We heart tubes!

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Tympanostomy with tubes & ventilation 

That’s what my big, little mister had done! What a trooper! Here are some fun facts about these tubes, aka: grommets:

{grommets are tiny plastic tubes inserted into your child’s ear drum in a short operation}
{grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won’t clear up, or frequent ear infections}
{grommets allow air into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear) which reduces the risk of fluid building up there}
{if an infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet}

Be ready to learn more about grommets while we look at Oliver’s big day thru pictures! Because who doesn’t like pictures?

We started our day bright & early! We had to check in at the surgery center by 7am. Oliver usually wakes up between 8:30 & 9am. Needless to say, he wasn’t super thrilled about being awake & in a cold car…

Oli Am{grommets are a temporary measure and will “buy time” until hopefully your child’s eustachian tubes grow to a sufficient size to work naturally}

We arrived at the surgery center, checked in, & were taken back to the pre/post-op area. Here we had to put Oli into his hospital gown. This didn’t go over well.

IMG_3138{most grommets stay in place for about 6 – 18 months, and come out all by themselves}

After the gown drama, Oliver was introduced to Versed. He liked Versed.

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After being released from the surgery center, and surviving the longest 10 minute drive home ever, it was time to sleep! Oliver hated the after affects of the anesthesia. I don’t blame him.

IMG_3143

Once the nap was complete. Oliver was up & back at it! Eating chicken nuggets and HEARING! That’s right!

IMG_3173

Apparently our poor boy had such bad build up in his ear that he wasn’t hearing much at all. We discovered this day that Oliver didn’t recognize his own name 😦 In the 10 days since surgery, Oliver has caught onto his name (for the most part!), is using more sounds & syllables in his babble/speech, & even has said a couple words! We’ve clearly heard “thank you” “yes” “no” & “dizzy”.

After eating some food, & proving to mama and dada that he was feeling well enough, we took him over to play with his bestie, Joan. Who also happens to be our goddaughter — oh, by the way, Joe & I are honored to be this gals godparents!

IMG_3175

For good measure. Here’s Oliver a few days post-op showing off his belly. If you’re lucky enough to see his belly, he likes you 😉

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We had his follow up appointment today {which is why the blog post took so long!}, and everything is healing up great! We were worried that he might have an infection because he’s been rubbing those ears, but the doc thinks its just him getting used to the healing process. I’m so happy my boy is on the up & up! 🙂

Thanks for all the calls, texts, prayers, posts & check-ins over the last couple of weeks! We love our community! Couldn’t have stayed sane without you 🙂

BS1

  • grommets are tiny plastic tubes inserted into your child’s ear drum in a short operation
  • grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won’t clear up, or frequent ear infections
  • grommets allow air into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear) which reduces the risk of fluid building up there
  • if an infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet

– See more at: http://www.kidshealth.org.nz/grommets-tympanostomy-or-ventilation-tubes#sthash.UPFmIuvF.dpuf

  • grommets are tiny plastic tubes inserted into your child’s ear drum in a short operation
  • grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won’t clear up, or frequent ear infections
  • grommets allow air into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear) which reduces the risk of fluid building up there
  • if an infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet

– See more at: http://www.kidshealth.org.nz/grommets-tympanostomy-or-ventilation-tubes#sthash.UPFmIuvF.dpuf

  • grommets are tiny plastic tubes inserted into your child’s ear drum in a short operation
  • grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won’t clear up, or frequent ear infections
  • grommets allow air into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear) which reduces the risk of fluid building up there
  • if an infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet

– See more at: http://www.kidshealth.org.nz/grommets-tympanostomy-or-ventilation-tubes#sthash.UPFmIuvF.dpuf

  • grommets are tiny plastic tubes inserted into your child’s ear drum in a short operation
  • grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won’t clear up, or frequent ear infections
  • grommets allow air into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear) which reduces the risk of fluid building up there
  • if an infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet

– See more at: http://www.kidshealth.org.nz/grommets-tympanostomy-or-ventilation-tubes#sthash.UPFmIuvF.dpuf

  • grommets are tiny plastic tubes inserted into your child’s ear drum in a short operation
  • grommets may be recommended if your child has glue ear that won’t clear up, or frequent ear infections
  • grommets allow air into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear) which reduces the risk of fluid building up there
  • if an infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet

– See more at: http://www.kidshealth.org.nz/grommets-tympanostomy-or-ventilation-tubes#sthash.UPFmIuvF.dpuf

the 4am jitters

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It’s 4am.

I should be fast asleep. But I’m wide awake. Both boys are in bed. Joe is blissfully snoring. Not too loud (thank you Jesus!), & Oliver is doing is normal toss and turn. And the painful, pitiful, whimper that just breaks my heart.

