As a couple of you already know, I am a bit hard of hearing. My friends and family have known this for years and have patiently taken the time to make sure they’re facing me and have my attention before they talk. Well, most of the time.
I keep the volume up on my phone at all times. So, if you call, and can hear yourself, this is why. (Can you, Mrs Mom?) I have the ring tone set to some heavy metal flavor and at full volume, but I still often don’t hear it. I’ve even set the phone to vibrate as well, but unless it’s in my pocket, it usually goes unnoticed.
For years I’ve told my children to be quiet when I’m on the phone or go into another room. I put the tv on mute, turn off the radio or seek the quietest place I can find. I continuously remind my girls to speak up and to look at me before they talk because about all I hear sounds like a mouse squeaking. I ask all 3 of the children to walk into the room I am in if they have something to say to me rather than just yell it at me, which ends up sounding like mumbling and leads to frustration on my part. The kids, especially Kitty and Doodle, have shed many tears because I didn’t hear them or I got frustrated and yelled at them to speak up. Speaking up seems to be the hardest when you’re a girl. I know. I’ve been in their shoes before.
In February, I finally went in for a hearing test. I got to sit in a little booth and push a button every time I heard the tone. There were no distractions, no outside noises. Just me, my button, and a set of ginormous headphones. I scored well, very well in fact. The outcome was that I have a 5% hearing loss in my right ear. Which isn’t enough of a loss to be noticeable to most people.
After the test, my audiologist asked me a lot of questions. Was anyone else in my family hard of hearing? Why yes! My father! He always believed it was from working heavy equipment back in the ’60s and ’70s. (I told you I knew how the girls feel!) Had I had any head injuries? Yes, multiple concussions throughout my life. What about my children? How was their health? Hearing? Behavior problems? Wait! What? Behavior problems? She informed me that hearing problems can manifest as behavior problems in children. Makes sense. My nephew is hard of hearing and it only got diagnosed a year ago. Until that time, it was assumed he had ADHD and was on medication for it, which, in all reality, did help with his behavior. Probably by slowing him down. (I think we’ll be getting Dude tested just to be sure). But, I digress…
Her diagnosis: Auditory Processing Disorder or, APD
To be continued…