As many of you know, Tommy had his second ear surgery today. Even though the doctor still felt that Thomas didn't actually have a cholesteatoma, the pocket/hole (where the bone had eroded) near Tommy's eardrum kept filling up with skin, so he decided it was time to go back in, remove any buildup, carve out the pocket, and then cover the hole with cartilage and skin from elsewhere in his ear, so that it would stop happening and hopefully prevent a future cholesteatoma. (I guess previously the doctor thought putting a tube in might equalize the pressure and stop all this from happening, and he was going to wait at least a couple of years for the reconstructive surgery, but we didn't have such luck.) So that's what he did today. It was a long morning, but Tommy tolerated the surgery well. The doctor said he did find an active cyst that he described as the beginning of a cholesteatoma, so it seems that it was a good thing we didn't wait longer to have the surgery done. Thankfully, the doctor was also somehow able to do it all through Tommy's ear canal, which still amazes me. (We were expecting an incision behind Tommy's ear, based on earlier conversations with the doctor.)
Thomas had some difficulty talking and with a bad cough after the breathing tube was removed, but otherwise he had no problems until dinner time, at which point chewing hurt a little. (He has 3 stitches on his outer ear, from where the cartilage was taken.) He has been happy otherwise and seems to be recovering very well. Of course he's also very excited to have Grandma here for the week!
Oh yes, and as you saw above, Mittens accompanied Thomas throughout the whole procedure. Before going in, Mittens was given a patient ID bracelet and a hospital "party hat" just like Tommy's. The nurses wheeled Tommy and Mittens in their rocket ship (aka hospital bed) to the moon (aka operating room). Tommy enjoyed the wheelchair ride out to the car too (as best as any woozy seven year old could, anyway) . He even came home with a cat drawing on his hand. (The doctor marked Tommy's ear prior to his surgery and then asked if Tommy wanted him to draw a smiley face too. Of course Tommy said, "No, a cat," so the doctor drew a cat's face on Tommy's hand.) :)