Maybe my child has a hearing issue …. {breath in … breath out … try not to panic}

I had an audiologist appointment with Isabelle today. If you have never been to an audiologist (with a child) basically you get put into a 3 x 3 x 1.5 metre room that is sound proof.  Audiologist sits in front of the room (front of the room has a glass window) she has speakers in the room which she controls.

Sounds are emitted from the speakers and based on your child’s reaction she assesses whether your child has normal, or below normal hearing.   I assumed the last bit, I actually have no idea how it works, but there is a monkey with a tambourine in one corner and a duck with a trumpet … I think that if these items are part of your standard work-tools, well that commands a certain level of respect right there.

To say it did not go well, does not quite hint at the extent of it.  I figured that if she was going to use an interesting sound like “white noise” well what do you expect.  Isabelle showed little to no reaction to the sound – even when it was loud enough to make me wince.

She was totally absorbed in her building-blocks game, and the fact that there was noise blaring out of the speakers on either side of her head, showed little in the way of interest for her.

She did react when the audiologist put through sounds that she created “b – b -b – b – b ….. ” and “d -d – d- d ….” and then went back to her blocks, not really interested/reacting to the other sounds.

Audiologist was not exactly brimming confidence, and asked if we would not mind going to see an ENT. Today.  She miraculously she got us an appointment.  I looked at the sheet she sent with us, and I really cannot fathom much, but there are little marks on a grid/graph and then a dotted line which I assume is the “normal/ideal” range, and Isabelle appears to be miles away from it on the graph.

ENT guy said, hmmmm, and again not in a “hey, yippeeee” kind of tone, more in a “okkkkkaaaaay, this is not ideal” sort of way.  He said there was a build up of wax deep in her ear canal, which he removed with the aid of something not dissimilar to a crochet hook. Isabelle was calm and did not flinch, so I was hoping her good behaviour got her some points.

He relooked and he said that there is thick liquid trapped behind her ear drum, and that more than likely this is causing the poor hearing, and may be the cause of her inability to communicate, as she cannot hear.

I tried to explain that maybe it was because Isabelle has been a bit off for the last week, and her nose is runny and maybe that is it.

Dr ENT tried to explain that sure it might be, but unless I have had her hearing tested there is no way to know whether the fluid has been there a week or for a year.  I had never had her hearing tested – even as a newborn.

Dr ENT said that we could go one of two options.  1.  Treat with Cortisone, and reassess in 6 weeks to see if the fluid has drained.  2.  Make an appointment and fit grommits.

I commented that I thought grommits were a bit invasive for a child who has never been to a paed, let alone an ENT.  Isabelle is +3 and she has probably had two courses of antibiotics in her life, one of those I requested as a preventative response.

Crikey, general anaesthetic to fit grommits, which might, assuming it does not go well, leave scar tissue on her ear drum membrane which in itself could lead to hearing loss. Grommits which may in their design cause ENT issues that we have never had before.

I am one who is usually reluctant to follow main stream medicine and doctor recommendations, but this one came out of left field.  We discussed pro’s and con’s and I sat there feeling that his recommendation was to go with grommits.  His logic was why waste more time where she can’t hear – go in, sort it out and then look at the results.

I opted to go with the Cortisone, and to wait 6 weeks and then retest and see where we are.  I have nothing against grommits, really I think they are the answer to kids with ENT issues – Connor was an ENT child, and we had 3 sets fitted.

But the entire thing just felt a bit jarring as a first step option.

So the short answer is, yes, Isabelle is no hearing at the correct level.  Is it the reason her speech is so far behind/lagging, I am not sure.

I have a speech assessment appointment next week, I have booked a follow up with ENT guy for the first week of September.  I will book a retest with the audiologist after ENT guy has taken a look.

If the fluid has not drained then the only option is to go straight to grommits.

I realise grommits are really pedestrian, everyone and their neighbour’s dog has them, but the idea of subjecting Isabelle to any surgery, unless I am 100% convinced there is no other option, then I would like to hold back a while and think about it a bit.

{PS: I do kick myself that I did not do a hearing test as a routine thing when she was 2 years old!!!  I feel this was a huge over sight on my part and had I had it checked out then, we may well be quite a few giant steps ahead than where we are right now.  Don’t you just heart mother guilt? Like with wreckless abandone.}

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Winner winner chicken dinner ….

Received a cool email today:

I would like to inform and congratulate you on winning the 2012 Mommy Bloggers Competition for your blog- The Reluctant Mom!

The runner up is Natasha with her blog Raising Men and third position is Tanya from Rattle and Mum.

