Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pump Up The Volume

The boys at the Buffalo Zoo

We had a successful hearing test today, which was nothing short of a miracle considering Nolan's recent state of mind (hint: it is not "cooperative"). Many things that could have gone wrong DID go wrong on this trip, but we still pulled off a good hearing test.

I showed up late for the appointment- for some reason I had written down the time as 10:00am, when the appointment was actually for 9:30am. Well, at least I had the right day this time! Of course, this gave Nolan less time to adjust after a two hour car ride. We all know how much he loves cars.

I was "in solo parentis" today, so I had both boys when I escorted Nolan to the audiology booth. Our wonderful audiologist reached over to remove Nolan's hearing aids, and he howled in indignation. I might have forgotten to note that Nolan has become a wee bit "attached" to his aids. In that no-one is allowed to touch them, or he goes berserk. He lets me remove them, of course, but he freaks out if anyone else gets near them.

Luckily we used his earmolds as the inserts for the hearing test, so he was happy once they were back in place. He wouldn't touch the picture cards for the speech reception threshold test, though. For those who aren't familiar with hearing tests, they use a certain set of words (snowman, bathtub, toothbrush) and present them at various levels. Nolan wasn't going to perform this task, so we invited Matt to the table to see who could "win" the pointing game. With a little competition spicing things up, Nolan decided to cooperate!

We were afraid to move once Nolan was happy, lest we set off the tear-fest again. Matt and I sat on the floor near the play table and I tried to keep Matt absolutely quiet. Those of you who have four-year-old boys know what a difficult task this is- let's just say there were many whispers of, "If you want to go to the zoo this afternoon, stay quiet!"

The testing was completed after about half an hour. We didn't get bone conduction testing done, but his tubes are patent and functioning. His hearing levels are a touch better than the last time we had testing performed, but worse than his levels in June 2009. I can't remember all of the numbers exactly, but his audiogram looks something like this:

His SRT's were 45dB and 50dB, slightly better than the January test, but worse than the June 2009 levels. Essentially, we've eliminated a slight amount of conductive loss, but the permanent loss has still progressed a little in a year. His permanent loss is now categorized as moderately severe rising to moderate (his better ear used to be moderate rising to mild based on the last bone-conduction test).

His audiologist turned up his hearing aids, especially in the high frequencies. They were set for a mild level of loss in the 2000-4000Hz range, and had to be adjusted for a moderate/moderately severe loss in that range, depending on the ear. He does squeal (feedback) a lot more, especially if you get too close to his aids. Knowing that our little guy has more access to sound is wonderful- maybe we'll get those /f/ /p/ and /s/ sounds back!


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh how very, very clever to use the boys' natural competitiveness in your favor! Good job Mom!

And the zoo? Looks like fun :D


susannah said...

yay for more access to sound AND yay for a mostly cooperative hearing test! And bravo to you for braving it solo. always so much harder, even tho often necessary. love that photo!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

We have our trip to the booth this Wednesday and I have my fingers crossed for better news this time.

Julia also despises having to take out her aids unless she's taking them out to swim or put her head in a bucket of water. Priorities.

That's great that you got him to cooperate for some friendly competition. We're already talking through how we're going to behave this week.

rouchi said...

Its great to hear that Nolan is finally holding on to his HA!!Great job done by the mum.Good to hear also that his tests went well.Testing the hearing is always scary for the parents.i wish you all good.