So finally we get called back. I tell her that Finn had tubes placed in June and seems to be responding to sound a lot more now. She does the tympanometry test which is good, no fluid. Then she takes us back to the sound booth.
Although Finn passed his newborn hearing screening in the NICU, he pretty much failed the hearing eval he had a few months ago. I remember being so crushed about it back then. Was my baby deaf and I had just missed it? Or was he so profoundly retarded that he couldn't respond? (I know that sounds terrible, but those are the thoughts that went through my head.) Being back in that little sound booth today, however, I realized how ridiculous it was that they would expect a baby of 7 or 8 months old - any baby of that age - to respond to all the sounds they project in the sound booth. Now, I know I'm not a doctor, and I'm not an audiologist, and I'm not a freaking scientist, so what do I know? But it seems to me that the sound booth eval is 99% behavioral. Which means that a lot could depend on the child's disposition, interest level, current state of tiredness, and anything that might be causing him discomfort/distraction, like . . . . um, say, a poopy diaper and a mother who left the diaper bag in her truck which is a big, long trek out to the parking structure. Or how about a kid who lives in a house with 7 other people and almost constant noise, and perhaps he's just not in the habit of responding to every little sound? And probably a lot of other possible factors.
Not that I'm admitting that my kid was sitting there in a poopy diaper and me with no spare diaper on hand. Anyway, despite the aforementioned, Finn really seemed to do well in the sound booth. He responded to most of the sounds. Not all, but most. After that last hearing eval, I was thrilled.
So the audiologist gets us out of the sound booth and leads us into a little office where she proceeds to tell me that while Finn did much better on this evaluation than he did a few months ago, she's still not seeing the response she'd like. Some of his responses (or absence of) are "not within the normal range." Sigh.
Here's the kicker: she wants Finn to undergo a sedated ABR! A hearing test that measures brain waves under sedation. God. Seriously?
I don't know what to do. I really am feeling so torn. I mean, of course I want him to have optimal hearing. Of course I am concerned about the impact this could have on his speech and development. On the other hand, really? A whole thing, a procedure, that requires sedation? I'm just not all keen to jump all over that right now. But the audiologist is writing up her report with her recommendation and submitting it to our pediatrician and ENT.
I don't know what to do.