Thursday, June 26, 2008

Update - post surgery #2 hearing test

I just wanted to post an update since Jack's hearing test this week. Dr. Colen cleaned out Jack's ears prior to the test this time. We then went over for the test. The audiologist had Jack throw balls into a little basket when he heard the tones. He was so funny, he had to smack the ball she was holding with his ball before he would wait for the tone - kind of like a little "cheers!" He did pretty well, but ran out of steam at the end. At the very high frequency, he tested at a pretty significant loss, but that could have been because he wasn't paying attention well enough. A couple of times he was waiting and said, "I can't hear it!"

Anyway, his hearing is much better than I expected on the day of surgery. He is hearing at about 40dB across frequencies - except the very highest. Of course we have seen this in his speech over the past few weeks. He has just gotten so much more clear and he is giving Jaden a run for her money on airwave time - he is talking so much!

Of course, we have a waiting game here now to see if the hearing stabilizes at this level - hopefully it will. If it does, Dr. Roberson does not think that we will need to aid Jack's hearing from this point forward. Amazing. He says that two ears working together at that level should serve Jack very well.

We continue to be a little dissapointed in the shrinkage that we are seeing with the skin grafts resulting in wrinkling on the front of his left ear and the backs of both ears. I have asked Dr. Reinisch about this and he says it is from the use of the split thickness skin grafts. He says they see this a little sometimes - more often with asian skin. He has also said that Jack is in a league of his own on this issue. He says we will just have to see how much they soften over time and address it at the stage 2 surgery. He said he may have to add a little skin.

Dr. Roberson and Dr. Colen felt that the little white spot on Jack's left ear is actually the medpor framework that we can see through the skin. This is where the skin struggled and peeled off. We will see what Dr. Reinisch says, but they were pretty certain. Neither of them felt it was at risk of exposure.

So, we are scheduled for December 22 for Stage 2 in Palo Alto and will probably keep this date even though Dr. Roberson will likely not need to do a revision.

When I get a chance, I will post Jack's audiogram here:

All for now!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Surgery 2, Day 30

Jack continues to do really well. We have been having him wear hats to prevent sunburn on his scalp where the skin graft came from. The hair is coming in a little thin and is taking some time to come in the rest of the way. This weekend, he saw a "Cars" hat and just had to have it. If a kid has to wear a hat, he might as well like it, huh? It was pretty darn cute too...

Here are some pictures of his left ear. It continues to heal and look better each day. There is some reddish crusty stuff in his ear canal that seems to be accumulating. I emailed Dr. Roberson tonight, but I am sure he will say it is nothing to worry about and that they will clean it out when he has his hearing test.

We think he is hearing very well right now and he has been a lot more conversational and his speech has been much more clear.

Big kid update... Carter got his braces off today - yippeee! His speech is much more clear now too - ha! Darby had her first appointment with the orthodontist today and will be getting her braces this summer. Good thing we like this guy as it looks like we will still be seeing him regularly...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Surgery 1 - right ear at 5 months

It has taken a few days since removing the sock that the swelling in Jack's right ear has finally starting to dissipate. He was also sleeping on it, and that made it swell more too. Now that the cup is off, he is sleeping more on his back. It has been nearly 5 months since his first surgery, so I thought I would post a picture of his right ear. I have noticed that it is becoming much more defined than I remember it being prior to the second surgery. I think his ears are healing much more slowly than others that I have seen pictures of. Dr. Reinisch has said that often asian skin heals more slowly. I suppose he IS the expert....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Suregy 2 - Day 24 - Check up

Today, Jack had a post op appointment in Palo Alto. We plan to leave the cup and netting off from this point forward. I don't know if I am just more comfortable this time or what, but his ear seems to look more healed to me. I asked Jack if he could hear me out of his new ear and he says no. Who knows if that is actually the case. We will know more when he has his hearing tested, which will be on June 25. Dr. Colen removed most of the packing but left a small amount which will dissolve over time. We will still put drops in Jack's ear twice a day. He is not allowed to swim just yet - bummer. It is hard when all the other kids can and he can't. So, here are today's pictures of Jack's left ear:

He was quite thrilled to put Jaden's sunglasses on - conveniently held up by a pair of ... EARS!

He is doing MUCH better behavior-wise, which might be related to the fact that he has been back in preschool (and away from me???). He is just generally happier! I have bought him two new hats from Old Navy. We are concerned about the skin graft site on his head and sun exposure. We are just going to try to keep a hat on him all the time. So, I got him to say his ABC's...

Today was Jack's last day of speech preschool for this year. I took Jack there first thing before he went to Palo Alto to give the teachers each a little thank you note. I was thinking that about two years ago, we first saw Jack's file. He was in an orphanage on the other side of the world. Had he stayed there, we would never have experienced the joy of this little boy... seen his smile every day, felt his sincere hugs. He would likely never heard leaves rustle in the forest, never heard water run from a faucet and may have never spoken a word. I think it has taken a small army of helpers for Jack to hear and to speak - to be able to say his ABC's! My gratitude runs deep for everyone who has supported us on this fantastic journey. Jack has learned a lot and taught us a lot - he was meant to be with us.