I can't hear!

On Saturday morning, Delia was in a panic.
Rightly so, as she could not hear.
Her BTE (Behind The Ear...cochlear implant device) was not working.
Madly, we switched batteries...trying each and every one we had.
To no avail.
No sound was getting through the processor to her brain.
This is how she hears...bionically.
She uses a cochlear implant to hear.
This is how she has heard since she was 11 months old.
Delia likes to hear.
When her implant is detached from the magnet on the back of her head, she can not hear.
No sound at all.
Sometimes she chooses not to hear, like at night and first thing in the morning.
She would like to hear and even wants a Neptune waterproof device so she can hear in water.

On Saturday morning, when she wanted to hear, expected to hear, she could not.
We checked batteries, replaced headpieces (this has the magnet which attaches to the back of her head (where another magnet is embedded into her skull) and this piece also attaches to the processor), still no sound.

I felt a bit panicky, as did John, but the look on Delia's face proved she was worried too.
Madly signing, which we are all rusty with, we pulled out the body worn processor she had as a baby.
Fortunately, the battery for that processor was still charged...from long ago.
Fortunately, the program had been updated in the past year.
Within in moments, Delia could hear again.
She was happy.
Yet, embarrassed.
The body worn processor (which you can see hooked to the back of her dress in the photo) is a cumbersome, heavy, awkward square piece of equipment.
When Delia was younger she worn it in a harness or a special pocket sewn into her undershirt.

see the harness in this photo

Those undershirts are long gone and the harness no longer fits and the cord from the processor to the head piece was too short to be clipped at waist level.
We prayed with Delia and we reassured her that we would do everything we could so she could hear. Of course, it was the weekend so no audiology services until Monday, at the earliest.

The weekend dragged on but event by event she gained confidence in her hearing, although it was still a bit off. She got used to the clip on her collar, she figured out that her striped polar fleece was the sturdiest collar, she used an extra magnet and all sorts of other little tricks to help her through the weekend and by noon on Monday we had a replacement processor.
Turns out the issue was a connectivity issue with the cords and processor on the BTE.

Sometimes it is easy for us to take for granted that she can hear.
Delia is deaf, and will always be deaf.
In many ways, Delia functions as a hearing person but these little snafus remind us that she hears because of modern technology.
We are so grateful to have had so few issues with her hearing...there have been a few moments but for the most part we take it for granted.

We are contemplating having her left ear implanted...it is a big decision and one that Delia must participate in making.
Pray with us...for wisdom.

More about Delia and deafness found here and here and here and here.


  1. Aww, sweet girl. I could feel the panic right along with you in this post. Deep breath. So glad the issue is resolved with her device. Prayers and thoughts as you make this next big decision.

  2. Oh what an ordeal, poor Delia, poor parents! Thank goodness everything was a fix despite the delay. I'm sure that makes your decision even more heartfelt.


I love comments!