Sunday, July 31, 2011

Swim, Wynn, Swim!

Wynn has been swimming four days a week lately - two nights of lessons and two family splash times. She's loving it, and we're loving watching her have fun learning something new.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Update - Eardrum Repair

We have an appointment this Thursday, Aug. 4 to follow up on the puncture & scar tissue in Wynn's left ear. Hoping we'll have a plan of action after that meeting.

Meanwhile, she seems to be healing up just fine on the right side. She's not cranking up the volume on the TV anymore & is able to hear me whispering to her.

She's wearing wax earplugs for swimming and baths (and she's really learning a lot in the pool!) Friday nights & Sunday mornings are Family Fun Super Splash Time :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not According to Plan

Wynn was a great patient this morning: genial to the nursing staff, uncomplaining for having gotten up early and skipping breakfast, and not afraid in the least (she had been asking questions of us for the past week, and I guess we answered everything she wanted to know.)

We arrived at Gillette Hospital at 6:15, by 6:45 we were in pre-op, and by 7:30 I was suited up in white Tyvek and holding Wynn's hand as she drifted off to unconsciousness.

We'd barely sipped our coffee and tea when our pager went off and the operating-room nurse was telling us that the procedure was done and Wynn was moving to the recovery room.

The surgeon, Wynn's ENT specialist, came out to tell us the procedure did not go as planned. While he was able to insert a tube in her right eardrum, on her left side he said there was tissue scarring and an open hole. She will need some reconstructive work done there, but this was not the right time for that procedure.

In a couple weeks we will take her back to the ENT clinic for an additional exam and surgical consultation where the next steps will be determined.

Meanwhile we are hoping the tube on her right side will relieve the fluid imbalance there and improve her low-frequency hearing. Wynn's speech pathologist suspects we will see another significant improvement in her speaking clarity when she is able to accurately hear all she is saying. (If this is the case, it may be that continued speech therapy will prevent having to operate again on the back of her palate this winter.)

Everything is dependent; her hearing affects her speech, but the problem with her hearing comes from the same root cause as her speech issues; that is, her palate muscles aren't strong enough to do all the things they need to do. We do what we can to help her get stronger, but we're anxious that exercise alone won't get her to where she needs to be.

We were back in the pre-op room with Wynn shortly after 8:00, where she was trying to eat a blue popsicle but not having much success keeping it down. She had a blank look on her face, locked on the TV where Dora the Explorer was playing. The nurses checked her over and gathered her post-surgical documents, and by 9:00 we were on the road for home.

She barfed twice in the car. Thankfully Ann was sitting next to her, with a little pan to catch the bright blue goop in.

Wynn was parked on the couch out on the porch for the rest of the morning, watching some TV, napping for a bit, working on a paint-by-number set, and playing with My Little Ponies. Her tummy was still queasy for a few hours, but at 12:45 she was able to eat some soup, and she's working on a slushy-pop right now.

We'll keep watching her through the afternoon - will she crash or will she bounce off the walls? Will she be going to preschool tomorrow morning?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Case You Haven't Heard

We've been noticing that Wynn says, "What?" an awful lot and sometimes needs us to say her name two or three times before she turns around and acknowledges us.

Then we had a storm.

Wynn, Shadow, and I were home the other day when a thunderstorm rumbled through. Shadow was shuffling around, spooked by the noise, so I explained to Wynn that he was afraid of the thunder.

"What thunder?" she asked.


This morning we took Wynn to the ENT/audiologist's office, and (after removing a TON of wax from her ears with a tiny vacuum) they confirmed that she has significant hearing loss in both ears. The good news is that it has nothing to do with the nerve; it's all about fluid building up behind her eardrum, which is fairly common among kids with cleft palate.

She'll be going in for surgery in two weeks - a quick insertion of tubes in both ears. She won't have to stay in the hospital overnight, but she will probably spend the rest of her summer swimming lessons with earplugs in.

She is not excited about having surgery and is already arguing her case by pointing out how she can already hear better without the wax and by telling us that she doesn't want super hearing because it might make things too loud in her ears.

We're just glad this is a relatively simple fix and that we'll be able to get it taken care of before she starts school in the fall.