Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Growing up Deaf - Part 5

Hearing loss diagnosis

However, the first five parts of this serial don't quite answer the question of how I was found to have a hearing loss. As I said in part 1, I was born hearing, then it started going downhill when I was age 5, learning to talk before then. A doctor's letter mentioned the mumps, and a blood titer test indicated the mumps as well, essentially my proof.

Mom would call for me, and I would be looking around for the source of the voice. The funny part was that I had learned to lipread to an extent before they found out about my hearing loss. This was around the time I was going to kindergarten. Then I find out years later that I went to kindergarten for not one, but two years. Mom told me it was due to their thinking I had missed a lot of stuff due to my declining hearing. The good part about kindergarten was that it was within the apartment complex where we lived, so it was a short 5-10 minute walk by myself.

Today, that same kindergarten is now a community center and the playground is still standing. The only thing that's stayed the same is the high fence, while the play equipment has changed.

I'm not sure when it stabilized around a profound loss, probably around my teens or a bit later before college. It's not changed much over the last 20 years despite getting new BTEs. But I do know that it will happen sometime when my hearing loss will worsen.

But of course, the hearing tests that came two, three, maybe more times in a year could easily drive some kids to not want to have them. I know I'm not the only one who knows most of the spondee words, words that audiologists commonly say and have the tested person repeat after them. All of this in a soundproof booth of some sort, with the audiologist being in the other room behind one-way glass. If you were one of those kids like me, you were able to watch the audiologist carefully, somehow, and fake them out with a well-timed raise of the hand to claim you 'heard' the sound. Depending on the audiologist's skill level, they may be able to tell that you tried to fake them out.

"Say the word hotdog." "Hotdog" Lower volume some. "Say the word cowboy." "Cowboy." Lower the volume some. "Say the word baseball." "Hotdog." "Say the word ice cream." "You scream."

What are your experiences with this kind of thing while growing up?

Next - Getting Hearing Aids.


Mish said...

My audiologist knew me too well so I couldn't fake her out. Believe me, I have tried. ;)

There was one time I completely forgot to raise my hand. I was way too occupied staring at that scary monkey with cymbals sitting on the shelf in the booth, thinking it'd come alive banging away on cymbals freaking me out. I hate that thing!

I remember asking my mom what was the point of taking a hearing test again after I had already done it twice that year. It was not like I'd regain my hearing (I never had it really.....I was born deaf) overnight.

I despite the audiometry tone section of the hearing test. The audiologist asked me to raise my hand every time I heard a beep or any tone. After few seconds, my ears would start ringing and I had a hard time determining whether the noise was from the audiologist's beeps or ringing/buzzing from my ears! I even raised my hand when the audiologist never done anything lol, thanks to the constant ringing/buzzing noises in my ears.

You made me laugh about the words section. Hotdog, cowboy, icecream, baseball, and cupcake. Heck, you can even see the audiologist saying the word behind her hand or a piece of paper. I could repeat the words back easily just because I could read audiologist's facial expressions. ;) She finally got smart and turned around to face away from me....grrrr! ;)

Thanks for sharing this. It sure brought back memories.

Cindy said...

The tones I can hear on the test seem to kick my tinnitus up to a whole new level and I can't always tell if I'm hearing a tone or if I'm hearing tinnitus.

You can add "sidewalk" and "airplane" to the lovely list of spondees.



May I add you to my blogroll?

RSGeo-007 said...

Cindy, you're not alone in the tinnitus and hearing test thing. It happens with me at times.

Go right ahead, add me!

ASL Risen said...

I remember that I got so upset to be pulled out of the classroom to go inside Boring Hearing Test Box room! I do not get the award from my many mistakes from hearing the low volume tests and not raising my hands if I hear the low volume with my both hearing aids from my 2 boxes on! Other students did get the lollypops and candies but not me!