Thursday, May 19, 2011

Health, Happiness and Hospitals

Yesterday was a day that we had been waiting for. It's the middle of the week, nothing too special about it. For us, in our family, it was a big deal. Let me start at the beginning.

My boys get colds, ALOT lately. They get them every fall, winter, and spring. And whatever cold it is, it stays a long time. It's nothing to be worried about and it only started once they went to school. It's just something we have to adjust too. And we are working on it, slowly.

When Kyler was in JK we found out there was a program called "See Hear". This program comes in and for 10.00 will test your child's sight. They see if they can read numbers/letters objects from afar (like an eye drs test), and check for colour blindness in boys. They will also check your child's hearing. A quick test that is very similar to one you would get done with an audiologist. They put the "plugs" in your child's ears and test for "re-verb" like waves.

We figured for 10.00 why not? So we did it. In January of 2010 we had the first test done for Kyler. It wasn't a big deal but when the results were given back to us we found out there was a problem with his hearing. So we went to our pediatrician and she checked him out. She said it could be anything from a cold which caused fluid in his ears to just having the plugs off by a little bit. We didn't bother to keep going.

This year we did the test again. Kyler was sick at the time so we expected similar results but due to his speech and language issues we thought we should really pay attention this time. And we did. When the results came back again in January 2011 we figured we had to do something. They were the same as the year before. We went to the pediatrician and she said the same thing, again, but encouraged us to call the Canadian Hearing Association. We had dealt with them before getting Quinton into get tested before we began his speech and language issues.

When I called the CHA I was surprised for the waiting list... July 15th. That's when we could get him in, and I called in January! I was shocked. I spent the next little while calling hospitals in the area to see who could do the testing and what I had to do to get it done. I was willing to pay anything to get this done for Kyler.

I found a few hospitals that would do it but I needed a referral from the pediatrician. We did get one eventually. Kyler and I went to the pediatrician again in February to explain what we knew and she faxed off the referrals for us. We got into the one at Sick Kids Hospital by the beginning of March. We had his ears tested and got the same results. So again, we went back to our doctor.

We love our pediatrician. She is so wonderful and so good to us to help us find all the support we needed. She recommended that instead of waiting the 3 months they suggest and doing the test again to go and see another doctor. We got on the list to see Dr. Goldfarb and waited for our next appointment. This doctor could not only do the audiologists test in the office but see him and figure out the best way to do it.

We had an appointment with him in April. We went in and waited for almost an hour in a cramped waiting room but finally got into see him. We did the hearing tests again and then got to see the dr. Dr. Goldfarb said there was a bit of fluid build-up in his ears and that with the speech and language issues the best thing for him right now was to get his tubes done. I said ok lets go! So we had our surgery date set and waited.

About a week before we got the call for the times and everything went from there. I called my mom and dad and they came down for it. Nana and Papa arrived on Tuesday night and then Nana went to the hospital with us. Papa stayed home to watch Quinton. (I just want to say that I have the most incredible "family-like-friends" here in Toronto. When I told some people about the surgery I had lots of offers for babysitting. Mary D was going to watch Q but with Papa coming it worked out well to have him at home).

On Tuesday night we had what Kyler wanted for supper. Hot Dogs and hamburgers and chips. We stuffed ourselves full and then had more. Kyler wouldn't be allowed to eat come morning so we wanted him to have a full belly before bed. I think it was a little *too* full. We had him eat up and then the belly aches started. I'm pretty sure that it was being worried about the surgery but that's ok. He had a tums and a warm magic bag and off to bed he went. Quinton even got to snuggle with him for a bit.

Wednesday morning he woke up and had a glass of juice but it was all put away by 8am. Then we waited. We put the boys in the tub to "waste" some time for them and less time to think about food. Then at 9am we took them out and had them get ready for the day. Kyler's school was doing spirit week and Wednesday was PJ day. So Kyler wanted to wear his pjs. We had them on with his boots and coat for the surgery and we left the house by 9:30am. We were off!

We arrived at the hospital around 9:50am or so and we made our way in. (On a side note Mom was telling me there was this woman she recognized. She said that she was sure she knew her but not remember from where. We saw her again at check in and sure enough when Mom and I started talking about it we realized it was the maid of honour at Kyler's Godmother's wedding. How funny to see her there!) We found our way to the registration and got checked in then up to the first floor for day surgery. We were checked in there as well and then called to the back. This is when the "fun" began.

See I brought my mom for 2 reasons, I'm sure there was more but 2 main ones. 1, I needed someone with me. Arnold is taking a lot of vacation this year to go to Alberta and for other things that I just needed someone to be with me and Arnold couldn't be it. And 2, my mom has many medical "issues". With everything going on with Dad in the past I've become way more aware of how important it is to have a good medical history. Things I didn't know before having kids are now so much more important to me now.

For example, our reason for the "Fun" at the hospital, Malignant Hyperthermia . If you click on the name you can find out more about it. We told the check in nurse about it and she had to notify the Anesthesiologists about the "issue". It was called in and then we waited. Kyler was given 2 gowns to put on. One, tied at the back, and one was worn like a coat in the front. I had to giggle at how many people had it "wrong" in the kid waiting room.

Oh and was that an experience. There is this small room with chairs around the outside, 2 N64's and VHS players set up. In the middle was a PlayStation set up as well. Kids played video games or watched movies while waiting. Whatever surgeries that were going on today was super quick because after you were talked to by the doctor, then the Anesthesiologists, then about 5 minutes or less later a nurse would come in and talk to you and off the kids went! I was shocked. But it was good.

