Category Archives: Hearing loss

Life Lessons I Learned Today

1) If you drop your laptop on the top of your foot, you won’t break any bones, but the top of your foot will turn blue and swell up and hurt like a motherf hell a lot.

(Don’t worry, I’m fine. I can even walk. And the laptop is fine, too.)

2) If your child comes running into the house crying and bleeding copiously, just say a prayer of thanks that you are calm in an emergency, you have plenty of clean towels, and that your child chose to wear a red shirt that day.

(Again, don’t worry. SillyBilly took a header in some gravel and got a 1 cm scalp wound. Nothing that lots of crying, cold water, and New Skin can’t fix. And yes, we consulted our Grammy the ER Nurse before attempting home treatment.)

3) If you’re moving 2,200 miles away in two weeks, and you’ve been eagerly awaiting something important for a long time, it will definitely be delayed.

(SillyBilly almost got his hearing aids today. The audiologist discovered that the otherwise wonderful $2,400 [each!] hearing aids did not come with the little doohickey that prevents the tiny battery from falling out when you open them. The tiny choking-hazard-toxic-chemical-hazard battery. So she’s reordering them.)


Filed under computers, Family, Health, Hearing loss, life, Parenting, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly, Uncategorized

Weekend Update

Well, we had such a full weekend that I am compelled by tiredness to just give you all a few snippets until I can get back to my regular programming.

  • I took the kids to Rhode Island over the weekend to celebrate an old college friend’s birthday. I let the kids watch way too much TV, we had absolutely no naps, but really it could have been much worse 🙂 On the bright side, we had awesome barbecue and my friend’s SCA friends did some impromptu English country dancing on the back deck. They’re all going to war at Pennsic soon, and I’m a bit jealous.
  • On the other hand, I’m exhausted from staying up far too late every day, having my first drink in too many years to count (a tiny margarita) and driving four hours each way. And coming home today, a redtail hawk struck our car as we were driving down the highway. The bird hit the car like a brick as it tried to fly across the highway too low, and was definitely killed. It also broke our side mirror. Very traumatic.
  • Dr. Nokes over at Unlocked Wordhoard was so kind as to accept my offer to be his fangirl. I love his blog! He writes about “all things medieval” and recently posted about how he thinks “applied medievalism” (read: the SCA, Renaissance faires, films [Beowulf] etc.) in modern culture doesn’t necessarily detract from scholarly work in the area, and in fact there is a “hunger out there for smart-but-accessible writing about the medieval.” Recent posts include a discussion of which female medieval figures drew women to interest in medievalism, an inquiry into possible sources for the tale of a massacre of cats during the Black Plague–sparked by an episode of Babylon 5, and a discussion of why the term medieval Catholics is just plain wrong.
  • Speaking of medievalism, we have listened to Richard Thompson’s 1000 Years of Popular Music enough times in the car that the kids can sing along passably well with “Sumer is Icumen In” and “King Henry“. They also try to do “So Ben Mi C’ha Bon Tempo“, but the sixteenth-century Italian stumps them.
  • We might be moving to a location without a Waldorf school. We’re wrestling with the likelihood that homeschooling wouldn’t work for us, and putting the kids in a Lutheran school. Arrrgh. We’ve had it easy up until now, always being in anthro land.
  • SillyBilly will be getting his hearing aids in a few weeks. More on that as things develop.

I hope all my American readers had a good Fourth of July, and as for you furriners…well, let’s just all enjoy our independence in all of its forms!


Filed under Blogging, Family, Food, friends, Hearing loss, holidays, Parenting, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly

An Update on the Boy

It occurred to me that I dropped the hearing loss bomb here in the blog a long time ago, and then never mentioned it again. We were pretty much just waiting to get our taxes done, so that the state could approve us for aid to pay for the hearing aids. That’s finally done, so we should have an appointment with the audiologist sometime soon.

Today, SillyBilly had another appointment at the Children’s Hospital, this time with the genetics department. They’re going to rule out a genetic abnormality as the cause of his hearing loss. My mama’s instinct tells me it’s not genetic, but it’s better be sure, for his future children (and so that we could have Napoleona tested if necessary).

