Articles I Have Written
- The Best Books for Kids with Hearing Loss
- Sleep Studies for Kids
- Adjusting to Hearing Aids
- Free Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
- First Steps When Baby Can't Hear
- When Baby "Refers" on the Newborn Hearing Test
- Water Sports with Hearing Aids
- What is the Newborn Hearing Screen?
- The Best Hearing Aid Accessories for Kids
- Choosing Eyeglasses for Kids
- Great Hearing Loss Simulations
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
ENT Visit/Sinus CT Results/Fundoplication Referral
Why does the flurry of doctor appointments always seem to come over the winter months?
On Monday, we went to see Nolan's ENT to discuss his sinus CT results. We had been given a heads-up that the CT results showed sinusitis, so that wasn't really a surprise. His sphenoid and maxillary sinuses show evidence of chronic sinusitis, a result of the ever-present acid reflux that inflames the area. The mucus can't drain, so it becomes infected. Since the sinusitis is caused by the reflux, we can't really treat the sinus disease until we get the reflux under control.
We also discussed Nolan's ridiculous ear infections. We now know why the antibiotic drops can't cure the infections. The child has stomach acid coming out of his ears - there is no amount of antibiotic therapy that is going to work in that scenario. You can clear the resulting infection, but the inflammation and drainage are going to remain.
Of course, this means that our attempts to treat the symptoms of Nolan's acid reflux are failing. We can treat the apnea with a C-Pap. That is, when Nolan can tolerate the C-Pap mask and isn't too nauseated at night. We have removed his tonsils and adenoids, trimmed his lingual tonsils, had his larynx trimmed and his epiglottis tacked up. We have had four sets of ear tubes inserted, and supplement his diet so that he can maintain his weight, even when he won't eat. We have him on adult dosages of two different anti-reflux drugs. And none of it is really working.
And then there is the nausea and stomach pain. We have a four year old child who begs us for more medication. Who asks for a bowl to hold onto at bedtime. Who says, "I feel sick" several times each day. Who gags and coughs from reflux on a regular basis.
With his lungs, airway, ears, sinuses, and nutrition affected, avoiding a fundoplication is no longer feasible. He has been referred to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for a Nissen Fundoplication evaluation. We don't have any appointments yet, so I have no idea when the ball will get rolling. I don't know what the evaluation process involves, or what the overall success rates are for a child with Nolan's particular form of acid reflux.
We do have a bazillion questions for the surgeon, and I am busy formulating a list.
On the plus side, the ENT did call over the audiogram from his hearing test on Friday, and his hearing is definitely stable. We'll take all the good news we can get around here!