When a child turns four, you go for a general check up at the district nurse. It’s actually called Child Care Central, and is its separate part of the health clinic. The nurses there basically only deal with children, certain days. We have gone to the same nurse ALL years, with ALL our children and yet the same pattern has always developed. At four years, they check if the child will be ready to start zero class in school, two years later! I know, how insane is that? Like the child would not develop in two years?! “Gubby’s” check up was delayed because the nurse’s mother was ill and she went on extended leave. When she got back, he was four and a half, and went in for the check up.
Let’s say he failed big time! He refused to draw an X and he did not want to draw a stick figure either. So she told me, that if he at five years of age, did not draw those things, she would send him to be tested at BUP (Child and Youth Psychiatry). Then she put gigantic head phones on him to test his hearing. He kept on taking them off and did not want to do the hearing test. So, since his speech is so delayed, she decided that he is DEAF! Insane? Yes, for the following reasons: 1) Since I speak Swedish to my children, my husband speaks English and he and I speak only English to each other. This makes for children starting to speak later. It is a scientific proven fact. But this is something unheard of at the BVC, in a little country health clinic, were everyone are Swedish and only used to dealing with 100% Swedish families. 2) The reason why it makes me so extra upset is because I have seven children and she has claimed that they are ALL deaf since all of them have had delayed speech! So I have been to the audiology department at the hospital with each one of them!!! And of course neither of them have had anything wrong with their ears!!!
When he refused to do the hearing test, she suggested that I come back a month later and I told her “He will not do it then either, just send me to audiology right away so that we get it out-of-the-way, please!”. Well, it took 6 months to get the appointment. And on the day we went there, he had the worse cold and so did I. He had been coughing bad for a week and I did not hear on my left ear. So when they tested him, he passed all tests except the one where they put an ear plug in the child’s ear, linked to a cord and a machine. They shoot in a wave and measure how the ear drum bounces. He failed the highest and lowest tones, but the nurse said that it would NOT cause delayed speech. And I told her, that I had the same cold as him and could not hear on my left ear, so could he not have some of the same symptoms? I would have failed the test too. They decided to re-check the ear before sending his case on to a hearing specialist. SO tiresome. We were there in July, today we were there for the re-testing of his left ear. I THOUGHT!
He and I have had colds for over a month again! I have not heard anything on my left ear for over six weeks! Friday we took him to the emergency room because he has coughed for two weeks and the head of the pre-school thought he might have pneumonia. He went to a little theatre play at the library a week ago and a pre-school teacher from another pre-school, proclaimed that he must be having whopping cough! Even though all Swedish children are vaccinated!!! So, I was worried when I came in there today with him. He was cleared of everything except a bad cold, Friday, and sent home with a strong cough medicine.
We had to be at the hospital 13:00 and I had warned the school that I might not make it till 14:00, to fetch the boys, in case they dragged out with things at the audiology department. I had phoned and asked the secretary how long it would take and she said 45 minutes. I told her that he had only failed on the left ear and not on general hearing just the most highest and lowest tones. Well, she said it was said 45 minutes and I better not change the time, as difficult as it is to get in. So we went there, and we were asked to go in to the first testing room. I started objecting and said, “But he only failed the bouncing of the ear drum test in July, and this because he had a bad cold!”. So the testing person got on her computer and checked and then did another test, that we did not do in July. Perfect! He had no problems at all. But lo and behold, she started reading the notes again and then turns to me and says in an apologetic tone “I can’t find anything wrong with him, are you going to a doctor next?”. I wanted to scream! I told her about how this BVC nurse keeps sending all my children to them because they are bilingual and start speaking later than the “normal” Swedish child. I told her how “Gubby’s” head must have felt overwhelmed by the gigantic head phones at BVC and that he did not want to cooperate. That WE were not the ones that instigated this!!! How I wish that medical people would read the notes before they go in to see a patient! It was the same thing at BUP. They want to know why we are there and we just have to tell them over and over again that the speech therapist is convinced that he is autistic because his speech is late. READ THE NOTES! That is why you write them, stupid people! So one should not waste time and ask the same questions over and over and do the same tests over and over. No wonder the queues are so long to everything in this country when so much time is wasted!
Little “Gubby” having to go through one thing after the next. It makes me so angry! On the way, through the main hospital building, he begged for ice cream. He usually gets ice cream when we have been to kidney tests. Insane to eat ice cream when it is freezing cold outside and him having such a bad cough, but he was such a good boy and behaved like an angel as usual. He sat and looked so serious with the child head phones on, picking up wood pieces when he heard a sound, so I let him have his favourite. And he skipped ahead with it in his hand, happily towards the car. Why my life has to be just one thing after the next, like this? Other people can concentrate on preparing for Christmas, but I am just running back and forth to health institutions because people have declared that there is something mentally wrong with my three youngest boys. I wish I could just sit down and do fun crafts, make Christmas cards and bake instead. Spend happy time with my children instead of going through all this stress and worry.