At 7am we check-in for Oli’s surgery. Which begins at 8am. If all goes well, we should be able to leave & be home before 10am. And on the beautiful road to recovery!

Oliver has been dealing with chronic ear infections for the last 11 months. Maybe longer. The earliest ear infection I can remember was at 6 months old, but to be honest, he’s had so many, we’ve lost count. I know that they seemed to hit every 4-6 weeks. Or at least they would get bad enough to the point where we had to take him in every 4-6 weeks. We have become well known & loved at the doctors office 🙂

I may not remember the number of ear infections Oliver has had, but I know that the last 6 weeks have been the hardest, roughest & most miserable ones for our little guy. I’m sure that you (yes, you the reader, reading this post right now) have experienced an ear infection or earache at one point in your life. Over the course of the last 6 weeks, Oli has had a persistent, stubborn, painful, double ear infection. He walks around rubbing his ears, yanking his ears, or rubbing his neck right below his ears. He’s a bit off balance. His appetite is gone. He wakes up every 90 minutes or so crying and holding his ears — the cold night air makes ear infections worse. He’s been grumpy (I totally get grumpy when I have a little headache, so he gets a free pass for 6 weeks of ear pain). And I wish I could say we just give him baby tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain, but because of all the antibiotics recently, he’s doing the “if you try & bring that dropper/syringe full of grape goo towards me I’ll grab it and run!” thing, or (my personal favorite) the “if you put it in my mouth I’ll spit it out, & continue to spit for 90 seconds because I’m a toddler” thing. Needless to say, we’ve been doing what we can to help our guy out. He takes Pediasure well, & we are able to mix some tylenol in that or his almond milk. He loves, loves, LOVES, being rubbed down with essential oils! I’ll use some lavender around his ears to help soothe those on really rough days. We play hard when he’s up & playful, and we rest when he needs it.

At 7am this morning, we check in for what will hopefully be the light at the end of the ear infection tunnel. 8am is surgery time. Which is why I’m up at 4am, anxious, nervous, & not sleeping. I know that this will be the quickest procedure, & that Oliver is in awesome hands. I know how he is being put to sleep, what he’ll be wearing while in surgery, what time we should be ready to go home. What makes me so nervous is that I won’t be able to be there. Physically be there. With all this anxiety, I’m reminded of this passage from Philippians.

{Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
 — Philippians 4:6}

Thankfully, even though I can’t physically be in the surgical suite with Oliver, I know that Jesus will be. That soothes my anxious heart better than a tub of ice cream soothes a break up 😉

I’m off to try and get a catnap before our big day. Say a prayer for us friends!

BS1

It’s Friday!

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Its FRIDAY! I’m oddly reminded of that Rebecca Black song Friday right now. Not for any reason in particular. It just popped into my head. The sad part? Now those awful music video images are flashing thru my mind… The YouTube link is above if you dare to join me in my misery. Or joy. Whichever way you want to look at it. You’re welcome.

I love what I do. Do you love what you do? I used to think I’d never find what I was passionate about. I’ve dabbled in coaching gymnastics, health & fitness coaching, the pizza industry, nursing…. I found I love working with other people. I’m terrible at selling. I love caring for others. Don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely LOVE coaching gymnastics, and if someone came up to me today & said “Rachel, I want you to be the head coach for our level 3-7 girls” I’d likely take that job in a heart beat! But I have found that my main, true calling, lies in caring for medically fragile children.

 For those who don’t know, I am a pediatric home care nurse. We all hate to think of kids getting sick, having to be admitted into the hospital, & all that goes along with that. Have you ever thought about the kids who are chronically ill? Those who have feeding tubes, life-long disorders, trachea breathing tubes… things along those lines? They need in-home care. Parents are awesome! They are top of the line providers for their little ones. But even they have their breaking points. {Don’t we all? I hit mine two nights ago when Oliver threw a huge tantrum at 10:30pm because we wouldn’t let him sit in his car seat & press buttons on the DVD player. The screaming was like nails on a virtual chalkboard} As an in-home nurse for my little patients, I’m able to help moms & dads out with caring for their kiddos. I give them their medications, feedings, diaper changes, play with them, assess them, monitor them & love on them a whole lot. I absolutely love my job!

For the last six months, I had been working the overnight shift. But, for the last two weeks, I’ve been working days. Which means that not only do I get more time with my boys, but I actually get to enjoy my Fridays! It’s new. It’s exciting. Last week I napped. Maybe this week I’ll stay awake! 😉

Even though we’re “roughing & toughing” it out right now, battling constant ear woes & all that comes with it with our little mister, he is an absolute JOY! He makes simple chores like flipping couch cushions into an all out adventure. And I cannot wait to see what fun he brings to Joe & I on this Friday evening.

I pray that you have found joy in your Friday. Lots of love coming your way from me until next time!

BS1