5 dB

We finally had Henry’s annual audiological exam the other day.  It recorded a mild (5 dB) loss. 

I don’t know how to feel about that. 

I feel angry.

I feel sad.

I feel as though he is being wronged.  Again.

I wonder if someday he will be completely deaf. 

I also feel a little bit like I’m not certain about the results.  Because he may or may not have been slightly unfocused.  Slightly silly.

And then Henry hands me his IEP draft. 

I read it.




above grade level

meets and exceeds

no delays recorded

I am proud of him, and I am pleased.  I am thankful. 

But I wonder how long I will read IEPs like this one, with all the good stuff…the no-delays and the meets-and-exceeds. 

Anger, and resentment, and sadness–they are still there I guess, just a little, but I rarely hear from them.  The wondering why, the wondering what if things were different, the wondering what will come…still there…just a bit.

I got mad at him that night.  It was bedtime and he was talking and complaining that I said goodnight to William first and stalling because his toes were dry and itchy and I was tired of talking and explaining and mad and he couldn’t hear me and I yelled. 

And then I went back into his room, and hugged him, and told him I was sorry.  And that I love him.  And he just threw an arm around my neck the way he does, and forgave.

He will never understand how I love him.  And he will never understand how proud I am to be his mom.

He will never understand how wonderful I think he is.




This is what I feel, almost always.

(Except for this morning when he was fighting with his brother.  But that is normal, right?)

5 dB

12 thoughts on “5 dB

  1. I’m a wreck every time we have one of Nolan’s hearing tests (the results are never the same, and are quite often worse than the previous test). Then I go home and I watch him play with the neighborhood kids, laughing and yelling and fighting and playing… and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be OK (no matter what happens with his hearing). Still, I’m a little sad whenever we lose hearing, even if it is just a small drop. And I’m pretty sure it’s OK to feel sad (and a bit worried) when those drops happen.

    Here’s to IEP reports that continue to state “meets and exceeds” for a long, long time to come.


  2. Somehow I think he knows how wonderful you think he is. 🙂 It’s amazing how sadness and joy can dwell side by side in our hearts–as if they are connected somehow. I’m sorry for your boy’s hearing loss. I’m sorry for your sadness. I’m thankful for a positive IEP draft… and here’s to many more.

    Blessings to you and sweet Henry.

  3. I was hoping for a Henry post today! I love reading about all of the kids, but haven’t seen one on him in awhile 🙂 Yes, it’s normal and completely okay to feel all of the feelings you described. The bottom line is that you love him and that is the feeling that matters most!

  4. Oh a picture of Henry – it’s been so long and he’s growing up so fast!

    I’m not sure how much the audiologist talked to you about the 5dB loss, but I truly wouldn’t worry too much. And I’m trying to write these words as gently as I can, they just seem harsh and I don’t mean them harshly at all. 5dB is not what is considered ‘significant’…especially at Henry’s age. It could be, yes, that he was being silly, and it could also be that he is now older and can give a more reliable response OR that he hears the super-soft sounds but doesn’t think they are loud enough and doesn’t respond. There are so many reasons for a 5dB change that may or may not have to do with an actual change in his hearing.

    And while this information doesn’t take away your frustration or worry, please know it is from my heart.

    On a lighter note, I’m visiting Nicole this weekend and then heading to Frederick on Sunday for lunch with another friend. I was wondering if you’d maybe like to meet for coffee/tea on my way through Leesburg – maybe around 10:30, that would give us a little more than an hour to chat/catch up.

  5. Mom says:

    Yep, that’s normal. We moms love completely. But our kids aren’t perfect and neither are we. And I know he knows you love him. I hope you know how much I love you.

  6. Delightful… well-liked… meets and exceeds…

    That is music to a mom’s ears!

    And the 5db… well, while my heart lurches every time Tate has his hearing tested, 5db can be fluctuation in testing. Hope so.


  7. Can I just say that you have an amazing way with words (and photos). I read you blog and just admire you so much.

    This blog brought me to tears. It’s so raw and amazing.

    He will know you love him and he will know what an amazing Mom he has. I believe that with all my heart.

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