One week from today, Jace will be getting fitted for hearing aides. My heart broke a little as I sat in the Mesa Public Schools audiology sound booth and watched him fail the hearing test last week. I could hear the sounds he was unable to hear. He wanted so badly to do well. He sat as still as a statue and listened so intently. At one point, he looked at me out of the corner of his eye and whispered, "Mom, help me." It was pretty awful to not be able to help him.

I'm a swirl of emotions. One person said, "it's just like your child needing glasses" and I agree with that to an extent. I'm grateful that we are catching it now and he'll potentially learn to speak really well before kindergarten starts. I know his hearing loss is relatively mild and I'm grateful that it's not worse. BUT I still worry. We've been to a second audiologist since then and the results were the same: mild hearing loss bilaterally, hearing aides recommended.

Here's what I know: If an adult had a similar hearing loss, they wouldn't get hearing aides because the impairment is that minimal. But because Jace needs to hear the high frequencies of the consonant sounds so the he can learn to talk correctly, he needs the hearing aides. No telling if his hearing will progressively get worse or stay this way his whole life. He is not going to grow out of it though. It's not going to get better. He was born with this hearing loss. Once he learns to talk, he may be able to manage it just by sitting in the front of the class and looking at people when they talk. Or maybe he'll always wear hearing aides.

Here's what I worry: He's 3 and I dont fully believe he'll wear the hearing aides as often as he needs to. I worry that he'll flush them down the toilet because he hates wearing them. I worry that he'll lose them or brake them accidentally. I worry that he'll get teased by other kids. I worry that our insurance is only going to cover a fraction of the cost of the initial hearing aides and that any replacements or repairs are going to be outrageously expensive. I worry that his hearing loss will get worse with time. I worry that he'll feel different.

I cant help looking back at all the failed hearing tests and wondering if we could have caught it even sooner. The only time he ever passed a hearing test was at 8 months old with an audiologist that I was skeptical of during the whole process. I should have questioned her passing him that day. It didn't make any sense when he had failed so many tests before then. I guess that doesn't matter now. We are here and we'll move forward with the information we have. And I will only cry every once in a while. :)


Meagan said...

:( What an awful moment to have him look at you for help because he couldn't hear. Maybe that made me cry a little bit. Poor Jace. I'm so sorry. Those are all valid worries. But, just keep reminding yourself that you're glad you caught it when you did and not later. There's no way of telling what the future will be like for him, but just remember that whatever happens is supposed to happen for him. And there will be a reason for it. :) Love you guys.

stephanie said...

When Stella was in her spica cast, I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn't the worst thing that could happen. But you know what? It was still really really hard. Stuff like this is challenging, but Jace will be ok. He'll be able to hear! What a blessing.

Mike and Becca said...

Oh Jill, I'm crying a little with you. I'm just picturing that sweet little thing trying to be so brave for the test and you not being able to help him. I would worry about the same things you are and some of them might be things you will end up having to worry about and some won't. It's something that will set him apart from others and sometimes that can be a good thing sometimes those thing make you have to rely more in personality and with him having 2 parents full of personality he can't help but be the kid in school everyone loves and protects. When I was teaching jr high I had a little deaf boy who wore very large hearing aids and he also had to use sign language. Everyone loved him. He wad a student body officer. Try not to worry too much about the unknown and just take it a day at a time. It will be so great for him to get them and finally be able to hear himself and others better. In the meantime I'll be praying for your little family... So grateful we live when we do and that there are things to help him. Lots if love

Jaime S. said...

love ya. tough things to go through as a mom.

Cara said...

Oh wow that is heartbreaking!. Of course you'll cry and worry. I guess as parents there will always be something we worry about for our kids. My big worry right now is friends for Nathan. He's got none.
But if Jace can learn to talk maybe the hearing loss will be manageable and he won't be different. My prayers are with you.

M. G. said...

Jill..I was diagnosed with high frequency hearing loss in one ear in Jr. High. It hasn't gotten worse and I have learned what I need to do to hear. It mostly means that I have to see peoples lips when they are talking so I can see the words. I believe he will be so thrilled to hear well, that the aides will become his best friends and other kids will think they are cool.

Auburn said...

OH man. So sad. I'm sorry for you and for little Jace. Trials stink. Not much more I can say than that. Saying prayers for you guys.

Jourdan said...

When Flora was born with a fairly serious heart problem (something I couldn't see or feel or even understand how it would affect her) I realized something: none of us are born perfect, even though we hope that for our children more than anything. We all deal with inconveniences that are beyond our control (whether it be disease, chemical imbalances, underdeveloped body parts, accidental injuries...etc). It is never easy, I am so sorry for you and for him. Everything will be OK. You will all rise to the challenge and be better for it! Mostly because, what other choice do we have? :)

Karen said...

I went through the same emotions when Brenn got her fake eye at 10 months! Will she swallow it and choke? yes. Will she lose it under the slide at school where she takes it out to show all the kids? No, thank Heaven. Will she feel insecure, ugly, etc? Honestly, she feels how we feel. We decided that it is what it is and our attitude would make the difference in her view of herself. She is now 21 and never has been insecure about a fake eye, even when she had an infection in 8th grade and had to leave it out for 2 weeks and still go to school. He will be fine if you are fine. It is an aide to help him be the kid you want him to be.

Sorry so long but this is soooo familiar to me!