05 October 2008

Can He Hear?

Last Wednesday, we had a busy day, Cathal was pulled and proded and made to show off all his skills and fire eating skills. The day before, we got a call from our public health nurse (who we've met only once), to be told that Cathal was due his 7 month hearing test. So even though we were due the same day at the Coombe for the usual check ups, we walked down to the clinic, in the freezing wind. Cathal was all wrapped up in a hat, a blanket and his big cousins beautiful winter coat, you couldn't even see him in the buggy!!!!
Anyway, we got in to see a different public health nurse to the one who called the day before. She proceded to do the regular checks for a 7 month old:

  • Asking if he reached for toys. Yes he does that, she then put a clear boring plastic rattle on the table in front of him to see if he would grab it. He just looked at it...."Well, what am I supposed to do with that?"
  • She then sat him up, not very well, to see if he can sit up. Yes he can do that, if you position him well and let him find his centre. He of course started to tilt a bit...
  • He was attentive to her, watched her. "Oh, you must play with him all the time, you can really see that in him". I do, I do!
  • His weight, length and head circumference was checked, (7.59kg, 68cm, 44cm....hmmmmm, are you sure?)
Then she informed me she needed to get another nurse to help with the hearing test. After about 3-4 minutes, back she came with another nurse in tow. I'll pause here to tell you what I think happened outside the room. By the way, I hadn't mentioned any of Cathal's little extras.

Nurse A: "I've got a woman in there with a little baby, and I think he has down syndrome."
Nurse B: "Really?"
Nurse A: "Yes, and I don't think she knows, she didn't say anything about it."
Nurse B: "Oh my goodness, bless her!"
Nurse A: "What will we do?"
Nurse B: "I'll take a look when we go in, and I'll chat to her."
Nurse A: "Right so, god bless the little fella"

So in they both came, nurse B takes a good look at him, "Isn't he lovely, he's gorgeous". Glowing mammy holding him, beaming with pride.
Nurse B: "You know, there used to be an activity group up in such and such a place, run by such and such a person, and you know, it was for all babies, not just for...."
No. 1 Mammy with a slightly dropped jaw: "He already attends John of Gods, and he's in early intervention, there's a whole rake of people supporting him thanks."
Nurse B: "That's wonderful"
Nurse A, slight look of relief on her face: "Wonderful"
Nurse B: "He's great though, really great, you must play with him and talk to him all the time!!"

Well, what else would I do all day with him. They must see a lot of babies who are just left in a corner for the day with no stimulation.

Anyway, finally the test started. I was sitting in the middle of the room with Cathal in front of me on the edge of my lap. Nurse B stood in front of him while nurse A hid behind me. Nurse B made a funny noise and went:
while making a funny face, then she stopped suddenly, crossed her arms and tilted her head to the side. He's looking at her going,
"What the hell just happened?"
Nurse A in the meantime leaned over my right shoulder and started to whisper at Cathal,
"Pshwshwsh...pshwshwsh...Cathal Cathal Cathal"
And he turned to face her,
Nurse B, made her funny nosies again infront of him....
"Ohhh, she did it again"
Nurse A repeated the whispering on his left. By this stage though, he'd cop'd on and he knows that the woman infront of him is far more entertaining, so he didn't pay a blind notice to the other one.

So they swithed places and started again. This time he just ignored them completly.
"Bored now!"

Then there was the, "Well, I'm sure he is fine, he can hear on the right anyway". I went on to explain that I already know he can hear, due to the magical test they did in Crumlin. "Oh, that's wonderfull, we'll repeat this test anyway in a couple of months". "He's great". "Bless him".

To say I had to try and contain the laughter is an understatment. Can't wait for the next one!

Just a note on the weight, length and head measurments, in the Coombe that same afternoon, they were all taken, and there may be a few discrepancies. Lets study them shall we?

Public Health Nurse Coombe
Weight: 7.59kg
Height: 68cm
Head: 44cm

Weight: 7.4kg
Height: 70cm
Head: 41.5cm

I am more inclind to believe the Coombe to be honest. So to all those breastfeeding mammies who are told that their baby is too light and needs to be topped up, or even put on formula, because just look at that weight, don't do it. All scales are different, different times of the day appear to produce different results, judge your baby, not the numbers.

Regarding the Coombe visit, he's doing very well, growing perfectly according to the down syndrome growth chart, but I knew that anyway.


Lisamaree said...

Brilliant! YOU ROCK!
So this is the source of "he's not thriving, give him formula"
Tell me, is there a C*w and G*te rep out the back door unloading sponsored scales and measuring tapes?
I find it hard to imagine the motivation but I am guessing that they monitor parents so rarely. My card came up twice in 3 years; it was insulting the second time they rang me, I actually teased the poor woman and told her we had no services because I had been waiting for her call!)

I love a subversive Mammy me.....
ps (imagine how this feels for an autie mammy when their kids have NO desire to please the weirdo making stupid noises, because there is an excellent geometric pattern formed by the brickwork.)

Nick McGivney said...

Good news posts. That's what we like! Good on ya Cathal. Eat them ot of house and home and don't listen to a word they tell ya! Parents - who needs em?


Nan P. said...


You are definitely a child after my own heart (… as if further proof was needed!). You have understood a fundamental fact: that one person’s Stupidity is another’s Entertainment.

Cruel, but true!

Unfortunately, when this occurs in a situation where this person might be the only point of reference / information / check up / reassurance, laughter could be replaced by tears. And THAT is frightening!

But don’t worry about that at the moment, Little Prince, and keep your Mammy entertained :-)

Sesame said...

Damn it ur a cool customer Mammy and well played little Cathal..there's no fooling you!
I'm not even going to start on the whole public health nurses as I think I'v got the knife well and truly stuck in their backs..useless is a word that springs to mind..

Pshwsh Cathal just u keep up the good work xxx

Jeffrey Goble said...

Way ta go, there, Cathal!
Funny stuff. Reminds me of, way back when, about Emma's 15th appointment, I came home and asked how it went. "She still has Down Syndrome", my mate replied, and it became our own little joke for quite a while. Still comes up, every now and again, when we see a new clueless specialist.

jazzygal said...

Well done Cathal. You'll teach'em a thing or 2! Sure what do they know anyway??!

Congrats Cathal's mammy on a beautiful, clever little boy.