Thursday, April 2, 2009
Does Anyone Know the Patron Saint of Hearing Aids?
image from Peran.org
A funny thing happened last week. Queen Teen, who has forever denounced her hearing aids as evil incarnate, started to count the days on her calender until she got her new hearing aids. She pointed at March 31st on her calender and said with a smile on her face, "This is when I get my new hearing aids."
"Um... yeah. That's the day," I replied.
"That's cool," she said.
Cool? Cool? When did wearing hearing aids become cool? It made me want to double check that this was indeed my child and not a changeling left by aliens from the planet Happiness. But no, this is my girl, my own Queen Teen, and somehow she's decided that new hearing aids will be "great!"
March 31st arrived and we drove to Stanford in Palo Alto to see the audiologist, a young Asian woman who has a knack with tricky kids. For over an hour she tested Queen Teen's hearing, with me helping by facilitating games (drop a block in the box when you hear the beep.) One test was followed by another, and then another, all looking for different aspects of Queen Teen's hearing, and an hour later Queen Teen was starting to glaze over. Her eyes drooped and she stopped paying attention to the sounds coming from the headphones. Unfortunately, we weren't done. The doctor and I prompted and encouraged Queen Teen and somehow she found the energy to keep trying for several more minutes.
The tests showed that her hearing was improved from the last time we were there (2 months ago) but was worse than the first time we came (a year ago). It does appear that Queen Teen's hearing is fading, but what it all means is still under debate. Will she lose all of her hearing, or will it reach a plateau? And why is she losing her hearing at all? Just chock it up to another part of the mystery that is Queen Teen.
The doctor put in Queen Teen's hearing aids and adjusted them so that low, soft tones would be louder. She didn't increase any of the other tones because Queen Teen is very sensitive to noise. Immediately I saw a difference. Queen Teen and I chatted about her hearing aids and her hearing and I didn't have to yell. She was alert and responsive and smiling. When we left the office, she kept the hearing aids in and I only took them out when we went to the motel and she complained they were bugging her (3 hours later!).
I decided to get a motel room and spend the night to lessen the stress on both of us (thank you student loans!). It's a 3 1/2 hour trip to Palo Alto from where we live, close enough to drive there and back in one day, but too far to drive there and back comfortably. Instead we ate dinner in our room, watched a movie, slept in late the next day and then had lunch in San Francisco, spending some quality mother/daughter time together. And she kept her hearing aids on the whole time.
So, if anyone can tell me the who the Patron Saint of Hearing Aids is, I'll be very grateful. I need light a candle and say THANK YOU.