Before Gavin's next craniofacial team visit in April, the pediatrician requested that we get a dental check-up and hearing screening. The dentist visit was taken care of (which was described in this post) and everything looked good. We also went in for a hearing screening, but Gavin wanted nothing to do with the little ear phones in his ears. He screamed and cried anytime the audiologist got near his ears with them. So, the doctor requested that we reschedule the appointment and try again, but this time with Gavin asleep. He said I could try to bring Gavin in during his regular nap-time and we would do as much as we can with him asleep. He said that if we couldn't complete the test with Gavin asleep, our next step would be to sedate him and do the test that way. However, as parents of a cleft child, we felt that Gavin had been through enough sedation and Matt and I believe that he hears just fine, therefore, we agreed that if it came to that, we would decline the test. We didn't want Gavin to have to be put under and traumatized again.
So, we made a second appointment near the end of December and I kept Gavin busy all day to ensure that he would be sleepy for the appointment. He fell asleep on the car ride over and when we arrived, I carefully got him out of the car. He was wearing his new rain boots (Grandpa C bought them for him and he wore them every day since!) and after I had made the long journey across the parking lot, a woman kindly told me that I had dropped one of his boots. I turned back and saw the boot laying by the car, which looked miles away from where I was standing, holding my sweet little boy sound asleep in my arms. Luckily, I only had to walk half of the way back before a gentleman was kind enough to retrieve the boot for me. Then, I quickly went to the second floor for the appointment. However, having only been there once before, I wasn't certain if I was on the right floor. So, I checked the wall directory, which of course, did not list audiology. I then sat down on a bench to check my planner. So there I was, holding Gavin's dead-weight in one arm, while I frantically pulled items from my purse with the other arm in an attempt to locate my planner: his boots, diapers, wipes, my wallet, random receipts, and finally.... my planner, in which I DID NOT list the floor number. Just wonderful. It was then that I realized that I am one of those poor moms that just seem like a total mess. Frantic, frazzled, and stressed-out looking, yep, that was me in a nutshell. Luckily, I saw a nurse and she confirmed that I was on the right floor.
Once we were in the room, I was so thankful that Gavin stayed asleep and that I finally got to sit down and relax. The audiologist was able to run several tests and then we went into the soundproof room for a few more. He was standing over us with the ear phones in his hands and the nurse was holding the read-out machine when Gavin opened his eyes. Can you imagine falling asleep in the car and then waking up in a dark room with two strangers standing over you with a funny looking machine?? I can only imagine how scary that would be. Naturally, he started crying and I told the doctor that the chances of Gavin allowing the test to be done was slim-to-none. In an attempt to show Gavin that the test is harmless, he put the ear phones in my ears and ran some tests, but I noticed that he had a funny look on his face and showed the results to the nurse who gave him a knowing look and nodded. Uh-oh, I knew something was up.
The audiologist stated that we could put Gavin under sedation to complete the rest of the test, which I declined. We made another appointment for about six months from now and we will just try again at that time. At this point, the results of Gavin's test were inconclusive. He showed a possible hearing loss in the left ear only, but it couldn't be confirmed or denied without the second test. I guess we'll find out at the next appointment.
Later, the audiologist confirmed my suspicions by informing me that I showed some hearing loss and should get a hearing screening as well. This does not come as a big surprise since I have noticed that in recent years, I prefer to have captions on the TV so I don't miss anything and I have come to realize that I sometimes hear things incorrectly. So, the very next day I went to see my doctor and she ran a basic hearing test. The results showed that I heard two out of four sounds on the left and one out of four on the right! That's terrible! I immediately began thinking the worst and imagining that I was going to lose all hearing soon and wouldn't be able to hear Gavin's sweet voice. I think I'm struggling more with it because my mom was very hard of hearing and wore hearing aids from her early 40's due to nerve damage caused by her cleft palate. I cried all the way home from the doctor because I just wished she would have been there to talk to about it because she definitely would have understood.
I have an appointment with an audiologist on January 14, so I guess I'll find out my fate then. *Sigh*