Sunday, April 20, 2008

Update on James' ears, etc.

Last Monday we took James to an Allergist. They tested him for about 15 combinations of allergens on both arms and found him to be allergic to...cats. Cats? Yes, it makes sense, Ben is allergic to cats. However, we don't have one, none of our friends have one, neither of our families has one, our apartment does not have carpet, and I think he's seen one live in person once or twice. It doesn't make sense to me that he would have all these 'allergy attacks' brought on by cats. The allergist said that it could still be a bit early to test him and that he could be allergic to other things, but not registering the allergies yet, or that it could be 'contaminants' that are causing the symptoms. He prescribed a antihistimine/decongestant oral med and a nose spray.

And he said, "Go see an ENT."

This made us really glad that we had already previously scheduled the appointment with an ENT.

On Wednesday we saw the ENT. He asked us a bunch of questions and examined James. The first thing he said was, "This kid has a HUGE head." The only thing I could think to reply was, "Yeah, my pelvis thought so." I guess I shouldn't always say the first thing I think, huh? Anyway, He said James was definitely a good candidate for tubes and that it would improve his quality of life (and ours, too!) I was surprised when he asked if James spends a lot of time breathing with his mouth open even when he's not "sick". (I had actually JUST pointed that out to Ben a few days before we saw the ENT, just commenting on it and not thinking it was significant.) When I answered affirmatively, he said that he was quite sure that James' enlarged adenoids were causing both the mouth breathing and the lack of clearing of his ears.

We asked him a million questions about the tubes, as in, "Can he go swimming without ear plugs? What about bath time? What special care will he need? How big are they?", etc. The ENT paciently and kindly answered all the questions and asked if we were ready to proceed. We told him we wanted to go home and think about it (and pray about it) and that we'd call back to schedule, if that was the decision we made. We talked it over and did a bunch of reading that afternoon, prayed about it and called back to schedule James for tubes and adenoidectomy. A few of the things that we were happy about: He can go swimming without earplugs because surface tension will keep water from entering the tubes. (Soapy water you have to be careful with, though.) A big plus for us: should James get any ear infections after the tubes are placed, they can be treated with antibiotic ear drops and not oral medication, YEAH! That's huge for us.

James will be under for about 15 minutes to complete both procedures. Our Bishop is an anesthesiologist and has requested to be assigned to that surgical center that day-- I hope it works out. From what I've read, the worst parts of all of this are keeping your child from eating/drinking before the operation and a 'scratchy throat' for a day or two. I'm hoping that's as bad as it gets for us!

I really hope this helps James get relief from getting all these ear infections all the time. I'm worried about the sheer quantity of antibiotics that he's had to take to heal his ears time and time again. There's lots of things I worry about, so I hope that this is the beginning of a happy ending.


J & K Shapiro said...

I am so happy to read all this! Let us know when his hospital visit will be so we can be thinking and praying for him; and for you. Super glad you guys went to both doctors.
Fun and cute birthday!! I loved the Blue's Clues cake!

Sandy said...

Sounds like things are starting to come together in a good way for you! I've known plenty of children that had ear tubes. It is amazing that such a small thing can make such a big difference - I imagine it will for you as well!

Amy said...

After the tubes I am (hoping and) betting that life will be so different for little James -- and you! Good luck with the surgery...