Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Nope #7 is not referring to Cate's age in this post.  Last week we spent a day at Children's Hospital for Cate seventh set of ear tubes.  7 - seriously? in a 7 year old little girl - its just crazy.  Want to know something even stranger, Cate has never had an ear infection.  She got her first set of tubes in March of 2007 (1 year 3 months old) after she had failed god knows how many hearing tests.  (I will never forget her first hearing test in the NICU.  She failed just as a nurse had warned me she probably would but the audiologist said "I like to think of them as little human beings".  I choose to think she was referring to babies in general because she really was a gentle and nice if a little flighty person which makes the statement just funny.)  We learned during that first surgery that Cate's ear canals were extremely tiny and crooked.  After that first set of tubes the doctor told us they wouldn't last long because even though she used the tiniest set made, she still have to put them at an angle to get them in.  But it was worth it - we were amazed at the difference in Cate after that first surgery.  We hadn't noticed on a daily basis that she wasn't hearing until we started seeing how much more in tune she was to thing after the surgery.  She paid more attention to people, the TV, life in general.  Sure enough 8 or so months later they fell out and the ENT said we should wait and see what happens.  By the next appointment there was so much fluid in her ears that she was back to not hearing again.  So in April of 2008, we were back for our next set, which is when deja-vu starts because we were back in May 2009, May 2010, June 2011, a quick return in January 2012, then last week.  We visit the ENT every 3-6 six months and the minute we hear the tubes are out we test her hearing. 
The first time Cate has done the "big girl" hearing test - in the booth all by herself, identifying pictures and clapping for sounds!

If we see any decline, which so far has been every time, we push for new tubes.  Maybe that seems premature but I know one thing, my girl can't learn correctly if she can't hear even for a short time.  She may not get ear infections but experience shows that fluid gets trapped in those ear canals that are still using some small tubes and she starts hearing like she is under water.  Maybe when she is a young adult we'll be done with this but I am assuming we'll fight with ear tubes as long as she is a child.  I probably come off as very cavalier regarding ear tube surgery to the people who are around me at the time.  The truth is that I can't sleep well the night before and I can't eat the morning of the surgery.  I don't like sending my baby back to be put to sleep for any reason.  But Cate makes it bearable with her awesome attitude and every time it has gotten a little easier.  This time was a breeze - we got lucky with a 11:15 am appointment (important because she can't eat before) and she was fully occupied with the IPAD or her LeapPad from the time Ric dropped her at my office until they took us back to our room so she only asked for food once or twice and didn't fuss when I told her should couldn't.  She isn't scared of the hospital and knows it is a place where people help you.  She did ask a bunch of times about getting a blood test, because she did not want that.  Our children's hospital is fabulous - I know how lucky we are to have them so close.  This time they had a special gift for Cate that she had a very fun time testing out -
Sorry the picture is so blurry but the girl wouldn't stop twirling in her new tutu!  Before the dancing started, Cate and I played hospital with Daisy (her stuffed dog that was won selling girl scout cookies).  We talked about Daisy putting on the gown then getting a fun ride on the moving bed before the doctor in the white room would do "poof poof" (it is easy for us to relate the anesthesia mask to her nebulizer and inhaler spacer masks that she is very familiar with from a couple years ago), then after the doctor looked in her ear she'd be back in the room with me.  We are fortunate she is not scared by pretty much any of it, once we talk it out.  The days when she had to take an oral "goofy juice" prior to heading back were much harder since it took forever to get her awake and compliant enough to drink the juice required plus she was a very unhappy girl. 
Cate and Daisy are ready to go

When the anesthesiologist came to visit us, I told her about calling the mask "poof poof" and Cate asked if Daisy could go first - she said no problem on both accounts.  So a little while later off Cate went with Daisy, just smiling and looking around as she chatted up the nurse pushing the bed.  Fifteen minutes later the doctor stopped by to say all was well and yes there was a lot of fluid behind the ear where the tube had fallen out and the other tube was blocked by "debris" so she replaced both of them.  Ten more minutes and Cate rolled in saying "Mommy, Daisy went first but I did it, I was very brave".  Cate wasn't happy about the IV in her hand with the stabilization board on her arm but at least this time she understood if she drank the juice box then it would come out.  So she drank like a champ and as soon as it was gone started asking the nurse if she could "take this thing off".  Once that was done a couple of signatures later and we were packing up.  I left my office at 8:30am with a child who keep asking to turn everything up and returned home at 1:30pm with a happy child who hears great.  I'll take that round trip anytime - Thank you Children's, hope we don't see you again soon!
and a little side note to gather some sympathy for not posting last week - this is what my kitchen looked like 4 weeks after demo - see the refriderator that lives on the screen porch in the window?
Now that is not a current picture, a ton of progress was made in the last week so we are still on track for completion the beginning of next week but I'm starting to lose my mind since they took away  my washer/dryer and utility sink on Sunday - "i can do it - it will be so worth it, i can do it - it will be so worth it, i can do it - it will be so worth it" - maybe I can convince myself if I say it enough.


  1. So glad the new set of tubes went well!! Is there any more permanent solution other than having to do this every so often?

    Laughed out loud at your fridge on the porch... :-)

    1. The tubes she got last time should have been that solution - they are "3 year tubes" that have an anchor on the back to keep them in. They lasted 18 months which is better than a year I guess. The problem was that her body actually rejected the material they are made of this time. The doctor said that water in her ears probably contributed to that so this time we will do better with plugs when swimming and she covers them when she gets her hair washed. No better solution for now except for her to grow those ears!

    2. You should see me cooking grilled cheese with the Foreman grill perched on a wicker table if you want a laugh!

  2. We are moving on to our second set in the next few weeks. I personally had 5 sets as a kid so Cate has got me beat! I really hope these stay in for her so you don't have to go through it again. She's a trooper though!

    Can't wait to see the final kitchen reveal and live vicariously through you!!

  3. Wow, 7! That's a lot. Kamdyn is on #2, and my son has had 3. I know it's not a finished product, but your kitchen is amazing. Love the white.