Tuesday 19 February 2013

Can You Hear What I hear?…Apparently not!

Oh dear, bad mummy alert!

Over the past year, particularly, I have been growing increasingly frustrated with the amount I have to repeat myself. Its bad enough that I find I’m talking to myself most of the time when I speak to Stuart but it should’ve been no surprise that the miniature-Stuart that is our son was following suit. He would ask me to repeat what I was saying “I cannot what you’re saying” and I’d barely get the first word out again when he’d say “pardon mummy”. “Just listen”, I’d say crossly, “if you want to hear what I’m saying then you need to listen”. If his attention was on something else he just wouldn’t hear you at all. Again, I put it down to being male and having selective hearing.

Some days I took responsibility on myself and blamed myself for talking too quickly which I know I do.

But after staying with my parents for a few days, my Mum commented on the same thing so I thought it best to rule out any hearing problems by taking him to the doctor.

I really didn’t think it would show up with anything as he can hear you when you are behind him, doesn’t ask for the TV or iPad to be turned up loud, in fact, he often complains when music is too loud.

Stuart also tells me he went for hearing tests when he was young and it pretty much confirmed that it was an attention thing. Not as in an attention seeking thing but as in when he is focused on something he just isn’t aware that anything else…bomb explosion, meteor shower, hurricane…is happening let alone anyone is actually talking to him.

So, along we went to the Dr who, after much distress on Callum’s part (he is scared of the Dr since his last injections) confirmed she was sure he was fine but to be sure she would request a hearing test.

Today was the day of the hearing check.

The doctor asked me the usual questions about noise level on the TV, whether he suffered with an unusually high number of colds, what his speech was like. For most I said I hadn’t noticed anything I would class as unusual except that his speech was a little slower than average but still not enough to be concerned.

So the doctor bought out some toys and played a ‘game’. There were a number of objects that he asked Callum what they were as he put them all down – duck, house, tree, lamb, cow, horse, key, man – he then asked him to point to the object he said, starting with covering his mouth (the doctor covered his own mouth, not Callum’s) then uncovered, then louder. At first I just thought Callum was shy or a little scared still, he didn’t want to point. He wouldn’t point using my hand either. Then he pointed at random objects so I thought he was just playing but would eventually point at the correct object when the Dr said it loudly. The Dr did have a strong accent but I still think he said the objects clear enough that they could be understood by Callum.

So next was a look in Callum’s ear with the ‘magic torch’ followed by another test that was described to Callum as listening to a buzzy bee…putting a probe thing in his ear and bouncing back a buzzing sound to his ear drum.

The doctor then explained that on a ‘normal’ ear/eardrum the graph would show a steep peak. Sometimes there is fluid behind the ear which means the eardrum is dull. The graph for Callum was completely flat…not even a slight mound. His ear was full of fluid behind his eardrum. He has glue ear!

Mummy guilt big time!

This means we are now on the road to grommets.

Things have changed since my siblings and I were kids and had them fitted. Two of us had just one with one of us having 2. Apparently there are stricter guidelines now. You should only be referred if:

  1. you require them in both ears – tick
  2. there is a noticeable hearing loss – tick
  3. that 3 months since first diagnosis passes to allow time for them to get better by themselves – this is where we are at now.

There needs to be a further ‘decibel’ test which can take 6 to 12 weeks to come through which the Ears, Nose & Throat clinic will require to accept him so this will take us to the 3 months and will enable us to see if it is worse because of him suffering with a cold at the moment and whether there is any chance it will get better of its own accord. If no improvement and depending on the result of the decibel test, we will then get referred.

In the meantime, I’ll be vowing to be more patient, speak more clearly, more slowly and happily accept I’ll need to repeat myself!!


  1. Bless him. At least you're on the right track now and will get him sorted ready for school X

  2. Aww poor boy. Both my sons have had glue ear. Luckily it cleared for them both but it did delay Oliver's speech as he had it so young. Good luck xx


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