So today was our post tubes check up with the ENT. After our 15 month well-baby visit on Monday where Thomas failed the hearing screening, I knew it would be an interesting appointment. Definitely one where I was hoping to get some answers.
So the truth is I have had concerns about Thomas' hearing for quite some time. Almost since he was a baby. Friends and family convinced me, nicely, that I was being dramatic. He was fine. I was just looking for things to be wrong.
Hearing tests were scheduled, cancelled due to illness, scheduled again and cancelled again in quite a ridiculous and frustrating circle of repetition. Finally my pediatrician called enough and said we would just wait until he was old enough to sit still for a less invasive test. Fine. There were too many other health issues going on to argue.
Well, Monday he sat still for the test and his left ear especially did not have good results. Something where they put this probe in the ear, shoot sounds waves at the drum and measure the waves that are returned by the ear, or something like that. Today there was a similar test, but with a much more accurate, high tech machine performed by an audiologist. Neither ear passed.
So now we scheduled again the auditory brain stem response test where he will be put under anesthesia and they can measure how his brain responds to noise (I mean how smart are these people and machines!). The test will be on the 7th.
And truthfully I feel both scared and hopeful. Scared that my son will be going under anesthesia for the FIFTH time. Scared that there is nerve damage causing the hearing issues, which the doctor seems to think is probable. I am hopeful, too. Hopeful we will get answers. Why doesn't Thomas startle to loud noise? Why doesn't he seem to know very much vocabulary? Why doesn't he have any more sounds when he babbles than "ma"? As scared as I am of learning Thomas has hearing loss, I am almost as scared to learn he doesn't. I want so bad for this to be an answer, at least to something.
At the beginning of the month I took Thomas to see a specialist in San Antonio. The woman we met in Annapolis this summer had a clinic there we had an evaluation done. I didn't write anything about it because it wasn't an easy trip or time for me and I really didn't want to dwell on it. The reality of the future felt placed in front of me. The words mental retardation not just loomed, but surrounded me. It is so hard to look at your one year old son, who you love with all your heart, and reconcile that.
So I came home focused on today, focused on the love I have for my family, focused on Thomas as a boy, as my son, not as a diagnosis, or an impending one. But truthfully it lingers back there.
And if I am being truthful, I want a hearing loss to be more than an answer, I want fixing it to be a solution. I want a solution to all this and the truth is there isn't one, and that sucks.
A friend who drops in sometimes to read my blog asked what made me want to start it. I said some stuff about out of town friends and family keeping up with us and how I hope it is something Olivia and Thomas will read one day and enjoy. Kind of like an online scrapbook.
Really I started it so I could say that it sucks my kid will most likely have mental retardation, I am scared he could have severe hearing loss, and whatever else and then move on. That I would be able to share my feelings with my friends without having to see the looks on their faces or stumble through a conversation where they didn't know what to say, because what do you say?
Nothing. You look at this precious face and you smile. He is joy, he is happiness, he is perfect. Oh, and his sister is pretty great, too.