Sunday, July 20, 2008


Gabe is sleeping on my lap as I type, and Thomas just built an elaborate train track and is now reading a book about natural disasters. Brian is listening to The Phantom of the Opera on CD while folding laundry. I am, obviously, here. Welcome to Sunday afternoon at my house.

We have a bit more time than usual, this weekend, to relax. Gabe had no daycare last week, so Brian and I had originally planned to both take Monday off and then split the rest of the week off from work, but as it turned out both Gabe and Thomas had important doctor visits scheduled, and Brian ended up taking the whole week. We needed the down time, not that it was terribly relaxing.

Gabe's endoscopy was Tuesday. I know it was a fairly simple procedure, but I'll still never forget holding him in my arms after he awoke from the anesthesia. He was all groggy and sore... I was brought in to try and feed him, but he just wanted to sleep, so I rocked him for an hour or so, until he woke up (happy) after the nurse removed his IV. He's fine now.

His doctor said the procedure went quickly, and aside from some extra bleeding at the bottom of his esophagus, presumably as a result of inflammation, he didn't see anything terribly abnormal. He did take some biopsies. We should get the results in a few days. -We're not expecting much but are still holding onto a little hope for some miracle answer.

For those of you who aren't already aware of Thomas' situation, we had asked about his hearing at his latest physical as he had shown some sensitivity to loud noises and was saying "What?" often enough that it seemed worth mentioning. We really didn't think much of it; he wasn't having any troubles at school and is a typical little boy... who we thought might just be distracted or ignoring us at times, but his doctor did note some hearing loss in one ear, so we went for a more comprehensive hearing evaluation at the clinic.

The results weren't good, so Brian brought Thomas to a specialist a few weeks ago. In addition to a 40% hearing loss in that ear, the specialist said he could see the hearing bones, and that wasn't right, so he sent Thomas for a CT. On Thursday he showed us the films. He found what he explained to be a cholesteatoma. It's basically a tissue growth where there shouldn't be one, and it's filling the space inside the mastoid, which should be empty. It has to be removed so that it doesn't keep growing and end up causing further hearing loss, dizziness, or damage to his facial nerve or even, eventually, reach his brain.

He goes for his first surgery in just under two weeks. The doctor said to expect that Thomas may lose some to all hearing in that ear after the surgery, but in time, depending on several variables including whether or not the cholesteatoma grows back (apparently common in children), he will perform another surgery in which he will attempt to reconstruct the damaged or partially removed hearing bones. That won't be for at least six to twelve months after the first surgery, but if things go well he could eventually have his hearing restored to that ear or even improved... We just won't know until we get there.

The good news is that his other ear is fine, and I must say that Brian and I sure are glad we brought it up at Thomas' physical. Who knows for how long this could have gone on without us knowing!

So on that note, I've returned to this post many times in between diaper changes, feedings, playing, laundry, cleaning, a hail storm, some goodnight kisses, and who knows what else, and it's time for me to close up shop, but I have many less serious things I'd like to post about soon, so I'm sure I'll be back within the next day or two!

Have a wonderful night!

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