Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Checkup Catch Up

Last Thursday, I took Kiki in for her 3rd -- count 'em!! -- hearing test. Maybe 4th. Yeah, 4th. There were 2 in the NICU just after she was born, then the more in-depth one where we had to get her up at the crack of God, starve her, keep her awake, and then feed and rock her to sleep for the test itself.

Remembering the last one, I called a week before, a little nervous, to find out if we'd have to do that same thing. Dreading the answer because, well, Kiki at 3 months old wasn't difficult to feed/rock to sleep. Kiki at 13 months? Shyeah. Riiiight. It ain't gonna happen.

Luckily, there was none of that monkey business. Since she's older and can visibly respond to sound, it's a lot closer to an adult hearing test than the previous one was.

So the nice lady checked her ears. Can't see her eardrums! Yah, I know, I know. Pressure test -- no arc! That means the eardrum isn't vibrating which probably means fluid behind the eardrum! Yes, I've heard this one before. Or -- how's this one for shits and grins -- because her ear canals are sooooo tiny, any reading you get is going to be completely dependent on how close your instruments can get to her eardrum which is --- NOT CLOSE AT ALL! Woot! Give the lady a kewpie doll!

Do I sound bitter? I'm not. I've just heard this before, you know? And it's my fault. I keep harassing her doctor about another hearing test, another hearing test, blah blah blah, nodding patiently when she expresses the words "CANNOT. SEE. EARDRUMS. EARS. TOO. SMALL," before renewing the nagging.

Okay, anyway, back to the hearing test, of which she said they couldn't really test anything, due to the result of the first test which was -- nil. What she could do, and did do, was put Kiki and me in a soundproof booth, sitting at a window facing her, speakers to both sides and to the front of us. And then she spoke to Kiki, loudly and then softly, and waited for Kiki to look in the direction of the sound, at which time she cued a little dancing Eeyore or Tweetie Bird to kick up.

I couldn't see Kiki's face, so I don't know how impressed she was by this. I wasn't too heartened by this testing environment and here's why: Kiki is a goober. She can hear, and sometimes she'll respond to your voice, IF she FEELS like it.

Case in point. Tonight, Kiki was sitting playing with one of her toys, her back to us. We called to her; she didn't respond. We called her name. We whistled. We snapped. No response to ANYTHING. We call her name and clap softly at the same time. She does not turn around, but she drops her toy, claps her hands, then picks the toy back up and resumes where she left off. See? She is a BRAT.

So I was fully prepared for a failed test. Luckily she sort of passed. She obviously responded to the louder voices, but didn't respond at all to whispers. Likely diagnosis: hearing loss, hopefully temporary due to fluid in her ears. Suggested course of treatment: appointment with ear, nose, and throat specialist. Ahhh, now we enter the realm of possible tubes in her ears, surgery to remove her adenoids and tonsils down the road... but as always, I look too far ahead.

Fast forward -- backward -- whatever -- to followup with her primary doctor yesterday. By the way I love her doctor. And every doctor or medical professional we've bumped into along the way knows her name and sings her praises. This is a FANTASTIC doctor. I love her, and I thank God for putting her in the nursery on the day Kiki was born, and for sending her to my room to introduce herself. And also thanks to me for having the presence of mind to snatch her up quickly at that moment -- "Where do you treat? Nixa? Really? Are you taking new patients? Can I have your card? When can I see you again?" I don't think I had really slept yet when I first met her, so I was just on the edge of the Sleep Deprived New Mother Pool, toes touching the water, about to dive in, otherwise I may have asked her her sign, favorite color, and whether she was single, and if not that was okay, I could be discreet.

Anyway, yesterday, doctor. Right. Her face lights up when she sees Kiki, and they flirt with one another. This is one reason I love her. She obviously cares for my baby, personally, not just as a doctor. She mentions that Kiki's dropping on the weight curve, but she's so excited to see her so active and curious, that she doesn't care, she's not at all alarmed. And when I mention the fluid in her ears and the hearing test, she remembers to remind me, "SMALL. EAR. CANALS." but sets us up for an ear, nose, and throat specialist, agreeing that it's time to get aggressive about these teeny little leprechaun ears.

Kiki waves good-bye and then cocks her head, which are two of her new tricks. She grins and claps. She's a performer, like her Daddy, and she's learned that she loves the spotlight.


YarnHacker K May 22, 2008 at 10:07 AM  

Selective deafness starts damn early, doesn't it? Dessa can hear her father breathe when he's hiding upstairs, down the hall, in the shower when she's looking for him but if I want to do her hair and she's watching the cat give himself a bath? I could scream at her and she wouldn't bat an eyelash. The teenage years are clearly going to be a nightmare.

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