Thursday, September 5, 2013

Audiology and Dermatology

Yesterday we headed to CHOP for two more appointments.  Our first stop was Audiology to have Mercy's hearing tested.  Back when we received her Chinese medical records there were references made to her hearing that left us with one of those unknowns.  Was she hearing impaired?  When we were in China we knew that couldn't possibly be the case because she seemed to hear EVERYTHING.  However, she did have a severe ear infection when we were in China and when we returned home the doctor confirmed that her ear drum had been perforated, but was healing.  Yesterdays visit showed that her left ear drum is still not healed.  It also shows that she is hearing impaired.  What does that mean?  For the moment it means we know she does not have much hearing in her left ear and she also shows a slight impairment in her right ear.  However, it continues to leave many unknowns because what we don't know is whether the hearing loss is permanent, or can be improved.  So audiology is sending us to Otolaryngology (in laymans terms Ear, Nose and Throat).  Once we see them we will hopefully get more answers.  In the meantime we are praying hard that the hearing loss is temporary at best, or can be improved with a hearing aid at worst.  What we don't want to be told is that it cannot be improved at all, that would be hard to hear. (no pun intended)  Mercy is already a low vision child, so we know that hearing is a vital sense for her to navigate, especially in unfamiliar surroundings or bright settings.  So please join us in praying that her hearing is fully restored.

Another funny thing that came out of Mercy's audiology appointment was discovering I am hard of hearing too.  They put the three of us (Scott,Mercy and I) in a sound proof room.  Scott held Mercy on his lap and I sat on a chair across from them.  Scott had a basket of blocks and I held an empty basket.  We played a game with Mercy where when she heard a noise she was to take a block from daddy's basket and place it in mommy's basket.  At one point she picked up a block and dropped it in and I said "no no, you need to wait for the noise."  Scott looks at me and says "there was a noise."  For the rest of that test there were certain times when I heard nothing and should have been hearing something.  So now when I say to Scott "what did you say?" he can no longer get frustrated because apparently my hearing is not that great.  HA!

Our next stop was Dermatology.  This was by far the easiest appointment we have had to date.  We loved Dr. Treat.  He gave her body a once over and found nothing alarming or concerning.  Dr. Treat actually praised us for how well we are taking care of her skin.  He gave us a few more tips to keep her skin protected and that was that.  He also shared that once Mercy turns 20 she will probably not age at all.  So when she is 50 she will still look 20.  Lucky girl!  If we all stayed out of the sun or protected ourselves the way she requires, we could look younger too.  Although her Asian genes will also help in her "fountain of youth" appearance.   We really loved this doctor and as long as he continues at CHOP we will see him once a year for the next 8 years, and then possibly more often after the age of 10. 

I will share one cool thing that came out of her dermatology appointment yesterday.  We did have resident doctors for this appointment, besides Dr. Treat, and we witnessed a lesson on Albinism that made me smile.  Mercy has a pretty bad bruise on her leg, so the physicians assistant asked why that should cause concern to the resident.  I knew the answer and was so proudly ready to answer.  The resident had no idea why bruising on a patient with Albinism should be concerning.  The answer is because it should point to the possibility of Hermansky Pudlak Syndrome.  Of course, we already know that Mercy does not have it, but the residents wouldn't know that.  So it was cool to see them being educated on something so rare, and getting that experience and knowledge during their training.

Scott and I joke that every time we have gone to CHOP we walk away with a few more appointments on our calendar.  Yesterday was no different.  Besides ENT, we also need to see a Neurosurgeon.  It's probably nothing at all, just routine for a Sacral Dimple she has.  But a Neurosurgeon is the type of doctor who specializes in confirming whether or not is is something.  So two more specialists and two more appointments added to our calendar, but hopefully we can schedule them for the same day and make only one trip.

Here are a few candid moments to highlight the day.

Hanging out in the sound proof testing room.

She was't to sure about the hospital gown.

Entertaining herself while waiting.

This girl LOVES her daddy!!!


  1. Will be praying about the hearing Jane! Those sound proof rooms... ehhhh!! I can't breathe in them (let alone hear anything. Glad Chris goes in by himself now. They still test him every 6 months, and I don't know how he does it. Keep us posted as to what the ENT's find out. Great to see as each story unfolds how faithful God has been to bring you to just the right doctors!!

  2. We love our audiologist at KOP office - if you deide to do M's Audiology/ENT care for that more locally, ask for Laura Austin Duffy. CanNOT get enough of her sweetness and helpfulness. Happy to help navigate the hearing impairment journey - five years and counting under our belt with Li'l Empress :)

    As for the nuerologist, we need to talk. Give me a buzz, I left a note on your wall. LOTS to catch up on. Miss ya!

  3. Who else could ever look so cute in a hospital gown and pink glasses??
    Praying for her hearing... God has been SO good!

    1. I wish we could "like" comments on blogging like we can on FB.

      I ditto Becky's comment here. ;)

    2. Jane,

      Between my 2 boys, we have autism spectrum, speech issues and a permanent mild/mod hearing loss. My youngest son wore hearing aids to learn to speak and read. He no longer wears hearing aids but his decibel hearing loss in both ears has remained unchanged. With proper lip reading, hearing aids, being put in front of the class and near the teacher, they even have a pa type system to help hard of hearing kids hear too in the classroom, you will be surprised how much of a difference it makes, so there lots of help and hope. My son went from low D's and failing, to A's. We left our Christian school and homeschooled at home through a cyber school and it's made a world of difference!!! Many ways to help kids, I have found. If we ever adopted again I would hope to adopt a hard of hearing child since these issues I mentioned are now part of all 3 of my kids, now with Leah too. Though I think Leah may be our last. So far, we are finding her to be so alike to our oldest that it's scary! Lol. Hope God doesn't ask us to do it again, hope to just spoil her only, with 2 adults and 2 younger adults. Leah will get her fill of whatever she needs, not sure if she would enjoy another sibling. Time will tell, but sheesh this travel thing and Eddie being away from home, so hard! :-(