We finally made it to see the Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Doctor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia this morning. We are familiar with some of the CHOP procedure, since we see a pediatrician through CHOP. This appointment was so important that they had us in the office for a 7:35am appointment. Most appointments that early wouldn't be a big deal. But Philadelphia is across the river and morning traffic can be a nightmare! So we left home just after 6am, baby still in her pajamas. We knew it was going to be a long morning, since this was our initial visit with the ENT. We arrived, checked in, and gave Isabella some dry cereal for breakfast. Cheerio Girl wasn't thrilled with the offerings. But there is little choice on days where the important doctor visits are this early in the morning.
Once we were all checked in and the nurse practitioner came in to meet Isabella, she was impressed with how well behaved Isabella was when she looked in her ears. Sure enough, after four ear infections since Valentine's Day, she still has fluid in her ears. And, as well behaved as she was to have her ears looked at, she was equally ill-behaved when the nurse practitioner wanted to see her tonsils and adenoids. All was well with those, the issue remains to be the ears. So, we waited to see the doctor. Dr. Handler comes highly recommended, as he has been in the business of making ears better for over 30 years. He is a wonderful man. Isabella really seemed to be okay with him. She let him look in her ears without argument. But again, the mouth was a different story. She did not want him to touch her mouth with that wooden tongue depressor. But she had no choice and just as quickly as she could protest, the mouth and glands exam was over. The verdict? Ear tubes are necessary. For some reason, her ears do not seem to drain the excess fluid that builds up. So the fluid sits there and after a bit of time, bacteria begins to grow and the infections begin. Nothing will change if her Eustachian canals can't drain the fluids. So, we will get visiting the surgical center on the 27th for some nice new ear tubes.
In the meantime, we also took Isabella to visit the Audiologist over at CHOP as part of giving evidence to show that there is fluid in the ears and what the fluid is causing in regards to hearing. Since she doesn't speak on command yet, there was no Speech and Language part to this test, this was simply a hearing test. Isabella sat with me (Hubby sat in a chair behind us) on a chair in this room filled with wires, TV type of boxes, and several things that would eventually make noise when the audiologist commanded it to via her computer on the other side of the tinted glass window. Isabella did well with the test behaviorally, but she did exactly how they all suspected she would do with the hearing. She had no response to the sounds that were at a very low volume. Trust me when I say that these sounds were very SOFT. She acknowledged the other sounds without issue. Then, the put on this headphone device that somehow detects how much sound would be heard if it could bypass all the fluid and she did extremely well on that test. So, it gives evidence to show that with her ears having fluid all the time, she isn't hearing things the way she should be, she hears them as though she is under water.
So, our surgery date is in place and will be done in Philadelphia at CHOP. My sweet Isabella is in the best hands there ever could be. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. They have to put her under general anesthesia and I am so scared for her. I know it's nothing major, lots of toddlers and even younger babies have it done all the time. But no mom wants their child to have to go through any surgery. So I am a bit of a mess about it. I knew it was coming, I knew that this was the direction we were being steered and I am okay with it. I'm just a very emotional mom.
That's the latest news from this end. No news of any other kids. Isabella is more than enough for us for now. God has blessed us plenty with her smiles and giggles. She is in the defiant toddler stage where she is pushing Mommy and Daddy's buttons. Bedtime has suddenly become a power struggle. Eating foods that she isn't interested in is a struggle. Getting dressed when she wants to just be in her diaper can be a struggle. Isabella can be one tough cookie. And I love her with all my heart. She is everything I asked for when I asked for the blessing of a child. And, she is so much more than what I expected. We are thinking that in a few months, maybe we will go back and visit Dr. V to get the ball rolling with a second child, but for now, Isabella keeps us busy, especially with all these ear infections. I'll try my best to update you all as we wait for this ear tube surgery and the after effects of finally getting it!
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