Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Her [sort of] bionic ears

For the past several months Avelyn has suffered from recurring non-stop one freaking long double ear infection (AKA otitis media).  Poor thing’s ear are always filled with fluid which has been causing pain and interfering with her ability to hear.  Kevin and I decided to go ahead and get tubes to alleviate this problem and prevent further damage.

Today we got up at 5:45 am and drove Avelyn to the surgical center for her very first surgery.  She was so good and I was so proud of her.  We took her straight from the crib to the car in her PJ’s hoping she would fall back asleep on the way.  She didn’t, she just sat in the back, eyes open wide all the way.  Can you blame her?  If someone woke me up from a deep sleep, put me in the back of the car and drove off in the dead of night I wouldn’t be so quiet about it.  I’d fight back, kicking and screaming and more importantly, wonder why I had been sleeping in a crib and why I was riding in a car seat.  Anyway, she didn’t cry.  She’s a better man than I.

When we got to the center she was in a really good mood, especially for 6:30 in the morning.  She smiled and cooed to the check in clerk while Kevin did his best impression of Mad-Dad-what-the-eff?-I-can’t-pay-this-much-money-today-and-I-shouldn’t-have-to-pay-anything-up-front-what-the-hell-am-I-even-paying-“insurance”-for-oh-fine-just-charge-it-so-my-daughter-doesn’t-lose-her-hearing-and-suffer-chronic-pain-you-horrible-no-good-very-bad-healthcare-SOB’s which both embarrassed and made me proud.  It helps to have a yin to your yang sometimes.

Can I just brag about my daughter for a minute?  She was incredible.  By far the best kid in the whole Pre-Op wing.  There were four kids waiting, including Avelyn, all of them getting tubes and one getting tubes and adenoids removed.  We were the first surgery of the day and were only behind schedule because wouldn't you know it, the anesthesiologist ran late.  It’s true that people in Texas apparently lose all sense of intelligence when it snows/rains/a bird poops outside and forget how to drive but come on man, everybody in that waiting room was on time for their surgery and you can’t make it to work?  Pssh.  Most of you know how exciting it could have been to wait with a 12 month old that hadn’t eaten since eight o’clock the night before but she was fantastic.  One of the other kids whined and cried the whole time we were waiting with only curtains to separate us.  The adenoids kid was older and sick and just laid on the bed like a sack of potatoes while I willed Swine Flu away with mind bullets.  The other kid was just not even close to being as cute as Avelyn in her pajamas.  She smiled at everybody, she talked and sang to everybody, she slobbered kissed my face, hugged me close and most likely showed all the other parents how inferior their less attractive children were.  Not that I’m super proud or anything.

Let me also tell you that a baby on drugs is really funny.  It’s sad and heart breaking and I wish she never ever had any reason to take anything but come on, it’s really funny.  We gave her some pre-op pain meds before they took her back and she was hilarious.  Went right to the nurse without crying, which made me happy.  I was not looking forward to handing her over to a stranger while she cried out in blabla-ese “You traitor!  My wretched mother is a traitor!”

The whole thing took less than 10, maybe 15 minutes.  I was getting into a news report about a completely stupid mother and her completely stupid alternative discipline style when the doctor called us back to be with her.  That was not so funny.  Avelyn was lying on a stretcher on her side, the ET tube still in her throat with oxygen blowing in her face.  Her beautiful big blue eyes were rolled back in her head and she was O-U-T.  She looked so tiny and fragile… and to be honest, dead.  It was really strange.  I knew what to expect because I work in hospitals, and I knew she was just fine but she looked so… dead, and I just wanted to crawl up there with her.  My heart broke thinking about all those mothers out there who see this day in and day out.  (That is why I’m doing what I’m doing.)

