Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Brain Dump

1.  I should be over in the school room, figuring out how to rearrange tomorrow, but my brain is mush.  Apparently two consecutive 5:30am wake-ups are all it takes ;D

The good news is that the boys really liked the baked oatmeal (Monday), and we probably missed the worst of the Seattle morning traffic (today).  Also, we saw an awesome, neon-red sunrise, compliments of the fires in Eastern Washington.  Bad news for you - I have no pictures.  Photography while driving is outside my skill set.  Also, I packed so many books along there was no room for the camera in my bag.

2.  We were down at Children's Hospital for another round of follow-up appointments for Tate and his CI.  Children's graciously scheduled all three appointments in one day, and I had this wild idea that we would get a lot of schooling done between appointments, but that was not to be.  Because for all their wonderfulness in other areas, the staff are doing something that really ticks me off - hoarding the beepers.  We had a 9am, a 10:30 am, and a 1pm appointment, none of which are particularly long, meaning wait-time in between.  That's worth it, to eliminate trips to Seattle, right?  Especially when we could take our handy-dandy beeper and escape the insanity of the waiting room for the cafeteria or courtyard, and knock off some school work in a quiet environment, right?


No beeper means no leaving the waiting room, on the off chance your doctor can fit you in sooner (and you can go home!)  And the waiting room serves several clinics, including ours - Audiology.  And let me clue you in here, deaf and hard of hearing kids are LOUD.  Their world may be silent, but they are not!  Tate was the same way when he was younger.  He couldn't hear how loud he was being.  I'm sympathetic, really.  But give me the &(%&* beeper, and let us out of the fun house, okay?  Arrrgh.

3.  But back to the appointments...  saw the Auditory Skills evaluator first, and no surprises there.  Tate is awesome.  Still has difficulty distinguishing sounds like K vs T in isolation, but totally gets it in context.

His audiologist did some booth testing and tweaked his map.  He has one program he's sort of "saving" to use while hunting (does not suppress non-speech-noises he may wish to hear), and after she explained IDR (input dynamic range - which relates to the range of decibels the CI is picking up) he asked her to increase the IDR on that program only, which was a brilliant request.  It's complicated to understand (and it's hard to explain what you don't understand well!) but I think having a narrower IDR helps with speech comprehension by eliminating (or reducing) a lot of extraneous, non-speech noise.  Increasing the IDR in a program not intended primarily for speech-recognition may help him hear quiet environmental noises, like the footsteps of a deer in the brush.

She also tested his hearing of SIN (speech in noise, y'know ;D) and basically told us what we already know.  Unlike normally hearing people who can make out what a speaker is saying, even if the background noise is close to the volume of the speech, Tate has trouble discerning the speaker's words, even when the speaker is close to 15 dbs louder than the background noise.  This is typical with HoH folks, and these results are from testing him with the CI only (the HA may improve this slightly), but it IS what it IS.  It's not something likely to improve with more practice, as he's done with speech recognition.  (All his other test scores continue to improve.)

Again, this was no surprise.  What it means is that if/when Tate re-enters public school (as Wyatt is doing now) we'll definitely start the ball rolling early to get an FM in place again.  As well, Tate needs to advocate for himself in difficult listening situations.  He HATES to draw attention to himself in that way and doesn't want people to see him as needy.  I continue to encourage him that that kind of self-advocacy is NOT weakness, and people (normal people!) will respect him for it.  I'll remind him of how it went at Basic Encampment (Civil Air Patrol) - he did great and they treated him wonderfully.

4.  Moving on...  in other news, Gunnar did all his independent work while I was gone - yay Gunnar!  And Wyatt thought he'd done all of his, but missed a worksheet I'd left.  Finished that up this afternoon, so - yay Wyatt :D  I just got my ultra-secret password and account number so I can go online and check how he's doing at school  So far, A's, so -yay Wyatt, again.

5.  And, tomorrow will be boggled as well, but not boggled as badly.  Tate has been telling me his glasses aren't cutting it any more.  I'm underwhelmed with the strip-mall eye doctor that prescribed them in the first place, though maybe he's fine and Tate's eyes have just changed all ready.  At any rate, I called to get an appointment with a better doc... who was booked until DECEMBER.  Really?!  Or maybe it was just the really rude receptionist.  I mentioned that we're flexible homeschoolers and would come at the drop of a hat for a cancellation, but she offered no hope.

Then Tate's frames broke.  He claims he has no idea how that happened.  Really???  You have no idea how the glasses on your face got broken?  Kind of reminds me of this.  At any rate, the need is now urgent, and frankly, I'd like to see him with working glasses before the hunting trip in November, y'know?  So I called back, Monday morning.

Maybe they fired the rude receptionist because the cheery voice I talked to was clearly not from the same species.  Why yes she would work him in ASAP, and oh look they just had a cancellation this very week and would we like it?  (Meanwhile I'm thinking, Please-don't-say-Tuesday-please-not-on-Tuesday.)  It's Wednesday morning at 9am.  Perfect.

You know why I love first-thing-in-the-morning appointments?  They haven't had time to get behind schedule yet - take it from someone who used to schedule for an OB-GYN.  Your best bet is first thing in the morning, or right after lunch, but don't tell them I told you ;D

6.  The bunnies.  Still adorable, but I think their cuteness has peaked.  Now they're just getting bigger. However, still, you know what I hear from the boys?  He's so fluffy, I'm gonna DIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!  If you haven't seen the movie Despicable Me that will make no sense whatsoever.

7.  So, my living room is still not decorated with fall goodies, but - you know - hearing and vision kind of take precedence over other things.  Even my beloved pumpkin spice candles ;D


melanie said...

Oh so sorry to hear about the beepers :-\ Glad the actual appts were as good as expected!

Eye doc receptionist(s)... um, yeah.

Abby's appt is at 11 today, so if my sync is right, we {she} will be getting braces while Tate is at the eye doc : ) Fun stuff!

dlefler said...

Yay for Tate's audiology appointment results - he is doing so well with his CI (lots of hard work put in for that, I'm sure). Hearing in noise is such a difficulty - Nolan is lost without his FM at school. 17 kindergarteners make for a lot of noise!

And YAY for Wyatt and all A's - very cool!

Some doctors have staff members that are horrible. I always cringe when I get a bad one - they can make your life SO hard. Nolan goes to a pediatric ophthalmologist because he has amblyopia (and his right eye still doesn't correct to "normal")- we LOVE our PO, as our local strip-mall eye doc completely missed the fact that our son was legally blind in his right eye. Sheesh.

Happy fall decorating - I love this season!

Choate Family said...

Love your brain dumps!

Felicity said...

I love your brain dumps too! There's too much to comment on - so I'll just say I enjoyed reading it!