A couple months ago at Penny Lane's 15 month appt, I brought up with the our Doctor that I was concerned because she was not speaking yet. Remember THIS post? He didn't seem all that worried, but because of my concerns he suggested we get her hearing checked. Depending on how that went, they would determine if we need to see anyone else about it. So we scheduled an audiology appt for sweet Penny and prayed that it would go well...
Penny and I went to the audiologist a week later to check out those little ears of hers. We sat down in the sound booth and the testing began. They played little noises at different volumes to the right and to the left of us. I had done this before with Lucy and she had no trouble at all. Penny WAS responding to the noises but they had to repeat several of them to get her to respond. After the hearing portion of the test they tested her ears for negative pressure. This test puts a small amount of pressure in her ears and sees how her eardrum reacts to it. In a normal ear there is an average of 75% eardrum movement. Penny Lane had 1% eardrum movement. ONE PERCENT. The audiologist could not really give me any reasons why her eardrum was not moving at all, but she did say that that very well could be the reason she was not talking...
BECAUSE SHE HEARS LIKE SHE'S UNDER WATER.
It was obvious that we need to see a specialist at this point, to find out why this was happening. So we scheduled an appt. In the meantime, I spoke with my pediatrician who suggested we all start learning sign language. I never really got sad or upset about any of this. It is what it is... If we all have to learn sign language to communicate with Penny Lane, then thats what we will do. She is the most precious baby, whether she can hear or not.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and we met with the specialist. We had to have a second hearing test before we saw him... and poor girl's hearing was worse this time :( The specialist examined Penny Lane's ears and said that she might as well be under water. He explained that due to a structural problem, Penny's ears are full of fluid and that her eardrums are basically sitting right on top of her adenoids. This is the cause of her eardrums not moving and the fluid build up in her ears. I felt SO bad that we did not catch this earlier. But she has not had ear infections, so there was really no reason to have check this before.
The doctor said that she needed surgery. She needs tubes and her adenoids removed. Tubes to drain the fluid and the adenoids removed to allow her eardrum to move so she can hear better. He believes that after the surgeries she will regain most of her hearing if not all of it!!! YAY!
She goes back to the specialist in about 5 weeks to get rechecked and to schedule her surgery. Why not just schedule the surgery right then, you ask? Girlfriend needs to gain some weight :) He wants to she her put on a few pounds before surgery... I wish I had that problem!
So, here we are, learning sign language and doing the best we can right now :) Good news is that Lucy still understands Penny's little language and can translate really well for her! They are so funny :)