Friday, December 11, 2015

Ear Tubes

About nine months ago we noticed that June would sometimes have a hard time hearing us. As much as I'd heard about preschoolers willfully not listening to their parents, June would act like she wanted to her you, but couldn't quite. She'd often say, "What you say?" and then stare intently at your lips as you repeated something. It seemed to happen more often during certain times of the day. 

We took her in for a hearing test and she passed it with flying colors.

A little bit later, we took her in for a doctor appointment and the doctor noticed that she had a large amount of earwax in her ears. Not to get into too much detail, but flushing was involved and there was definitely enough earwax to cause some blockage. Our doctor assured us that the earwax was likely the cause for any hearing problems and that it should be fixed now. 

June seemed better for a while, but a little over a month ago we noticed that she was asking us to repeat ourselves again. She would tell me her ears felt clogged up. I would hear her testing her own ears, making noises to test to see if she could hear her own voice amplified in her head. I took June back to the doc, who then referred us to a specialist. 

At the appointment, June went through a lot of interesting tests. Sometimes she had to respond to noises. Other times, they would send signals into her ears and measure the vibrations or other feedback they got back with sensitive little machines. June was such a good sport about it all.

This was her in the little soundproof room where she had earbuds in and was supposed to raise her hand when she heard a noise. She was being pretty shy, but at one moment she suddenly shouted "SOMETHING'S HAPPENING!!!" and startled me nearly to death, but the audiologist laughed. (I did too after that, and it took me a while to gain control again.) 

Well, the tests identified that both ears had some hearing abnormality. One was only slight, and could have been due to a recent cold. The other ear had more signs of (not necessarily permanent) hearing loss as a result of fluid behind the ear. We had to come back to yet another appointment to discuss our options with and ENT doctor. He suggested getting tubes in her ears to resolve both issues.

Well, June had her little surgery the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Michael and I spoke with her a lot leading up to the big day, trying to prepare her for what was coming. 

She was such a champ about it all. 

She didn't complain about not getting to eat breakfast. She waited patiently in the waiting room. She didn't like the hospital gown but she tolerated it anyway. She gave her bear a checkup.

They gave her 'happy juice' to start the process of her getting sleepy. I was so entertained by what was essentially a drunk Junebug. She kept getting fascinated by the bear's fur and detailing, and at one point slurred, "Am I still on the bed?"

The surgery went well, no problems. It's a quick 5-minute procedure. I was a little nervous about how well she would come back up from anesthesia since I had watched a few kids wake up very irritated and crying. 

I sat by her side for a while as she slept since it's supposed to be better if they wake up on their own. When she woke up, she was a little confused and bothered by her finger monitor, but as soon as the nurse asked if she wanted a popsicle, she was happy as a clam.

Since then, her ears have not felt clogged up at all. She told me that she can hear better, but we won't know for sure until she does a follow-up hearing test to see if the results come back differently. I'm just glad that we finally identified the issue and took some steps to get it all fixed. Wish us luck! 

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