- random strangers and friends and family ask if he has a cold, all.the.time
- he talks through his nose
- most people cannot understand him when he talks, and that I have developed a severe case of mommy translation
- when he sleeps really hard he makes this weird spit bubble mass on his lips
- he catches his breath when he is sleeping like he is not getting enough air
- his tonsils are humongous and actually touch together
so she sets the whole thing up with 4 of the experts in the system and we are one of the first appointments in the day. We were planning on having Bear take Parker to the screening since he will act differently for mommy, but since this wasn't the whole screening, it was just Parker and I.
So first up is the hearing test. I wasn't even sure why we were testing the hearing, I just wanted some insight on his speech. But we get in their and the instructor tells him what to do and expect. He is supposed to wave his hand up in the air when he hears a beep, keep his eyes closed and be facing away from both of us. So the huge headphones go on and he sits in this tiny chair with his eyes closed. I was slightly surprised that he did what he was told on the first try. She takes him through a series of initial tests and beeps and he is not raising his hand. So she prompts him with a beep and then he does. We wanted to really make sure he understood what he was supposed to be doing and not just not following directions. So she continues with the test and then checks his tymps. They are flat. They are supposed to be curved. It's the part where the air (sound) goes in the ear and is supposed to hit the curve and bounce back out. His sound goes in and falls flat, like hitting a wall. Then she gives me a recap and I need layman's terms. Basically he failed the hearing portion of the screening. In order to hear the "beeps" she had to turn it up to 40 decibels. Normal conversation is 20 decibels. That hit me hard. I wasn't even planning on having his hearing tested! She says the problem is structural and most likely the pressure from his tonsils and adenoids that are causing the hearing loss. I tried hard not to break down. Not in front of Parker and we still had more testing to go through.
So off to the speech and language section. The "tester" is an acquaintance and fellow daycare mom. So she knows Parker and has heard him talk in his normal atmosphere. She is a speech therapist so I am hoping to get some insight. This test goes pretty good. I think because I know his speech isn't all there. We realize he is very descriptive when giving her answers. Like; a hat on the table and he is asked "what is that"? He doesn't just answer hat, but "a cowboy hat". Same for the "little white shoe", etc...So we wrap up the test and she gives me a recap. He failed the speech section but passed in language. She definitely says I should push for the tonsils and adenoids to come out. They are hindering many of the sounds he should be making. This age is so critical since they are little sponges and absorbing everything right now. It is a huge time in his life for speech and language. He did really well on his language-so he is smart, it's just that most don't know what he is saying! His articulation was on the lowest end of the good range. So we wrap up and head to the car.
I immediately call Bear and explain as best I can what happened and the results. We both agree that what happened last summer with the ENT we saw is just not acceptable anymore. I could barely choke out everything to him while on the phone. I get him to daycare and the one simple question of "how did it go?" caused me to break. I lost it. I felt such guilt for not knowing that my kid couldn't exactly hear. Pain for him, that he has been living like this for almost a year. Guilt for yelling at him a lot for not listening, when maybe it isn't all his fault. Worry that we may actually need to have him in for surgery. Sadness that my baby will be in pain. Anger for not trusting my instincts the first time I thought he needed to get looked at.
So I get to work for the day and try to stay strong. I call my family practitioner and leave a message for him or his nurse to call me back. When they do I tell them the screening results and that I want to see an ENT in Duluth, not the one we already saw, and that I don't know if they need to refer me or if I can make the appointment on my own. That was it...my doctor said, I understand let's do it. I requested the 13th or 16th, since I am already off from work those days and would be able to make the trip down. So now we wait until they Duluth clinic processes the request for the appointment...at least we feel like we are taking charge and are confident that we will get this taken care of sooner than later...say an extra prayer for us.