Tuesday, October 05, 2010

hopefully, it is the right answer

Over the past several months, I've posted about our ear infection situation. We've had lots. Maybe 10-15 over the last year, probably close to 20 since Josie was born. The obvious answer would be tubes, but the thing is, her ears seem to clear between infections, so she hasn't seemed to be a great candidate for tubes. We've just been hoping she would outgrow the ear infection situation as her ears mature and the Eustachian tubes change position.

On Wednesday, I had an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor because a friend of mine finally pointed out the list of Josie's symptoms that could all point to the same area:
Repeat ear infections
Endless illnesses
Poor weight gain
Severely enlarged tonsils and adenoids (did I mention this?)
Noisy breathing
Loud talking and lots of screaming
Terrible balance (DING DING DING DING)
The doctor looked at my list of symptoms, blinked twice, and asked why we hadn't been referred sooner. Then we did a hearing test, and shock of the century for me, Josie has mild hearing loss. She also tested terribly when it came to fluid in her ears. Apparently her ear drum is totally firm with fluid, even though she hasn't been sick in months.

All of this added up to a scheduled surgery for Tuesday morning to remove her adenoids and put tubes in her ears. I'm not thrilled with this diagnosis, but I do feel relatively peaceful about it. Something has to change. I think we can all agree that the repeat accidents for Josie (the falls, the breaks, the dislocations, the FREAKING stitches), it HAS TO END. The balance situation has to change. None of us can face another winter full of ear infections, pain, crying, and antibiotics. I resisted this as long as I could, and now it is time to face the reality of the situation.

Both Josh and I were shocked and upset by the hearing loss diagnosis, because her speech is so great, we never assumed the ear infections were affecting her hearing. The audiology technician said, however, she never seen a kid with this much hearing loss who didn't have a speech delay. Huh. So who knows what is going on with Josie? Maybe she compensates by yelling, maybe my voice happens to be in the range she hears, maybe she hears as if she is under water? Who knows!

We're pinning a lot of hopes on Tuesday, though. Hopefully we'll have less illnesses, less infections, less screaming, less pain, and please dear G-d, less falls. I'd like for her to stop walking like a drunken sailor, my goodness. It has been almost a full year since she started walking! I'd like to have one afternoon without a near miss accident. I'd also like for her to stop suffering from ear pain and start gaining some weight (she hasn't gained in months).

Now I just have to make it through the actual surgery, which the surgeon said will take about 45 minutes. She'll have to have general anesthesia and be intubated, so I'm a bit anxious, but trying to keep calm about it. She's a tough little girl, so I have no doubt she'll come out of it swinging. Wish us luck, pretty please!


divrchk said...

Good luck! My daughter had the surgery and it was wonderful and fast and totally successful. She also had a decent amount of hearing loss (she'd always ask us what? and to turn up the tv!!!!!! ) and had zero speech delay. In fact, she was a very early talker and never stopped increasing her understanding and vocabulary. Her hearing came back after the tubes so be sure to have her re-checked a few months after the surgery. I doubt her loss is permanent.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, mama. I hope this leads to a healthier, accident-free life for you and the fam. You need a major break, girl!

liz said...

I hope this fixes the balance problem!

Stacy said...

Does she have a true hearing loss or is it symptomatic?
You may not know this til after the surgury and she heals.
My son is HOH, we discovered his loss when he was 6. Its a mild to moderate loss, depends on the tones.
My daughter has had her tonsils and adnoids removed. Made a major difference in her life.
Step son has had tubes several times.

I am glad that she will finally be getting some relief. The improved balance may minimize the accidents too! :)
Best of luck

Anonymous said...

Good luck and God bless. Hope it's all clear sailing after Tuesday. Y'all need some rest!

{K} said...

I rarely comment and maybe this is a dumb question, but maybe (hopefully) the hearing loss isn't a permanent thing, just a result of all the fluid in her ears? I hope that's the case.
Before my nephew got tubes in his ears his hearing was pretty bad off and on.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Good luck Josie! Hopefully that will be the end of all the sick days and injuries. Glad that you finally got to see the right doctor and get this all sorted out.

Bobbie said...

Good luck tomorrow!

Meika said...

Oh, thank God! Not that Josie needs to have surgery so much; that's obviously not fun - but in some respects, what a quick and easy fix for all you've been going through for the last year. A prayer that all goes well and that it is the solution!

halloweenlover said...

Yes sorry to mention the hearing loss without explaining- the doctor felt confident the hearing loss was relating to the fluid. "Her potential for full hearing recovery is great" was what he said. Let's hope he's right!