Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's like he's got his fingers in his ears. And also, copious amounts of bright orange vomit.

Yesterday was Jaymes long postponed, long avoided ABR test. I have no clue what ABR stands for, but it's basically a hearing test done while the child is sedated. They measure response to sounds by looking at brainwave patterns. Something like that. It's what they do for kids who are too difficult to hearing test any other way. He was supposed to have had an ABR back when he was 2, but he was perpetually ill and could never be safely sedated. I finally gave in and agreed to get it done, and so off we went yesterday. The original appointment was supposed to be at 6:30am. On one hand, I'm thrilled they changed it to 8:45am, because I am not a morning person. On the other hand, Jaymes was starving, thirsty, and did not understand why he couldn't at least have a glass of water. It was hard on him, and of course there were a lot of people eating and drinking in the waiting room. He took it really well though, he didn't scream or fuss, just snuggled up with me and slept on and off.

I took his speech device with me, thinking that if his throat hurt from having a tube shoved down it, he could use the device to ask for whatever he needed. I'm glad I did, he spontaneously picked it up several times and made requests. He demanded stickers from the nurses, who were happy to oblige, and in a short time he was covered head to toe in stickers. That boy LOVES stickers. He also made the device say "doctor" when the doctor came in. I was super impressed. He is so smart.

They got him all nice and set up in a bed with a heated blanket, a portable DVD player with Spongebob, and a stuffed shark of his very own. Jaymes was pleased, other than the whole wanting to eat/drink thing.

When it came time to take him back, it became apparent that this would be an issue. Jaymes was very, very afraid. I tried handing him to the anesthesiologist, but Jaymes did the spider monkey cling. Tried putting him in a wagon, he clung. Finally they decided that they were going to break rules and let me come back with him. They brought out the most godawful weird looking suit (he called it a bunny suit, LOL), little booties, and hair net thingy. No, there are no pictures, I looked like a moron. Thankfully no one but jaymes and the docs saw me!

Went into the surgery room, Jaymes clung. They put the mask in his face and he strugged a little. I was mildly concerned that because I was getting a face full of the gas myself, that I'd end up knocked out with him. Luckily this was not the case. Jaymes went out, everyone seemed shocked that I had not panicked, fainted, or screamed.

An hour later, they came and got me, and again broke the rules. Apparently I'm one of the first mom's ever allowed to come back into the room that they go in before recovery. He still had the tube thingy in his mouth, and was totally out. It was a little scary because he was dead pale, but it's generally hard to freak me out. It helped a lot to have Jaymes wake up with me right there- he was much less upset than he could have been.

In general, the staff over at Hawthorne Surgery Center did a wonderful job. They went out of their way to accomodate Jaymes and his special needs. They took that extra time and effort to think about what Jaymes would handle best, and that is just wonderful. I'm so happy to know that you can still find this level of patient care these days. He was treated like a VIP, and it helped a lot.

Jaymes woke up and guzzled down 2 huge cups of juice and a popsicle. Both I and the nurse should have known better, but of course we felt bad for him being so thirsty. A few minutes later, he started gagging, and another few minutes later he started spewing bright orange liquid across the room. I had one of the little vomit basins, but he threw up so hard it kind of bounced out of the thing and into the wall. Poor little guy. Took the drink away, got Sprite, and made him take tiny sips. He threw up a few more times, then settled and they let him go home. Halfway home, the retching sound was again heard, then the entire back seat was hosed down with Sprite vomit. I had thought ahead and put Jaymes speech device up front in case that were to happen.

He's doing good, totally recovered now. It was hard on him, poor boy. We did get answers though. Not answers I'm happy about.

He said that there does seem to be hearing loss. It was explained to me this way: It's like he's got his fingers shoved in his ears. He can hear some, but maybe not specifics and that's why he has so much trouble with communication, following directions, and talking himself. I really didn't think he had hearing problems. I'm kind of in shock about it. I know it's not the end of the world, but it's very upsetting to me regardless.

The doctor is going to do some more hearing tests in the office, and try to get a trial hearing aid and see if that helps. I'm a little freaked out by that too. More on this another day, I guess I'm just really not at a point where I've thought about it enough to make a real opinion.

The other news is that the one ear tube that had been recently replaced was still in place, but it was sitting in a huge, filthy, crusty hole in his ear drum. They pulled it. The other tube had fallen into the ear canal, so they pulled that one too, and "roughed up the hole" so it could still drain. He hasn't been without tubes since 2, I wonder how he'll do.

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