Nathanial, Ethan, Noah, and Aidan had their ENT appointments today while Austin was at camp.
Steve and I believed Aidan was not hearing. Well, their is no fluid behind his one ear with no tube and the other ear still has a tube in place. Hmmmm....interesting. Our only conclusion is that we are now dealing with "selective" 5-year-old-boy hearing loss. Dr. B is going to leave in the tube until he can get through one winter with no ear infections, one cold/flu season at school, and learns to pop his own eardrums (we worked on teaching him that today and now we have to practice). Then if it is still in there, she will remove it and patch up the drum. The other one fell out and they are supposed to, but apparently sometimes they do not. Since this one has been in place for over a year, she isn't sure it will fall out on it's own, so that's the plan for now. He will continue to go in every six months for follow ups until either it decides to fall out or she decides to remove it.
Ethan's next on the list because he was also fairly simple. He has fluid behind both drums and will get tubes. Hopefully, once in place, his speech will pick up.
While Noah seems to hear fantastic, his ears were the most fluid-filled and he will also be getting tubes. It isn't affecting his speech as much, which is great. Hopefully after the tubes are in place, it will really pick up.
Nathanial was the most difficult to go through and listen to the ENT because of what she said. So far, the AEA lady and Dr. B (ped) would not give us solid answers and both refered to Dr. B the ENT. Nathanial had the flat line on the tampanogram and did horribly on his hearing test at the AEA. So because of the flat line, I had assumed that his would just be a matter of putting in tubes and he'd be fine. Not necessarily.
Before Dr. B (ENT) checked into Nathanial's ears, she said that most of the time speech and hearing problems are just due to fluid and tubes will take care of any issues. When she looked into his ears today, however, she noticed very little fluid. Then she started asking about any birth traumas, birth weight, speech (non-existent, other than glorified cooing) and any other issues. She did the little hand rubbing thingy and got no response and observed he had no clue when his name was spoken. I told her about the clapping hand thing and no response and she went over his test results from AEA and Dr. B (ped). Then she started telling me about options. This is when I got VERY nervous. She has been Aidan's ENT for the last two years and never said this sort of stuff and she didn't say it in reference to Ethan or Noah, either.
She wants tubes put into all three of their ears as soon as possible, then we are to repeat testing on all three two weeks post-op. If Nathanial doesn't have immediate improvement, then she will refer him to a pediatric ENT in Iowa City. She said either she or they will do an "ARB" (I think) test, which would put sound waves into his ears and measure brain wave responses to see if there are any "disconnects" there. She reassured me that a lot can be done, and even if he has severe hearing loss, he can have cochlear implants at his age now and they are safe and effective. She said they are learning the sooner they get the implants the better they do.
The good news is.....he does have some fluid behind his drums, so we are praying the tubes do the trick and even though it's minimal, it is there. The other good news is that they CAN do things to help his hearing now, if tubes do not help him.
Steve researched cochlear implants tonight and panicked at the prices, especially if our insurance gets bucky (which they've been known to do). I told him he was getting WAY ahead of himself and let's first see what happens with the tubes.
Now we just need prayers that the surgery goes well. For now it is scheduled for July 7, but noone can go with me, so I am trying to rearrange that.