I'm not quite sure how we went from "come back in February and hopefully we won't have to see you again" to "he might need another set of tubes" at the ENT, but I am not amused. Not necessarily surprised, but still not happy. To recap Luke's Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) history to date: In October 2006, we were told Luke needed speech therapy. They found fluid on his ears and told us to get it taken care of. by August 2007, we finally had tubes put in to help with fluid drainage and ear infections. In August 2008, his tubes had come out and were just sitting in the ear canal. They were removed and we were told to return in six months (Feb 2009) for our final check. If everything looked good, we were done. But of course not! Luke was just finishing an ear infection in February 2009, so there was still some fluid behind his ear, and she said that the eardrum was a little "sucked in." She did say that may just be normal for him coming off an infection, so she wanted to see us back in a month. That would be today.
So, he's been fine for a month. Off and on fever, but no cold or anything. He did come down with allergies when we got back from Disney. We all did. (How could you not when you live in the allergy capitol of the world? I saw a lot of yellow in the puddles today.) I had no idea what that would mean for his appointment today. I actually forgot about his 9 AM appointment until I was strapping him in his car seat to take him to school. Thank goodness it was 8:45, so all I had to do was drive to the doctor instead. We made it just in time. I felt like such a dork.
Anyway, we arrived, we waited 20 minutes (trying not to snort; we were the first appointment of the day, how can you be late already?!), and we were taken back for the tympanogram, which "takes a picture of your eardrum," as the tech explained. It is actually measuring the movement of the eardrum. One ear looked great, the other one looked really wonky. She took a look. I was surprised to learn that she saw a good bit of scarring on his left eardrum. No one had ever mentioned it before, and she did say it was common in children who have had tubes. It just took me by surprise. Then she took him in the soundproof booth for a hearing test. By himself. It was the first time he has ever done one alone. He was a little nervous at first, but he did great. The tech pronounced his hearing normal in both ears, and we were moved into the room to see the doctor, where we thankfully did not wait long at all.
She looked at the tympanogram, she looked at his hearing test, she looked in his ears and mouth. Then she looked at me. "Well, there's still fluid back there. It's not infected, but it's been there for a month at least. The good news is that it is not affecting his hearing. If it were causing hearing problems, or if we were heading into the winter months, I would not hesitate to recommend a second set of tubes. But since we are heading into the summer, and the fluid is not currently causing any problems, let's see if we can clear up the fluid instead." He is now on antihistamines and decongestants every day, and a nasal spray. We see her again in a month. If the fluid is still there, or if he gets an ear infection in the meantime, there will most likely be more tubes. If it goes away, she'll send us on our way for a few months. I suspect even if it is gone, she will check it again in the fall/winter, just to be sure, but we'll see. I shouldn't be surprised, though. Luke is only following in the family tradition. I had to have two sets of tubes, too! (Thanks for the reminder, Melissa! There was also some mention of tonsils and adenoids, but that falls under "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" and was not discussed beyond a passing mention.)
My apologies for the departure from the Disney recap. I hope to get back to it tomorrow. (I have the pictures selected and shrunk, but no text accompaniment at present.) But, I wanted to get this down before I forgot.
Currently feeling: tired of ear trouble