Tuesday Rylie had her first ABR hearing test. As we've mentioned before other hearing tests have indicated Rylie may be experiencing some hearing loss as a side effect of the Chemotheraphy drugs she receives every month. The ABR (Auditoy Brainstem Response) Test is similar to the VEP test Rylie undergoes each month, the main difference is she has to be sedated for the hearing test while she's awake and kicking for the VEP test. The ABR test was set up so we could gather the best information we possibly could,raving no questions to how well she is hearing. The main concern being her hearing seems to be decreasing in the left ear... Her sight is severely damaged on the left side so the hope is we protect her hearing on the left side as much as possible. While some tests indicated a hearing loss other tests were inconclusive... Mainly because Rylie is just too young to understand the directions they needed her to follow. The ABR test gives us the exact information we need- no questions asked.
So, onto the test. Rylie's test was scheduled for 1pm on Tuesday afternoon which meant no food or drinks when she woke up on the morning. She was allowed clear liquids up until 10am but she woke up wanting some chocolate milk and when she was told she couldn't have it the melt downs started. You can't blame the poor girl...hell, the more you're told NO the more you want something. She was so upset Daddy ended up taking her on a long drive until she cried herself to sleep... We even let her open up a Christmas present in hopes it would clear her mind and make her a little happy... Didn't work! She knows what she wants and nothing was going to change her mind!
Once we got up to the hospital we checked into the RTU unit and began all the pre-op rituals. Height, weight, blood pressure, port access... Then we waited. The hospital of course was a little behind so we got plenty of time to play! Hello play dough!
A little while later we met with the anesthesiologist and away she went. I keep hoping them taking her away will get easier but it still seems to rip a piece of our hearts out each time...
The test was pretty simple and lasted about an hour. The ABR test is used to measure information on the inner ear (cochlea) and the brains pathways for hearing. Rylie is experiencing something called sensorineural hearing loss, a type of high frequency loss. This happens slowly over time and generally occurs when the tiny hair follicles on the cochlea are damaged, damage caused by Chemotheraphy in her case. What this means is right now Rylie can hear she just is not hearing things as clearly as she was before we started chemo. Good news is the tests showed the loss has not translated into her everyday hearing ranges. Really encouraging news...the audiologist was expecting worse news.
Because the loss can occur slowly over time Rylie will have another ABR test after her MRI in February. We will cross our fingers and hope everything stays the same. Until then... We rest, relax, and enjoy the holidays!!!
Thank you for all of your love and prayers! You all encourage us everyday to keep moving forward... Even in the tough days!