Edward went to the ENT today. First we saw an audiologist who did a hearing evaluation and created a tympanogram. It was unfortunate that the office's air conditioning system had broken over the weekend because that little audio booth was hotter than blazes. It was the whole body equivalent of walking barefoot across a black sand beach and Edward was not amused. He is a child that likes his comforts and being parboiled is something that not even the most heat-tolerant person can enjoy.
I mean, this is Edward on Monday at a parade. A parade: fire engines, cherry convertibles, people throwing candy at him every three seconds and he was Queen Victoria in miniature. Every time I look at this picture I laugh. So other than that how was the parade, little Lincoln?
Anyway Edward doesn't like being too hot (or too cold for that matter) so the hearing eval was a trial from the beginning but even allowing for less than optimal testing conditions it was still pretty obvious that Edward is suffering from some moderate (one hopes, temporary) hearing loss.
They tried a few different strategies but eventually had him point to pictures of various things, which he did with aplomb. Then they put headphones on him and asked again. He did fine at first but they must have changed the volume because he did much less fine. You could tell that he could hear they were asking him to point at... something... but he had no idea what it was exactly. It was startling to me (I had no idea that Edward was having trouble hearing things at lower volumes) and more than a little sad. Poor baby, stabbing his fingers at random airplanes and hotdogs and then looking hopefully around like, was that it? Did I get it right? Can we get the hell out of Death Valley now?
Then they did a tympanogram, which is quick and easy and checks to see if the ear drum is boing'ing back when hit with sounds waves. Edward's (plural) are not. Rats! but not unexpected as chronic fluid build-up was one of the reasons we were there.
Speaking of which, I scheduled the appointment with the ENT right after one of the pediatricians at one of our urgent care visits diagnosed a lingering sinus infection as a probable source for the lingering ear infection. Then we saw our regular pediatrician and he flipped through Edward's history, noted that they had seen fluid behind his ear drums at virtually every appointment and suggested we go to the ENT. So prior to showing up yesterday I called the office and said, hello, by the by, I mentioned chronic sinus infections when I originally scheduled but now we have a dueling or possibly concurrent chronic ear trouble diagnosis - just wanted to let you know and see if that changes the appointment parameters at all? They said thanks for letting us know, we'll make a note of it and she'll just check it all out when you come.
When we registered they gave me a stack of forms and I filled them out. When I handed them back across the desk they asked if I had gotten them all done and I said, sort of, because they had only given me a diagnostic sheet for sinusitis and he has a possible ear thing as well. They said oh! Thanks! That is very helpful, here is a sheet for ears and we'll get you into the audiologist before you see the doctor.
So that was all very good and well and useful.
Then the medical assistant took us from the audiologist to the exam room (pausing to weigh and measure Edward) and asked, what brings you in today?
I took a deep breath and mentioned pretty much everything I thought was relevant: the aspirating and feeding difficulties as a baby, the chronic cough, the hoarseness, the stridor, the snoring, the perpetually gunky nose, the chronic ear fluid, the six weeks of infected ears...
She cut me off, "So he had three ear infections or one ear infection?"
I said, "Well, I really don't know. Over the course of a month and a half we repeatedly went to the pediatrician. They prescribed three rounds of antibiotics but every time they saw him his ears were still infected."
She said, "So what am I supposed to write down?"
I said, "Um, that? Oh, also, on the last visit the pediatrician noted that his ears were infected but his sinuses were as well so the last antibiotic round lasted three weeks but a week after stopping he became congested again."
She gave this gigantic sigh and said, "Look. She won't have time for everything and you will need to schedule different appointments. What is the PRIMARY reason you are here today?"
Fortunately I was glued by sweat to the vinyl exam room chair or I might have leapt up and shaken her until her piercings fell out. If I knew what his problem was I would have stayed home where the temperature is lower than 90 degrees and had one of my witch doctor friends whip up a potion. I was trying to give the doctor every symptom I could think of relating to Edward's ears, nose and throat with the - perhaps naive - layparent's assumption that it is all related.
I was just inflating my lungs to express this when the doctor walked in and sat down in the other vinyl chair and listened thoughtfully to everything I had to say. God I love her even if Patrick does still refer to her as The One Who Has My Tonsils, as if she was keeping them in a jar or something.
