Thursday, May 26, 2005

Finally got to see the specialist

So, I mentioned before that my middle child (3 1/2) has hearing loss in his right ear... Basically the ear bones conduct no sound so he is only hearing through the skull on that ear. Sounds crazy, but he hears only loud things and they probably sound a little different than in his normal ear. Sooo, after about 100 calls and complaints to the office that was supposed to refer him to this surgeon in Denver I finally took him yesterday.

All I have to say is you MUST follow you instincts with your children's health. The first person we saw in Cheyenne (after I talked to the family doc and got the first hearing test) felt that I was clearly overreacting and they wouldn't need to correct it until he was 8-10 and none of the problems with his balance or attention span were in any way related. But, upon my insisting she ordered a cat scan. They saw a soft tissue mass in the middle ear and so she did as promised and referred me to a specialist. Or so I thought. I waited and called, and waited then called and waited then called and got downright nasty with the nurse (which I felt bad about because I am sure she had nothing to do with it) and she finally gave me the number for the doc in Denver. I found out that the referral had never been made and the records never transferred after all my calls to the Cheyenne office.

So, yesterday, about SIX MONTHS after the initial consult with the ENT in Cheyenne, we saw the specialist in Denver, who scheduled us for surgery ASAP. The reason being that the two docs who saw him yesterday actually listened to me and tested his balance… Which is not good. So, now they want to be sure his inner ear is not leaking fluid or forming a fistula because that could actually further the hearing loss by causing damage to the auditory nerve. And, they agreed that they should correct it now while he is young and if they can’t fix it they want to consider a hearing aide.

They think that all of this happened when my daughter stuck a toothbrush in his ear (the narrow metal part on an electric toothbrush) when he was a little over a year old. The bones of your ear are so close to the eardrum that if you puncture the eardrum in the right place you end up moving the bones. Now, in our case there are a few possibilities one of which is that the bon closest to the inner ear got pushed into it thus causing a leak of the fluid, which can be corrected and the inner ear patched. The other possibility is that they are misaligned now, which can be corrected. The final possibility is that a genetic defect has caused the final bone to fuse to the surface of the inner ear (but it should have been detected by the newborn hearing screen if he has had this loss since birth), which they would not correct because of the risk of damaging the inner ear..

Can a Muslim mom give a halleluiah???? Well, maybe an ALHAMDULILAH!!!!

Now I hate the idea of him going into surgery, but I love the idea that modern medicine can actually address this issue and possibly return his hearing to normal. And for the kiddos out there, the lesson to this story is NEVER out anything in your ear larger than your elbow (and don’t put anything in your brother’s ear either!).

I will post more when I get to the surgery part… Please keep our son in your duas.

And for all of you homeshoolers out there, or anyone who wants to know more for that matter... Here's a cool site about the ear and how it works. What my son has is called Moderate Unilateral Conductive Hearing Loss.


Surviving said...

Doctor's can be so frustrating sometimes. My four year old has always been extrememly active, I would even say overly active. He has been very difficult to deal with and had question the size of his tonsils. I had spoken with drs about it but was always told it is normal. At an appt for my youngest my husband mentioned some sleep problems (snoring, restlessness, swollen tonsils) to the dr. She said to bring him in if certain things were happening then she would send him to the ENT. Well I watch and the things she mentioned were happening. After all this time I decided to skip the dr and I just made an appt myself with the ENT (fortunately I had insurance that allowed it). Sure enough there was something wrong with his tonsils which was also causing problems with his ears and he needed surgery. Things did improve after the surgery, being here in Yemen has made some of the problems return for other reasons. Now he is still very active but at least he doesn't keep everyone awake with his snoring.

Surviving said...

I hope that things go well with the surgery and that they are able to correct the problem easily.