Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Part of me doesn't want to ever talk about this experience again, and part of me never wants to quit. On December 23, 2002, Rhyan underwent surgery at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg to receive her cochlear implant. The surgery itself was beyond amazing. It was the most blatant miracle we've ever witnessed. The surgeon said the procedure usually takes between 3 and 6 hours. Rhyan was done in a little over an hour. He said it was picture perfect. We found out the next day just how perfect it really was when the surgical assistants came in to talk to us. They told us that they had never seen a procedure go so well. There are wires connected to an electrode that are inserted into the cochlea, and these wires contain the volumes and frequencies that were mapped about a month later. If the entire wire doesn't go completely into the cochlea, then the volumes and frequencies that aren't inside the cochlea will never be heard by the individual. Rhyan's went completely inside. She has full range of sound.

After the surgery was a bit more difficult than we thought it would be. I stayed with her all night and she was in a lot of pain. There's something about seeing your child in pain that just sears your soul. I don't know how else to describe it. That memory will stay with me. I guess the good part about it is that we appreciate her healthy times that much more. My heart goes out to parents whose children are going through long illnesses. I just can't imagine.

We had so many visitors, mostly family. However, Santa Claus, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Raymond the Devil Rays mascot all made their appearance. I had actually kind of lost it right before Raymond came in, but he made me smile and it really turned my attitude around. And while he denies it, Matt nearly did a back flip when the Macho Man came in. :)

A friend of ours said that while it is a phenomenal gift that our baby can hear, the most important thing about this event is to give God the glory. And He gets it. There wasn't a moment where we couldn't see His hand or feel His peace. This isn't about a surgery where a baby gets to hear. This is about the Lord changing lives because He loves us so much.

Christmas Eve we were home and we watched her sleep peacefully in her own bed. It was a perfect night to praise His name.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

One of my buddies at the Y, Leslie, (props, Girl!) came up with an awesome idea. She has two precious little girls that were stuck, literally, to their pacifiers. So, when she felt the time was upon her to get rid of those suckers (seriously, no pun intended), she took her little one to the Build-a-Bear workshop. Her oldest was in school, so she chose the bear for her and will let her pick out clothes for it later. They had a ceremony to say farewell to Binkie. They selected the bears and then kissed Binkie and hid it inside the stuffing of "Binkie Bear". I'm sure you can make a "Bottle Bear" or "Blankie Bear". Do you think I can make an "ESPN Bear"? Just joking, Honey! Kind of.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

One of my favorites. A message of hope...

But as it is written:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

Sunday, March 19, 2006

On May 21, 2002, our 11 month old daughter, Rhyan, failed a second hearing screen. In one moment the future we had envisioned for our child was destroyed. While my husband, Matt, was rock solid, I was in complete shock. I had no idea how to even start dealing with the news. She showed absolutely no response to volume or pitch. While holding her in the sound booth, I simply broke down and sobbed. Even to this day I'm not able to tell her story without tears.

Immediately following Rhyan's failed hearing screens, we asked our loved ones to pray for us. We desperately needed God's strength. Over the course of the next days and weeks we most definitely felt those prayers. I knew without a doubt that God had the power to restore Rhyan's hearing if that was His plan. I knew it. But, I also knew that if this was a trial that we had to go through, then He was going to walk (and sometimes crawl) through it with us.

Our sermon at church the Sunday before her diagnosis was about going where God wanted us to go no matter how frightening or painful. On June 24, 2002, five days before Rhyan's first birthday, we began the journey of going where God wanted us to go, no matter how frightening or painful. With an ABR that tested the extent of the hearing loss, Rhyan was found to be profoundly deaf in both ears. We didn't get the answer that we wanted, but we did get the perfect answer. There weren't any mistakes made when Rhyan was created. We knew at that moment that her life would be even more special and wonderful than we ever could have imagined.

It's so amazing to look back on trials and see their purpose. After 9/11, when Rhy was only a few months old, the company Matt worked for went bankrupt and we were without an income. We didn't understand at the time why Matt was laid off, but now we can see where we became so much stronger in our faith during that time. That strength had been vital during our struggle with Rhyan's deafness. Everything happens for a purpose.

Today I try to live my life to see His purpose in every situation or circumstance. Rhyan's journey to the hearing world has touched many lives of the people we hold dear. 'Whisper' is our testimony to the rest of the world. We're so glad you've joined us.