Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lesson #1001: Always Get a Copy

I took Owen to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor yesterday, for a checkup. Now, I am the champion parent on making sure that Owen has his checkups and he has seen every doctor that is recommended. The last time we saw the ENT was two years ago, and the reason was that after he referred us for a hearing test, the audiologists said his hearing was just fine. We thought that was that. Of course, we never got a copy of the report and neither did our pediatrician. The only reason I actually thought about it again was that the LAUSD asked for a copy of the test, or else they would do a hearing check. I figured we didn't need to put Owen through that stress since he had already had his hearing checked pretty extensively the first time around. When I called the ENT's office for a copy of the report, they told me his file was stored, and it would take a few days to get it. In the meantime, I decided to make an appointment with the doctor (the funny part is, they asked me why I needed to see the doctor again, and I said, "because maybe I should have him checked again?" Duh!).

So we went yesterday, and the doctor says to me, "why didn't you follow up from the last visit?"
"Excuse me?" I said.
"Well, it says here that you should have brought him in for a follow up 6 months after he had his hearing tested."
Now, I don't know about you folks out there, but last time I checked, I wasn't a mind reader, nor was I able to figure out that I needed to bring him back, since I had never gotten a copy of the report. And neither had my pediatrician. I didn't really think about it at the moment, because I was trying to keep Owen still while he looked in his ears, and took wax out. Then he tells me that he thinks Owen has water in his ears, and that possibly he may need tubes. Now, this is all news to me. I guess he was looking at the audiology report from two years ago, and telling me that Owen's ears were not responding as they should have. Now, call me crazy, but shouldn't the doctor's office have alerted me to this, and let me know that I should have taken some kind of action? Instead, his chart was filed.

So at speech today, I told his ST about this. She was concerned, especially since if he has any amount of hearing loss, it could affect his learning ability, which is crucial at this age. Needless to say, I feel like an idiot for not following up, even though I know that this isn't my fault.

I'm so disheartened by the fact that I let something like this slip. I remember the audiologist telling us that his hearing was fine, so we thought we were done, we could rest easy. Now, I'm afraid we have wasted two years that might have been key for him. I'm not so concerned about putting tubes in his ears, either, I would rather do that if it would help him. But, I just hope we haven't missed the boat.

And, of course, as usual, they are booked until the first week of August for an appointment. It's not like time really matters, does it??

Owen starts preschool in two weeks, and I am so dreading it. I feel as if he is going to feel like he's being punished because he is going to be sent away for three hours every day. Maybe I'm the one who feels like I am being punished because I have to send him to school for three hours. I still feel as if 3 is too young, but perhaps I am just being one of those moms who can't let my child grow up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure they pulled the RIGHT file? I would get a second opinion before you let the incompetent people at that office look at your child again. What will they forget to tell you next? Be strong Mom and keep fighting for your little boy!

7:32 AM  
Blogger shellsbells said...

It's amazing how "professionals" forget important things like that. It's happened to us too. It's not your fault and I'm sure Owen will be fine. Our Owen has had two sets of tubes in his ears. The first pair fell out so he had to get another set put in and he's doing fine. I'm just amazed at the amount of ear wax that accumulates in his ears. If Owen's hearing wasn't as well as it should be, you or his speech therapist would've I'm sure he's fine. We found out today our Owen will have his tonsils removed because they're so big and starting to cause sleep apnea. Perhaps it's something you can have the ENT doc look at while you're in his office. As far as preschool, he'll be fine and he'll no doubt love every minute of it. Like everything in his life, it'll take adjustment. When we first sent our Owen, WE were the ones that had such a hard time letting go. He loves it! LOL Keep on keeping on, remember we are our children's biggest advocates! Take care!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

If you ever need to look for a new ENT then I really recommend Nina Shapiro at UCLA in Westwood. There's also a good audiology clinc there.

10:55 PM  

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