Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Getting an earful!

As Piper gets closer and closer to her birthday, I fee like we’re finally starting to get a grip on all of the checks she’s supposed to get.  Thyroid screens?  Check (and will, forever, every 6 months, but that’s doable).  Ophthalmology?  Check.  Physical Therapists?  Check.  Swallow study?  Check.  All of these lovely things that most near one-year-olds never have to bother with.

Today we had, I think, about the last one.  We went to the audiology clinic at Children’s this morning. 

I let her play with some of the toys in the lobby for the first time today (she’s usually on the touch nothing routine), but it was kinda quiet, I know they clean their stuff, and, well, I thought she’d have fun, sooo… 

P1050008…she got to drive the “boat”.  Although I’m fairly certain that the driving is meant to take place in a seated position, but we’ll just ignore that little tidbit.  She also got to meet another little girl with Ds, too, who was four and had the prettiest hair you’ve ever seen.  She sure was a cutie!!!

Anywho, Piper has yet to get an ear infection, and she always responds to us, and seems to hear fine, so we weren’t asked to check on it until closer to her birthday, hoping that she’d be a little older and more willing to “play the game”.  She actually did really well!  I loved the ladies we met with.  When they’re under two, they schedule with two audiologists at the same time to try and keep the baby’s attention long enough to complete the assessment.  Brilliant.  We needed it, too. 

They sat us in the sound booth with speakers in opposite corners from where we were sitting.  One of the therapists sat in front of Piper trying to keep her attention forward so that she had to cognizantly turn her head when she heard the sounds.  Above each speaker they had a clear, shadowed box with a teddy bear that had banging cymbals in their hands.  When Piper turned her head, they turned a light on inside the box and turned on the bear so that she got positive reinforcement for “playing”.  

It mostly worked.  Piper was definitely better at acknowledging voices, and had no problems at any decibel level there.  Then they went to lower toned whooshes, which sounded more like just blowing air (and drove me n-u-t-s).  She really could have cared less.  One problem (I say “problem”, although I guess it’s more just a “thing”) with Piper is that she’s really hard to distract sometimes.  If she’s “in” to something, she can focus very intensely on it.  I think that was part of our problem today- she was more interesting in the toys the lady was showing her than trying to figure out where the “whoosh”, the whoosh she didn’t care about, was coming from.  She’d acknowledge a softer version several times, and the completely ignore the louder one a few minutes later…

And then the “fun” (I say fun, what I really mean is horridly wretched, abysmal treachery) started.  Apparently it’s torture to place something that can’t possibly hurt on my child’s ears.  When it came time to do the test for eardrum movement, Piper flipped out.  She was going to have nothing to do with the apparatus that was obviously going to suck out her sole through her ears. 

We tried.

And failed.

And tried again.

And failed.

They got a decent reading on one ear (which she passed), but we were never able to get the other one.  They kept getting readings that showed she was “flat” (meaning that the eardrum isn’t moving as much as it should, and therefore she’s not hearing as well as she should), which could mean that a) she’s flat,  or b) that she was screaming and moving so much the test wasn’t accurate.

So, long story short, we know she hears.  And we go back in 4-6 weeks to attempt to check the other ear.

I. Can’t. Wait.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds about like our first trip to the ENT - especially the freaking out part. We go back every 3 months to clean the wax out!
    We haven't been to the opthamologist or had a swallow study - I guess we're slackers ;)