Thursday, April 5, 2012

Can you hear me now??

The epic battle to find out what's behind Phoenix's speech delay continues. Maybe we're starting a new chapter here, maybe we're finishing one. Honestly, I can't tell anymore & until we reach the end of this, I don't think it matters where we are in the story. I always seem to have more questions than I do answers but I suppose it's better to have more questions than none at all.

Monday we had our first appointment with the hearing specialist. Phoenix took another hearing test & this time, he got to use a special set of "headphones" that let him listen through his bones. It was placed like the external part of a cochlear implant and bypassed his ear, sending sound straight to the vestibulocochlear nerve. He thought it was pretty cool & for what I could see, it seemed like what he was hearing was way different than what he normally does. He seemed to flinch away from the sounds & kept putting his hand to the headphones, like he was trying to muffle the sounds coming out of it.

The results? Conductive hearing loss and fluid in both ears. The hearing specialist, Catherine, said the fluid is most likely to due chronic ear infections. As his mom, I can assure you he has never shown the symptoms I associate with a ear infection. He's never complained that his ears hurt or felt 'full'; never has an ear gotten red or swollen but he has had the most disgusting ear wax & drainage problem, for as long as I can remember. THAT was a sign, she said. 

He's on antibiotics & a nasal spray for 10 days (eight now, I think) and he has a follow up on the April 23rd to see if the meds helped clear out the fluid. If they don't, we get to look at other ways to clear it out like tubes. YAY. I'm still in shock. It's really taken almost four years to figure out the boy has fluid in his ears?? It seems SO SIMPLE. I'm just stunned this wasn't found before now and it's not for a lack of trying. I can't even count how many hearing text the boy has had...

We follow up the pediatrician the day after we follow up with the hearing specialist; I'm interested in what he has to say, especially after he refused to give Paxton a hearing test & referred me to ALTA Regional. I'm going to tell him I've got the number for a new pediatrician and if I don't get some answer & REAL HELP for my kids, I will be switching doctors. 

In the mean time, Phoenix's going to Sacramento State twice a week until the beginning of May. He came home on Tuesday very excited and with 'prizes', his first time getting to work with his Graduate student, Tasha, for a whole session. He's doing great in school right now & when he goes back next week, he gets to be a Star of the Week! We've been working on his Star Poster which is a poster he get to color & write all his favorite things on. He is so excited! I am too, let's be honest; even while we continue to struggle with this, he continues to make progress, however slow. Progress is progress.


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