Glue Ear Can Be A Sticky Situation

We’ve been down the ear tube road (or should I say canal?) before. I wrote about it here. It was a success and Avery’s hearing and speech improved immediately and dramatically.
Now two years later, the initial tubes long since gone, Avery’s speech has taken a nose dive. We had her hearing re-tested and she failed, but not by much. We decided to put the tubes in again and the ENT doctor suggested the adenoids be removed as well. Adenoids may obstruct the Eustachian tubes, so removing them may prevent “Glue Ear” from reoccurring.
Under normal circumstances, the patient is sent home the day of the procedure, but I asked if we could CHOOSE to stay the night? Sleep apnea, seizures and potential heart issues made coming home immediately afterward a scary prospect. The doctor thankfully agreed that having her monitored for the night would be wise.
So last week we checked into Sick Kids hospital. Some of us were more excited than others. Clearly Avery has NO fear of hospitals. Perhaps her brother has played a part in her feeling safe and secure around the medical profession?

Avery was taken to the OR without complaint. She simply waved and said in her sweet voice, “Bye mummy.” I don’t care if your child is having a minor procedure or a major operation, when they take your baby away from you and walk them down the hall, it breaks your heart. And, the “what-ifs” that flood your racing mind are enough to scare your hair white (if you’ve seen my roots lately, you’ll know I was plenty scared).

My husband and I sat in the OR waiting room, anxiously watching the digital screen. The patient’s name is added to the queue once they’ve been sedated and the status “In Holding” is highlighted in pink. It turns green when the operation has begun. Finally, a purple status indicates the patient is in recovery.

 

We were taken in to see Avery once she woke up. Of course, she decided to take her sweet time doing that. Then she was moved up to her room where Freezies, meds and plenty of cartoons were prescribed.

 

Daddy left to take care of things at home and I settled in for a good night’s sleep. Ha! If you believe that, you’ve never attempted to sleep in a children’s ward. It’s loud – crying and fussing and constant movement and that was just ME trying to get comfy on the pull out couch. Kidding. Avery wouldn’t let me out of her sight. I had to nestle right up against her in her bed. My friend Heather, who knows all too well what I’m talking about, tweeted to ask if the night consisted of “sleeping or beeping?” Of course the noise was annoying, but I was grateful for the beeping monitors and machines and hourly nurse checks. A few thousand interruptions throughout the night were a small price to pay for my child’s well-being.
The nurses weren’t the only ones watching over my girl that night. Avery had a special angel keeping her safe. I thought of him as I changed Avery into her Elmo pajamas. And so many, many times during our stay.

 

I thought of his family as we all got to go home together the next day. Our experience, despite a small post-op infection *which may or may not have resulted from Avery taking a swig from her outdoor water table this weekend while she was supposed to be staying away from germs* was a positive one. We are lucky.
We are also blessed to have friends like Heather and her family who, despite their sadness, reach out generously and compassionately to others to offer comfort and support.
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