Caleb had a great birthday yesterday and I have a few pictures; once I have a chance to upload them I will fill you in on the 6 year old birthday details.
My major frustration has nothing to do with anything birthday related, just an appointment that happened to fall on the same day. Aidan had his second post- surgery check up. Last time, he had some residual fluid so we didn't do a hearing test. This time it was all about seeing how his hearing his doing post surgery. Prior to surgery he had some mild loss across some frequencies and the hope was that the surgery would rectify that problem.
The good news is that his ear is perfectly healed. No more fluid and excellent ear drum movement. In that respect the surgery was a perfect success.
Except instead of some mild hearing loss, he now has mild-moderate hearing loss across all frequencies. The first thing the audiologist told me is that he is officially a hearing aid candidate (previously his loss was too mild and considered related to the ear perforation so he was not a candidate). The doctor agrees and both felt that if he was in a classroom we definitely would need to address hearing aids sooner rather than later.
In the meantime the plan is to wait four more months. There is a slim chance there is still undissolved surgical material behind his ear drum, our surgeon feels that 4 more months is adequate time to either confirm or eliminate this option. The second possibility is that there could be scar tissue or adhesions behind his ear drum that are obscuring sounds. If this is the case, he can do a second surgery to clean out the area. Plus side is that is could fix the hearing completely and permanently, downside...another surgery.
The final possibility, and the one I like the least, is that the loss is just what it is. Which will mean getting fitted for and learning to use hearing aids. The doctor and the audiologist both spent more time on this scenario than any other and I had to wonder if they see it as the most likely scenario. He would probably wear it all the time except when he is at the gym. His coaches will just have to be used to standing on the right side of him and giving him a tap on the shoulder when they start talking. I chatted with his coach last night at the pre season kick off party and he was really great about it. There is a girl on team who is deaf and so the whole gym is pretty accustomed to making those adjustments as needed. She has a brother on team as well so I even had a chance to talk with that mom last night and got good gymnastics related information I hadn't thought of.
I'm so sad for him. This was a painful surgery and he had to take so much time off of gym with the assurance that his ear wouldn't bother him so much any longer. I guess I knew the *risks* and the possibility of his hearing not coming back. I knew that wasn't even the primary goal of having the surgery in the first place.
It's just a really, really big bummer for him. Although to be fair, he doesn't see it that way. He can go swimming now without ear plugs and his ear drum doesn't hurt any more like it used to. No more infections, so all of that is good. As the doctor was apologizing to me for not having any good news, Aidan was smiling saying he didn't care if he could hear as long as he could go swimming and do gymnastics.
Such a cheerful spirit and not one to let much get him down!
I suppose I could learn a bit from that attitude.