Sunday, February 6, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

I'm going to try to make this brief.

So on Wednesday, when Russell was evaluated for therapy, they also did a hearing test. It was a last-minute, just-in-case decision to administer it right before we were done - almost an afterthought.

Well, he failed - both ears. This completely surprised me and the therapists. They said my next step should be to take him to the pediatrician (to rule out infection or wax buildup), and then to an audiologist for a full hearing screen.

On Friday at 5, Russell had his pediatrician appointment. Once again, his ears looked perfectly normal. But this time the doctor did another test: one where he blew air into Russell's ears to look for vibrations. (Ear drum vibrations are what enable people to hear.) Well, the right ear did not vibrate at all, and the left only barely vibrated.

This means several things:
1) Russell has a buildup of fluid behind his ear drums (Serous Otitis Media is the official term). It hasn't been detected before because you cannot see behind a person's ear dums. The only way doctors know about it is if the fluid gets infected.
2) It is likely (though not definite) that this fluid has been there ever since Russell started having ear infections - at 9 months old.
3) Fluid buildup makes sounds very muffled, like you're hearing underwater. It's no wonder Russell isn't speaking - he can't hear well!

Our next step is to consult with the ENT (next week), and after that, probably tubes.

My mommy heart is very frustrated by all of this, and so sad for my baby.

Intellectually, I know that: a) it's good that this is an easy, routine fix, b) once his hearing is better, his speech should really pick up, and c) I should be glad it's not something more serious. I know all this. And I'm really trying to adjust my attitude.

Hopefully we can get everything done really soon so Russell can finally hear!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry things have been so frustrating. But praises that they found something that will hopefully (like you said) be an easy fix. We were at the ENT this past Thursday. Samantha goes in Monday morning for tubes in her ears! We'll let you know how it goes!