway, I was expecting the replacement processor Thursday or Friday.
Then Thursday morning Erin's backup processor wouldn't turn on. I went through the swap out process and confirmed we had another fried processor! Two in one week!
I called Cochlear as soon as they opened and they agreed to send out the replacement. They confirmed they had received the map from Erin's audi and said they were hopeful they could get the second replacement sent out with the first.
Well, I think this may have held things up. Because on Friday we still did not receive a Fed Ex from Cochlear. *sigh*
So, Erin has now been without sound on her left side since Thursday morning. 4 full days. And I have to say, I have noticed a huge difference. Beyond the normal 3-year old tendency to not listen, I am finding Erin not following direction unless I really make sure I am speaking to her on her right side. It has been a trying 4 days and she very much misses hearing on that side. She repeatedly says "Left side broken!" and pats her left implant site.
I have also noticed she is extra cautious and unsure of herself in new situations. We went to a Spoken English/ASL story time event at our local library on Saturday AM and I couldn't get her to leave my lap. At the zoo today, unless I kneeled to her level and spoke directly to her, she didn't even know I was speaking to her. I honestly can't get over just what a different little girl she is with one CI versus two. It makes me so glad to know that bilateral CIs are becoming the norm instead of the exception. The value is immeasurable.
I really, really hope to see a Fed Ex box on the porch when we get home tomorrow evening.