Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The phone call

Monday, October 6th at around 3:30 in the afternoon I received a phone call from the ENT. They were calling to cancel Miss Kat's surgery. The surgeon was concerned because their was a disagreement between audiologists. He said that since our former audiologist was a member of the CI Center's implant committee she needed to be on board with the surgery.

As soon as we found this out we drove to see the audiologist. We told her that our surgery had been cancelled because of her objections. We went back to her little room and told her what was going on. We told her that many things had changed since she had last seen Miss Kat. She just kept repeating that she had no new information and that what she knew of Miss Kat made her a bad implant candidate. We asked specifically what her concerns were. She mentioned that she thought that her speech skills were underdeveloped, that she thought her school placement was inappropriate, and that she thought that Miss Kat wouldn't be getting therapy. When we tried to explain the truth, she just cut us off and kept saying that she wasn't informed of that.

My husband and I became very frustrated, We were trying to explain the situation and the changes, but she just didn't care. She repeated over and over that she didn't know what was going on and that they would have a meeting, and that we should just wait and see what happens in the meeting. She kept saying "I'm just one vote, so even if I say no..." I asked why she was against it and she said that she thought they "needed to be implanting responsibly". I told her that there were tons of centers that implanted pre-lingually deaf signers and she indicated that she thought they shouldn't be.

Eventually the conversation deteriorated and I left in a huff. I was so hurt and outraged that this woman wanted to deny my child the gift of hearing. She just kept saying "It can wait", she even went so far as to say "You waited 5 years, a few more weeks won't matter". That is when I lost it. I told her that was blatantly untrue. I told her that the moment that Miss Kat's hearing loss became severe that I was in that office asking for information about an implant. I said "Don't you dare imply that we don't want this. I was here the second she was eligible." I told her that Miss Kat's loss was progressive and that she has NOT been deaf since birth and that she has only been unable to effectively use aids for a few months. She is not a classic, pre-lingually severe-profoundly deaf child at this age. She has experienced hearing, and listening.

Nothing changed in the meeting, but I am still happy I told her what I thought. I made it clear that I knew she was doing it because Miss Kat signs. I am attending the CI committee meeting, it is October 28th. I want to hear what these people will be saying about my child. I think that my attendance will help make sure it is unbiased.


leahlefler said...

That audiologist is SO in the wrong on this one. I certainly hope you guys prevail- we sign with Nolan as well as do speech therapy. I would hate to think that our inclusion of sign would hinder a CI in any way. Not to mention that he is also a progressive loss (though we hope he doesn't continue to progress).

My thoughts and best wishes are with you!

Lucky Day said...

I was so mad when I read that this was happening to you. That audiologist is exactly the sort of crazy extremist that makes this a battle.

Our implant center respects parent choice. But even still, your situation has changed, and she's not your doctor anymore.

If you were sue crazy this would be a ripe opportunity to involve your State Advocacy Center. That audiologist just has a power issue. And that is immoral. That she has already lost you your surgery date is terrible.

My prayers are with you.

Cyborg Queen said...

Wow! That's one of the FIRST times that I've heard an audiologist be so against CI's like that. I normally see it when a deaf child is considered deaf, audiologists seemed to be automatically think that the child should be implanted (which I object to many times). However, as seeing that your situation is out of the norm and your child has become progressively deaf...it would totally make sense that your child deserves to get her "hearing" back. I know how exactly what it's like to have sounds that was clear then all of sudden sounded horrible (I have been deaf my whole life, but I started to lose about 10 to 20% of what I had within a year or two...hence why I got the CI).

You totally rock...seriously. I wish there was more parents like you. I know it will be a struggle, but you know what, all that stupid crap will get off your shoulders the day she gets activated. :-D I'll be thinking of you next week!

Cyborg Queen said...

"I normally see it when a deaf child is considered deaf, audiologists seemed to be automatically think that the child should be implanted (which I object to many times)."

My apologies, I realized that I may have mis-stated it wrong. What I meant was I hate it when audiologist talk about CI's is a cure for deafness. It's not. Your child is still deaf. CI's is just technology to help people hear. If hearing aids does not help at all whatsoever, then it should be considered...it shouldn't be considered without exhasting all the other options. And DEFINITELY not abandoning the visual language - sign language. I feel it's so important regardless. You'll never know if your child 15 years from now decides that she doesn't want her implant anymore...then she still has a language that she developed as a back up.