Ugh, I need to vent, and then celebrate. Mainly, I need to use this space for a bit of a brain dump. The reason? Roo’s (lack of) hearing. Are you sitting comfortably, lovely readers? Then I’ll begin:
About six weeks ago, Ross and I started to notice something. Roo kept saying “pardon?” and when she spoke, it was very quiet. I crossed my fingers things would get back to normal, but when they didn’t, I took her to see the doctor. Long time readers of this here blog might remember the crap I had to deal with the first time I took her to see the GP regarding her glue ear, and that after a fairly long time, she had some grommets popped in her ears. Because of aforementioned crap, I took her to see a different doctor at the surgery, the practice’ paediatrician, no less. What I hoped would happen was that he’d take a look at her notes, and a peek in her ears and refer her back to either Audiology, or, better still, the ENT consultant.
He didn’t. Not even close. He gave me some drops for her ears and sent us on our merry way. Knowing the drops wouldn’t sort out the problem, but not wanting to push it at that point, incase they did, I made another appointment for two weeks later. We put the drops in her ears twice a day, the wax build up began to soften, but her hearing didn’t return to anything close to normal. One morning, whilst cleaning out the softened wax, I saw one of her grommets, stuck in her ear canal, clearly no longer in her ear drum.
Cue the next appointment. At this point I was really hoping he’ll see the grommet and decide to refer. No such luck. We were in the office for no more than three minutes. I asked for a referral, and was refused. Did you read that, Internets? Refused! My child, with a known history of hearing loss and glue ear, refused a referral to a specialist. Every time I tried to ask questions and further push for the referral I know she needed, I was cut off, not listened to, and fobbed off with more bloody ear drops. Irritated, but realising we were getting nowhere with this doctor, I immediately made another appointment with a different doctor, and we made our way to school.
But on the walk from the surgery to school, I began to get really cross. Mainly at what had just happened but also at myself for letting it. By the time we got to school, I was almost spitting teeth. I stormed in, and asked for an appointment with the school nurse. Fortunately the head teacher happened to be in the office, and after she’d whisked Roo off to her classroom, I relayed everything that had happened. If her doctor wasn’t going to do anything, I realised I’d have to go about it a different way, and get the school involved. The following Monday we saw the school nurse, and he was amazing. He booked in a hearing test for her, and took my number for a follow up call.
Roo had her hearing test yesterday, and failed catastrophically. I knew she would. She cannot hear below 50 dB, her hearing has never been as bad as that. To put that another way, she has half the level of hearing she should have. I asked for a letter to be sent to her GP detailing the results of the test, and the nurse did one better, he wrote a letter supporting a referral to an ENT specialist. He asked which surgery she was with, and as luck would have it, he is based at the same surgery.
Which brings us up to this morning. We had the appointment with the doctor I like. I saw the school nurse in the waiting room, and he gave me the letter he’d written to pass to the doctor. We were listened to, and do you know what the first thing she said was?
“I think the best thing would be for Ruby to be referred back to the ENT consultant”
Halleluja! I could have kissed her. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Instead, I thanked her for listening to me, and mentioned how disappointed I’d felt the last time we’d been seen. I told her how fobbed off I felt and asked for a note to be put on her file suggesting a quicker referral if this happens again.
Why can’t all GPs be like that? Riddle me THAT, Internets.
Now, I am off to do some stretchy Yoga before the school run to calm down. Namaste!