September 8, 2011

Just a note about hearing loss and decisions

On one of my one line chat groups for microtia/atresia someone commented about people not electing the BAHA for their children. I was bothered by it and yes I did respond but I felt I wanted to write what I thought about the subject on my blog since well it is my blog. :) So now that Trey is 4 I have noticed more and more the small problems with his unilateral hearing loss. When he was younger I could honestly tell you I did not notice much on how he could not hear on his left side. I tried to make sure I would tell Trey where I was if I was calling him from another location because he couldn't tell from my voice where to go but sometimes he could or at least it appeared that way. Now that he is getting older and doing more and more Big kid stuff like soccer and preschool, I have noticed definite times he could not hear me or his coaches. At times his hearing loss gives him the appearance of being ADD though he could be if you met my husband it wouldn't be out of the question. I know I would like to try the BAHA again with an audiologist who knows how to program it correctly so we can get a real trial to see if Trey does well with it or just wants nothing to do with it. It's hard because some people think a BAHA is like wearing glasses or insulin and that they would provide their child with anything that the need. I disagree with that sentiment. If a BAHA was just as easy as glasses that would be great. It would be even better if a BAHA had the same cost as glasses or the cost of medication that is covered by insurance. As it stands the BAHA processor itself is not covered by insurance unless you get the surgery or fight the insurance company and appeal the denial. I know money should not be an issue but it is a lot of money for something he might just hate and refuse to wear. I guess if I thought Trey like having the BAHA so much that it made any difference for him I know we would have already gotten him a softband BAHA or even had scheduled surgery for him. But to be honest part of me wants him to want a BAHA and another part doesn't. My concerns are with him wearing it and playing sports or just being a rough and tumble little boy. Well what I can say is that we will in the near future talk to another doctor about the BAHA and get all the updated info we can about the pros and cons and hopefully one more trial and if he wants it he will get it but if not, it will be up to him. I know this is funny coming from a parent who decided for him regarding ear reconstruction but won't for the BAHA. I guess together we take the middle road overall with regards to his microtia/atresia. I think that we parents do what we can and sometimes that means making decisions for our children and at others letting our children decide. Either way there is no right decision just a decision.

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