Monday, March 2, 2009

Did You Know That Ears Grow as Fast as Feet?

Or so it seems.

Queen Teen had another audiology appointment last week so she and I drove down to Palo Alto the night before and stayed in an inexpensive hotel (yes, there actually are inexpensive hotels in Palo Alto. Well... sort of). I decided to go down the night before the appointment to try and make it fun for Queen Teen. We had McDonalds for dinner in our cozy hotel room and watched TV, which was a novelty since we don't have TV at home. Then in the morning we went for a walk in the sunshine at the Stanford Mall and watched the shops open and the people wake up with their early morning Lattes. Queen Teen especially liked all the Springtime flowers that fill every section of the shopping center, the yellow pansies and exotic orchids, iris and daffodil, cherry blossoms and jasmine, and the dormant roses just starting to stir. She also loved all the fountains and made a wish in one that looked like a water fall, complete with bronze salmon. I bought her a cute doll that was on sale at a children's furniture store (she loves looking at the baby cribs), and then it was time for audiology.

Her smile vanished.

During the appointment, the audiologist rechecked her hearing to see if there were any changes. Queen Teen was a trooper and did as the doctor asked, but every time she had to respond to a tone, she would say, "Oh brother." It started to get funny. Beep... Oh brother... beep.... Oh brother... beep... At least she was consistent, which made the testing easier.

Then the doctor checked the ear molds of her hearing aids and that's when we discovered they were too small. VERY TOO SMALL. They didn't even reach the inner cartilage of her ear! I was surprised she had outgrown them so quickly (it had only been about 8 months), because before it had taken a couple of years for them to become too small. The doctor told me that at this age (13), Queen Teen will probably outgrow them every six months. I think her ears are growing as fast as her feet, probably faster than the rest of her body, which seems to need new clothes every five months.

The doctor made new ear molds and thankfully Queen Teen was cooperative and even giggled. "That feels funny." I told her the doctor was putting frosting in her ear and she laughed.

There does seem to be a reduction in Queen Teen's hearing, but it is too soon to tell for sure. It's common for there to be fluctuations in hearing tests, so we'll need to wait and see what the next few tests show before we can say for certain that her hearing is getting worse. However, the doctor agreed with me that Queen Teen needs to learn sign language, simply because if her hearing loss is related to neuropathy, which is a neurological disorder, rather than a simple hearing problem, then she will have fluctuations in her hearing daily and hearing aids won't be able to make up for that.

Anyone know a good place to learn Sign Language quickly? I need a crash course. I took it in college, but that was 16 years ago!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Great blog! I hope you'll consider adding it to the aggregator at Deaf Village ( We'd love to have you as part of our community!