KayTar missed school on Wednesday (and Thursday and Friday), but I kept her ENT appointment because she wasn't feverish (yet). I had questions I hoped to get answers for and I didn't want to cancel unless I absolutely had to. Turns out, I actually got some answers. Imagine that! I'm going to break them into categories to make it more easily digestible. I've had two days and I'm still trying to swallow it all down.
1. Progressive hearing loss...
was confirmed. With her right ear masked (white noise fed into her functioning ear to block out sounds) her left ear tested completely in the profound range. There was a spike at the very end, but it wasn't high enough to get into the severe range. However, her bone conduction results looked much better than the regular test and the audiologist isn't sure of what that indicates. She said we definitely need an ABR to get more information. The ENT said this can be done during her surgeries, it will just add about an hour to her overall anesthesia time.
I asked him to give me the odds of it progressing to her right ear and he said there are none. However, he did say that if we were to get an MRI of the temporal bones and detect a soft tissue abnormality on the left that isn't present on the right, then that would be a good indicator that the right ear is safe, but no abnormality means no indicator. Her CT of her temporal bones was normal, but an MRI has more detail where soft tissue is concerned and an abnormality might be detected. Her brain CT was clear, but her brain MRI was not...that sort of deal. So if and when she has another brain MRI, we will add on a temporal bone MRI to reduce anesthesia for her. She sees her neurologist on the 13th, so I suppose we'll chat about it then.
He also said her hearing aid is probably not helping at all at this point.
He thinks we should move the surgery up. In fact, when the nurse came in to schedule it she said, "How is October 14th for you?" And then my heart just fell right out my ass and landed on the exam room floor. Thwack! It was a little embarrassing, because then I had to scoop my heart back up and swallow it down again. Gulp. Her ENT feels that postponing the surgery until December will cause her to miss more school for infection than she would miss for surgical recovery time. I see his point, I've thought it myself to be honest, but...of course there is a but...I've been easing myself into this decision. See, I've made it, but I know I don't have to act on it for a few months which provides me with ample emotional digestion time. When he talked about moving it up, but insides were all "Whooooa! Let's throw on the breaks here, people! This is not what I signed up for!" My brain was all, "Oh, yes. I see your point. If that is what is best for KayTar, of course we'll do it." Then my insides were like, "But we have loads of agonizing What Ifs to go over before this happens! Emotional torture yet to be experienced!" and my head was like, "If you've decided it is the best thing for her, why wait?" I should sell tickets to these debates, I think.
Since I couldn't make a decision, I did the next best thing...I talked to our pediatrician. God love her, she told me that either decision would be fine. She sees the medical reasons to do it sooner and the momical (yeah, I made that word up just now) reasons I might want to wait. However, she did inadvertently lead me to an epiphany of my own by reminding me that the recovery will be no picnic for KayTar. If she wasn't getting a g-button at the same time, there would be no way we'd be able to do the tonsillectomy in the first place, really. Can you imagine KayTar wanting anything to eat or drink after throat surgery? HA! As it stands, she will be in the hospital for about a week and then she will be home and not feeling great for another week at least. If we do this during her Christmas break, it will ruin her holidays. I don't want her to have horrible holidays! There are other reasons, too, of course. Cold and flu season is descending upon us and being tonsil-free and in possession of a g-button will make it much easier on her. Sure, she'll miss 10 days or so for the surgery, but hopefully she will avoid at least that many absences by having the surgery. The only downside seems to be that I'll miss a week of my classes while I'm in the hospital with KayTar. If that is the only real problem I can come up with, I don't really see any reason to put it off. And just like that, I think I'm okay with it, and not just in the I'm-forcing-myself-to-be-okay-with-it-through-sheer-force-of-will kind of okay, the REAL kind of okay. I might even feel a tiny bit of peace about it all. Strange how that happens when you least expect it.
On Monday, I'll call the nurse and see if the 14th is still available for both the ENT and pediatric surgeon and then we'll go from there. The trickiest part of this is going to be keeping her healthy long enough to HAVE the surgery, I think!