She listened to me and then checked Edward. She said his tonsils look great and he has fluid behind his ears to account for the subpar hearing. She also said he has a blockage which could be caused by one of four things: adenoids, sinuses, adenoids and sinuses or reflux.
She said that she didn't want to leap to tubes right away because she suspects that the ears are not the first site with him and that draining the fluid might not fix the underlying problems. She has ordered a mini (10 second) CT scan for next week so that she can see both the sinuses and the adenoids. If they are fine then we'll look into reflux. Oh and allergies. She said we certainly want to look into allergies if he is structurally ok.
So that is the deal with our Eddybear. The only child that appeared to be listening to me and it turns out that he had no idea I was saying anything. Kinda like Steve only with Steve it is a learned skill and Edward feels like he is underwater.
In other news the fourth of July was really really fun. We went to our town's parade and discovered that Caroline is a born parade goer. She waved her little flag like she was starting a Nascar race and people crossed the street to thrust things into her hands. The child got 8 freezee pops, two necklaces, 25 pounds of candy, stickers, some beer cozies, two Vulcan kisses, and at least three business card magnets for sewer services.
She was in her element.
Then we had to hose her down in the yard.
As for Patrick, we were with our good friends and he had a bag full of blue raspberry lollipops. Life gets no better than that.
Thank you so much for your comments on the weight gain. I really do love you and I am not just saying that. I love the way all of your different perspectives mesh together. I thought about what you had to say and how a desire to be and feel healthy might lead to something other than... (ha ha! I just typed "depravation" and looked at it for a minute trying to figure out why it didn't look quite right)... deprivation and the long and the short of it is I am using Weight Watchers like a food journal because I am all about the apps and I went to Walmart and bought a bicycle.
I am five feet four inches tall, which the internet tells me is average for an adult woman. So I was confused during my bike search by the fact that I pulled cruiser after stylish cruiser off the racks only to drop the seats to their lowest heights and still find myself dangling there like a preschooler on a pony. I finally realized that I have - there is no other word for it - abnormally short legs and if my body were properly proportioned based upon my torso I would be about seven feet tall and a super model and we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
Anyway I lingered in denial for a while before slinking around to the other side of the aisle where I tried to find the most sophisticated child's bike on offer. Eventually I said oh to hell with it and I am now the proud owner of a turquoise beauty with white flowers and hot pink fenders. It looks like I beat up a Brownie and took her bike but who cares? Yesterday I drove it over to the flatest bike path I could remember and zipped three miles around the lake: Lance Armstrong's baby sister (minus the doping allegations, largely because one can safely assume that anybody using performance enhancers would not have had to get off and push their bike over a gopher hill as I did.)
So thank you.
Oh and if you have any thoughts on little kids and their gunky heads I would like to hear them. The ENT did say that with the hearing problems she was not going to sit too long on Edward's ears, which I took to mean that in the absence of a treatable primary cause he will probably get tubes put in. Maybe. We're still waltzing around with Patrick and his sinuses. He has ANOTHER infection right now that I am tackling with the neti pot and Flonase but if it doesn't clear up soon we'll have to go back to the doctor and see if she has any more strategies. His nose has been getting worse rather than better and he woke up today complaining of feeling exhausted. I am trying not to imagine Edward and Patrick in side by side recovery beds. Bleh. I'd feel like a ward nurse.
Hmmm wah wah wah. Sorry. Everything is really quite nice right now. Just a little worried about the boys.
PS I have no idea what is up with that book ad and the images that must be from a 70s sex manual, no? I hate to offend you so I just contemplated rejecting it but then I thought of the pennies and concluded we can all grin and bear it. Right? Also the Florida ad is paying me a fortune (like, DIMES) so go ahead and click on it and then go to Florida and have a good time.
PPS On the topic of summer reads (or listens) I have gotten the Stephanie Plum series out of the library on audiobook and it is amusing me. Well, amusing me enough to pass the time while I unload the dishwasher. What I like best about it is the fact that I heard this same narrator reading an Erma Bombeck book so as far as I am concerned Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, is an alter ego for Erma Bombeck, Midwestern housewife for the ages. It adds a piquancy to the whole thing.