Thursday 23 May 2013

Hear We Come!

Callum had his appointment with the Ears, Nose & Throat Clinic (“ENT”) today.

The first part involved the lady we saw at the Audiology Department at the local Health Centre, repeating the test she did with the boats and the little men and the inner ear machine thing that shows a flat line if the patient has glue ear. I’m not sure what the results showed but she said she would write up the results for the consultant we were about to see.

After a short wait, we were called in to see the consultant who asked us what had led us to this point. I guess he wanted to hear Callum’s history from my point of view.

He confirmed the glue ear and told me to put my fingers on my ears while he spoke to me to demonstrate what it was like for Callum. Extremely muffled!

It is normal for there to be a 3 month observation period while they see if the glue ear improves. The consultant was concerned that the last test was only in April (just over a month previous) but I told him the first hearing check took place in February and he said he was reluctant to wait another 3 months so if I was happy to proceed they would book an operation date for grommets to be fitted.

The consultant asked a few questions about Callum’s breathing and whether he snored. I told him that he does and that we had previously wanted to check his adenoids at a time when he was having constant coughs, combined with his snoring and poor speech but as his coughs improved we didn’t take it any further. Because of this, he suggested they check the adenoids at the same time, while Callum was under anaesthetic for the grommets, and remove them if necessary.

I’m hopeful that with grommets being fitted and his adenoids removed if needed, this should make a dramatic improvement on Callum’s hearing and speech.

It is also my hope that Callum’s confidence in large groups will improve. He gets really intimidated by large groups and will cling to me (or Stuart). This could just be a general confidence thing but maybe its related. I guess time will tell.

We were thent sent up to the Day Case Unit to book the operation.

The really good news is that the operation is booked for 30 July so before he goes to school. I’m thrilled, I was so worried it would be after.

While in the Day Case Unit, Callum was given a folder for us both to go through which the nurse went through again with him when we booked the operation. It showed Callum what he could expect on the day with photos of the rooms he would see, the nurses that would care for him, the ‘magic cream’ they put on his hand to make his hand go numb, how they would put a clip on his finger to check his heart rate and oxygen levels. He seemed to take it all in, looking a little concerned but not scared. The nurse wanted to take his heart rate and oxygen levels with the clip on his finger while we were there and he was a little apprehensive so I put it on my finger first to show him it was ok. He then allowed the nurse to put it on his finger too and relaxed when he saw the numbers on the machine and felt his own heart beating. The nurse then quickly measured his height against a chart to find out he was as tall as a grey alien (do aliens communicate their different heights but changing their skin colour perhaps?) and then we were done! Callum was a little disappointed that he didn’t have time to draw me a picture before we left on the little table of paper, pencils and toys in the room but I reassured him he could draw me a picture at nursery instead (and he did…they are…er….yeah, wonderful straight lines and squiggles).

So that’s it, he is booked in and ready to go.

I mainly feel OK about him having the grommets and Adenoidectomy (to use the correct medical jargon) as I know they are very routine surgeries and I have had them both myself.

I remember the Adenoidectomy quite clearly. I was 5 (or there abouts) and I had to stay in overnight. I remember going to ‘sleep’; I remember being really spoilt by my family getting all the toys I’d always wanted; I remember the naughty little boy that ran up the corridor to tell them that the other girls and I were getting out of bed (to our bedside table to get books, colouring books etc) and him getting himself told off for being out of bed; I remember seeing another girl’s teddy being bandaged up while she was having her operation, being asked whether I wanted teddy or dolly to have the same treatment, me handing over my dolly just to be disappointed when she was returned to me with a new rubbish outfit and a sticker with my name on – no bandage; I remember coming home and my aunt giving me fruit pastels then I complained that my throat was sore and her telling me it was because I’d eaten all the fruit pastels.

All the things that matter to 5 year old (or there abouts).

I wasn’t scared, if anything, I was a little excited about the adventure and I enjoyed all the fuss that was made of me.

I know he’ll be fine. But there still is a small part of me that wobbles that my little baby big boy will be under general anaesthetic.


  1. Hi, we have also been through this process and are coming out of the other side now. I remember the game with people in a boat at our appointments. I hope the grommets work for you, we almost went that route but I chickened out and in the end we just waited it out. My post about it is Http:// if you are curious xx

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing your experience. I will check out your post when the Littlest One goes for her next nap.

      Always good to learn of other's experiences. :o)

  2. I agree its worrying having a child go under general anaesthetic, but if his glue ear hasnt cleared then the grommets should make a huge difference. I definitely think glue ear affects their confidence on top of hearing and speech. I was lucky Olly's cleared before intervention was needed. I hope all goes well for the op. Samuel had his first little op at 18 months old, its just the waking up without mummy there thats scary for them, but the will reunite him with you swiftly xxx

    1. Thank you for the reassurance Karen, it's appreciated x


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