We got the kids bundled up and headed out to Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center, for a repeat hearing test. With the wax clear, we wanted to finally get a complete audiogram and confirm that Nolan's hearing levels have returned to their June 2009 levels.
This sounds like a good plan, but when the critical player is a two-and-a-half year old boy, the following scenario ensues:
"Nolan, point to the baseball."
Nolan points to the baseball (so far, so good)!
"Nolan, point to the ice cream."
Nolan throws a peg across the room.
"Nolan, point to the popcorn."
Nolan crawls under the table and pretends to take a nap.
Oh, goodness. I tried giving him a couple of raisins to get him back on track, but then he simply wanted to eat more raisins, or crawl on my lap, or do anything but point to flashcards.
We tried to shift over to getting some pure-tone results for his audiogram, and he could have cared less about the lit-up koala in the box. Normally, he loves those puppets. Yesterday afternoon, he wouldn't condition to looking at them at all. He stared at his hands, dropped toys on the floor, and became "noodle boy," where his limbs flailed around and he sank to the floor in a most dramatic way.
We get to come back on January 12 and try this again. Sounds like fun!
We are going to modify a few things on this next try. We are going to do the test at 10:00am rather than in the afternoon, to see if that improves his attention span. We're also going to do the test sans Mommy. The hope is that without my presence, Nolan will focus and listen to the audiologists a bit better. Our ENT really wants a full audiogram, so hopefully we'll be able to get one.
We were able to determine that his speech reception thresholds (SRT) were 45dB for both the right and left ear. This is good for the right ear, because that is only 5dB away from his June 2009 level (within test-to-test variability). So the loss in that ear was probably from the wax and nothing more. The left ear, however, used to have an SRT of 30dB, so this is a 15dB drop. With Nolan's lack of cooperation, we can't tell if it is a "real" drop or not. Without the pure-tone results, we don't really know what is going on with the little guy. His tympanogram also looked good: the right ear had a "Type A" and the left ear shows an open perforation (the hole from the PE tube hasn't sealed up yet).
Wish us luck for the January 12 repeat!