Over This Bump

Laylee got her hearing aids last week, launching us into a whole new world of joy and wellness and a place where Dan and I can no longer whisper things above her head without the risk of her overhearing.

hearing4We spent 2 hours with a very kind and thorough audiologist who covered everything from how to clean “ear whacks” out of the rubber molds to how to purchase new batteries. We left with piles of hearing aid-related paraphernalia, including a small stuffed gopher with his own replica hearing devices velcroed to his ears.

I was amazed at how precise the process was for fitting and making sure that they boost the exact frequencies she lacks without overloading her on sounds she already hears just fine and I was relieved that they were able to shut off the volume controls so she doesn’t accidentally turn them way up or way down.

hearing3I’m sort of fascinated with these new removable body parts and find it strange and exciting to listen through them with my tiny hearing aid stethoscope. They sound tinny and electronic to me but supposedly that’s because they’re boosting frequencies that I already hear just fine.

Once we got home I had a really hard time not turning into the Verizon guy coming up behind her and whispering, “Can you hear me now?” every thirty seconds.

At one point on the second day she came up with a little experiment. She went to the bottom of the stairs and had me whisper something to her from the top of the stairs. Grinningly she repeated back what I had said, “Ah-HA! Now you can have no more secrets from me unless I’m asleep.” Then she turned off the hearing aids and had me whisper something else.

Me [whispering at the same volume as before]: I’m so glad you love your ballet class so much.
Laylee: Hm. I could still hear that too, even without my hearing aids. I guess my ears are okay.
Me: Really? What did I say?
Laylee: You just said, “SHWSHWSHWSHWSHWSH.”
Me: Um. Nope.
Sitting on my bed that morning, I was talking to Laylee when she suddenly asked me to be quiet. So I stopped talking and a huge grin filled her face. She said she could hear her dad’s shower ALL THE WAY IN THE NEXT ROOM! She was totally amazed by something I hear every day.

Now it’s not all peach-flavored Twizzlers and roses around here in the land of super hearing. Within minutes of getting them turned on for the first time, Magoo came up to her and started mouthing words with no sound coming out, causing her to strain to hear and become very concerned. He thought it was hilarious.

Also, as the audiologist predicted, she’s had a little trouble with distraction and confusion with all the new sounds coming at her. Where once she could carry on a discussion while Magoo lost his mind loudly in the next room, she now can’t hold a train of thought if he’s mumbling by her side. She’s seemed a little overwhelmed at times and over-stimulated. For this reason, the doctor suggested we wait a few days before letting her wear them to school. She begged us to cave and let her wear them all the time but we remained firm through the weekend and I’m glad we did.

Today I went with her to her kindergarten class and read all the kids a story about a little elephant with hearing loss who goes through the process of getting hearing aids. When I’d finished I told them about hers while she modeled like Vanna White and explained that they were just like glasses for her ears to help her have super hearing. Then I asked if they had any questions. Several hands shot up and the question period went something like this:

“I have a brother with glasses and he wears them.”

“Oh wow.”

“My dad wears glasses AND my uncle Steve.”

“That’s so great. Any more questions?”

“My mom has WHITE glasses.”

Repeat and fade…

Everyone seemed to like the pink color and the sparkles but most of all they just didn’t care that much. And now we move on to whatever’s next.

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41 Responses to Over This Bump

  1. Azúcar says:

    She looks adorable! I’m so glad she’s experiencing a new world.

  2. rebekah says:

    aren’t kids great? I choked up a bit about hearing the shower. It’s truly amazing what we take for granted. So glad things are going well.

  3. Awesome Mom says:

    It truly is amazing how precise they can be with medical devices these days. I am glad that she is adapting well to her new hearing aides.

  4. Mrs Lemon says:

    that’s awesome! She’s such a trooper.

  5. Monica says:

    Love the pink! Glad to hear she’s doing so well.

  6. I’m so glad that this worked out so well!

    And how perceptive of Laylee to realize that you were still going to keep secrets from her when she’s asleep. Hilarious!!

  7. Mir says:

    *whispering* Welcome to a whole new world, Laylee!

