I decided to set up a blog as a way for everybody to be able to know what is going on with our little girl. So here is the story so far...
Ellie was born January 17, 2009. She did not pass the newborn hearing screens in the hospital, so we had to go back and do another test when she was a few weeks old. Once again, she didn't pass that test, but we still were not too worried because they suspected she had fluid in her ears. Since the test was only pass/fail, fluid can easily cause the test to be "fail." So we went back in March for a more in-depth test. This test showed "moderate hearing loss" in one ear and "severe hearing loss" in the other. We then went to an ENT doctor to see if she still had fluid in her ears. He confirmed that there was fluid in her ears and decided to wait a couple of months to see if the fluid cleared up. We went back to see him (Dr. Sprik--ENT) in May and he told us the fluid was gone, so we could do another hearing test. At this point, we were not too worried because we thought Ellie was responding to our voices. We would talk to her and she would babble back.
On June 18, we went to Spectrum Health for a hearing test. We were shocked when we heard that she was not responding to anything the Audiologist was sending to her ears. She told us that Ellie had "severe to profound" hearing loss in both ears. Definitely not what we were expecting!
We got in touch with Ken-o-sha, and they did a hearing evaluation and a developmental assessment for Ellie. For the hearing evaluation, the audiologist (Mary) put "ear plugs" in Ellie's ears and then went into a room across from us where she could observe through a mirror. I held some toys for Ellie to play with, and then Mary would say things through the ear plugs to see if Ellie would react. She did get a reaction at 95 decibels and higher. This would put Ellie in the "profoundly deaf" category. Basically, she probably couldn't hear a lawn mower if it was right next to her. On the other hand, it was kind of fun to see her react to hearing something. When Mary cranked up the volume and Ellie heard her, she looked around, then up at me...thinking "what was that??" The developmental assessment showed that she is developing at a perfectly normal rate (which we basically knew already).
Ellie has been fitted for hearing aids. She will be getting bright pink around the ear and a clear sparkly to go inside the ear. (so cute!) :) They will adjust them so that they are amplifying to the max. Then, after about 4 1/2 months of hearing aids (late December), she will have another done to see where she is at. On January 5, we will go see Dr. Daniels who is a cochlear implant surgeon. He will evaluate her and see if she would be a good candidate for a cochlear implant.
Right now we are in the process of getting Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS). CSHCS will cover the cost for everything related to Ellie's hearing issues. We cannot get the hearing aids for Ellie until we have CSHCS, so hopefully it will come through soon! We just received the application in the mail yesterday with a letter saying that Ellie qualifies for CSHCS.
That's it for now, I will keep you all posted as there are new developments!