2 for 2

I worked a half day today. Steve brought Caroline to school and I packed Connor up to come to work with me. He spent time charming my coworkers while I attempted to make a few phone calls, put out a few social work fires. I would never normally bring him with me, but we had an appointment about five minutes up the road from my office with the ENT this morning. Yes, the time has come for his turn at the good ol' ENT for his hearing test and a discussion about what to do about his ongoing persistent and terrible ear infections.

I had been through this all before with Caroline, but it doesn't make it any easier to sit through a hearing test watching your sweet baby not respond to several of the test's stimuli. He was more challenged in his left ear and mid exam they put on a special instrument to test his hearing behind where they suspected the fluid might be pooling.  I think the audiologist could tell I was feeling a bit overwhelmed after the test. She confimed my worries labeling his hearing loss as "mild." The pressure tests they conducted confirmed that he did have some fluid present, which if you know the whole saga of Connor's ears is not at all surprising.

A Coop student from Northeastern led us back to meet with the ENT. I couldn't help but ask him about Northeastern and I loved hearing that he is applying to PA school this summer, something he said he "couldn't have done if he wasn't at NU." We watched a big crane outside the window while we waited for the doctor. He really seemed to like that, but I think I actually liked it more because he was still and calm for me to talk with the doctor when she came in. Does he ever stop moving?

She asked me about words, babbling, noises, things I don't think he can hear. If I am being honest with myself, Connor has very few words, limited babbling and I think there are many things he cannot hear. He only recently started saying words to represent "ball," "book," "woof" (for dog). He says mama, but only when in distress. He says dada so infrequently that we make a big deal out of it when he does say it. He points and understands things. He can point to his toes. He can follow a direction like, "bring this to mommy" or "get your coat." In the same breath though I have to add that on the ride home he learned "Go" and when I say "stop" he now replies "go." So while I have concerns about his language development, I know that these things could easily be corrected and he is likely to catch up as soon as he can hear like he isn't swimming under water.

She told me what I knew in my heart she would say. For Connor, she recommends tubes. I nodded my head in agreement. If he had been 3 or 4 she would have said wait it out, see if this resolves over the summer. If he had been 2 she would have said come back with x number of additional infections. At 16 months, she thinks it is unlikely that this fluid issue will resolve on its own and we would end up putting the tubes in come fall or winter after several more infections, more antibiotics, months more of this under water hearing.  I agreed, if that is the conclusion we will likely come to - let's just do it now. Let's give him the gift of a language explosion.

Poor Connor. He won't have any restrictions with water, no ear plugs for tubs or the beach. He just needs the quick but hard for mommy and daddy surgical procedure. Poor bubba.

We're two for two. Two parents who had tubes apparently equals two children with tubes.

Now to schedule it as soon as humanly possible because Steve's medical insurance will change as of June 1 from an HMO to a HSA that we are still trying to understand. The timing could not be worse, but we've had this appointment since the beginning of March. I am just hoping we can get him in soon and move forward.

In the meantime, I'm home for the rest of the afternoon enjoying him, watching him sleep in his crib with his butt up in the air, playing games and "reading" books.


  1. Sorry to hear he needs tubes. Re: switch to an HSA - couple of things - try to put in as much as you are allowed under the plan. There is a max that can go into our HSA between what the employer contributes and the employee contributes. It will benefit you in the long run to max out every year, as unused funds stay in the plan year to year - unlike in an FSA. Also learn what services are covered 100% without a deductible - usually preventive care is covered in full. Learn what your individual and family deductibles are. Since the switch is happening mid-year - it is really important to find out how the deductibles for this year will be applied - you may have a full year's deductible for only a partial year plan. Lastly, don't be shy about asking doctors what something is going to cost, since the first chunk is going to come out of your pocket. You need to become a more educated consumer with regard to your medical care. If there's anything else I can help you with re: the HSA, I'm happy to try.

  2. I left you a big long comment the other day before blogger crapped out! It included stuff about the HSA/HDHP plans - if I can remember everything I suggested...Try to max out on your contributions to the HSA as the money carries over from year to year, unlike FSA accounts. Find out what your deductible is for individual/family. Also, since the first year is shortened (not Jan - Dec) you may still need to meet the full deductible in 2011 before the full coverages kick in. You'll want to find that out for sure. Remember that a lot of preventative care is going to be paid first dollar - try to get a list of what is covered first dollar - like baby well visits. Don't be shy about asking your doctors what they charge for different services. You need to be more of an informed consumer now with your medical care now. I'm happy to try to answer other questions you may have - not an expert on this - but we've been looking long and hard at putting in an HSA/HDHP for a while, so I've learned a lot.