Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I got a call this morning from Sophia, Dr. Chicola's nurse. She wanted to let me know that their audiologist and the audiologist from Baptist both made the decision to have Kale sent to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for a more extensive hearing test. First, let me say how tired I am of hearing the phrase "more extensive". Sweet lord, I hear this from them all the damn time. Enough already.


So I started to cry. I was so pissed off. I told her about how upset we were at the last appointment that what was supposed to get done, didn't. I also let her know that we are just so damn frustrated because we have been going back and forth with this whole hearing issue since he was 3 weeks old. Kale is already 16 weeks old, people! I just couldn't contain myself and I let her know how low we've been feeling about all of this and how all we want are some answers. She assured me that she would talk to Dr. Chicola when he came in and call me later.

Well, she called me around five o'clock or so and said that Dr. Chicola said that if I wanted to talk to him either in person or on the phone it would be no problem or I could just wait until he has the CT scan done at the end of the month. I told her I'd prefer to talk to him before so I can understand better where the decision to go to Shands came from. Not a minute later and I was talking to him on the phone.

So here's how it goes.

Apparently, the audiologist from Baptist who we saw three different times? She's the one pushing for us to go to Shands. The third visit we had with her, she told me on the phone that she was not confident in her testing results with Kale and that she wanted us to go to Shands to have further testing done that cannot be done around here. She also told me to find a local ENT. Which I did. That's where Dr. Chicola came in. Well, Dr. Chicola has his own audiologist and after hearing how we got nowhere with Baptist's audiologist (her name is Heather...thought I'd throw this out there since this may get a little confusing in a minute), he wanted to have his audiologist, Keena do her own testing. Which was supposed to take place last week. Well, apparently Keena and Heather know each other and when Keena called over and talked to Heather to go over Kale's testing, Heather basically somehow convinced Keena to do things her way.

Dr. Chicola told me on the phone (and had told us before, but I forgot) how he had sent a baby over to Shands last year to have this testing done only to have that family get all the way there and the doctors over there wouldn't do it. So they made a trip for nothing. He told me he was really leery of sending Kale over there for that same reason.

I explained to him how disappointed we were last week when we went to the appointment thinking we were gonna have testing done only to be told instead that Kale will be scheduled for a CT scan. He told me that's when Heather got to Keena and convinced her to not do any more testing. I'm not really sure what this Heather's problem is, but I'm so tempted to call over there and ask her to butt the hell out. Mike, of course is telling me not to. But damnit. I'm not sure if she's just pissed b/c another audiologist (who she knows, apparently they used to work together) was going to retest Kale. But that was never my plan. I just did what she told me and found an ENT doctor who just happened to have his own audiologist who he felt should test Kale herself.

He also explained to me about the CT scan. He said that he's doing it to see if there's fluid in Kale's ear and to make sure the anatomy of his ear is normal. If everything is fine, then he said we can go ahead with the testing we had planned on with his audiologist. If not, then maybe we'll see what our other options are. He said that we don't have to do anything Heather says (duh) and the decision is ultimately ours and his to make together.

He also said that his gut feeling tells him that Kale isn't severely deaf, if deaf at all.

So there. I feel so much more at ease about all of this now. It's still a waiting game, but at least it's a little less stressful than it was just a day ago.


Monika said...

Jeez, you have been through the wringer with this. I'm SO glad you got to talk to Dr. Chicola - his advice sounds very wise (and caring!)


Love Me, Don't Eat Me. said...

Man, I'm so sorry that you're going through all of this. It might not be a bad idea to talk to this Heather nut to find out what her deal is. If Kale isn't her patient anymore then his treatment isn't any of her business, you know? And she wasn't "confident in her testing results"? What does that mean? Is she a moron?