  8. jsprik says:

    cute story!! glad everything worked out so well!! love the pink laylee, good choice!! hugs and prayers…

  9. allysha says:

    so good! love the pink sparkles!

  10. All Adither says:

    Nice post, Kathryn. Laylee is a stunning child, with or without the hearing aids. I’m glad she can experience more of the world now. And that she has such perceptive and caring parents to help her take it all in.

  11. Tracy says:

    I was in 6th grade when my head was finally big enough that I could FINALLY get hearing aids. And there were no pink options! no sparkly options! Just big humongous “skin” toned boring ones!!

    Did the audiologist tell you about how the ear molds can make her itch and sweat? I even had hypogenic molds but I was still irritated by them. My audio. told us to go buy ‘Sweet Oil” (its in the pharmacy, even at WalMart) and rub a little of that in my ear where the mold fit. And sure enough! problem solved! No more ‘itchy ear’.

    I hope she doesn’t leave them in her car and then accidentally run over them when pulling out of the garage like I did. Or lose them all too often and run late for school due to looking for them.

    Way to go mom!!

  12. Jen says:

    My kinder thought the stuffed animal with the hearing aid was the best! Quote “she is sooo lucky!”

  13. What great progress. And good for you for that visit to her classroom. Just right.

  14. a.men says:

    She looks so cute! Pink with sparkles, I love it! What a wonderful new world is opening up for her. I love technology!

  15. mamadeb says:

    After months of sending Jordan to school half blind his first words after trying on his new glasses was, “It’s a whole new world!” and “I didn’t know that leaves on a tree looked like that!!”

    I am excited for Laylee and all her new discoveries. And the pink is totally hot!!!!!

  16. Kathryn, this is just great. Proud of you and your sweet girl.

  17. Pam in Utah says:

    Kaloo, Kalay, what a great day! I’m so so happy for dear sweet Laylee. She is the best, eh! And happy voting day to you all, too. Hugs from the south. P.S. It’s snowing here. Looks like Christmas, only tons of leaves on the trees as well.

  18. Mary says:

    She is just so cute! I’m glad she can hear so much more now with the hearing aids, that’s a blessing! And pink and sparkly ones, wowee!

    My daughter got glasses last spring when she was 3 and not being a glasses wearer myself, I worried that maybe she would feel different or be teased or whatever. The first few days, she had lots of attention for them – everyone and their mom saying, “Wow, Lindsey has glasses!” And then we all got used to them and they are no big deal.

    But Lindsey does love seeing other kids with glasses – she will cozy up to me and point and say, “He had glasses like me!” She loves the movie “Stuart Little” for this very reason.

  19. Nicole says:

    “can you hear me now?” Ha! That’s good stuff! Glad all is working out well.

  20. bananas says:

    you’re making me all teary. Isn’t it amazing how kids adapt?

  21. Heidi says:

    That Magoo–what a jokester!

  22. mother of the wild boys says:

    So thoughtfully written, and witty at the same time. 🙂 “Can you hear me now?”–classic!

  23. I’m so glad that everything is working out. How great that she is able to experience something that we take for granted every day!

  24. ZaCarrie says:

    I love it! You are such a good mom. I love that you went to her school to talk to the kids about it. And I love that you asked them if they had any questions. Kids at that age only hear, “Now it’s your turn to talk.”

  25. Laylee’s new ears made me teary!!! I love all the new things she’s able to hear, and that her little friends are so accepting! Hooray for you and your family…and hopefully Magoo won’t disrupt her too much!

  26. JD says:

    OH this is awesome! I love the color! About hearing the shower was so cute!

  27. Nancy says:

    I about died laughing when I read that Magoo went up to her and mouthed words. Really? Is he old enough to figure something like that out? That was hilarious. (Though I’m sorry that he did it,Laylee).

  28. Sketchy says:

    OH Laylee!!! You look great! Congratulations on your new super hearing.

    If she keeps having trouble with being distracted, some auditory processing therapy would probably clear it up. It’s pretty simple. Each stage you just play a tape that the background noise (different types) gets progressively louder, and they have to tune that out and listen to the directions that are being given them. Its simple, but it really helps.

