Monday, February 2, 2009

Hearing Update

Last Thursday, we took Cupcake back down to Children's Hospital for a hearing re-check. This was the 3rd hearing test they had performed on her. Each time before, she was finished with the test before they were finished with the test, if you know what I mean. And when she was done, there was no amount of pleading and coaxing that would draw her back in for more testing.

As a result, they were never really sure they got a good reading on her hearing. It appeared to be a moderate loss the first time and a severe loss the second time. They wanted to try again to see if they could really determine what she could hear with her right ear.

Thursday, I was SO PROUD of Cupcake. She sat still and paid attention for a full hour of testing. She followed directions and let them test her 20 different ways. She let them poke her ears several times. They finally were able to have an accurate understanding of what she can hear.

And the answer is...virtually nothing. She is profoundly deaf in her right ear. Her left ear is normal and she scored 100% on differentiating words that sound alike with that ear. Unfortunately, the right ear is so bad that they do not even recommend a hearing aid. It would have to be so loud, it would be distorted beyond recognition.

So, where does that leave us? In a classroom, she needs to sit in the front, with her left ear nearest the teacher. She does that automatically. Background noise should be kept to a minimum...not so easy with three big kids playing Guitar Hero and generally making noise. (Also, restaurants and public places are hard.) We need to talk to her face to face, so she can begin reading lips. We need to speak loudly and clearly. She needs to be extra cautious about traffic noise, since she can not locate the direction a sound is coming from. Parking lots are very dangerous for her. (She's better with streets than parking lots.)

The loss appears to be sensory-neural (nerve damage). They do want her to have a CT scan and have an opthamologist look at her eye structure - to see if there is any deformity or disease that might have caused this. Otherwise, we will just keep a close eye on her left ear, to make sure her hearing stays good in that one.

Even though the news was not great, I was so very pleased with the progress she has made in so many areas that made her testing go smoothly...understanding English, sitting still, cooperating with the testers, patience, endurance, and following directions. I am so grateful that she has come this far in 8 short months. So proud of my baby.

Blessings to you,

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