Nicholas’ ear surgery went just fine.
Surgery day was an early morning for us – we were up & out of the house by 5:30 AM and on our way. Andy was driving & it was raining & neither one of us had had enough coffee. We may have gone to the wrong surgical check-in counter. It wasn’t THAT big of a deal but someone (who resembles a bearded 6′ 2″ man in my life) may have thrown a small hissy fit about it in the parking lot since we had to get back in the car (& carseat) to go around the building to the right entrance. Me telling him “if this is the worst thing that happens today, we’re in good shape”, wasn’t especially helpful for said bearded man in full hissy fit mode to hear before 6 AM & 1 full cup of coffee. But alas, it was the truth.
After we got settled & checked in, we began the “hurry up & wait” ritual that is all too common with many of Nicholas’ medical appointments. He did fine with the wait – by this time of the morning he was awake and wanted to say “Hello” to all of his new “friends” (note: strangers we do not know) sitting in the waiting room. My child is fearless when it comes to what some might think are awkward social situations.
The surgery went just fine. They were able to repair the hemorrhage without much trouble & inserted tubes into both of his ears to hopefully curb any future ear troubles. We’re on some pretty heavy steroids for a few days to help avoid any infection. And as for his hearing, we’ll go back in 1 month for a follow up full hearing test to see if this surgery has helped his hearing. The good news here is that the damage right now to his hearing is pretty minimal. Before we knew about his ear drum issues, I chalked much of his hearing issues up to selective hearing (a trait he gets from his father & not me-never me). He can hear most of what we say (except for the occasional “selective hearing-itis” he contracts) & responds well. He is proficient in sign language now too which has helped us communicate. The doctors do think any improvement in hearing that may come from this might help his speech progress.
Speaking of speech, Andy & I sat at dinner with Nicholas 1 day after his surgery & started to think about all of the “words” Nicholas knows. We came up with 23. He can sign all 23 & say about 4 pretty clearly. The word “mama” is still used as a substitute for “I’m hungry, feed me”, “Read me this book”, “Can I have this?”, “Why can’t I have this?!”, & the all encompassing “If I can’t have this I’m going to quickly start running away to find dada & ask him.”. Heaven help us.
Its been about 5 days since surgery now. In 5 days he has found several new words & a whole new range of his voice – LOUD. Not just “Let’s use our inside voices please” loud. I mean LOUD LOUD LOUD. As in “Oh my soul you are hurting my ear drums, kiddo” loud. And, a friend at school taught him & some other classmates a new word: “MINE”.
Loud voice+”MINE!”+confident toddler makes the perfect storm of hilarity in our house. We’ve had the following conversations this week at meal time more time than I’d like to admit:
N holds up sippy cup as if it were a sacrament being offered to the GODS of mealtime.
N:MINE! MINE mama!
Me: Yes, buddy. That is your cup. Please put it down & eat your dinner.
N hold cup in my direction so I can clearly see it.
Me: Yes, it is yours. Put it down please & eat.
Andy (finally chiming in): It will be MINE in 30 seconds if you don’t put it down & eat.
N puts cup down & in a low voice says “mine”.
Point made kiddo. Point made.
Thankfully, Nicholas has also learned the sign for “quiet” which he finds funny. But he responds to it. So, I’ll take that as a win.
He is starting to be much more attentive to people when they talk. Just the other day I asked “Did you have fun playing with Monty?” (a friend at school that he toddles around with a lot). Nicholas stopped what he was doing, walked clear across the kitchen to me and stood there for 30 seconds just “talking” to me about Monty. Complete with hand gestures. I couldn’t understand much of it but he was purposeful, intent, and excited to tell me the story. 2 weeks before surgery he wouldn’t have done this. He would’ve responded with “mama” and moved on.
It’s exciting to watch this new phase unfold. It’s also funny to be a part of – especially when you get to watch your husband (known for his colorful language) have to learn to self-censor himself.
More to come I’m sure. Here’s to unchartered LOUD waters & the hope that we find the humor in what will surely be a few LOUD words in awkward public social situations. Jesus give me grace (& an abundance of patience).