Saturday, May 3, 2014

ear tube surgery

It's been nearly a month now since Shep had his surgery. It was on April 8 at Primary Children's Medical Center. I was quite nervous about him undergoing general anesthesia, as I had read there were some risks associated with it. Luckily, it was a short procedure and didn't seem to have any lasting effects. The surgery wasn't until the afternoon, so we spent a lot of time waiting. In the morning, we met with the ENT and an audiologist for some testing. We signed up to participate in a study to test an experimental antibiotic gel instead of the standard-issue ear drops. Shep would either get the gel during surgery or a sham, but we don't know which he got. So he's had some extra visits associated with the study. (He did end up getting a round of antibiotic ear drops anyway, though, because he had some drainage on one side, which was a bit of a bummer.)

It was hard because Shep wasn't allowed to eat anything, but he really behaved marvelously, considering. We parted ways when the anesthesiologist wheeled him away to surgery in a little wagon, and then we went into the waiting room. I wonder how he did once we weren't with him anymore. It was weird to part, and I sort of wished I could go to the OR. They called us back as he was waking up in the recovery room. Poor kid was not happy at all, and it was sad to see him so out of sorts. He was very disoriented and quite upset. I'm really glad Tim was able to take the day off work and be there, because he was actually the one who was able to comfort Shep the most as we waited to be discharged.

When we got home, we all took a long nap and Shep has seemed back to normal ever since. We haven't noticed a ton of developments with his expressive language skills, although he is saying "hi," "bye," and "uh-oh" much more often and at more appropriate times. We definitely have noticed that he can hear better and he seems to be understanding more. It's really nice to know that he can hear and not wonder if he's deaf when I talk to him. I'm glad we did it when we did, even though we didn't really know for sure how long he had fluid in his ears. I don't think it would have gone away on its own.

Now we're just trying to deal with getting reimbursed for self-pay and getting insurance billed. The insurance came through after the surgery and it's kind of annoying to jump through all these hoops. Ah well . . .


Tim had a week for Spring Break a couple of weeks ago, so we headed to Zion's for two days and one night. It was a quick trip, but I'm glad we went! (Even though Shep is passionately anti road trip.) He did marvelously on our six-hour hike, though. That long hike involved us trying to make it to Kolob Arch, but we only made it about 4 or 5 miles in, about, and the arch is 7 or 8 miles in. It was brutal carrying a very heavy pack (30-pound-baby + water + food), even though we switched off. It took us days to recover.

The day before that, we rode the public transit up Zion's Canyon and did a short hike. Then we camped outside the park in our van. Is it just me, or is sleeping not in a bed always miserable? I always like the idea of camping, but I have a hard time liking it during the night when sleeping is turning out to be hard!