Friday, February 12, 2010

Update on Evan's Hearing Test

OK, I was so nervous about this! The night before, Evan couldn't eat anything but he could have clear liquid up until 2 hours before going in for sedation. Since he slept in on the morning of, he was not able to have anything to drink and was screaming for "MILK!"

I thought we were going to the new Children's hospital in Syracuse but since they didn't move this unit yet, we went to the old Children's unit which wasn't bad at all. It was all geared for little ones with plenty of toys and cars to drive in the hallways- we were set!

Evan did get tired of riding the car and was started to get over tired and VERY cranky! The finally gave him a Tylenol mixture with some other drug to make him relax and sleep to start to prepare him to go into the OR where they would sedate him and connect the ABR machine thingy (I don't know the technical name LOL) to his head.

When we first leaned of this sedated test, I was thinking IV and him being scare out of his mind, but moms going through this too, let me tell you know- it's much worse in our crazy mama minds than it will be in reality!!

After they gave him the Tylenol mixture and he was feeling alittle loopy, we were told to keep him from walking so I played cars with him on the floor. When it was time to bring him in, I put on a gown and carried him in. He was scareimng for one of the trucks the the Dr. grabbed a truck and a bin of toys and I set him on the bed with the truck (while holding him up because he was tipsy)and I played with the truck with him and he was content. We then moved him up by the pillow while he was still playing and the Dr. help up some gentle gas (in infant mask) which looked just like the nebulizer so he continued playing until he got really sleepy so we laid him back on the pillow and I rubbed his hair until he feel asleep. He really thought he was just taking a nap!

It took more than an hour to complete the test and once they were done, they took him to recovery (still sleeping at this point) and the audiologist pulled us aside to tell us the connections between his brain and ears were fine but she did see some fluid in his right ear and it looked like those ear infections were making their way back! She suggested we go back to the pediatrician and see if they were on board with getting into see a ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialist.

So, I brought Evan back to the pediatrician and both doctors agreed to treat him for the ear infection he has again and to get him into the ENT ASAP! I am feeling good about this decision because if the fluid is not draining properly it could be causing his hearing to be muffled so at least we have a direction to travel now and see where it leaves us- hopefully we will have more good news soon! =)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Evan's Sedated Hearing Test

Tomorrow Is Evan's ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response Hearing Test).... and I could not sleep last night! It's not a major test and Adam thinks he will just be a little groggy to relax him and not be completely out. I am not sure why I am so nervous! Maybe it's the thought of possibly they won't let me be with him during testing (I'm little controlling) or maybe it's the actual results of the tests that will scare me.

If his hearing is OK, that means the delay is a DELAY... and if his hearing is not OK, then we may be looking at hearing devices, and depending on results could mean adjusting to a new therapy...

I just want to know NOW what I should be doing or could e doing to help him. It's extremely frustrating!

Here is the explanation of the exam from the Boston Children's Hospital:

What is an Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluation (ABR)?

An Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluation (ABR) is a type of test, usually performed for infants and young children, that evaluates how well sounds travel along the hearing nerve pathways from the ear to the brainstem. There are two main types of hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss -- problems transmitting sound from the outer ear (where sound is collected) to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can often reverse itself as children grow older.
Sensorineural hearing loss -- problems with the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain. In the inner ear, tiny hairs on the cochlea act as a neural pathway, transmitting through the inner ear. Usually, problems with these hairs on the cochlea are responsible for sensorineural hearing loss. It is usually permanent and present at birth.
An ABR test, by evaluating the hearing nerve pathways, can identify cases of sensorineural hearing loss. It is a sleep EEG hearing test which shows the softest sounds your child's ears can detect at various pitches. The ABR compares changes in brain activity to the timing of repetitive sounds to determine whether the particular intensity of sound can be heard.

How is it performed?

There will be three or four small stickers on your child's head, connected to leads going into a computer. Sounds will be presented through an earphone to each ear separately while a computer analyzes the changes in the brain wave pattern in response to sounds.
Your child should be sleeping for the duration of the test. Young children under the age of six months are not usually sedated, and the test is performed while the infant is naturally sleeping, following a feeding. Children over the age of six months are usually sedated with chloral hydrate.

The test is not painful or uncomfortable in any way, but it is necessary for your child to be asleep in order to obtain clear recordings during the test.

You will be in the room with your child during the test, and the results will be explained immediately afterward.