Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Swimming - With CI - Why Not !!

Lotte & swimming is a great combination. The one minor setback was that she could not wear her CI. We used signs when we were in the pool, but it was clear that for us - and Lotte - that it mattered that she couldn't hear..

We planned a nice vacation to Gran Canaria, and we were not looking forward to running around the pool - looking for eye-contact in order to sign...

Some time ago we came across an excellent suggestion for swimming with the CI... (via CiCircle, pointing to a YouTube video.... see below.) You do need to have the rechargeable batteries for this (as the others need O2 to operate), and since November we are using them. (To our delight.. another success story...)

The solution is to seal the processor and coil in a plastic bag. (Video on YouTube..)
However... we don't own one of those "seal & vacuum" machines for the kitchen like shown in the video, and getting one in Norway is not easy - nor cheap. Especially for an experiment like this.
Dutch as we are, or just creative, ( :-o) we found those plastic bags that can be closed with an air ( and water-) tight seal/strip. (Zip-lock bags I am told..)

So... we put the CI processor and coil in the bag.... closed the seal, put it all in a second bag (just to be sure) and all this went under a swimming cap....
And ... it worked!!
The coil has enough magnetic force to go through 2 plastic bags, and the processor will pick up sound through 2 bags AND a swimming-cap.!

Lotte loved it, and for us, being able to talk to her when she is in the pool reduces a lot of stress....
In the pool she is very happy on her own, but we do see the will to understand her siblings and the other children. And let's face it, the sounds around the swimming-pool are part of the experience. Same for experiencing sound under water....
And it seems as if she experimented with it... she would lie in the water, head (processor) under water and just lying there.... very "Zen"....

------------------ Below the video that gave us the inspiration ------------------


Dy said...

That is so cool, Cloggy! I'm surprised that although the bags are watertight, they still allow sound to pass through! Was it muffled at all for her?

I might have to give this a try :)

Cloggy said...

Don't know if it was muffled, but then again, she also wears the CI's under coats when playing outside.

Anyway, she had no problems understanding us.

But let me hear about your experiences....

Abbie said...

Hmm, I would be very scared to do that with mine :) I can't believe how tall Lotte getting!

Mom to Toes said...

I love it!

I've seen the youtube video, but it is great to see Lotte have success with it as well!

I am encouraged to hear that the two ziploc bags were sufficient to protect the unit. I can't wait until Erin is older and we can try this out. At this point, she isn't too upset when she can't hear at the pool. But I know as she gets older, it will become an issue.

Cloggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cloggy said...

Lotte wasn't upset either.
But her being able to hear makes communication a lot easier...

We were not looking forward to running around the pool - looking for eye-contact in order to sign...

This works.... just like "real" parents, we can now shout to her, just like we do to the other two children! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for posting this! I watched the video and am going to look to purchase the food saver. My daughter is 4 years old and just swimming lessons without hearing is difficult so I've always taken them with her. We have a pool in the backyard and Emma doesn't like to stay out there very long because she can't hear. She'd rather sit and watch us from the deck with her implants on. I'm definitely going to try's so worth the happiness it would bring her!

Karen Putz said...

She looks so cute in her swimming cap!

Cloggy said...


Thanks for your comment. It's always great to hear how the blog is halping other people.
Please get back to tell us how you're doing.


Laurie said...

Hello! I love reading Lotte's updates! She seems like she is doing well. But that is because she has such wonderful parents!

By the way, I "tapped" you for a meme. . .don't know if you do them but you can find more information on my blog. I would love to know more about you! I won't be offended if you are not interested! I normally don't do them either. . .

~Laurie in TN

elizabeth embracing life said...

Wow, this is one idea I have yet to discover. We went swimming about four weeks ago and it was very stressful on me. Three boys, one who can't hear and then the two other boys. I am trying this. I am going to borrow my friends seal a meal to do this. Yippee!! Thanks

Lydia said...

My son used to swim with the Sprint bodyworn processor in an Aquapac waterproof bag, but he doesn't like it anymore because the headpiece keeps falling off and he can't be as active with it. I would love to try this! (My challenge is to get him to wear a swim cap which he thinks looks weird.) I have a couple of questions, though. With the double zip-lock baggie approach, did any water get in at all? How deep did she go with it? My son will dive to the bottom of a 3 meter depth. Do you think water would enter at that deoth?


Cloggy said...

I can imagine the cap will not look cool, and restrict him in his freedom under water.
Regarding water-intrusion. Som moisture in the first bag. Nothing in the second.
But about 3m depths.... just put something in the 2 bags, and let your son take it down to 3m. It will tell you how well (or not) it works.
Please, leave a comment regarding the results!!

Lydia said...

Will do, as long as he's OK with the swim cap first!

(Some) Milestones

  • 2013-08: Grade 6
  • 2012-08: Grade 5
  • 2011-08: Grade 4
  • 2011-03: BTE's on the ear
  • 2010-08: Grade 3
  • 2009-08: Grade 2
  • 2008-08: Mainstream School (6y. old)
  • 2006-10: All-hearing Kindergarten (4y. old)
  • 2004-11-22: CI activated (27 m. old)
  • 2004-10-04: Bi-lateral CI (26 m. old)
  • 2003-08: Deaf/HOH/CI Pre-school/"DEAF" Kindergarten (12m. old)
  • 2003-07: HA's fitted (11 m. old)
  • 2003-06: Diagnosed deaf. Start sign-language (10m. old)
  • 2002-11: Suspicion loss of hearing (4 m. old)
  • 2002-08: Born - A fierce LION
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