This really should be two separate posts, but as you may have guessed by my lack of posts in the past two weeks, we’ve been busy. LM is keeping me on my toes as usual. Never a dull moment. In fact, a dull moment would be nice. Please, can I have a dull moment?
OK, first up:
Blood, stitches and the ER
I was in the middle of what I thought was a dull moment. Actually not dull, just relaxing. LM had wandered into the living room, where we have the Christmas tree. He sat on the couch and stared at it. I sat down next to him. Isn’t this nice, I thought, to just sit calmly. LM snuck behind me and sat on the other side, closer to where we had pushed the coffee table to make room for our wide tree. Suddenly, and I’m not even sure how it happened, LM bounced off the couch, flying face first into the edge of the coffee table. I picked him up and saw blood. I took him into the kitchen where I could see better and got a towel to try to stop the bleeding. But it poured out onto the floor.
What do I do? What do I do? I thought helplessly. Finally, the blood slowed enough for me to see two deep gashes in his lip. I called my parents (Foggy Daddy wouldn’t know what to do, I reasoned). I knew I had to get him to the hospital, but how? My dad told me to call 911 if I couldn’t get him in the car seat. I grabbed my bag and ran out with LM in my arms, leaving a pile of bloody towels on the floor. Somehow I managed to coax him into the car seat, and we headed out.
My dad and Foggy Daddy met us at the hospital. The bleeding had pretty much stopped, but LM was understandably, very cranky. We had to wait for the plastic surgeon to stitch him up, since the cut was on his face and quite deep. But how was this going to happen without anesthesia? We helped the nurses get him in something they called a “papoose,” but what seemed more like a toddler straightjacket. He was wrapped up and strapped to a board so he couldn’t move, and one nurse held his head.
Among things you don’t ever want to see: your child being sewed up while screaming his head off. I don’t think I will forget the sight of the stitches tugging his lip as they were pulled through. I had to sit down for fear I would pass out. At one point, the nurse actually fell off the edge of her stool as she tried to restrain LM’s thrashing head.
Then it was over. Twelve stitches. Our first ER visit was complete.
But, I worried that this would throw off LM’s ABR hearing test, which was scheduled for a week later. Luckily, the ENT performing the procedure said it would be fine.
So next up:
LM’s sedated hearing test
Just when we had sufficiently recovered from the cut lip experience, it was time to have the sedated ABR, which we had waited two months for and gone through several different ENTs and audiologists in the process. We had tried it non-sedated, which was a colossal fail — and, we found out later, cost us $500.
The ABR was scheduled at 7 am, which is probably a good thing since he couldn’t have anything to eat or drink. We got to the surgery center at 6, at which time LM proceeded to scream his head off once again. Thankfully we were quickly ushered into the pre-op area. The anesthesiologist came in and said he could give him a little squirt of something up his butt to make him relax. Finally, he was calm. We got him into his little gown, and I also suited up to walk him into the OR. Taking care not to hurt his lip (which was actually well on its way to healing), the anesthesiologist put the mask on to make LM go to sleep. I kissed him and went back to wait.
The doctor came out part-way through and confirmed what we suspected: LM has a mild hearing loss in one hear and moderate in the other. Although I expected it, I felt angry at the universe for giving him—and me—this challenge. More doctors, more appointments, more not being “normal.” All I could think about were my fertility treatments, and how this felt eerily similar. Not life-threatening, no. But life-altering.
After the procedure was over, Foggy Daddy and I went back to see LM already waking up from the anesthesia. He nursed for a long time, and in fact didn’t want to stop. As the nurse pulled out the IV, he wouldn’t let her put pressure on it, and blood spurted out everywhere. More blood, I thought.
Eventually we were able to get him dressed and got the hell out of there, much to the relief of the other recovering patients, I’m sure.
So what now? The doctor also took ear molds for his hearing aids while he was sedated. We have followups with the doctor to check him out post-op, and another followup for just FD and I to discuss the plan for his hearing aids with the audiologist.
I don’t want to do this.
But I don’t have a choice.
All of this adds to everything going on right now: the holiday rush, my story assignments, trying to find time to blog about the million ideas I have in my head that I need to get out. Not to mention that LM’s behavior is getting worse and worse. Tantrums from the frustration of not being able to communicate, most likely. And lucky me, he saves them all up for the person he’s closest to.
I love him. I want to help him. I just wish it wasn’t this hard.
Any other moms have had to deal with their child’s hearing loss? What about ER visits? Share your stories, please!