The Ear Tube Consultation

Playing a little catch up here after a busy week.

I took Alex to visit a different ENT than our surgeon, by their recommendation, for the purposes of getting Alex going with ear tubes. Our surgeon noted that he does have some fluid in his ears that need to be drained out prior to surgery to minimize any chance of infection, so that’s something we had to get addressed pretty quickly.

The consult was relatively straightforward, though it took some time because the office was pretty insanely busy. The doctor cleaned Alex’s ears out with a little help from a nurse to keep him still. From there, he was able to look into his ears and verify that he still had some fluid in his ears. He explained that typically, because the fluid wasn’t infected, that he would recommend to just hold off for eight to ten weeks and see if it resolves itself, but because we’re bumping up against his surgery date that he’d go in and take care of it.

There was a little bit of confusion as to whether or not our surgeon wanted him to perform the operation or just validate that he’d need ear tubes that our surgeon would put in himself, so he called him on his cell phone. Nice little tidbit there is that despite the fact that our surgeon is also insanely busy (apparently he has a wait list now for new patients!), he knew who Alex was right off the bat. Good to know that our kid isn’t lost in the hubbub.  Anyhow, our surgeon confirmed that he wanted the ENT we were seeing to go ahead and do the surgery.

I then got a little more information about the procedure itself. Alex will have to be anesthetized, but the procedure itself is only about five minutes and is apparently a cinch. The doctor explained that this procedure is the most common reason why a patient would have to undergo anesthesia, which put me at ease. The tubes themselves are very small, won’t be visible, will drain the ears out after only about two or three days, and will pop out on their own in about a year, give or take two months. No problem there.

The only thing left to do a that point was to get it scheduled with one of the nurses at the front desk. It’s been funny to see how some of the things I’ve thought we’d have major headaches or have to fight over have gone relatively smoothly. The nurse told me that we could actually bring Alex in THE NEXT DAY or wait for two weeks. I opted to wait for the two weeks just to keep things sane for the family, especially since the tubes only needed two or three days to do their thing. Even if the two week appointment gets cancelled because the doctors is sick, the next appointment after that would still leave us a buffer. So we’re going in that direction.

The surgery will happen at Children’s Hospital, same place Alex stayed at during his time in the NICU, same place he had his MRI performed, same place he’ll have his cochlear implant surgery performed. Shannon and I are already familiar with the registration and pre-surgery process and we also know that Alex did well with the anesthesia the last time minus being pissed off for a bit coming out of it, so I think that takes a little bit of the edge off of the whole thing. It’s an outpatient procedure; in fact, we’ll probably be leaving the hospital between one and two hours after he gets out of surgery. Outside of that, we’ll have a six month checkup.  No big deal.

I feel horrible for the poor little guy, though. In the first year of his life he’ll have been put under three times as much as I’ve been in my 32 years of existence. It’s a shitty thing to think about, but at the same time I know he’s not going to remember this stuff and we’re blessed that we’re on a path where we can get him his version 1.0 ears ahead of the average age. I can’t wait for us to get to the point where the surgeries are all done and the work we’re doing is just introducing him to the world of sound.  Two months to go.


2 thoughts on “The Ear Tube Consultation

  1. I loved that the doc called the other doc on his cell phone! And how great that he knew exactly who Alex was! All good signs! You’ve got such a great group caring for him…starting with two amazing parents!

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