Can you hear me now? No? Still? Well, crap.
Last Wednesday we went on up the referral chain to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to try and find out why my daugher, the little sThinker, was still unable to pass her hearing tests. He tied her up in a little papoose contraption first and looked in her ears with a microscope, which pissed her off to no end because she really, really likes to have her arms free. It showed, though, that the ear canal looked healthy, and there was nothing wrong with the middle ear, so there was no good reason that she should fail her hearing test.
So they gave her another hearing test, which she promptly failed.
That one sort of knocked my wife and I both off-kilter. The great hope was that there was something blocking her eardrum and keeping it from vibrating right, but with that not being the case in meant that there was something wrong with the inner ear. At first he told us that, “There’s nothing medically we can do for the inner ear,” but later he came back with hearing aids being an option, which was a relief. He kicked us up the chain for an advanced round of testing that’s supposed to tell us what tones she can and can’t hear, and at what decibel levels.
It’s a weird feeling. I really didn’t want to teach on Thursday, but there really wasn’t a point to taking the day off. The worst part was in having to tell everyone that she had failed this test and was most likely deaf. I got the whole gamut of responses, from “Wow, that sucks!” to “So, what next?”. After school that day I hopped on the internet and spent about 4 hours researching, trying to wrap my mind around being the father of a special needs child.
In Washington State, 233 kids a year fail their initial hearing test. 3 in a 1000 get to the point that we are now. I’m a numbers guy. Numbers help. They give context, they’re solid. I can work with numbers.
It was also amazing to see just what they can do with hearing aids anymore. The itty-bitty earbuds that they can use with kids even as young as my daughter is are amazing.
Wish her luck!