Totally tube-ular!

I guess I liked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles more than I realized, because as soon as I sat down to write this post about ear tubes, I thought “Totally tubular, duddddes!” Ah, miss those turtles. Raphael (the red one) was my favourite.

But let’s get back on track — this post is about our toddler, D, and his hearing. Not childhood TV shows and their awesomeness.

We took D back for his follow-up at the ENT (Ear Nose Throat specialist) on Monday. He had a hearing test and some other mysterious tests where they put earbud-type things in his ears, and this is what we found out:

  • Neither of his eardrums are vibrating (just like before)
  • He still has fluid in both ears (just like before)
  • He needs tubes for sure
  • The fluid has been there a while (by my guess, he’s had it at least since his first birthday, when a doctor first noticed it, but it could have even been longer than that) so it is thick and “gluey”
  • Because the fluid is so thick, D will need surgery to have holes poked in his eardrums and the fluid sucked out, and then tubes will be added

So all in all, it was a good appointment. At least we have answers, and a plan.

It’s difficult to watch your child fail a hearing test. But it would also be difficult to watch him pass a hearing test with flying colours, have no fluid in his ears, and still have these struggles with speech. If I had to choose either option, I think I’m happy we have the former.

The ENT was able to give us a date for the surgery (August 15), BUT when I mentioned he also is on the waiting list to have another minor procedure,* he said we can try to schedule them together so he only has to go under anestesia once. So right now we’re waiting for the two offices to coordinate and try to find a time they can “share” little D.

Thank you for the well-wishes and thinking-of-you messages we got before and after his appointment. We feel pretty good about things, and are glad to be moving forward with getting D’s ears fixed up.

I feel nervous when I think about what the surgery will do for his hearing. Will he have permanent damage? Will his hearing actually improve? Will it be a dramatic change, as he picks up new words left and right? Or will he struggle to catch up for years?

Mostly, though, I’m just glad something is going to happen.

*His other procedure is having a blocked tear duct opened up. Having a blocked tear duct means your eye tears up a lot and gets gunky (yellowish) in the corner. It’s a common problem in babies, but in most cases the duct opens up by the first birthday. In D’s case, it did not, and it’s recommended he get it done or else he’ll have a teary, gunky eye for keeps. It has improved a lot in the last few months, but it flares up occassionally, so it’s still worth getting done. Poor little guy.

One Comment on “Totally tube-ular!

  1. How is he doing? I completely agree. Not to say it is good that he has all these problems, but HAVING ANSWERS and a PLAN makes a parent feel so much better! My son has a partially clogged eye duct, but when I would go in (w/ his eyes already healed) the doc would not really believe me. At least you can SOLVE HIS PROBLEMS! Good luck! 😉


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