Friday, September 2, 2011


By now you all know that R's hearing test results gave us a real shock. I can't say I was all that surprised, we've been joking about her being deaf since she failed her newborn hearing screen in her right ear just days after birth. We joked because she talks constantly non-stop to whoever will listen to her and she does a darn good job at it. We joked because we sometimes wished she would sleep as soundly as we imagine a deaf person would and we joked because from the moment she was born she has been deafeningly loud. I think we joked too because we knew somewhere that it was true.

The night before her test was a nightmare. We headed to my sweet mother in laws' house in Brandon so we could be close to All Children's Specialty Care in Brandon where R. was to have her test- a sedated ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response). We had to keep her up past her bedtime by a few hours the night before, fast her for four hours before her test (which we screwed up because we were all sleep impaired) and then keep her awake until the test time when they gave her medication to make her sleep soundly through the test. She was obnoxious and tired and being away from home put us all on edge and Andy and I weren't getting along very well at all despite the fact that we really needed to be. Anyways, after a rough night where she had a night terror (those things always happen when she is super tired) and then peed on me as I tried to calm her, we made up as best we could and put on our happy faces. It was terrible but we got through it. T. stayed with Grandma when we left for the test and we sang, "Yellow Submarine" the whole way there to keep her awake. We were in good spirits as we arrived. After registering and waiting for a bit for the Audiologist R. was tired and kept saying she wanted to go home. She was all smiles though as the Audiologist gave her a glittering wand toy and spoke to us about the procedure. R. took her medicine without any problems even though it tasted really yucky and we all applauded. She then fell asleep as Daddy rocked her and her test began. We waited in the waiting room and we were eating lunch as the Audiologist came out to give us the results: moderate deficit in her right ear. Wow.

So from here we will take it one step at a time. First an ENT appointment and another hearing test in Brandon All Children's Specialty to test the higher ranges. What the ABR told us is that from 50 decibels she can't hear the 2000hrtz sounds and above. That means the speech sounds c,s,th,l. Interesting those are some of the sounds that not only she but lots of three-year-olds have trouble making. The Audiologist said they do recommend an aid especially in classroom settings. Homeschooling changes that a bit but we will keep you updated on news regarding what we continue to find out and what decisions we will be making and how you can help support her. For now we will speak clearly to her and into her left ear and make eye contact when we can.

A word on mother-guilt:
I naturally had some feelings of guilt after hearing the news. We know she has had this deficit since birth. After her birth when she initially failed her newborn screen I racked my brain trying to figure out if anything had happened during pregnancy that could have caused this. My pregnancy with her was perfectly healthy and her birth was completely natural and unmedicated. On every form we filled out it asked if she was premature and if there were complications during pregnancy or birth and I have been able to let go of any guilt because I know that I did what was best for her in every way I could. Our pediatrician had wanted us to have this ABR done when she was still an infant. We decided that putting such a young baby through that was not what we wanted for her and we knew she had "one good ear at least". We put this test off until we felt she could understand what we were doing to her and why and I am really glad we did. I am now noticing the many ways she has adapted to her hearing deficit. She very often puts herself on the right of whoever is speaking, she has excellent eye contact and she will flatly ask you to,"speak up!". She is amazing and perfect, anyone who know her knows she doesn't miss a beat. This deficit is already a part of who she is which I very much prefer to an aid being a part of who she is and I know that as long as we Follow The Child and just Let it Rot things will all fall into place.

No comments: