I took Nolan in for his routine ENT visit. Of course, with Nolan, there is almost never anything "routine" since he has a plethora of ENT problems.
Fundoplication vs. C-Pap
We discussed putting off the fundoplication indefinitely, though I realize we may have to revisit the issue again in the future. Our ENT feels that Nolan's "awful August" was directly caused by the C-Pap - he started C-Pap therapy in August and became very, very ill with retching, choking, and exacerbated reflux symptoms. Apparently, they've seen this reaction in the other kiddos with severe acid reflux. On the other hand, Nolan is doing extremely well this month, and seems to be tolerating the full-face mask much better than the nasal masks. Either he has adjusted or we're just having a great month. Time will tell, but I have every finger and toe crossed that the full-face mask is simply negating some of the issues of the nasal mask (the nasal mask forced air directly into his nose, whereas the full-face mask simply pressurizes the air around his entire face).
Nolan was quite wibbly-wobbly in the office and fell a couple of times. We've seen this at home a lot, but it is the first time he's done it in a doctor's office. We've been attributing it to his sometimes wonky gait or to his amblyopia (both of which can cause "clumsiness"), but she thinks he has something vestibular going on. It would make sense since he has had a progressive hearing loss, but we'll see. She wants to do some sort of test in a spinning chair, but I don't really see the point. If it is vestibular, it isn't like we can do anything about it. She does want him to avoid contact sports that might result in a blow to the head because of the balance and hearing issues - which is strange, because he doesn't have enlarged vestibular aqueducts (these are the precautions usually given to kids with that "issue" who still have residual hearing). I'm letting it go - he's a little clumsy now and then, but it isn't the end of the world (and it isn't really a "fixable" thing, anyway).
His sinuses are horrible, of course, but they have been horrible for the past three years. With his form of acid reflux, the acid shoots past the esophagus and hits the nasal passages and airways. She ordered a CT scan of his sinus cavities to see how much damage has been done: cue episode 547 of "Reflux Sucks." Since he is a C-Pap user, he may require intervention with his sinus cavities, since they are chronically infected and he can no longer breathe through his nose. Another thing that I'm not too worried about, but we'll see what the CT scan shows.
The Dreaded Earwax
He had wax in his left ear, so we had to take a walk to the procedure room and use the Papoose Board of Doom. Since he has long-term tubes in his ears, we can't use DeBrox or any of the other over-the-counter wax removal products. We're stuck with the ENT's metal earwax removal device, which Nolan loathes. Actually, loathes might be too kind of a word. He completely flipped out once we went into the procedure room - he remembers this room and hates it with an unparalleled passion. I can't say as I blame the kid.
A Reward for a Difficult Day at the Doctor's Office
After the wax removal, Nolan's ear hurt too much to put the hearing aid back in place. He was rather unhappy with all of us, so I tried to cheer him up with a trip to McDonald's. We don't go very often, but I looked up a McDonald's with a great indoor playground, which happens to be right next to the ENT's office. They had eating booths that looked like trains and a massive indoor playground. Nolan was happy by the time we left (thank goodness).
We will have the CT scan performed (outpatient, no sedation required) and return in early November to discuss the results with the ENT.
At least October is nearly doctor free!