Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hear, hear with your defective ear

Translation: "I have to wake up early"
The note above is mostly unrelated to this post, but it's been on our refrigerator for the past week or so and it makes me smile every time I pass it. We are constantly telling the kid, "It's time for bed - you have to get up early."  Apparently she is under the impression that "wake up" is one word.  Santa brought her an alarm clock for Christmas. Waking our daughter up is such a chore that P and I have been known to play rock-paper-scissors to decide which parent is stuck with it.  Our little buttercup is not a morning person.  Anyway, we thought it was high time she learned to get herself up; hence, the clock.

The first day back at school was January 3rd.  We stood outside her door at 6:15 a.m. and listened.  The clock started beep-beep-beeping at the appointed time. We listened for movement.  Nothing.  Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.  Finally, we gave up and roused her from her slumber. The next four mornings were much the same, except that she did hear it one day and turned it off.  And then went back to sleep. Did she not hear it or does she really sleep that soundly?

A was hit with another ear infection over New Year's.  We've been battling ear infections since she was a baby.  They always hit her in the right ear.  The infections occur frequently enough to be vexing, but not frequently enough to warrant tubes.  At least not until now.  As I mentioned in a couple of previous blog entries, A has failed the hearing test at school a couple of times.  I wasn't sure if the problem was that she didn't listen to the instructions or that she truly could not hear well.  I took her to her pediatrician and she passed the test administered there.

However, we continued to scratch our heads over the situation for the past couple of years. A says, "Huh?" a lot.  We joke that we live with Grandma Moses but we also wonder . . . can she honestly not hear us or is she just being five? In the mean time, the ear infections continue to come and go (treated with antibiotics that bring their own kind of fun - raging diarrhea). Last week, I took my daughter to see an audiologist.  I wanted to get some real answers, not just the pediatrician's vague predictions that everything is fine. The audiologist performed several tests (on a more formal level than what was done at the pediatrician's office). Verdict: left ear fine, right ear not fine.  The right ear is full of fluid.  The audiologist said that it would be the equivalent of trying to hear underwater.

So, I have to take her back to the medical center on the 31st to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. From there, it looks like we will schedule a procedure to implant a tube in the right ear.  In theory, the tube will allow the fluid to drain and in turn, restore full hearing to that ear.  It's a bit scary in as much as it does involve anesthesia.  However, I know countless parents who've been down this road and have never heard of any real complications.  A's hearing will be re-tested sometime after the procedure to see if the procedure worked.

I guess we'll see if the alarm clock has an easier time doing its job, too.

3 comments:

Lisa said...

she will do great

Jennifer S. said...

As our ENT told us, they will HEAR with the tubes, but that does not fix the LISTENING part *lol* Both of my kids have gone through the ear tubes, the procedure is easy peasy, she'll be back to her old self later in the day!

Beth said...

Jason's had ear tubes; the surgery was uneventful! Good luck!