Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Words you never want to hear...

I know I went missing again. There were two really good reasons for that. First I had a ton of grading to get done for the quarter, which I had been procrastinating on. Second there was a lot of illness in my household. First Zach had a bit of the flu, then Matt, than Wayne and then I did. I also had my yearly observation with my administrator the day after I had the flu. All that planning and prep couldn't go to waste so I headed to class, even though I was still not feeling 100% that day. Then came the biggest blow. After almost a month of no ear infections, Matt started grabbing his ear and saying, "It hurts me". I knew what that meant, and as luck would have it, we had a routine checkup with his pediatric ENT that day.

Off we went, just my little tough guy Mattie and me. I hate to think that pain is something he's gotten used to in some way, but the truth is, this boy has had over 13 ear infections since Feb 11, and he has had tubes since June...still 6 ear infections since then. The tubes have been a blessing in so many ways, even though they didn't help to lower his risk of ear infections, they did help him to hear in a normal range, which means he's verbally all caught up. I love his little voice and hearing him tell me, 'Sit down Momma" when he wants to snuggle on the couch. His "special ears" as I call them have changed him. He went from being the most easy going one year old, to a pretty needy toddler. He is used to getting his way, and since he's been ill, I've given it to him. Don't get me wrong he's a sweetheart too, but when he wants something, he can be relentless. Every time he starts to get into a normal routine, he's grabbing his ears, and I know we are headed for trouble.

So we went. And we did some tests. And it turns out that Matt had a plugged ear tube, and that an infection was trapped behind it. My smart little man, knows already that pain in the ear, means nothing good for him. The Dr. gave me some antibiotics, some special acidic ear drops to "try to open the tube" and told me it was time to think about our options. So here they are:

1. Hope that the drops open the tube, and they don't need to go in to replace the tubes


2. Obviously there is something going on in this situation because he is still getting chronic ear infections, so it may be time to take his adenoids as well


3. He will need yet another surgical procedure done which will require anesthesia, and should be done ASAP, as we do not want to risk permanent damage to his hearing.


4. We just had him go through an ordeal of getting blood work done, a shot to try to boost his antibodies, and now that seems useless


5. His Dr's office seems to think we should consider removing his tonsils too


6. Taking out a child's tonsils is a more extensive recovery time, and do I really want to put a 2 year old through this procedure when he has never had a problem with his tonsils?


No....I don't want my baby to have to go through this, through any of these procedures. I don't want to think about him being scared, or hurt, or feeling pain. I don't want him to have "special ears", except, I didn't get to pick and I know I should be thankful that this is heath burden in our family instead of something more "serious"


He's MY baby

and I think its unfair that he will have two surgeries, even if minor, in less than 7 months. I also think its unfair that there is no guarantee that this will solve anything if we go through with it.

So truth. I am frustrated. I am scared. I am trying to be the most educated advocate I can be for my son, who although he is "young and resilient" and "probably won't remember" is my one and only Matthew. I get freaked thinking about the what ifs. I want to do what is right by him always, and I can't ask him weigh in, I am the Mom, I am supposed to know what to do. And I do....its just I don't want to do it.

This week. I want to focus on the magic of childhood, on the smile on his face when he sees his presents, on the light in his eyes as he laughs, on the fact that every part of him is special, not just his ears, and I will try to look to the New Year hopeful instead of defeated, and find faith that someone little, but fierce, will not allow any ear pain to take away his spirit of joy. I mean seriously...this boy loves to be happy...so hopefully his ears get that memo!

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