Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ear Tubes: A Confession

from Truth Be Told by Shawn Rohe:
Yeah, I’ll admit it.  I was that mom.  I felt that doctors were on an ear tubes kick.  Every direction I turned, I would hear of another child having surgery for tubes!  I became a determined mother.  Determined to keep my kids healthy, allowing my OCD to skyrocket to epic proportions; constant hand wiping, disinfecting toys & surfaces the girls might touch or touch them.  Truly believing if I kept colds and other illnesses at bay, my girls would not end up with ear infections and in turn not end up with ear tubes.  
     Frankly, I was embarrassed for being so narrow-minded and thinking that tubes were only for children (and the occasional adult) with chronic ear infections.   It took an audiologist, speaking at a conference, for the light bulb to finally go off!  That’s bad, isn’t it??  It’s ok, you can tell me!  My only excuse is that my brain is so flooded with a constant influx of information that I occasionally only see things for there face value. 
     After I spent an hour listening to Erin Pospychala present on ‘Down Syndrome and Hearing’, every thing became instantly clear.  The information was explained in manner that had never been approached before, something that A.I.’s audiology department didn’t have…Time.  Ben and I always thought we understood the feedback we received from Natalie’s hearing tests, but it wasn’t until that fateful Sunday morning that everything came full circle.  It was like a scene from a movie when the main character has a flash and his/her lost memories come flooding back. In an instant, things that were previously clouded suddenly became crystal clear.  I walked away from that conference stunned and in disbelief.  All that I thought I knew was…well…inaccurate.  To this day, Natalie has yet to pass a newborn hearing screening and she’s been tested about a dozen times.   According to the VRA, that’s been completed twice in the past six months, she has a moderate hearing loss in both ears. 
     It’s clear to us that Natalie can hear, but just how well?  We are at a crucial point in her life for speech development and I want to be certain that she gets the most from her speech therapy, resuming August 24th (more on that story later!).  I‘m proud to say, for her upcoming ENT appointment, I’m going in with an open mind and a list of questions…all thanks to Erin!
          Every single night I read and sing to Natalie.  And every single night when I sing “You Are My Sunshine”, she places her left cheek on my left cheek positioning my lips directly against her ear.  This was one of the moments that came full circle when listening to Erin’s words.  Natalie knows she can hear me better and can feel the vibration of my words from my face against hers.  She is such a smart little cookie!!  

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