This is my son's ear, just 1 year and 3 months after his last surgery.
Some of you have been keeping up with what has gone on for the last several years. If not, here are the related articles I have posted.
MY LOVE....MY SON
MY SON AND MICROTIA
AT WHAT PRICE?
THE DAY BEFORE
MICROTIA - SURGERY #2
*TAP TAP TAP*
As you can see, we have put a lot of time, heart, blood, sweat, tears, and money into this ear.
One thing I haven't really focused on is the hearing portion of this journey.
My son's actual diagnosis is....well, WAS "Microtia Atresia." Microtia meaning "little ear," and atresia meaning the canal is closed. Basically, it means that he has little to no hearing in "Verne."
When he was a baby, we had a test done. This told us that he did, in fact, have hearing in that ear, but we were told it was muffled. He could HEAR a noise, but he couldn't make out the actual sound. Kind of like having your finger jammed in your ear. You might hear that someone is speaking, but you have no idea what they are saying.
YES, it was a big concern. Until he was about 4....when we started having him evaluated for any speech and language development delays. There were none. Because of that, and because he was adapting, we were told that the cosmetic correction was the only thing we really had to worry about.
Now, before you think we were preventing my son from hearing, know that his other ear is perfect, in every way. To correct the malformed ear meant drilling an ear canal. DRILLING!!! INTO HIS SKULL!!! And then, if the doctor moved even a millimeter, a facial nerve could be nicked, thus paralyzing his face. We decided that that was not a decision that we, as parents, could make.
Between the ages of 4 and 8, when he finished up with his reconstructive surgeries, there was never any question that we would be *done* with surgery #3.
Until this past May. Suddenly, my son complained of hearing loss in his good ear. NOT. GOOD. I mean, he is already down one ear. We can't lose another, and develop properly. So, we started aggressively trying to figure out the reason for the hearing loss, what it means, and what we do to correct it.
All his life, we have been advocates for good ear-health. :-) He never had an ear infection. We didn't want to have damaged the only ear drum we were given. And now? Fluid. In his ear. No fever. No cold. No sniffles.
First stop - pediatrician. The ear drum would not move. There was obvious fluid, but it wasn't infected. We put him on antibiotics, just in case it was about to flare up.
Second stop - just days later - an audiologist. Since it wasn't an infection, and he was on antibiotics, we wanted to see what improvements were made. They decided to test Verne....about 80 decibels. That......is not acceptable. BUT, thank God we have another ear....we just have to get it working again.
Third stop - ENT. Nope. No throat issues. No sinus issues. No ear issues....well, except the obvious, I mean. But, he did want to see what, exactly, was in our son's head. He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and suggested an allergist.
Fourth stop - allergist. This is a wonderful man, whom we have seen before, when we had asthma issues. To date, my son has never had allergies, yet the fluid persisted. We *had* to figure out what was going on.
Fifth stop - CT scan. He was a champ and stayed really still. He knew he might have to be sedated if he wiggled. And, he HATES *goofy juice.*
Sixth stop - BACK to the allergist. There was nothing obvious the last visit, so a *full-panel* was ordered. Everything came back negative. Good, but left us wondering.
Meantime, the antibiotics did their job and cleared up the fluid.
Seventh stop - BACK to the ENT. We got the results of the CT scan.
What does it all mean?
It means that God works in mysterious ways.
It means that God ISN'T FINISHED WITH MY SON!
PRAISE THE LORD!!!
Because of this, in the various areas of testing, we found out that he DOES have all the bones in his ear. He has good *space.* Everything is just where it needs to be....well, except an ear drum.
So now, we wait.
We wait a WHOLE WEEK for my son to go get set up for a bone-conduction hearing aid.
WE ARE STOKED!!!!
My baby is going to have his other ear brought up to 30 decibels. At 30 decibels, people don't generally need a hearing aid. It means that he will have perfectly normal, and acceptable, hearing. It means that instead of only being able to focus on the sound he sees, that he will be able to hear "in-stereo."
Moral of the story? If you love God, He will make sure that you aren't left behind. We were happy with what we have been given so far. But, God has SO MUCH MORE planned for us. I'm SO glad He didn't give up on us, while we were being lazy and not listening.
What a loving Father He is.