Anyway, the staff was great and the doctor told us the procedure went well.  Her ears were so inflamed and full of pus that he drained away.  He placed the tubes and said she would probably be a brand new baby, a little sensitive for a while because her hearing would be so improved.  [Momma note: She is in no way behind on any sort of curve but she isn’t really talking yet, except for an occasional Mama or Dada but they are few and far between.  She’s not using her pacifier except for naps and bedtime so I am hoping that maybe having her ears cleared up will help her hear more sounds, and maybe start to talk more.  I know she understands many things, and I want her to be able to communicate with me.  I just love that voice, and how excited she is when she “talks”.  Here’s to hoping!]

They pulled up a super comfy chair for me to sit on right next to the bed so I could talk to her and rub her as she woke up.  I brought her over to my lap and she just curled up, alternately trying to look around and falling back on my chest.  She had a bit of a bobble head neck from the anesthesia so the looking around didn’t go too well.  But she didn’t cry very much and was ready to go just a few minutes after she woke up.

photo8She cried on the drive home but that was pretty much it.  We cuddled and played and read books and then she napped for about 2 hours.  I should say WE napped for about 2 hours.  I put her down and crashed in the other room.  After we woke up she did a lot of new things.  She ate -- ate, like actually chewed, on some Baby Mum Mum’s and fruit puffs.  She usually just touches them to her tongue and drops them on the floor.  She drank from a sippy cup.  She usually just sucks on the handle and throws it on the floor.  She also ate some peaches, something she has hated for months now.  Not attributable to the new ears, you say?  You say wrong!  Or maybe that itty-bitty-too-tiny-to-see tube in her ears makes her 1% robot which has turned her into a brand new baby.  Hmm…

We spent the rest of the day repeating the cuddling, reading, playing thing and walked down to the park for some swinging, something I haven’t done with her since December.  It was oddly one of my most favorite days with her yet.  It was nice to feel needed again in a way she hasn’t needed me for months now.  I know she’s still a baby, but today she was sick and really my baby, and she wanted her Momma.  I was only too happy to comply.


Here are two extra photos from my phone that I just love.  I finally found a cute pair of sunglasses with an elastic Velcro band.  Isn’t she fab?  Too bad you can’t see the friggin’ sweet side ponytail too.  The other picture is Avelyn in her little red rocker.  It belonged to my Dad and was bought way back in the 50’s.  My grandpa found it in the attic and thought Avelyn should have it.  He made a new seat, gave it a new coat of red and I think it’s perfect.  That’s my little girl, rockin’ the world with her awesomeness.

photo5 photo6

Stay tuned for some super duper, really, totally, most awesome news EVER because dumh duh duh duhhhhhh – AVELYN IS LEARNING TO WALK!


  1. I'm so happy that she did so well!!

    I completely agree with the kids on pain meds thing. My daughter was in the ER after some harsh dog bites and kept quoting Alvin and Chipmunks "pants, pants are essential" - although I was a basketcase, she was good to go.

    Learning to walk?!?!? How exciting!

  2. The kid on drugs thing is always a little funny and a lot heartbreaking. I couldn't agree with you more about that.

    I'm so glad that things are going well and that she's recovering nicely. I hope this helps out with the ear infections!

  3. sweet baby girl! i'm so glad that is done and i hope they help wonders. when adelaide had her second mri she had some baby drugs and it really is the weirdest/funniest thing to watch. i know exactly what you mean!

  4. I am so, so glad that everything went ok. Neither one of the boys have ever had to have anything done so I am completely at a loss at how it must have felt.
    And walking?!?!?! This can NOT be! She CAN NOT be trying to walk yet. Gracious the sky must be falling!

  5. I distinctly remember one night where mom looked like the drugged baby in that picture....

  6. Poor baby! But so glad it went well! I'll bet it will be fun to see how her new hearing changes everything! Isn't it funny how the days you least expect to be fun turn out to be so special?

  7. oh our youngest is on his second set of tubes and finally had his adenoids removed the last time too... It is a maojr difference.... but I have to admit... he was not NEAR as good as she was through it all!

  8. I'm so glad that all went well and that she is already doing sooooo much better!!


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