Thursday, December 7

Turn On My Ears!

I thought you might wonder how we came up with "Turn on My Ears" as the title for our blog...

We learned of Drew's hearing loss on October 26, 2006. I went to an ordinary ENT appointment by myself, expecting to be told that the fluid previously found in Drew's ears from birth had not yet cleared. Instead, the fluid had cleared, and I found myself being moved from sound booth to sound booth as they ran multiple screening tests in each of Drew's ears. From the audiologists behavior I could tell that something was not right. I was finally brought back to the exam room, where the ENT came in and told me, "Well, that's not what we wanted."

"Not what we wanted? That's all you have to say to me?," I thought, as I sit crying and alone in the doctors office. This ENT is the most highly regarded in the city, and all he can say is, "That's not what we wanted." I was told that they could not tell from their testing how much hearing loss he had. Further testing would be needed to determine how profound Drew's hearing loss was.

We contacted Columbus Children's Hospital for the follow up testing, and were told that it would be a month before they could see us. I felt as though they were saying, "We know your child has hearing loss, but we're not going to tell you how profound it is for a month. And, by the way, this will put off any treatment options for that long as well. Have a nice day."

Luckily we were put into contact with Dr. Jacques Herzog in St. Louis, MO, a family friend. While it did require a six hour drive to meet with him, what we got out of the visit was well worth the trip. A wonderful audiologist from St. John's Mercy did a full diagnostic ABR test on November 6th and told us the news: Drew was born with bilateral profound hearing loss.

After the screening, we met Dr. Herzog. He spoke with us about cochlear implants and told us that Drew would be a candidate for surgery. He looked at both of us and said, "Drew was born very healthy and looks perfect. His ears look great, he just needs a little help turning them on. That is what I am here for."

What a wonderful way Dr. Herzog gave us to look at this journey. We have the opportunity to turn on Drew's hearing and experience that first moment with him. As a parent, we think of watching our child crawl and walk for the first time but we don't ever think about seeing our child hear for the first time. What a wonderful moment that will be.

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