Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Head, shoulders, ears and tubes, ears and tubes

This is a post a long time in the making. I kept promising I'd update on J4's ears. Then we decided to try the Chiropractor so I thought I'd wait to report on then (with hopes of a miracle). However amidst that we had other things come up. We are still not resolved but it could be 3-6 months, or years, who knows. So we might as well do a current update.

Background info for those that are clueless or forgot, I will try to keep as brief as possible. At 12 months old J4 had no speech. That isn't really late but all my kids have had about 3 words or more at 12 months. At 15 months he had his 1st ear infection, that's pretty good ear health to most but he still wasn't talking.  20 months old was when he failed his 1st hearing test in his left ear. It turns out he had fluid in his ear.  It may have been there a while, he may have had it on and off, or it could be new, who knows.  To this day, ear infections still don't bother him so he may have been having infections that we didn't know about.  At 22 months old he still failed in the left and now in his right, that was discovered at his 1st ENT appt, as was his 3rd ear infection.  He was already over a year behind in speech so they were quick to want tubes.  He received his 1st set of tubes at 24 months old. His left tube was clogged by his post op visit. So he did not pass a hearing test in his left ear then either, he finally passed his 4th test at 2.5 yrs old.

Things went well for a while, 6 months to be exact. He went for his 6 month recheck and his tubes had  already fallen out and he was failing hearing tests. With his speech about 2 years behind already, they
immediately scheduled to put the tubes back in. At 36 months old he received his 2nd set of tubes and, with the hopes of preventing a 3rd set, they removed his adenoids.

This led to a great stretch. We made it to his post op without issue.  Just to be sure we started seeing an allergist and he started taking allergy meds since he was allergic to nature. We made it to the 1 year mark without issue. A month after his 4th birthday he saw the audiologist and passed with flying colors. A month later, in January, I took his sick sister to the doctor, being a little paranoid about his ears, I decided to take the runny nosed boy with me, just in case. In 1 months time he had lost a tube and had a bad ear infection. By the time he got back to the ENT, 3 weeks later, he had another ear infection.

This wasn't looking good, the "s" word started floating around. Since hubby is adamant all of these issues are caused by the small residual ear assymetry from his Plagiocephaly, I decided to try a Chiropractor.  At this point it can't hurt. Two months, 12 visits and hundreds of dollars in copays later, Joey had another ear infection.

The good news is that at his Allergist appointment last week his ear infection was gone. Today at the ENT it was still gone. The bad news is he did not pass the hearing test. The Tympanogram showed he still had fluid in his left ear. With summer coming they want to give him some time. His hearing isn't horribly effected and we don't want to have surgery yet again. He is still over 2 years behind in speech so it is a very tough call. Since his right tube is still in place we compromised. We will have him be rechecked at the ENT every 2-3 months as long as he's doing OK.  If he is still not passing hearing tests he will get a new set of tubes at the end of summer. If he continues getting ear infections or loses his other tube and hearing in that ear is effected we will get tubes sooner. Optimistically, his ear could adapt to not having a tube and drain on it's own. He would start passing hearing tests and we would be done with tubes forever.  In the meantime, the allergist has raised his allergy med dosage and has offered a 3rd medication (he already takes Zyrtec and Nasonex, Singulair was offered).

Yes, he has had 3 years of Speech Therapy (but is still over 2 years behind), 2 sets of ear tubes, an
adenectomy (I don't think I wrote that right), allergy testing and meds, we've even tried ear oil and the
Chiropractor.  Next step is..........

1 comment:

  1. Several years ago, Uncle Jim was having ear problems for the first time ever. Between fluid and wax that wouldn't soften, I believe, his ears were completely blocked and he could hardly hear. After several treatments and tests, his ENT advised him to try a few months of drops (one part white vinegar to nine parts water). The next step would be surgery. The drops worked and he hasn't had a problem since. The vinegar water is an old wives' tale. Isn't that amazing?
    What's really something is that a few years earlier he kept getting pink eye. Bad pink eye, sometimes in both eyes. The eye doctor was stumped as to what kept causing it. He finally decided to just have him try this old wives' tale of washing his eyelash area with Johnson's Baby Shampoo every time he feels an infection coming on. He hasn't had a full blown infection since.
    Wouldn't it be nice if every problem could be fixed with an old wives' tale? I hope that you can eventually get J's problems resolved. They've been going on such a long time. Poor guy...