Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Ears.  You gotta love 'em.  But I gotta hate 'em too!  Poor Ann-Elise has been battling issues with her ears since the poor kid was 4 months old.  She had tubes put in when she was 6 months old to no avail.  After 1 1/2 more years and at least 20 MORE ear infections, (not to mention all the visits to "expert" ENT's who couldn't/wouldn't do anything) we found an AWESOME ENT who was able to help her out.  She had another set of tubes put in as well as her adenoids removed.  All seemed well!  Oh, she's had the occasional ear infection (go take some tylenol) and lately swimmers ear.  Or so we thought.  Let me back up a bit...


While I was gone to girls camp at the end of June, Mike was home with the kids.  After I got home, he mentioned that Leise was having some hearing problems.  After the 4th night of her coming into our bedroom in the middle of the night in tears, my "go take some tylenol" method wasn't cutting it!  So we scheduled an appointment at the pediatricians office.  We couldn't get into our regular pedi due to the need for immediate care, so we saw another doctor at the clinic.  Diagnosis?  Swimmers ear.  No ear infection.


Now, I must admit that since her last set of tubes fell out about 2 years ago, we don't honestly know how many ear infections that she's had.  When the tubes are in, her ears drain the fluid out, so it makes it real easy to tell if there's something going on there.


Anyway, we filled a topical Rx for the swimmers ear and thought it was all fine and good.  Oh, but I told them that her hearing wasn't very good and they decided to do a little test at the office.  Well, she failed 3 of  the 5 tones that they tested her for.  So back to the amazing ENT that we had 5 years ago.


Yesterday was her appointment.  Bright and early in North Portland.  It's all good.  Just me and Leise, kinda nice, actually!  Anyway, we get there and the first person she's meeting with is the audiologist.  A very nice English lady.  Which I thought was kinda funny.  She's gonna try to test my daughters hearing, but "I" can't even understand what she's saying.  How is Leise supposed to?  No, it wasn't that bad, but I did find it ironic.  Anyway, they lock Leise in the funny looking glass room and put these crazy looking ear phones in her ears.  The test took about 20 minutes.  Much more thorough than the one at the pedi's office!  Test finding:  20% hearing loss in her right ear.  Great.  Here we go again!


Next we visit the ENT.  After reviewing the past history that we've had, she checks out the ears.  Double ear infections.  Apparently a regular pediatrician doesn't have the fancy schmancy high tech 3-D otoscope so they can only tell if the fluid has become cloudy, not if it's clear.  So, basically, we don't know how many infections that have gone undetected.  Great.  Did I mention "here we go again"?  So, options:  we can put tubes in.  Again.  Hopefully that will take care of the problem.  However, there is a chance that this WON'T take care of it.  If the ears continue to drain, then there is the chance that she has a chronic disease called Mastoiditis.  That's an infection in the bone behind the ear.  If that is the case, then we will try antibiotics for 6 weeks.  At her age, there is a 50/50 chance that it will be successful.  If that doesn't work, then they do another surgery in which they remove part of the bone behind her ear to clear out the infection.  UGH!


Oh, but while we were there, she checked out her tonsils.  Guess what?  They're HUGE.  The night before her visit to the doctors, Leise crawled into bed with Mike and me.  Guess what?  That kid can SNORE!  Like so much that she wakes herself up and sometimes gags a little.  Well, apparently, that's sleep apnea.  Yep, she's got that too!  So while we're putting tubes in her ears and draining and cleaning out the infections, they will ALSO be removing her tonsils.  Guess we're in for a fun couple of weeks!

So, we leave for a camping trip and then a few days after we get back she goes in for surgery.  Hopefully she'll be recovered enough to go to school when it starts.  However, I will say that she's pretty excited about being able to have ice cream for breakfast!


Brynn said...

Poor Leise Girl! Give her big hugs for me & remind her who my favorite is! :) What a trooper to have to put up with all of that, that goes for BOTH of you!

Hopefully it won't be as serious as they think & she'll be on the road to full recovery soon!

Ethington Family said...

all I can say is Holy cow, poor girl! I would give you ice cream too.