Friday, September 4, 2009


With this latest ear infection, Jason and I decided to take Annabella to the ENT (ear, nose, and throat doc). Our pediatrician told us that he thought it was time, especially since the summer months hadn't brought about the break we were hoping for. And with cold season rapidly approaching, we needed to do something.

The ENT we met with was very patient and answered all of our questions. At the end of the appointment, he asked if Annabella had had a hearing test since that first one they do at the hospital. We said she hadn't. As we were waiting for the hearing test, Jas and I basically decided to go forward with getting Annabella the tubes. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Then we had the hearing test...and if we weren't 100% convinced before, the hearing test would have certainly put us over the edge. At first they put these tube thingies in Annabella's ears, and they somehow measure the reverberations off of her eardrums. The measurement is supposed to look like a big peak. Annabella's looked like little hills, which indicates fluid behind both ear drums. This wasn't surprising.

Then we're taken into this little room. I hold Annabella on my lap, and Jason sits in front of us. His job is to get her to look forward, but not to overly distract her. Then noises come out of a speaker up and over Annabella's right shoulder. If she looks at the speaker, a box with toys lights up and the toys move around and clap and such. Once it stops, Jason gets her to look forward.

Easy enough, no? Well, Annabella responded to the very loud noises. And it could be that she was too distracted by how awesome Daddy is or that she didn't much care for the magic toys in the box, but she didn't look for the medium sound noises at all. Jas and I both had a hard time not looking over at the box ourselves.

So apparently Annabella is deaf. Ok, not really. But the testing indicates a possible 20-30% hearing loss, most likely because the fluid on her ears are blocking the sounds.

Jas and I got back to the office to wait for the ENT, and we bust out laughing. Because sometimes you have to laugh so that you don't cry.

So Annabella's getting tubes on Wednesday. It's supposed to be an incredibly simple procedure. She wears a gas mask to sedate her, they make little slits in her eardrums, and insert the tubes. As she grows, her eardrums will grow more skin and eventually push the tubes out. Until then, there is another avenue for fluid to drain, and if she gets another ear infection, we can give her antibiotic ear drops rather than oral antibiotics. Simple enough, but we're still scared silly.

On the upside, until Wednesday you can say just about anything you want in our house without worrying about little ears as long as you speak quietly. Stub your tie? Just be sure to whisper the bad words.


JuLi-ElLe said...

Will definitely be praying for Annabella (and for your sanity) on Wednesday. The procedure for tubes is very simple but she might feel a little pain for the first day or so after the procedure is done. Just remember that it doesn't always work the first time but they are very helpful for reducing the number of those horrible ear infections.

I had to have tubes 4 times when I was little. The last time was when I was 9 or 10 and that set didn't end up falling out until I was in 9th grade. I also had my tonsils and adenoids taken out on the same day. I think that's what finally helped me. At least you are doing what you can do take care of your baby. There is a girl here in my hometown who had the same problems as I did and her mother never took her to have it checked. She is now permanently 100% deaf.

Take care of that sweet angel that you have and remember that we will be praying for you and your family during this time. Hope she feels better!

Laurian Vega said...

That is pretty funny. Cam is getting the on Friday!