Hearing Loss ???

posted in: Apollo, Large Family | 28

022413_0428 blog

{Written Monday night}

This morning my day began at 4:30 am…I awoke to Apollo screaming that his bottom hurt. His gastrointestinal distress has moved south, as it were. This has led to an extremely painful rash. The assault to my nostrils, even at that early hour, left no question as to the problem.

I trudged upstairs in search of a fresh diaper and baby wipes. Despite our cleaning efforts this weekend, the wipes were nowhere to be found. I headed downstairs to see if Chuck knew where they were. He got up to search and just as I was getting ready to start the shower for Apollo, the wipes were found and cleanliness was restored.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any more sleep. I snuck out of bed at 6:00 to enjoy a cup of coffee and a bit of solitude before my day began.

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Soon enough Apollo and the rest of the children were up. I did my morning routine: hugs and kisses, inspecting clothing, brushing hair, breaking up fights, a quick photo session with Hezekiah. Once the little ones were on the school bus I left with Kalina and Enoch for their well child visits (they both had birthdays recently).

Kalina recently told me that she hears better out of one ear than the other. After some questioning, she said it’s been happening “as long as I can remember”. She said, “I thought it was normal to hear better out of one ear”.

Hmmm…this gave me pause. When I took Kalina for a well-child visit as a toddler I told the doctor I didn’t think she could hear well. Not only had we noticed her “not listening” but her pronunciation seemed off. The doctor (the same doctor we have now) inspected her ears and declared them fine. He said, “I think your expectations for her speaking are just a bit too high”. Okay. She grew and developed. Her speaking improved. We didn’t waste much time worrying about it. I mean, we had her checked out by the doctor…

Fast forward ten or so years… Kalina is often “ditzy” we joke about it being because she is a blonde…she “just doesn’t listen”. She’s always asking “what” and not paying attention and driving us and her siblings crazy.

After an actual hearing test in the office today, the doctor told me Kalina has hearing loss in one ear. When she isn’t “listening” it’s because she can’t hear. The doctor said everything looks structurally fine (haven’t we heard that before?) He said hearing loss in children can be caused by severe ear infections, but that usually leaves scarring and her ears look fine. Besides, she’s never had an ear infection to my knowledge. He is puzzled as to why she has hearing loss and has referred her to an ENT.

After our doctor’s visit, we headed to our local grocery store where I remembered everything on the list…except for the prescription I needed to pick up.

I came home to a happy and chipper Apollo. I had less than an hour to be home and eat before I took him out for an evaluation at a center that does feeding therapy. He was excited to go. Once in the office however, he shut-down. He has a good amount of doctor-anxiety, and while I assured him there were no doctors or nurses present, he was still a bit nervous. Soon however, he went from nervous to squirming and fussing to moaning and writhing. He was obviously in pain. I explained that he had been sick, but hadn’t had a fever or vomited since Saturday. After all of Apollo’s medical issues, I would never take him out if I thought he was sick or a risk to others.

Eventually he asked to go to the bathroom. After sitting on the toilet for about 15 seconds his bowels released explosively. So explosively, I could feel his stomach deflate (I was holding him on the toilet). It echoed off the walls of the toilet like a cannon in a cavern. One more pooplosion and he was done. I dug around a bit in the bathroom and found a *huge* size five diaper (Apollo wears 3) and some baby wipes. Because I forgot the diaper bag. Of course.

I went to put his dirty diaper in the garbage and saw a neatly written sign, “No diapers”. Well then. I wrapped it in a paper towel and shoved it in my coat pocket (and for the record, the diaper was not soiled, just wet).

After about five minutes he was feeling much better and finally interacted with the speech therapist. He must have passed whatever “tests” he was taking because he was invited to the Tuesday morning Breakfast Club. I think I’ll wait until next week Β though when he’s feeling 100% better.

As I drove home it suddenly occurred to me that while I had planned dinners for the week, I hadn’t actually made dinner.

*sigh*

Home I came to scramble to fix dinner, tube feed Apollo, and greet my little ones as they got off the bus.

It’s been a long, long, day.

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28 Responses

  1. My kids will be looking forward to seeing you next week at Breakfast Club. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi,

    Stumbled across your blog via a friend (to another to another… you know how it goes), and I’ve been reading along about Apollo and praying for months. Took me awhile to realize we’re practically neighbors.

    My middle son has hearing loss, identified when he was three. If you even want to talk with someone who is already on that journey… let’s get together πŸ˜€

    Julie G

  3. Bless your heart! I hope today is a little easier. I think Armed Forces slogans would make good Mommy T shirts… “Motherhood, the only easy day was yesterday” “Mamma, an Army of One!” “The toughest job you’ll ever love” “Be All You Can Be” or “Live Life Mommy Strong!” ;-D

    I can’t believe Apollo wears a 3! That seemingly insignificant bit of info really brings home all the struggles he has had. It gives me something concrete to compare with. Pictures can’t show the whole story as well as that diaper size does. My “failure to thrive” 16 month old is in a size 4. (she used to be in the 2nd percent, she has had a growth spurt recently so I’m not sure where she’s at now…)
    Hope Apollo gets to feeling 100% soon!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I like the “the only easy day was yesterday” one! Yes, diaper size says a lot. He wore a 2 until around his first birthday, and we only moved up because we switched diaper brands! You can’t see the skinny when he’s in several layers of clothes.

