We took her in for the long-awaited hearing test on Saturday.
She didn't pass. (Sound familiar?)
It wasn't even surprising. Her hearing's been terrible for months now.
At first it was for an unspeakably gross reason: wax build-up (!!!) plugging her ears. We dutifully dropped olive oil into her ears a few times a day for a week or two, and then we took her back to the ENT to get them suctioned. Once they were cleared out, he said she'd likely be fine.
Her hearing didn't improve. We were all frustrated from constantly repeating ourselves. From shouting at our poor girl because it was the only way she could hear basic instructions to brush her teeth or put on her PJs or ANYTHING that needed to happen.
I called her ENT back but he was on a (length) vacation. I called private clinics to see if I could pay to get her hearing tested while he was away, but they "don't do children." If she was 60? Heck yes, same-day!
I called Nova Scotia Hearing & Speech and explained the situation, and they put her on a list. They warned me the wait could be six months or even a year. Finally, her ENT returned, I called and pleaded my case, and we scheduled the hearing test.
In the meantime, she kept getting mad at me because I'd grab her ponytail in a parking lot, but it was only because she wasn't hearing me telling her to stop because PEOPLE IN PARKING LOTS ARE CRAZY. Lunging forward to grab the tip of somebody's ponytail isn't cool, but it's better than getting hit by a car.
Just like her brother has done many times before, she sat in the booth and they shut the door. The audiologist held a piece of paper over her mouth (so C couldn't read her lips, which she's gotten very good at) and asked her to say certain words. She played tones in C's headphones and asked her to raise her hand when she heard them.
|Two kids, four busted ears.|
D and I sat nearby in chairs, and we could see glimpses of C's grinning face as she sat proudly in that booth. We heard high-pitched chirps and whirrs and beeps, clear as day, from our seat across the room.
Sometimes she happily raised her hand, and the audiologist nodded encouragingly.
Other times, she stared straight ahead for a long time.
Sometimes she just shook her head apologetically, like, Sorry, I've got nothin'.
Then she was coming out of the booth and getting a sticker. D got a sticker too. The audiologist confirmed she had moderate hearing loss -- the same diagnosis as D, all those years ago.
We saw our ENT shortly after, and I signed the same ol' consent form for tube surgery that I've signed twice before.
"You make deaf babies! LOL!" my sister texted me after the appointment.
And she's right, sort of.
|Cute kids. Sucky hearing.|
It's strange that BOTH of our kids have had such messed-up ears, but not any ear infections (which is usually the reason kids need tubes).
But while D experienced his problems early (ages 1-4), C's only started when she was 4 1/2. According to our ENT, there are two different phases when these ear issues can happen -- D got the first phase, and C got the 4-7-year-old phase. Something to do with how the ears grow and develop. He mentioned adenoids, too, but at this point I'm just like "Tubes, please! Thanks! K bye."
We're grateful that C's hearing issues happened during this second phase, to be honest, because it did such a number on D's speech when he couldn't hear during that critical 12-24 month period.
I look back at old posts sometimes and I can't believe how little he could say. He said like FIVE WORDS when he was 18 months old (when he was supposed to be saying 20 words, at least). He could sign a ton of words, but speaking out loud? Nope.
C seemed like a little genius in comparison, but she could hear. I just saw a video in my Facebook "memories" the other day where she was chattering away at 16 months. Even now, her speech still seems fine to me, which is a blessing.
She'll hopefully get in for her surgery sometime in May, but it could be June. Either way, she'll be all fixed up -- and hopefully hearing great -- before she starts Primary in the fall.
In the meantime, we'll keep speaking extra-loud, tapping her on the shoulder to get her attention, and tugging her ponytail in busy parking lots if she's about to dart behind a car.
Ironically, we have bought her a little piano for her fifth birthday in a few weeks.
Sometimes you just have to laugh.