During one of our coffee breaks members of the manufacturing team came to greet us. Some of them spoke English, but most did not. These are the people who make the devices by hand. It’s tedious, careful work, in an environment who’s standards for cleanliness and quality are unlike anything I’ve seen. If a pen falls on the ground it cannot be used. They work for hours at a time, unable to even scratch their noses or adjust their eye glasses. They work through microscopes in order to see the tiny wires and details of what they are putting together. And if they are not careful, if there are mistakes, devices don’t work. They are the ones who put amazing ideas into actual, usable technology. Inventors invent, R&D develops, but without the careful work of that team, no one hears.
I’m posting something today that is a little out of my norm, but it’s something I’ve been sharing with parents in a word document for years now and I want to have a central place for people to find it, especially because tomorrow I’ll be on the Child’s Voice podcast sharing about these questions. (Hello to anyone who’s come here from the podcast!) If you don’t have a kid with hearing loss, this isn’t super pertinent (but if you know someone with hearing loss who’s considering a cochlear implant- feel free to pass it along!). If you are in the deep with CI brands, processor options and facing a surgery for your child or yourself, well then, I hope this helps! This is what I wish I’d had when I was in your shoes all those years ago…
I was also able to carry him with me in that party. His name was on our front door, on our lips, and in our minds. His spirit was felt in every corner of our house, and with it his cheer and delight was there too. For the first time since his death the joy of his spirit was prominent, above the sadness of his absence.
A few years ago I wrote a post about how I wasn't super thankful after Liam's first cochlear implant surgery. It was honest and true. I was encouraged to submit that piece to the awesome collaborative blog Coffee + Crumbs. I was conflicted about submitting it though because what was honest and true then, was no longer the truth now. So I added a little epilogue, an update on my thoughts and feelings about Liam's cochlear implant four years later. This updated essay is featured today on the Coffee + Crumbs site. I'd love it if you checked it out.