Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why I Have Gray Hair

Nolan has been having difficulty hearing again. It is no surprise that he is congested - his ears seemed fine for most of last week, thank goodness, but he was constantly poking at his right ear yesterday. This is generally not a good sign.

Last night, he told me that he couldn't hear at all in his right ear. I took a look with the otoscope, and was rather freaked out by what I saw. A thin, white triangle jutted out of yellow fluid and wax. I wasn't sure what I was seeing. I couldn't see his tubes in that ear (this is the ear with two tympanostomy tubes). I thought his eardrum might have perforated and that I was possibly seeing middle ear bones. I had a silent panic attack and was going to take him into the pediatrician on Monday, to confirm what I was seeing.

This morning, I decided to take another look. There was something lying in his ear canal, and I pulled it out. It was a glob of earwax embedded around one of those plastic tags that holds the price tag onto new clothes. It was bent over, and was apparently used by Nolan as a way to scratch an itch in his ear.

Thankfully, it didn't puncture his eardrum and came out on its own. His eardrum was behind the mass of plastic tag/earwax and looks just fine (both tubes in place, one metal and one plastic U-tube).

Of course, the big We Never Put Things in Our Ears lecture was repeated. Hopefully he'll never try a trick like that again.

I am a little concerned that an infection is brewing in that ear, a scant four weeks after surgery. It is itchy, and he isn't hearing well out of it. He's congested and putting his hearing aid in is a little painful. I'm going to watch and wait, and hopefully it will dry out and the cold will disappear. We have PE Tubes #5 and #6 sitting in that ear, and I am truly hopeful that they will last a long (long, long) time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Back to "Normal"

We took a trip to Washington, D.C. for Dennis's marathon over the weekend, and drove home when Hurricane Sandy hit. It was an interesting trip, as it was a bit rushed (we were only there for a few days) and Nolan still wasn't quite "right" with the world. He was still on the anti-fungal ear drops and was extremely cranky. Toward the end of the trip, we had him wear his hearing aid again in the right ear. He was not pleased, as everything sounded extremely loud after a month of not wearing it.

With a 75dB loss in that ear, I can only imagine how uncomfortable the transition to hearing again was. He refused to wear his glasses while adjusting to wearing the right hearing aid again - a strange reaction, but so be it. He has now finished his ear drops and is wearing both hearing aids and his glasses again, so all is right with the world.

We forgot to bring the stroller to D.C., which was a huge mistake with the little guy. There is a lot of walking in the Capital, and it was all a bit too much for Nolan. The car was full with our suitcases and his medical equipment (the I.V. pole disassembles nicely for travel, but still - traveling with Nolan is an adventure).

We saw the White House, several monuments along the Mall, the Air and Space Museum, and the Natural History Museum while we were there. We want to return again in a non-marathon capacity to see more of the sights!

The marathon went well for Dennis and his dad, who ran the 26.2 miles in less than 4 1/2 hours. Dennis's aunt and uncle came to watch, and it was a very lucky thing because Aunt L. was an amazing help with Nolan. Also? She brought donuts. We love people who bring donuts.

The night before we left, we had a really fun visit with Marielle, who is absolutely magnificent. The kids had fun at the McDonald's next door to our hotel. McDonald's would be more awesome if they served some wine and fine cheese, but when in Crystal City during an approaching hurricane, you take what you can get.

The rain and wind started to intensify overnight, and we were up early on Monday to get out of the Capital and home before the hurricane made landfall. There was a lot of wind and rain as we drove, but it was (thankfully) uneventful. The hurricane didn't do much damage in our neck of the woods - a few downed trees and sporadic power outages, but absolutely nothing like the heartbreaking destruction of the East Coast.

The kids have started back to school and we are (thankfully) past the craziness that is Trick-or-Treating. Today I am thankful for the start of November, which is blissfully calm and free of sugar overloads!