  4. Wow, you are strong. About diaper rash: one thing that can help if you haven’t tried it is having the kid sleep with no diaper, just on a rubber sheet and anything soft that doesn’t matter over it. Calendula cream helped with ours, but I know some children are allergic to it.
    I hope Apollo feels better soon! He is a fighter.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Well, he’s got some serious explosive liquid bowel movements at the moment AND he sleeps with us…Right now he won’t even go diaperless, my usual cure.

  5. Just reading about your day made me tired! Hope Apollo continues to feel better. This is a good reminder for me to get our kiddos’ ears checked occasionally! Mine too! πŸ˜‰

  6. I really don’t want to laugh at someone else’s expense, I really don’t: but POOPLOSION? Holy, stinkin’ cow, that is hysterical. I have 5 young kids and I hope I get to use that word in group conversation sometime soon. Brilliant.

    • Yeah, I know right!! lol Sometimes during motherhood the english language fails to describe the event appropriately. Maybe a good idea for a book would be an urban dictionary with quotes or words created by us mothers. God bless you Renee you made my morning xo

    • I agree. I’m not one to giggle about the rough times others are having but I LOST it with “poopsplotion!”

  7. Amber Ashmoore

    have you tried putting a cup of vinegar in his bath water? The vinegar is supposed to help with the PH balance….. I have girl and boy twin almost 3 year olds and this helps them every time!! You have to do it for a few days, but it does help!! Poor little guy!! πŸ™‚

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Amber, is this to help with diaper rash? It seems like it would hurt, he’s so raw…

      • Amber Ashmoore

        Yes, it is for diaper rash….. it is pretty mild when diluted in the bath water, my kids ask for it if they have ouchie bottoms…”binegar mommy?” You have to do it for several days, but for us it really helps and vinegar is cheap!! πŸ™‚

  8. My son has 35% in one ear, and 25% in the other. It is honestly from neglect on part of doctors. I begged for help, I took him to military doctor after doctor, often being told nothing is wrong, just an ear infection. His speech was terrible, he cried most of the time, day and night. Some doctors told me he was likely autistic, which I was not upset by but he seemed so miserable. He had ear infections almost without relief, I gave lots of probiotics so his stomach stayed healthy. At age 4 I finally was able to be approved to go off post, the pediatrician cried. She said such neglect should never happen in America, he needed tubes years before. She had them put in, but the hearing loss and scarring is permanent. Sounds like something that Kalina was possibly born with? If there have been no ear infections, maybe this is just what she has always had. I guess you will find out if it is a degenerative hearing condition? She may need a hearing aid! Interesting the things we assume are normal, I still have those and I am 33. It is amazing that Apollo told you he NEEDED the toilet in time! I hope he feels much better soon.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, I believe Kalina was born with it, because it is something we noticed in he as a one year old. She was/is extremely healthy, not prone to fevers or ear infections. I just feel bad for all the years we’ve believed she wasn’t “paying attention”.

      It is amazing that Apollo told me since he isn’t actually potty-trained. He is to the point though where he “hides” to go, so I think he didn’t want to do it in front of the speech therapist.

  9. Unilateral (hearing loss in just one ear) is often overlooked… Most times kids first notice (and tell someone) when the talk on the phone because it sounds funny on 1 side! If you see an ENT ask for a fine cut CT scan to look at the structures of the inner ear… Good luck! (i’m an audiologist by the way!!)

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thank you for your input! This is very helpful. Googling hasn’t brought me much info…

  10. Re the hearing issue, you might also have her auditory processing checked. Sometimes the ear itself is normal, but the brain processing for audio input is out of balance or not working properly. My daughter’s left ear was almost non-functional, and she did all the work of listening with her right ear. This was all in the brain, not in the ears themselves. The audio processing imbalance caused her to have a hard time following instructions and also made her get fatigued when she was in a noisy environment like a classroom and trying to pay attention. A year of audio feedback training helped a lot with this problem. The down side is that the treatment was quite expensive. But I thought you should know that audio processing is a potential issue.

  11. When Sam was little I told her doctor that I thought she couldn’t hear well. I was concerned because of how she spoke. He told me she was fine and all toddlers talk a little funny at first. When she was in kindergarten they did a hearing test. Guess what? She had hearing loss! Hers was corrected with surgery and is totally normal at this point. Something our current doctor checks often.

  12. It stuns me that a Dr would judge it based on a visual examination. That is only fine for conductive deafness – that is, a problem conducting the sound inside (so you can see that part of the ear. If there were a sensorineural loss, then your ear can look fine and lovely, but you still have an issue. It means there is an issue with the cochlea and/or auditory nerve. It’s probably very lucky that she has been home schooled (and not just because of other benefits) as likely she would have had lots of trouble in a noisy classroom! I’m a teacher of the deaf, but my background is in linguistics, not audiology so my advice won’t be up to some of the others here! But really, I am stunned that a Dr would judge based on a visual inspection. In some states in Aust now and many states in the US, all kids have a screening test in the first month of life with “Automated Auditory Brainstem Response
    (AABR) technology”.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Lou- I’m not sure if you’re stunned by the visit when she was one year old, or the latest visit…She will be going to an ENT, getting hearing tests, and whatever else needs to be done. When I mentioned to my doctor I was concerned about her hearing as a toddler, I specifically mentioned her speech and how I thought that was affected. He told me her speech sounded fine to him and the matter was dropped. Obviously, as her mom I regret that, but I assume he assumed her speech wouldn’t have come along so well if she had hearing loss…

  13. […] I still use this system but I have work harder to find methods that work with Kalina’s hearing loss. And it has not been […]

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