I’ve put off writing a post about this until we had more of the facts. We’ve had several doctor appts. and I feel like I have enough info. to share what’s been going on with Alayna now.
Early in the school year the school tests the children for routine hearing screenings. I got a call in October from the nurse asking me if Alayna had any hearing loss. I replied no. She then asked if I’ve noticed her not hearing well at home. Again I replied no. She said that she had screened Alayna on 2 separate occasions and she failed the test both times.
This was all news to me! I guess perhaps since she’s the youngest of 3 kids and no one ever really listens to Mom I just didn’t think anything of it when she said she didn’t hear me ask something of her. LOL! The nurse recommended we follow up with her pediatrician. We did.
I made an appt. right away and the doctor tested her hearing in the office. Again she failed the test. She recommended we put her on allergy medicine since her nasal passages looked inflamed and if it was in anyway related to seasonal allergies this was the 1st step to ruling it out. So we left and put her on the meds and made an appt. to return a few weeks later to have a re-test and see how she was doing.
We returned for our appt. a couple of weeks later and they tested her hearing again. Again she failed. The pediatrician then recommended we go to see our ENT that did her tonsillectomy in June to get his opinion and a more accurate hearing screening in his office from an audiologist.
On Friday the 19th we had her appt. with the ENT. The audiologist tested her hearing in the sound proof booth. Jared and I were standing in the hallway trying to watch what was going on. We could tell the audiologist was getting frustrated with her. He would say point to the hot dog on the picture on the wall and she would point to it sometimes and sometimes she wouldn’t. He’d say point to the cotton candy and so on. He held a folder in front of his mouth so she couldn’t read his lips. He ran through different tests and then we were taken back to see the doctor and get her results.
As we were sitting waiting I had an overwhelming feeling and a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that I “know” she can’t hear properly. The doctor came in and said after talking to the audiologist he didn’t feel like there was anything really wrong with her hearing. He was suggesting that perhaps she was faking it. I told him I know my daughter and she wouldn’t do that. He said, well sometime she would hear the directions and sometimes she wouldn’t as if she was trying to manipulate the results. I started getting upset. I said, I know she can’t hear. She is a good girl and knows this is important and there is now way she if faking this.
He looked in her ears, nose, and throat and said the tonsillectomy healed great. Her ears looked clear and the eardrum looked perfect. He said her nose did look swollen. We told him she’s been on allergy meds. He said the fluid that covers the nasal passage is the same that covers the eustachian tubes in the ears. We could take her off the meds and come back and have her re-tested. But he said it seemed like a lot of work but if we wanted we could…he’d be there either way. Jared and I aren’t sure if he was trying to be funny or what, but it came across and flippant and like he didn’t really think we needed to be there. It was pretty annoying.
I asked if there was any correlation between the fact she’s passed every hearing test in school until the year she had her tonsils removed and he dismissed that pretty quickly and changed the subject. Again…he really wasn’t winning any points with me.
Finally he said we could do the new born hearing screening where the computer basically tells us if she can hear or not. Taking her out of the equation and seeing what the results are from that. We jumped on that and set up her test for this morning.
Even though it’s her bday today it was the 1st available appt. and we just want answers. We took her to another office with a different audiologist and she ran the new born hearing screening. It was super fast. She explained that the test works by when your ears hear sound they return sound out. The computer can read how they hear by the sound that is returned. The audiologist at this office was AWESOME she was so helpful and answered all of my questions.
She then took us to get our results with the Physician’s Assistant. She came in and handed me the test results and she said that Alayna’s right ear is referring on some mid-tones and low tones and her left ear is referring on low tones. Confirming my gut feeling all along. She can’t hear! The P.A. said that for low tone hearing loss there is nothing they can do. Hearing aides would normally be recommended but they do not help with low tones. Not very good news. 🙁 She wrote her a note for the school so she can sit close to the teacher and hopefully they will be more understanding with her and make sure she hears the instructions given in class. She also wants to see her back in 6 months to have another hearing check in their sound proof booth.
She was an excellent doctor. She really took a lot of time with me and explained things so I could understand. She didn’t think any of my questions were dumb or ridiculous. I will be returning to this office from now on. We will have to follow up every year with the doctor to monitor her hearing to make sure it isn’t getting worse.
So that leaves us really not much further ahead than we were before. I might have to fill out a 504 Plan with the school so that all of her teachers are aware that she has difficulty hearing. For the most part she is doing very well. She’s an excellent student and gets straight A’s. She’s actually in the top of her class. But she has had some behavior notes here and there….and now looking back with this new information…I know it’s because she hasn’t always hear the teacher.
I’m still not convinced this isn’t tied to having her tonsils removed. The P.A. also said she didn’t’ think it was related. However, the pediatrician said if anything it would/could help her if she was having hearing issues. So in my mind…if it could help…couldn’t it hurt???? I’m not done looking into this…