  29. aimee says:

    This is so awesome! As someone who didn’t realize she couldn’t see until I got glasses, I can totally understand how amazing these new found sounds must be to her.

  30. Kork says:

    OK…the shower comment made me get all teary-eyed! How awesome that she can be like any other kid now with her “glasses for her ears” (very good analogy, by the way!).

    I have a dear friend who is an audiologist, and she never ceases to be amazed by how children take things in strides.

    Sending prayers that she’ll continue to adjust easily, and have a great time growing up now that she has her sparkles!

  31. Allison says:

    Hooray for pink sparkly hearing aids!

  32. Janel says:

    When I got (much needed) glasses in 4th grade, my mom was the most thrilled of all because then when I swept the floor, it actually got cleaned because I could see what was on it. I just wish they had been pink and sparkly glasses. Or maybe not.

  33. KYouell says:

    You’ve gotten plenty of comments about how cool the aids look, how great Laylee is, how funny Magoo is (and that’s some mature humor), and how you are a great and caring mom. So, yeah, all that is true, ditto.

    I have a hug for you. Because it’s hard for the Mom. No matter what the difference is, no matter how great the other kids are, no matter how cool your kid is about it, it’s hard on Mom. So from one mom with a non-typical kid to another, hugs. I was just discussing with one of the other moms in The Biscuit’s preschool class how silly fretting over pacifiers and all that “normal” stuff can seem when you have a kid that has a grave problem. You look back on how you worried about those little things before and wanna smack yourself. So, no smacking yourself, but treats are allowed. And by treats I mean more time in spin class and knitting. I am not a fitness saboteur.

  34. Mishelle says:

    I have triplets in kindergarten and two have hearing aids. I know how hard this is and you sound like you are doing a great job! I need to read that book at our school and see if clears some things up. Glad to hear she is adjusting well.

  35. Kathryn in NZ says:

    Thanks for the update – I’d been wondering how Laylee was getting on.

  36. Jamie says:

    She’s completely adorable and it’s great to know this went by without a blip (for the most part…you know except for the kid brother part, but that’s a given.)

    Yea for pink sparkly super hero hearing!

  37. sounds like a great development. i’ve heard of people just taking out their hearing aids sometimes to enjoy peace and quiet–and sometimes i wish i could do that.

    once in college i lost my glasses for a while. when i finally got new ones–a few weeks later–i couldn’t believe how beautiful and crisp everything looked. i couldn’t get over things like light sparkling in tree branches.

  38. jk2boys says:

    One of my best friends got glasses for the first time in high school. I remember her excitedly telling me that she didn’t know you could see the LEAVES on the trees!
    And I remember my Dad’s excitement after Lasik. He saw better then he could with glasses. He was pointing out EVERYTHING, like a preschooler on a field trip. It was so neat!
    Semi-related story: Once my glasses got broken around Christmas time. I had been so bummed about not being able to see peoples faces and what not (yeah, I’m pretty nearsighted). We went on our annual drive, with friends, to see the Christmas lights. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to see all the details, I wasn’t looking forward to it. But when I looked out the window I saw that the lights looked pretty neat, like beautiful ‘koosh balls’ of light! I tried to tell my friends about it…but most of them had 20/20 vision and they couldn’t see what I could see. I was truely amazed and glad that I found a way to enjoy the moment.

  39. Laurie says:

    I too have hearing aids and at first they made me tired – just too much stimulation! But it is amazing to hear the fridge running, etc.! She looks adorable. Laurie

  40. Emily says:

    You’re a great mom. I love to get to know you this way. It makes me kind of sad that I didn’t even talk to you at Lisa’s wedding… now I know you in a movie-star way – I know way more about you than you know about me! Next time we meet, I’ll try not to make you feel awkward.

    Good job with the kids… They’re both so beautiful and so resemble our side of the family – but cuter!

  41. You are so lucky that layLee was born in an era of modern hearing aids. I’m 63, and have been partially deaf since birth. It is now a severe loss, and I suffered a lot as a child in school without any aids at all. At 19 I got a real hearing aid, but it was a long far cry from the aids I have now, which give me hearing, as my vision fails. Life is tradeoffs….

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