Ben first got hearing aids at 5 months old based on results of an ABR. When he was that little, the test was relatively easy to do. We basically had to deprive him of sleep for several hours (although it was difficult to keep him awake during that last hour while driving to the audiologist!) and he would sleep peacefully during the entire test. As he got older, a test like that harder to do since he seldom slept for long periods during the day. So most of his subsequent hearing tests have been done by judging his responses to sound, but these have been somewhat unreliable.
After his last hearing test like this (shortly after Nate was born), his audiologist finally decided that he would need to have an ABR done again to get a more accurate result. The only problem was that Ben would need to be put under general anesthesia to have the test. Coordinating all of this was a little challenging, but Ben finally had his test a little over a week ago. Ben is difficult to intubate, so the anesthesiologist decided to use an LMA for this procedure.
Everyone had to get up early. The big boys went to school as usual on the bus. Mark, Nate, Ben and I then drove an hour to our very favorite tertiary care center. We fretted about being late, but it turns out that we actually misunderstood what time we were to be there, and we were actually 30 minutes early! (Maybe they heard about our reputation for being late and misled us on purpose!)
Ben was in a great mood, but fell asleep while waiting for the procedure. He looked so tiny in that great big gurney! He woke up in time for them to wheel him back, and he laughed all the way to the room in which the test was to occur.
So we waited and waited. Nate actually behaved very well. We brought lots of toys for him to play with. He played, laughed, ate his yogurt, and slept. The test went much longer than we expected.
Finally they called me back to see Ben in recovery. He was unhappy when I got there, and his g-tube needed to be vented, but then he quickly settled down.
We were able to leave about 15 minutes later.
We didn’t get the results of the test until the next Thursday. Ben’s hearing has deteriorated somewhat; he has moderate to severe hearing loss bilaterally (moderate for low frequencies, and severe at higher frequencies). His hearing aids were adjusted, but I think we need to have them adjusted again. They are giving him so much feedback (high-pitched squealing) that he’s afraid to move when he wears them!
And I was hoping that the test would show that he didn’t need hearing aids anymore. Oh well. I am very thankful that the hearing loss can be identified and treated.