The day of Cooper’s tube surgery (Wednesday), the audiologist promised that she would call us back. She never did. I called and left her a message. She finally called me back on Thursday afternoon and asked us to come in on Friday and we could talk more. One important thing to note is that Dr. Alice told me in this conversation that our information had been shared with the school district, the county and the state. I felt weird when she told me that. I asked if it was a bad thing. She said no.
In the next two days I spent pretty much every second ‘testing’ Cooper’s hearing. Any parent out there who suspects a hearing loss in their child knows exactly what I am talking about. I would whisper from other rooms. I would yell from other rooms. I would try all different levels of talking from high pitched to low pitched. I did it all. I’d cover my mouth when I spoke to him and see if he could follow directions. I also would play train sounds on my iphone from the other room to see if he would coming running. And yes, he heard it all. I kept saying to my husband, “this kid hears everything. Help me understand.”
I had to go to Cooper’s appointment at the audiologist by myself with the two boys. No husband. I was scared. I was stressed. We got there and I gave Cooper my iphone. He went on YouTube and watched videos. He is a perfect boy when watching videos. I knew Sawyer would have to nurse at some point so I let Cooper just chill out on the phone as soon as we got there.
So, for my own curiosity, I turned the volume on Thomas the Train down really low. I wanted to see if he would laugh at the sounds or be able to pay attention. Dr. Alice led us into the smallest room known to man. And as usual, it was 500 degrees in there. Cue stress, sweat, heat, ugh.
The firs thing she did was apologize for acting really weird when she told us about Cooper’s hearing loss. She said she wasn’t prepared to tell us that Cooper has a hearing loss and therefore didn’t know what to say. (This is the first thing I thought was really, really weird. She is a damn audiologist. You can’t tell me that my son is the only kid with a hearing loss.) I looked right at her and told her that I don’t believe Cooper has a hearing loss. I honestly, in my gut, think he hears fine. She got out a chart that shows Cooper’s hearing. It says that he can’t hear most of the speech sounds, birds chirping. wind in the trees, ticking of a clock, airplanes, etc. Now mind you, this whole time Cooper is sitting on a chair watching Thomas on my phone and laughing.
I told her that I wanted a booth hearing test. Cooper passed his newborn screening and also passed a booth hearing test at 12 months. At this point he was 2 1/2 so he would have lost hearing somewhere in the last year and a half. The chronic ear infections were most likely the cause.
We scheduled an appointment for the following week for the booth hearing test and to have the hearing aids fitted.
I think I cried more in the next couple of days that I ever had before. Looking back, I think I went through the stages of grief. I was in denial. I was angry. I was so heartbroken. I even bargained. Make something wrong with me. Now, please don’t judge me. I know that my son was healthy and happy and that this was a super minor thing in the whole game of life. But at that time it didn’t feel that way. The ‘what-if’s’ started. What if he talks funny? What if he won’t wear his hearing aids? What if he gets teased? What if he can’t learn because he can’t hear? What if he can’t play sports?