Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Myringotomy

Although our Christmas decorations have been boxed back up, the handful of pictures we took over the holidays are still hibernating on my camera, so the obligatory Christmas 2011 recap will have to wait. But I do have a few phone pictures to tide you over...

Back story:

By far the most expensive gift of 2011 was Felix's (repeat) myringotomy with ear tube insertion. Right after Christmas we shuttled our almost 2 year old over to Children's for some yuletide ear tubes. Epic "ear behavior" combined with premature terrible twos has provided some trying times over at our house, so when the ENT scheduler said they could get him in right after Christmas, my response was "SOLD!"

The previous tubes fell out after about a year (apparently that is pretty typical), and Felix has been saddled with terrible ear infections over the later half of the fall and into the winter. The deterioration of his hearing in his left ear, coupled with night after night of wakings and wailings and resistance to any and all antibiotics had us all feeling comfortable with the decision to move forward with the surgery. The good thing is that my abs and thigh muscles have never looked better (total for that elusive silver lining) from doing the stand/walk/rock Felix for hours every night for a few weeks, and now after the surgery we are on rocking detox. (Santa forgot to leave us our toddler who we could put in his crib awake and go to sleep before 8:15pm.)

Honestly, this second surgery experience just as seamless, if not easier than the first. Our surgeon, like last time, ran ahead of schedule (Dr Hermann at Pediatric ENT is uh-mazing bee tee dubs) and got Felix in 10 minutes earlier than we anticipated. That may not seem like a lot, but it is when you are wrangling a toddler who hasn't eaten for over 12 hours and has been at the hospital for 2 hours. Luckily, Felix was far easier to redirect and occupy this time around in the tiny pre-op room thanks to his being able to, say, WALK, and get absorbed in Eric's iPad (thank you technology).

We didn't deal with having to refuse middle of the night nursings the night before surgery like we did at 9 months old, and praise yahweh...this child yet again woke up so peacefully after anesthesia, I think we made all of the post-op nurses' day. (They repeatedly warn you that your baby will go from sleeping to screaming in 2.5 seconds...and in all honesty, the post-op ear tube ward almost sounds like a torture chamber. Babies and toddlers are screaming bloody murder, and you can see them thrashing in their parents' arms. I almost sympathy cried and felt like vomiting at one point in anticipation of Felix being wheeled down the hallway screaming.)

I know, I know...the picture below pulls at the heartstrings and I totally made a number of my family members creeped out when I texted it to them, but I wanted photo evidence of him being, well, STILL. And this is the second time we've ever seen him sleep on his back (first time was surgery #1).
Low and behold, Felix had fluid build up in both ears, with both old and new infection in the left side along with a delightful blood clot blocking all sorts of middle ear accoutrements.  Poor little guy.

After sleeping beauty got up, the nurses gave him some apple juice, Goldfish crackers, and we all walked out as Felix said "Merry Chris-mus!" to everyone. That kid can charm the pants off of a never nude. (Tobias? Arrested Development, anyone?)

Rumor has it, for Eric's and my birthday, Felix has wheeled and dealed with the anatomy gods and promised to verticalize (completely made up word) his Eustachian tube.


If we can only shake the damn torticollis.


  1. What a sweet monkey! Glad the procedure went smoothly.

  2. That photo of him sleeping on his back makes me tear up every time, even knowing he's fine. I so hope he's doing much better. Wouldn't it be amazing if having clear ears could positively affect his torticollus (sp?)? Maybe that's asking too much.

  3. glad to know your son is OK and that the Myringotomy has helped him.
    if you ever need tubes again, i would recommend checking the Eardoc. it is a great little device which helps treat ear infections.

  4. I enjoyed reading your funny post so much (yes, got the "never nude" joke!). As an early intervention speech therapist, I was wondering about the effect of his chronic ear problems on his speech and language development and if he did have delays, how did he do post surgery with progress? I have many kids who have chronic otitis media and that's why I am seeing them. I do have one parent currently who insists on delaying the surgery until he is 3 (he is 25mos.) because she is afraid of the sedation meanwhile he is chronically sick and way behind in his speech and language development. I've tried my best to reassure her and share success stories of my other families to no avail. I guess she will have to reach a point of acceptance either due to his continual sickness or maybe he will get well (or his anatomy will "verticalize"!) Any suggestions would be most welcome from an experienced mom.
    Thanks for sharing your story.