I am in Hermanus today, and trying to manage kids, work via my cell phone, answer calls, co-ordinate Happy Helpers, and also take photographs of my mom’s beach house in Sandbaai.  So the day was a bit crammed and I did not get the “great news” until somewhat late in the day.  I will confess I did think about it earlier today, and thought sh*t they would have called me if I had won, and quietly congratulated the other bloggers.

Checking email gets a lot better when you get an email that pats you on the back – say as opposed to the one that is bitching and moaning and/or asking you for the payment you still have not processed (I am getting there I promise!!)

My Blog’s new pink bling ———————————————————————————————–>

Thanks kidzworld.co.za, and thank you to everyone who took the time to toddle along and put in a vote — I have no idea how the finalists were chosen, so I really am as blind to the process as the next person, but glad none the less that I got PIMPED!

So much better than being the girl with the camel toe who does not get picked for PE teams and stands awkwardly on the school sports field…..like lots much better ….>

Congratulations to all the bloggers who were nominated, and shortlisted – Mommy Bloggers keep such good company, and to win against other Mommy Bloggers is not an easy act of desperation.  I know the old adage of “it was honour enough to be short listed with this lot” but it was pretty cool just to be on the shortlist, so to win, is “three LARGE glasses of chenin blanc” great!

Natasha and Tanya, well done on being runners up!

Barney is back .. that stupid purple singing dinosaur …

When Connor was a baby/toddler he was never allowed to watch television at will.

He was only allowed to watch the things that we put on for him.  Part of the reason (and this was before the joy of ceebeebies) was that I did not want him to be exposed to the adverts and also there was not a dedicated channel dedicated to younger kids, and Cartoon Network did not exactly fill me with joy, actually it still doesn’t.

So he got all the usual stuff Teletubbies, Postman Pat and Bob the Builder.  We had tons of Videos {look at us rocking it old school, but in our defense this was back in 2001, so videos were a bit more popular than DVDs back then.) and we could glue him to the tv for 3 weeks solid with the amount of stuff we had, so it was not like he was starved of choice.  Connor liked Teletubbies and he also liked Bob the Builder.

We had Barney but Connor was not interested and only showed an interest in Barney at around 4 years old.

My kids do not appear to be interested in Barney when they are smallies, but take to him around 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 or older.  The result is we get a few years break when we forget about Barney and the precocious children who sing along with him, but then someone pulls a DVD out and then it all comes back to you in horrific colour.

Isabelle has proved she is not the exception.  She has never shown an interest in the annoyingly happy purple dinosaur until about two months ago, but now she is hooked.

When she comes in to the tv room, she goes over to the cabinet where all the DVDs are packed and points at the Barney one and she goes “MUM, MUM, MUM….”

Late last week she does the usual, sits on the couch, Dexter (our Boston Terrier) hops up, and the two of them sit there absolutely dumb struck as Barney sings his way through “I love you, you love me….”  I am sure Dexter wanted to make a run for it, but Isabelle decided to hold him near so he wasn’t going to be going anywhere.

I am not sure the expression (for both of them) is love and enjoyment, it looks a lot more like shock and despair!

{Like Reluctant Mom, even just a little, please pop along and vote over at Kidz World Blogger Awards – Vote every day, as many times as you can click …. easy peasy}

Fun with kids over the weekend …. she is not having it!

I know the right thing to say is to be all, geez I love motherhood, and gee willy this weekend stuff is groovy fun and then add a super happy Facebook status update about how happy I am!

Sorry, that shit is not flying on this end.

Kennith is gone for about a month – not gone as in dead, however that might get me sympathy and people offering to bake me lasagna and take my kids so I can have a lie down.  But no, worse, he has gone off to feel challenged.  Nothing says “challenge’ like losing 30 kilograms, and carrying about the same weight up a stupid mountain in Russia.

As you can imagine by my tone, I am really thrilled he has sought out this challenge.

Of course it makes the challenge of morning get-kids-to-school and get-kids-sorted-in-the-evening and try-and-remain-sane-on-the-weekends-whilst-your-kids-are-trying-to-drive-you-to-insanity the challenge I get to face, again and again.

But the problem with my challenge, is no one gives me a high-five and likes my status updates!

Such is the life of the little woman in the background, with three snotty kids clinging to an appendage and fighting with each other about {add anything varying from toothpaste to who looks out the car window}.

If I add the 30 days away to the long list of weekend hikes, running up table mountain after work, and cycling around the peninsula, whilst I am wondering if I can chew my tongue off and choke on it at home with three screaming children, then yes I am really excited for him!

