Thursday, August 16, 2012

Following Up...

Gavin and I met with everyone's favorite Ear, Nose & Throat doc this afternoon.  Dr. O'Reilly is the surgeon who performed his Adenoidectomy and Myringotomy procedures.  Today we had a follow up - mostly to check on his ear tubes which looked great.

Dr. O'Reilly is a very popular doctor at DuPont.  He has a way of making you feel like you are his favorite family - that your child is his favorite patient - and that everything you say is important and fascinating.  As you can see, Gavin has his full attention.

I had two lingering concerns since the surgery.  One was a question about the ear tubes.  I had heard that they have a relatively short shelf life - sometimes they fall out after six months.  Sometimes a year.  I was worried that if they did come out that it would mean a trip back to the operating room.  It's always a bad place for Gavin to be.

Dr. O'Reilly put his finger quickly up to his mouth as if to "shush" me.  He didn't want me to jinx anything - because some kids don't need new tubes placed after the first set.  We're hoping that Gavin is one of those kids.

The other question had to do with food and liquid coming out of Gavin's nose when he eats.  This actually started several weeks before the surgery for a short while - then went away just as quickly.  But now it's happening again - almost at every meal.  The doctor told me that it's because Gavin has a high palate - and his palate doesn't seal off the nasopharyngeal pathway leaving an easy shuttle for his Quinoa, Chicken, Milk and more.  He assured me it doesn't hurt him - and that, unfortunately, there is no easy fix.  The fix is typically plastic surgery.

Let me say this loud and clear.  Gavin has already had several "eye lifts" - and it will be over my dead (and prematurely old and saggy) body if he gets another plastic surgery before I get my first.  Got it?

Anyway, where was I?  Right - food spurting out of his nose.  It will be a bit of a social issue, but nothing we should be alarmed about.  He said I could set up a swallow study to see if they have any recommendations.  I'm pondering the idea - but I don't know if it will be useful.  We'll have to see...

While we were there, we met with the Audiology department.  They needed to repeat Gavin's tympanograms  so they could be sure the tubes were placed and working properly.  They were.  She also decided to test Gavin's hearing in the booth.  This was just to test his developmental level of hearing - not each ear separately.  Gavin did a great job.  He was so enamored with the female audiologist (she was very pretty!) and LOVED hearing her voice through the speakers.  You have to check out my giggly, flirtatious boy in this video...

The last test she did was Otoacoustic emissions, or OAEs.  This tests the health of his inner ear.  All of the hearing tests came back with the same results as the sedated hearing test done under anesthesia.  Mild hearing loss (that doesn't need any hearing aid) in the left ear only.  I'm still amazed to this day.

The other great news is that Gavin gained back the weight he lost during his long hospitalization!  He's back to his fighting weight of 31 pounds.  And, if you're wondering, our tall boy is now 3 feet, 1.6 inches!

We had a big treat tonight - Granny came over for dinner!  When Ed got home from work, he found me in an apron with a roasting pan holding a hot, crispy whole chicken.  He screamed and ran out the back door - he thought he was in the wrong house.  

Brian and Gavin LOVE their Granny.  She's just as patient and fun with my kids as she was with me, so I can see why.

And, because she's a Granny and this is part of the "Granny Code" - she kept feeding Brian bites of her chocolate, chocolate, chocolate dessert - with chocolate on top - until he started acting like this...

...and putting his underpants on his head.

We love her.  But I think next time I'll serve blueberries for dessert.

Going to bed, Brian and I had a deep conversation.  
He said "Granny went home."  
Yes, I said...she went home.  
"What will she do?"  
Well, I said, she'll probably watch some TV and go to bed - just like Mommy and Daddy will do!
He thought about that for a minute and then...
"Pop's in Heaven."
Yes, I said - Pop's in Heaven and he's very happy.  But we're sad that we won't get to see him again.
He thought about that again and then...
"Pop's watching the same show as Granny in Heaven.  He's with Darcy in Heaven."
I swallowed the lump I had in my throat.  I think you're right, I said.  Pop and Darcy are very happy.  Heaven is a happy place to be!!  And Pop and Granny will always be watching the same show, Brian.  You're a wise little boy.

And with that, he rolled over and snuggled under his covers.


  1. Way to regain the weight, Gavin!! Awesome job (both of you). Also glad to hear the test results were good. Go Kate!!

    Love Brian's conversation. We had a big language explosion here last week (after holding my breath because slow language acquisition can be a flag for dyslexia ... something which may still be an issue). My two year old suddenly started spitting out 5-word sentences (such as, "Cake is GOOD! Cake NOW!!) :) So much fun.

    I just love seeing your mom. This is weird to say, but she reminds me of my dad's family (a Philadelphia Irish thing?) and The Mount. All those Irish (and Italian and Irish-Italian) faces there ... it reminds me how far I am from "home" when I see you guys -- not too many faces like ours here -- but not in a bad way. :)


  2. Out of the mouths of babes. I teared up when I read what Brian said - I don't know how you got out of there without totally losing it. What a sweetheart.

    And we are a one-set-of-tubes family! I have four boys, only one needed tubes, and he only had to have one set! Fingers crossed that you have you're a one-set-of-tubes family, too. I think our first set lasted between 12-18 months. And one tube came out before the other.

    Glad Gavin is doing so well weight-wise and that his check up went well from his surgery.

    Have a great weekend!


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