It's been about a month since everything happened and I can positively say that life is much better...and busy. My last day of work was October 10, 2013, and I am now a stay at home mom (for the second time). Gavin's private preschool schedule, combined with his special education preschool schedule, which changed for the 2013-2014 school year, became overly complicated and I was spending more time driving him to and from school than I was able to spend at work. For every one's sanity, Rocky and I decided it would be best if I left my job in order to better accommodate Gavin's schedule. It was a great move and our day-to-day life is running smoother and everyone seems happier.
Aside from acclimating to life as a new again stay at home mom, I've had to focus an unusual amount of attention on garnering a referral to a pediatric ENT. I should back up to the beginning. Rocky and I have never had concerns about Gavin's hearing. Like, ever. Obviously, this was our first mistake. When Gavin began showing signs of a speech delay and everyone asked about his hearing, we always confidently replied, his hearing is great. Our second mistake. It wasn't until Gavin's neurologist, the one we see for his vertigo, encouraged us to have his hearing checked. Although I didn't want to do it, I obliged because, well, I liked the neurologist and I didn't want to piss him off and, more importantly, I didn't see any actual harm in having it done. Between the referral and scheduling with the audiologist, it took a few months to start the process. And, for those that have had their children's hearing examined, the testing process is not an easy one. In fact, it's pretty much a clusterfuck. Because it's a rather long examination, they generally break it up for small children into multiple appointments. Still thinking Gavin's hearing was perfect, I was so irritated after the initial appointment that I blew off following up with the remainder of the testing. Come August, Gavin's speech therapist began asking questions about the (non-existent) audiology report and when I had to fess up that I never finished the testing, I then realized how ridiculous I sounded. I immediately scheduled his next appointment to continue on with the testing and we headed back to the audiologist last month.
The second appointment was much like the first, disorganized and a bit of a mess but the audiologist informally revealed that Gavin's hearing had deteriorated since his last appointment and his eardrums weren't responding properly to sound. Well, fuck. She had me bring him back multiple times over the next few weeks to re-check his eardrums to see if anything improved, which it didn't. Each time we walked into that office, I kept expecting a referral to an ENT since, you know, his eardrums aren't working properly, his hearing is borderline average yet had worsened in a few months, he has a significant speech delay, he's not progressing the way he should, and he has diagnosed vertigo (which may or may not play a roll in this). But, the referral never came. In fact, I was told that the audiologist would like to monitor his hearing for a total of three months before deciding whether or not to refer out. Three months. Three. Seriously. I was floored. I wanted to scream a ton of obscenities at her and quickly remind her how much bullshit he has endured in his short life. If I was less of a non-confrontational person, I'm sure it would've sounded something like this:
This is the child who lived his first four months of life in the ICU, the one who has qualified for every special education service known to mankind, or so it seems, since the moment we came home from the hospital, the one who has a team of specialists that follow him as he continues to grow, the one whose doctors ALWAYS err on the side of caution. So, why in the world would a referral to a pediatric ENT for a potential hearing deficit on a child that is already at risk for hearing issues be so freaking unreasonable?
That's what I
wanted to should have said to her. But, I didn't. Instead, I smiled, walked out of her office and called our pediatrician. Yes, I know this was very passive aggressive of me but I'm not one to flip my shit especially if I don't absolutely have to. Unfortunately, our pediatrician needed a reason for a referral so back I went to the audiologists office to desperately obtain the chart notes. Cheese and rice. Could this process be more mother-effin' complicated? Apparently, yes. Gavin's speech therapist caught me during drop off and me, being knee deep in the midst of the situation, threw all of this on her and, she, being the wonderful professional that she is, offered to call the pediatrician in attempts to move this process along. Holy hell, it worked! The speech therapist expressed her concerns about Gavin's speech and her belief that there is a hearing deficit obstructing his ability to progress. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus (<------ that was a non-religious reference since I'm about as non-religious as they come), that was enough of a reason for the pediatrician and we finally managed to get a referral to a pediatric ENT.
And, finally, my long rant has come to an end so here are some pictures of my sweet ass kid as a prize...