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she can hear! (anya...not maddie)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Imagine how much pain she must have been in, dealing with all of those ear infections in the first two years of her life that went undiagnosed.

I took Anya to the school district's audiologist this morning...again. Only this time I finally came away with the answer I was hoping to hear.
There's no hearing loss whatsoever.
I felt like telling him, 'I told you so.'
But I didn't
Instead, I said...YAYYYYY!!!!
Except not that loud. ;>)
Turns out Anya probably had some fluid in her ear back in October (hmmm...sound familiar?), and then she had the ear infection last month when they retested.
So yesterday they tested her, yet again.
This time she came out crystal clear.
Convinced something had been done incorrectly, the audiologist called and requested Anya come in first thing this morning so we could figure out what was going on. (Cuz, you know the mother knows absolutely nothing...never mind that she's been to enough hearing screenings, she could run the darn machine herself!)
So I took her in.
He poked and he prodded.
He stuck things in her ears and pulled them out again.
He had her repeat nonsense words...
Then he had her repeat words that made sense.
He played tones...and she raised her hand.
And when he was all done...
Drum roll please...
She was fine.
Actually, better than fine.
'Perfect' is the word he used.
He was dumbfounded - I was vindicated.
This is now officially the fourth year in a row Anya has failed an in-school hearing screening. The fourth year she's been to an audiologist...and the fourth year in a row that her hearing, in the end, has been proved to be absolutely normal.
This time it just took a little convincing.
So now they believe me that Anya has frequent bouts with fluid in the ear, which may or may not result in ear infections...and that there is usually no way for me to tell when she has an ear infection because there are absolutely no symptoms (no fevers, no pulling at the ears, no nasal discharge) until she wakes up in the middle of the night screaming...and by that time it is a raging infection that usually takes two rounds of antibiotic to cure.
One of Anya's 'leftover' issues is her incredibly high pain threshold.
I can only imagine why.
When we adopted Anya the orphanage doctor explained Anya got colds ALOT...just about every month. "She is ALWAYS sick," she said.
It wasn't until we got her home we realized any time Anya got a runny nose, it ALWAYS indicated an ear infection. (She doesn't get the runny noses anymore.)
So...imagine how much pain she must have been in, dealing with all of those ear infections in the first two years of her life that went undiagnosed. During her first visit with the pediatrician (in which we discovered she had an ear infection) the doctor told us the scarring on her ear drums are severe.
But miraculously her hearing has remained perfect.
I imagine this won't be the last time Anya will have to go to a sound-proof booth to have her hearing tested. The district's audiologist recommended screening her every two or three months through the school year to keep an eye on things. Which is fine. It will help us keep on eye on whether there's fluid building up again...and keep her hearing, because when she does have fluid in her ear, the loss is pretty significant.
But hopefully, this will be the last time Shad and I will have to 'prove' we're not totally incompetent as parents. We know what's going on with Anya's hearing...and we're on top of it.
Really.

11 salty messages:

Rachael March 6, 2009 at 4:14 PM  

And, with you "fabulous" health insurance plan, hopefully you won't be sent to specialists every 2-3 months with all that testing!

Christine March 6, 2009 at 10:38 PM  

Maybe one day our wonderful school will realize that we as parents do know our children. But poor Anya, do you think she may outgrow this?

Tina in CT March 6, 2009 at 11:34 PM  

Fantastic that the school will be footing the bill since your medical insurance stinks! So happy to hear that Anya's hearing is perfect!

Stephanie March 7, 2009 at 12:31 AM  

What wonderful news about the hearing. Hopefully the extra testing will help let you know when the fluid is building and an infection is coming!

Karya March 7, 2009 at 9:06 PM  

I am, unfortunately, also very familiar with the fluid, the infections, the multiple rounds of antibiotics, the temporary (thankfully) hearing loss. This may not be at all helpful if your insurance is lousy, but both of my daughters have had incredible improvement by having their adenoids out. We'd reached the point when they should have "outgrown" the infections, but hadn't. So the ENT suggested that as the next step, and they haven't had a single ear infection post-adenoidectomy.

Tami March 7, 2009 at 10:41 PM  

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) she has already had her adenoids and tonsils removed, as well as one set of tubes.
Before she had her adenoids and tonsils taken out her frequency and severity of ear infections was so much worse, so I TOTALLY agree with you...it made a huge difference.
Unfortunately for Anya, it didn't completely take care of the problem. I think we need to take another look at tubes (since its been two years since the last set), but right now its not feasible...since the insurance is so lousy. We'll just have to keep checking her ears every so often (thank goodness for the school district...and for a husband who, as a vet, has the look in the ear thingy and can give us a heads up).

Kara S March 8, 2009 at 3:48 PM  

If Anya doesn't show any sign of pain, she may not feel the infections. I had a similar problem as a child. I would have ear infections but never know it. I couldn't feel them. The only way we ever found out was on a routine visit to the doctor when he'd check my ears. A couple of years ago, a doc told me that I probably had far more infections/fluid than we knew about because I have quite a bit of scarring on my ear drums. I honestly never felt the pain!!! As an adult, I've learned that a short (less than 30 seconds) stabbing pain in my ear that happens a couple of times in 2-3 weeks means I probably have an infection / fluid.

Twinkle Mom (Sunflower Faith) March 8, 2009 at 9:18 PM  

Very neat blog (and love the name); Praying that Anya doesn't have any more difficulties with her hearing!

Elaine March 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

Yay!!!!! Glad her hearing is fine, and that you'll have a way to keep track of the fluid thing for now. Poor girlie, having to deal with the ear infections so frequently and for so long that she doesn't even notice when it's happening.

Tanya March 10, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

So excited for you and for Anya! I can't wait to hear an audiologist say that to me.

Tanya March 10, 2009 at 3:08 PM  

I am so excited for Anya and for you! I can't wait to get that news.

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