I had to giggle at the kids who showed off their undies, at the parents who left after their kids went in for surgery (which, BTW was less than 15 minutes from the time we said goodbye to when I was called back), and most of all at this one family. The dad and son came in and the dad was carrying this big Lego box. It was the castle one with wizards and such. HUGE. Anyway the son went right for the game systems and didn't look back. The Dad on the other hand sat over this kids table hunched down putting together this Lego castle! It was funny. My Mom and I joked you had to keep the dad's busy too!

Dr Goldfarb came in and explained what would happen and how quick it would be, then we waited. The Anesthesiologists came in and explained how it would go and what was needed to be done to protect Kyler from any chance of having Malignant Hyperthermia. All of the machines were being flushed and the rooms "re-cleaned". I later found out all the nurses and people working in the room had to change their clothes as well. We were also told that the wait time in recovery for this was 4 hours. Just to make sure he didn't have any bad reactions. But because our Anesthesiologists took such care and concern about it we were able to leave as soon as the other kids. It was so nice of him. I'm not sure I could have taken 4 hours in the recovery room!

The nurse came in and got Kyler and we walked down the hall pushing all the open door buttons. He loved it. Then I gave him a kiss and hug and off he went into surgery. When I asked him what happen he said that they took off a boot and sock and put on the glowing light to check his pulse. Then he got to breath in gas and then he fell asleep. He was kinda bummed he didn't get to see what colour the drill was! He woke up in recovery and didn't cry or complain. The nurses loved him.

I was called in about 15 minutes or so after. Dr. Goldfarb came in and talked to me about how it went. I asked questions (will he notice a change right away - yes; will he be able to swim tomorrow - no; can he do gymnastics soon - yes; ect). And then I waited. We found out things will be a little different for K from now on. Whenever his head will be submerged under water he must wear earplugs. We are getting a few sets for my moms house so he can wear them in the pool there. And the dr recommended a "headband" like thing to keep the water out of his ears. He also said things will be "too loud" for a bit. Kyler had some fluid build up in his ears already so he had to drain it and deal with that first before the tubes. It's not a big deal and this way everything is clean and clear and ready to go.

Once I got to see Kyler I sat with him while he had a pink Popsicle and we visited about how it went. I got to talk to the Anesthesiologist again and he said things went fine. He gave me a list of things to watch for until before supper and see how it went so I did. I was to watch for body rigidity, his temp going up and spasms. None of which happen, and wasn't expected too because of such good care we had. We got his dressed and headed out.

I was ready to hold his hand but the nurse said to "hold him up" a bit. Good thing I did too! Those drugs weren't totally out of his system and he was stumbling alot. Mom and I had to hold him up for a bit. We decided to sit down and I went to get his drops script filled. We waited for those and Nana got Kyler some chips and ice tea to have while we waited. Mom and I had some fun. We "tested" Kyler's' hearing.

While I had Kyler look away at something Nana whispered something to him. Something about a treat at home and Kylers eyes just light up. I was surprised how much "better" he was hearing so fast. All day I did it. I can see our house becoming a bit "quieter" for a while.

Once we got the drugs we made our way outside again and paid for parking. Then to the car. Kyler was still stumbling so I carried him to the car. We got him in and headed home.

We got home around 1:30, or 2pm and Papa and Kyler put together his new Lego treat. He loves his new tractor! And after I packed up Quinton they were off! Nana, Papa and Quinton headed out for Sarnia. This gave me some more time to spend with Kyler and make sure he was ok.

Kyler slept. ALOT. He fell asleep by 2:45 and slept until almost 6pm. I got him up and we walked to the pizza store for something to eat. He was feeling so much better by then. And we happen to meet Dad there. We headed home and had supper, then drops in his ears and bed time.

As a side note, we were talking about when Kyler would be ready for his own room but after last night, I'm thinking it will be a while. Kyler was in his own bed by 8pm or so and at 9pm I went to bed. I stopped into check on him and he couldn't sleep without Quinton. So he came to snuggle in my room. We were both out by 10pm and Arnold never bothered to move Kyler. Arnold slept on the couch in the boys room and Kyler and I slept in our room. (he is a *much* better sleeper than Q. Kyler stays in one place!)

Tonight we are hoping that he will sleep better and Arnold and I can have our bed back.

This morning we got ready for school, did the ear drops (which caused some problems today) and then headed out. I talked to Mr. Brown about Kyler thinking everything is "so loud" right now, and it will tone down in a bit. But for now, this is how it seems. I told Kyler if things are too loud to tell Mr Brown and he can try to do something for him. Then I talked to Mrs. F about how he is sometimes putting his hands over his ears because things are SUPER loud to him. I asked, if she saw him doing it in school, if she could tell him that things are loud now but they will seem better later, and we don't need to put our hands on our ears.

Sure enough, the boys got rowdy in line and one of them SCREAMED, so loud. Kyler put his hands on his ears and I could have sworn he was going to cry. It was so hard to stand back and watch but Mrs. F is incredible and went over and talked to them. All seemed ok after that.

We now wait to see how things go. We will go back to Dr. Goldfarb on June 29th and get his hearing re-tested and see how it is. But for now my little man is hearing wonderfully! We are so happy.

1 comment:

  1. Kids are very resilient. Wade only had to wear plugs for the first two weeks. His dr said that water is not an issue, it is the soap from showers. He can't dive to the bottom of a 6 foot pool, but that's not something he does anyway!