He had his first blood draw ever (I’m not counting his birth experience, since he was pretty much checked out for those) and he was amazing. He was slightly apprehensive but sat very still, and only drew in his breath rather dramatically when the needle went in. No tears or anything. Of course, the phlebotomist was excellent, as I’m sure one would need to be to draw little kids’ blood all day. And he got a very special pirate skull bandage! Too exciting.

SillyBilly also had an EKG to rule out a heart murmur, which evidently often goes along with some genetic hearing loss. The technician wheeled in this rather small cart, about the dimensions of a two-drawer filing cabinet, with a laptop-sized computer on the top. She stuck sticky tabs to his chest and legs, attached wires to the tabs with clips, turned the thing on, and was done in about 2 minutes. Amazing! The wonders of modern technology.

So, we wait for about 2 months to hear back on the blood tests, and in about 2 weeks he will have a CT scan to make sure his inner ear is formed properly.

May I just say–my boy rocks? He was so good today. Partly because he got to go on a special trip with Mama and Papa, and the hospital does try to make things friendly (they even let him take home a book that was in the exam room, and when you get out of the elevators, each floor has a different mural or even interactive wall art). But he was charming the doctors with his giggles, took our refusal to buy an ice cream for dessert at lunch with equanimity, and stayed chipper until bedtime even without his normal nap.


Filed under Health, Hearing loss

Hospitals and Castles

No big news on the hearing aid front. We saw the ENT today (first time in the Bronx, woo hoo!) at the lovely Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. It’s only 7 years old (the hospital, not the ENT or the Bronx), and features some amazing art and science installations, including a huge Foucault’s pendulum and a huge sealed ecosphere in the main lobby.

We didn’t learn much of anything new today, except to confirm that hearing aids would help SillyBilly. The ENT pointed out that where his loss falls (from normal 10 dB in the 250-1500 Hz range, down to 40 dB at 2000 Hz and 60-65 dB above 3000 Hz, because I know you wanted the numbers) should allow him to hear normal speech fairly well. Men’s voices would be more clear than women’s, and certain high-pitched sounds (fricatives, because I know you wanted the technical term) like s, z, or f might not sound clear to him.

So, the next thing is to do our 2007 taxes so we can confirm that we can get help paying for hearing aids. Since they can range from $500 to $3500 each (and we’ll need two), we’re crossing our fingers. Looks good on that front, though.

We also have an appointment scheduled for April to rule out a genetic etiology (you like my expert use of medical lingo?), but since SillyBilly shows no signs of having one of the more common genetic syndromes, I’m not too concerned.

Anyhoo, on a lighter note I thought I would share SillyBilly’s current obsession: castles. And medieval siege weapons.

One day he announced that he had made a trebuchet, shown above. After clarifying that this would have been, technically, a catapult (a trebuchet has a counterweight, of course!), we went on to making bigger and better siege engines together.

Somehow, perhaps as a relic of my old SCA days, one day I was explaining how in the Middle Ages, a besieging army would sometimes heave a dead horse or cow into the castle to infect the people inside, and thus render them incapable of defending the castle. Now that I do a little bit of online research, I see that I was conflating the use of dead human corpses and certain other references.

Here’s SillyBilly launching a lamb into a castle occupied by gnomes and a firefighter innocently enjoying some tea.

The gnomes look on in shock at the carnage and devastation.

Yesterday SillyBilly presented me with this drawing, a castle with two knights on horseback. He proudly pointed out the portcullis and arrow slits. Please also note the stirrups and swords the knights are carrying. The boy has an eye for detail. And please note the spare lines and assertive use of space … oh, wait, this isn’t an art appreciation course, I’m just a bragging mama.

A few days ago he created this puppet play, all about some gnomes who were being harassed by a mean dragon who lived nearby in a cave. I think the various forest animals helped the gnomes steal the dragon’s treasure, but the story was a little convoluted so I’m not sure. This one has an invisible castle…can’t you see it?


Filed under art, Hearing loss, play, waldorf toys