When the lady at the hospital told me that my baby didn’t pass her hearing screening test I was more annoyed than worried. She’d made me miss the morning tea ladies giving out my favourite chocolate milk. It also meant that we’d have to return to the hospital at a later date to do the screening test again. Thankfully they scheduled us to do this at a hospital closer to home.
When the nurse at the next screening test gave me the same news, she wasn’t as blasé as the first. She explained that given bub didn’t pass two screening tests now, they’d need to do more in depth testing. I was aware that the nurses made it a point never to say that bub failed anything and picked me up on it while putting a very “matter of fact” reasoning around the interpretation of the test.
It was frustrating that the nurse wasn’t able to give me any more detail. Initially, the thought of my daughter being hard of hearing didn’t bother me. Auslan is becoming more prominent in our everyday life and technology with hearing aids have come a long way. But when the nurse said I should avoid googling things further and referred me to their support resource I couldn’t help feeling anxious, sad and stressed.
We are still undergoing investigations but I could not fault the process so far. I have had someone call me the day after every appointment to debrief and ask any questions. Every referral that had been discussed was followed up within the week. Notes and reports from tests and appointments have been emailed to us. I was given a pack with information with the audiologist pointing out resources that were most relevant to us at the moment while everything else was for reference only. In that pack was even an option to be linked in to their peer support program.
Moving forward, I feel confident that we can deal with whatever diagnosis comes our way. I have been genuinely blown away by this experience and wonder how different my diabetes diagnosis would’ve been if the same support and resources were available. I wish for a future where people don’t feel lost after a diabetes diagnosis. As stressful this process has been, it’s also been extremely eye opening and exciting to see how we can improve things in the diabetes space.