19 April, 2007

And the doc says...

Another set of grommets (or ear tubes) for Chickie.

I took Chickie to see the E.N.T. again today. Chickie's had a long history of ear infections, (many) burst eardrums and has already had two sets of grommets. His poor eardrums have suffered quite a bit in his not-quite-five years.

His hearing was affected before he had the first lot put in and this was happening at a time he was just learning to talk. I realised how much his hearing was affected, when he was trying to find me one day. I was sitting in a chair in his room calling to him. He was about two metres away, with his back to me, and obviously wasn't able to hear me properly. It was shortly after that that he had the first set put in and then his speaking just exploded! Not to mention that he started sleeping through the night regularly for the first time (he was never a great sleeper).

I had a feeling he'd need another set of grommets. Lately he's been asking us to repeat things almost constantly and has the tv so loud. I've taken to making a point of having him look at me and then talking to him, just to make sure he's heard me.

The right ear should be fine - the grommet was still in, six months ago, at the last appointment, but it's now out. The left one was out at the last appointment and this ear is definitely suffering from some hearing loss. Usually the test they do involves bouncing sound waves off his eardrum to see how much it moves. They did that this time and the left didn't respond much at all. As he's almost 5 they tried another test where he had to hit a block on a jar each time he heard a noise. It started off ok, but he lost interest after a bit and was just playing and drumming. Maybe next time he'll be old enough to do it seriously. At least they got some figures for the left ear with this test.

So anyway, another set of grommets to come (well, the doc did say definitely in the left and just possibly in the right, they'll know for sure on the day). I'm kind of glad, since I'd rather he didn't start school with possible hearing problems. I'm sure that wouldn't be the best start to his school experience.


Robin said...

Yuck. No fun.

My first kid had a ton of ear infections. And my second had asthma. The same solution resolved both problems... take them off cow's milk.

None of the five drink it now, and none of the other three have had any problems like the first two.

Might not be related to Chickie at all, but thought I'd throw it out there for you to ponder.

Charm School Reject said...

Travis had alot of ear infections and ruptured drums the first year but after that they just went away.

You are very lucky that you were able to get this taken care of before it got worse. My little brother was in first grade when they found out about his needing tubes. He was on the brink of failing. The teacher was a jerk though and said he ignored her and wouldn't listen.

Hopefully, with Chickie being so young he'll be able to overcome the effects it had on speech, etc. When my neice got tubes in her speech changed dramatically. She still has to go to speech therapy to relearn how to say some words but she was alot older than Chickie when they found out.

(Sorry for the ramble!)

R2K said...


caramaena said...

robin - to be totally honest, it wouldn't surprise me. He wasn't able to tolerate normal cows milk when he was younger (we gave him soy or lactose free) and while he can tolerate it now, he still doesn't drink it much. No yoghurt or cheese either - he just says he doesn't like it.

I just hope he's getting enough calcium from other sources. Is there anything you make sure you give your kids to ensure calcium levels are met?

charm school reject - my sister doesn't believe grommets do a thing. She's a nurse and says she's seen too many of the tubes just fall straight out after the op. She had a son with ear infection problems and preferred to do the decongestant/allergy medication for 3 months thing and that seemed to work for her. Mind you, her son wasn't at the stage where the eardrum was rupturing multiple times. I wanted the grommets once I realised Chickie wasn't hearing properly and figured this was why he was late to talk. I do feel justified since the change was dramatic after they were put in. I think in Chickie's case, they have worked really well. He doesn't seem to get ear infections in the ears where the grommets are still in (that we're aware of) and his eardrums haven't ruptured since.

The teacher, you describe, is why I want to make sure he doesn't go to school with a minor problem. At the moment, his hearing loss would be quite easily interpreted as just not listening. I mean to start with, that's what I thought this recent thing was. I don't want him to start school and be labelled as lazy or a troublemaker. These labels can be hard to get rid of sometimes.

I hope your niece is going well with the speech therapy.

meggie said...

Good luck with Chickie's ears. No fun, & so hard for them convey the problem. My Granddaughter has been left with tinnitus from a broken eardrum.

caramaena said...

Thanks meggie - I hope your granddaughter is coping ok with the tinnitus. I'm hoping Chickie doesn't suffer from any long term damage with so many burst eardrums.

Tracey Petersen said...

My son has burst ear drums too. I would ask to have both ears done if I were you. My son had one done and we were told the other was fine, but 6 weeks later we had to return for another surgery for the ear that was not done. We were not very happy!

caramaena said...

Good suggestion tracey. I'm inclined to think they're better in than not at the moment.