Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ear tubes...the saga continues

K had another follow-up and check on his ear tubes today.

The beautiful weather prompted me to park in our church parking lot and K and I walked the 6 blocks to his appointment.

Along the way K chattered amiably, reassuring himself by cheerfully commenting to passing strangers "I getting ears checked!" Several people complimented his cool Thomas the Tank Engine light-up shoes and K agreed "Yeah, cool Thomas!" K wanted to hang out with a pair of medical students who were leaning on a couple of trees.

We entered the building and rode the elevator to the 5th floor where we checked in at the desk before making our way to the waiting area. I had resigned myself that I would be chasing a running boy around the room and away from the elevators where he would likely try to escape at least a half-dozen times.

K, however, had other plans. He behaved like a big boy. We sat and looked at a Fire Engine book for the full 10 minutes until we heard his name called.

He jovially received more compliments on his shoes, and once we were in the exam room, he climbed onto the bench next to me and we looked at a train book together. Soon, he noticed a driving toy attached to the wall in a hidden corner of the room. Politely, he asked "Mommy? I go play that?" Noticing an expensive-looking piece of equipment directly in the path between us and the toy I tentatively asked "Do you think you can get over there without touching the machine?"

K enthusiastically assured me that he could and carefully stepped to the toy. While he was quietly amusing himself "driving the tractor" it occurred to me how much he had changed since our first visit to the ENT department.

He was 10 1/2 months old when he underwent the ear tube insertion. He was on antibiotics almost non-stop from December 2004-June 2005. He'd finish a course of treatment and within 2 days he would be up all night screaming in pain. Another ear infection. More drugs.

He was not crawling. He didn't smile much unless he was a day or two into his antibiotics. The day after the surgery, he started crawling. The fluid in his ears had robbed him of some of his hearing and his balance.

We had to mark his ears with a marker to signify where the doctors were supposed to perform the surgery. He looked like he had little purple earrings.

The tubes have been in for almost 2 years. He's had one ear infection since then and we only knew about it because he had some other symptoms of illness at the same time. His ear did not hurt.

He smiles constantly. Unless you really tick him off. He runs. He rides a bicycle with training wheels. He sits quietly beside his Mommy in the waiting room.

He is a big boy suddenly, yet he is still my baby boy.

The physician's assistant checked his ears and announced that the tube was no longer in the first ear. The tube is still in his right ear. At this point it needs to be removed since it hasn't fallen out, but she gave us some options. Once it is removed surgically, they need to put a patch over the area where the tube was, and it needs to stay dry for 2 weeks (no swimming). So the option that we have chosen is that we wait until the end of August, do another audiogram and check if the tube is still in. If it hasn't fallen out by then, he will need to go to surgery.

I'm hopeful that it will fall out on its own over the summer with all the little big boy activities that he'll be doing.

3 people like me!:

Kara said...

How exciting that it has made such a difference in his life to have had that done. Yay, K!

selzach said...

I'm glad K is doing so well with the tubes. They can make such a difference.

Harmonica Man said...

That's so cool. We were lucky that our kids never needed them, but I have tons of friends who've had to go through what you did. At least there's a good solution for the poor little tykes.

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