Saturday, March 19, 2011

Audiology and a mini-vacay

How'd you spend your Spring Break, Amy?

1)Therapy on Monday for D...
2)Short follow-up for M on Tuesday...
3)D's well-child appointment and bloodwork on Thursday...
4)Audiology on Friday!

Not to mention the cleaning and laundry in between.

SO we decided that Spring Break should not be used as Catch Up On Appointments completely, and we went on a mini, one-night-vacation. To Oklahoma City, the place we normally don't like because of being stuck up there for a month. But this visit was just for fun, so it was great. Ate at our favorite restaurants up there, went to the Science Museum and the Zoo... spent tons of quality time with my guys. Pictures sometime in the future.

But the real reason I'm typing my quietest (big M's sleeping head is within slapping distance and this keyboard is clackety) is because of D's audiology appointment.

Now, when this appointment was made (by the early intervention people), I didn't realize it would be with an actual audiologist. I figured it'd just be the same kind of hearing test he had in the hospital as a newborn, and at about 6 months old as a follow-up. But nope, actual appointment. Lots more detail. It started out with him asking me about the pregnancy and birth, the NICU stay and why he was in the NICU, etc. Then he asked me if I *thought* Dylan could hear. I said yes, I think he hears okay... I don't know that he always LISTENS, but I think he can hear!

Guess what? I was wrong. First he did a test on his ear drums to see if they were responding like they should to air being blown on them... tympanometry, I think it was called? Anyway, if his ear drums were responding like they should, his little line chart on the computer would have had a nice peak. But instead, it had a flat line at the bottom of the line chart. On both ears. Then he did another little test that tests the little hairs in the snaily part of the ear (you can tell that I'm PRACTICALLY a doctor with my professional terminology, yes? ;) ), and yeah... he failed that too. Then we went into a little room that had speakers all around the room. Basically, he was looking for Dylan to respond to whatever noise came out of whatever speaker. See, this part of the test is unreliable to me, because Dylan is a champion ignorer. He liked it when the lights flashed, and he responded well at first to the noises coming out of different areas... but after a while he was all, "mkay, over it." and refused to even try anymore. At that point, he kicked off his shoes and decided he wanted to lie down... and when I chose not to let him lie down, he was SO not happy with my decision making skills.

Anyway... the verdict is that he has two ear infections, fluid build-up behind his ear drums, and his left ear is a tad bit better than his right, but neither of them are working properly. He has another appointment with that audiologist in 4 weeks. Meanwhile, the audiologist told me only to get him on antibiotics for the ear infections if he becomes symptomatic-- cranky, fever, etc. So hopefully they go away by themselves.

At least I got to pet a goat and see the elephants.... how was YOUR spring break? (If you've had yours yet... Oklahoma is notorious for having spring break in what is technically still winter.)


Jenny said...

Russells failed all his tests too over the past few months...I remember seeing that sheet printed out where there was suppose to be a peak, and when I saw the flatline I cried, lol, I'm a baby that way...Its funny cause like you said I KNOW Russell can hear but I know he ignores as well. And honestly in a house with six kids Russell has learned to tune those tiny sounds out so I didnt expect him to turn everytime he heard a beep...Whatever, hopefully the tubes help him pass his next test though and we can know he is hearing the way he should.
Have they mentioned tubes for Dylan? And Yaay for a mini vaca in Oklahoma! We dont get away anywhere for spring break :(

Amy, queen of the world. said...

He mentioned that if the fluid doesn't clear up on its own (or with antibiotics), we would talk about getting referred to an ENT. I love that our guys are good ignorers.... I don't know if they'd EVER sleep if they weren't!

Kate said...

Bethany failed her first testing, too. She goes for her second testing on Friday. The audiologist told me that if she fails 3 times, she'll get tubes. Considering how common that is for kids with Ds, though, I'm not at all surprised. I know she can hear ~ she just chooses to ignore anything that doesn't interest her (gee, I'm noticing a common theme amongst the parents with Ds kiddos! LOL).

Hannah hasn't seen the audiologist yet, but like Bethers, I won't be surprised if she has fluid build-up behind her eardrums. I think that if they both need tubes, I'll get 'em done the same day. It'll be a two-fer for the ENT! LOL

Ces said...

We had a follow up audiologist appointment once, after Adam had his tubes for a while. It was the audiologist's first day back after an injury and he wasn't quite back in the swing of things yet. He commented that the results showed Adam had a perforation in one ear. I pointed out that Adam had tubes. "Oh, yeah, I guess that would make a difference!" I was amused.

Hope Dylan's infection clears up!

Aimee said...

My little munchkin didn't decide to "pass" a sound booth test until this past week- at 22 months... They kept commenting that she had a flat tympanogram (and wanted us to keep going back every 4-6 weeks for another test, at $30/pop), but her ears were so tiny that no one could get a good look at her eardrums. Her ENT was going to do a bronchoscope, anyway, a few months later, so I INSISTED that they do an ABR at the same time. Come to find out, tympanograms can have false positives when the ears are too small to get a good seal. Piper hears fine- she had NO issues on the sedated test. AND she did NOT need tubes- there wasn't fluid in there, after all- just little canals. If they do want to do tubes, I'd ask if they could do an ABR at the same time (not sure you can do the two together? Something about the perferation, but I'm not sure). It got them off our backs for 6 months, which gave Piper time to "decide" to cooperate with the testing. Besides- if there IS hearing issues, I'd much rather DEAL with it and allow my kid to hear, than keep going back to useless sound booth tests where they keep saying the same thing.

Anyway, all this to say that just because the "conclusive" tests say so, they aren't always right. If you think he hears, he very well might be. The ABR was such a relief to have!!! :) Good luck!