Holler-holler!

Kennith left on Friday and this weekend was my first weekend “alone” – really alone if you consider that my lovely divine I-fall-at-your-feet-in-adoration Privelege was also off this weekend.

I think it did not help that I felt angry, because I was not feeling the joy of this entire experience, and had been suspicious that this was going to go very badly.  Very quickly.  For me.

I wasn’t worried about Kennith at all.  30 days of no kids, and pursing your challenge — what could be more fun??

My kids can smell fear. Probably because it leaves streaks in my panties.

They get wired, find a way to push every possibly button I have, work as a synchronised pack of relentless hyenas to drive me stark raving mad.  One long minute at a time.  It all gets going at about 06h00 and keeps up until about 20h00.

I watch each minute that passes.  Each minute!  I start wondering if I can put them all into bed and say goodnite at 2pm.  I have tried, they are too bright for that as soon as they figure out the difference in night and day.

I know I should tell you that I rose to the occasion.  Unfortunately I failed miserably.

I really tried to do the good mom thing.   Gd knows I tried!

I went for a nice walk – spent the entire time screaming at Isabelle to get out of the frkn road.

I made a roast chicken and all the trimmings as I thought it would be nice for us to sit around and have a family lunch (minus the dad of course) – that worked well until it didn’t.  The constant arguing and bickering and then Isabelle screaming because she was not going to eat any of my hard pressed cooking.

I hired a DVD for them – and then realised I could not sit and watch it with them without wanting to off myself.

I made them chocolate toast for breakfast – and then decided to go and sit somewhere else as I could not stand the arguing over everything.  How do kids find a way to argue over chocolate toast? Trust me, mine do.

I took them to a park today even though it was freezing – and then I lost Kennith’s umbrella, and of course they were arguing, and bickering and then I just got “gatvol” and figured I would rather be home and warm and they can argue there.

I took them to McDonalds for lunch – I also decided to sit at a separate table.  At McDonalds.  I really just needed a few minutes of not having to listen to the constant arguing and bickering.  This all worked until Isabelle fell, from a sitting position, only to smack her ear against the table – so then I sat with her whilst she bawled her head off.

I let them make and bake biscuits this afternoon – again an exercise is self-restraint, as I was sure I was going to hit one/all of them with the rolling pin!  I hate how other people can do this and it is fun, but when I do it, it really is like torture.

I have never glanced so much at the clock that stands in our kitchen area as I did in the last two days.  I waited for the minutes to tick by so we could get to 19h30 so that I could bark at them to go the *FUCK* to bed!

Today was not a good day.  This weekend was not a good weekend.

I am THANKFUL – TRULY – it is over, and that I survived, and more importantly that I managed not to commit what ever the term is where you off yourself and your children!

Dude/Dudette seriously if you are wanting a happy-go-lucky blog, I seriously suggest that you google mom+blog+really happy ….. because that shit is not happening over here.

Try again tomorrow, it might all be a bit better.  Or it might not.

Cheese and rice!

{Like Reluctant Mom, even just a little, please pop along and vote over at Kidz World Blogger Awards – Vote every day, as many times as you can click …. easy peasy}

Mommy Bloggers go for Gold …. or just a button ….

So the Mommy Blogger competition is on.

10 lovely mommy bloggers battle it out.  The competition is thinking about narrowing it down to three finalists, they will getogether and the final will be fought out as a mud fight – with actual mud.   It’s like a wet t-shirt competion, but not.

I am really hoping to get to the mud fight round, so if you are keen to see a bit of mud slinging, maybe some foul language, and the likely possibility of someone crying with snot, please pop along and vote for your favourite blogger.  The more votes, the more likely the blogger you would like to see covered in mud, will be.

Easy as that.

You can vote every day.

You can vote from every email address you own.

You can vote for any blogger on the list – we never find out who voted for us or against us, no matter who many times we request to buy the voting panel and results.

You can offer to sell your votes, I suggest sending around a well worded email to all the likely candidates and seeing who takes you up on that offer.  All/Most of us do not make a living from blogging, but for all/most of us, we still want to win so we can sit and smirk in the admiration of dozens.

I, personally, have found a few Facebook pages where you join and then you beg a few hundred/thousand stranges to go and vote for you, and you in turn vote for them.  All a bit creepy, but when the odds are high and one wants to win, well then one must do what one must.

Stop procrastinating.

Stop being so “snoep” with your votes, just click along for goodness sake.

Reasonably quick, and totally painless.

PS: I can neither confirm nor deny whether there will be an actual mud fight! I can however almost promise a bun fight ……