Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maisy, Can You Hear Me?

Apparently, our youngest daughter has been suffering from a mild hearing loss, in addition to constant ear discomfort, for the past three months.  Maybe the tantrums and loud howling should have alerted me to this, but she is a two-year-old, after all. 

Throughout her first two years of life, Maisy has endured over ten ear infections and four perforated ear drums.  The fluid build up behind her ear drum is so thick that it isn't able to drain properly and is in constant danger of becoming reinfected.  In addition, the fluid's omnipresence in her ear canal is preventing the drum from vibrating, resulting in her hearing ability being likened to that of someone underwater.
So, Thursday Maisy had her second (extremely minor) surgery in sixteen months, tiny tubes 1 mm in diameter were inserted into her ear drums.  When Maisy had her first set placed, at 10-months of age, the most difficult part of the ordeal was withholding all food and liquid before the surgery.  At this point she was still expecting to be fed bottles immediately upon waking, and could not fathom why her parents were being so cruel. 

This time, the most difficult hurdle was withholding liquid from me (I didn't think that it was too polite to be sipping a coffee in front of a pair of hungry eyes).  Before the operation Maisy was easily distracted with a gaggle of iPhone apps (thank you Duck, Duck, Moose) and an extreme determination not to take off her new Hello Kitty nightgown to wear some ugly, pale peach, hospital gown (In her opinion, gowns are beautiful dresses worn by Cinderella and Belle).  Eventually the doctors and nurses relented to Maisy's demands and let her wear the nightgown (they also gave into her requirements to not wear the hospital ID bracelet nor to have anything touch her feet).  "She's a feisty child," more than one nurse told me.  I'd like to see them try to change her diaper.

After signing all the necessary paperwork, the anesthesiologist had me accompany the team of doctors and nurses into the operating room.  I have only been in one operating room in my life and had forgotten how cold and gray they are (I would have thought that all my years of watching ER and Grey's Anatomy would have better prepared me).  OR's look nothing like a pediatrician's office.  There are no posters on the wall, bins of toys, or even pleasantly colored paint.  The bed in the middle of the room is flat and metal and not a pillow is in sight.  In addition, scary instruments are everywhere.  The moment we stepped into the room, Maisy clutched me tighter and began panicking.

I sat in a chilly metal chair with Maisy on my lap while a nurse restrained Maisy's legs and the anesthesiologist held a mask over her tiny little face.  Maisy fought the mask as best she could, but eventually succumbed to the gas and her eyes rolled to the back of her head.  My heart slightly shattered as I placed her on the operating table and left the room.

Fifteen minutes later the doctor fetched us from the waiting room to be with Maisy as she woke from the anesthesia.  She was pissed, and readily let everyone in a five-room-radius know.  Numerous nurses came to check on the wailing toddler.  One nurse turned the TV on to Curious George, but even that did not stop her upset.  "Go home," she screamed.  "Go home, now!" 

A half-hour later we were able to do just that.  Maisy sipped apple juice in her car seat as we trekked back home.  The moment we stepped in the door she smiled, proclaimed her hunger, then skipped to her sister's room to play with Elana's toys while she had the opportunity (Elana was in preschool). 

After that morning, Maisy's tantrums nearly ended.  I will not go as far to say that these fits of temper were extinguished, but the term "greatly reduced" would be an understatement.  She started eating better, sleeping more, and acting less like a spastic lunatic.  What's more, is that the constipation issues that she has been dealing with since March, cleared up that day!  I am a bit disappointed with this result, though.  I was using her intestinal issues as an excuse to keep potty training at bay. 

No comments:

Post a Comment