Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

About a month ago, I took Cupcake down to St. Louis Children's Hospital for a hearing re-test.

Two weeks after she came home, we had her hearing tested. At that time, the results for the right ear were inconclusive. Her left ear tested fine. But the audiologist suspected she had mild to moderate hearing loss in her right ear. Unfortunately, they had tested the left ear first, and she was tired of sitting still for the second half of testing. And she didn't speak English, which complicated matters. And then there was the fact that she is street smart. She can read people. All of her other senses kicked into overdrive, so she could pass this test. She was watching the assistant for any clues as to when she should have heard something. She was watching through the one-way mirror for the finger movements of the audiologist.

So they asked us to come back.

This time, they started with the right ear. They had their most experienced people do the test. They ran several other tests. Everything pointed to the same thing.

Cupcake can not hear in her right ear.

They used the words "moderate to severe hearing loss". They said it appeared to be nerve damage, which is irreversible. They sent us to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) to see if he could find the cause and look into treatment.

So, yesterday, we went to the ENT. He peeked in her ears, took one look at her audiogram, and told me she has profound hearing loss in her right ear. He is sending us to an oto-neural (ear nerve) specialist to discuss the options.

I'm still in shock that we've gone from mild to profound hearing loss in a matter of months. After the first test, we started noticing and suspecting a significant loss. But, it still hurts to hear the words.

Cupcake always uses her left ear for the phone, and she will switch if she accidentally puts it to her right ear. She turns her head to talk to soft spoken people. She says "huh?" a lot, especially in the car or in places with a lot of background noise.

On the bright side, she has one good ear. That is so much more than many have. Also, I homeschool, so there is no problem hearing the teacher. And we're a loud family. Nobody in this house is soft-spoken. ;-)

Cupcake is a survivor -- and she will adjust and make up for any loss with sheer will-power. She already has.

Blessings to you,


ManyBlessings said...

Wow! I'm sure that WAS a shock! Praying she can get the help she needs and very thankful for her hearing in her left ear.

Laurie said...

Oh My, I'm sure you guys are so sad and surprised! We're sad and shocked, too, but you said it, she is a survivor! God has made her strong, this won't hold her back! We're so thankful, too, she has hearing in her left ear! Hang in there, I know this is hard news for you all!
Cheering you on in MD,
Love, Laurie

Katie said...

Wow you all have been through alot !! Cupcake is an amazing child !!!

wvamom said...

I am sorry about your daughter's hearing loss. It's always a shock as a parent to learn your child has a health issue you didn't know about. I hope that the drs. can help her to be able to compensate and function even with the hearing loss. Praying for you! Carolyn

wvamom said...

You know, I've been giving this some more thought--and I realized we have a parallel in our family. Our now-19 year old daughter has very low vision in her left eye. We learned about it when she was 4. We did everything we could to try to improve it, but now, her brain just basically ignores that eye and uses the "good" right eye. I grieved over that loss, too, when we discovered it. But she sure hasn't let it hold her back! Most people would have no idea that she has the use of only one eye. I'll bet your daughter will be just like her! Carolyn