Last Monday Alex underwent another minor surgery. This one was more of a maintenance and exploratory surgery. I have really been wanting to find a new doctor to take over Alex's ear care. The doctors at Seattle Children's are knowledgeable but are so busy and you have to schedule out about six months in advance. They have also made it clear that Alex is not a priority patient since we chose to have the external ear reconstructive work done at Primary Children's in SLC.
The ENT doctor that we have been seeing locally just doesn't seem to have the best bedside manners and really feels like Alex's ear is NOT his ear to tamper with since other surgeons have done the inner and outer reconstructive surgeries. So I decided that it was time to go shopping for a new ENT. I was very upfront with the new doctor that we went to see so I wouldnl't end up feeling like either of us were wasting our time or money.
Dr. Ryan Black is young and feels ready to take on Alex. I appreciate that he is willing to do his own research and is not intimated by the other doctors. We mutually decided that it was time to do a maintenance surgery to clean Alex's ear canal and see what his inner ear parts were looking like.
Here's Alex just prior to starting all the prep work. As you can tell he was pretty stoked to be having this surgery--NOT!!! I think Alex would do just about anything to avoid a doctor's visit or trip to the hospital. Alex was pretty anxious prior to the surgery. I was surprised how nervous I was too.
Hands down getting the IV was definitely the worst part of the surgery. In the past they nurses have put in the IV after Alex was put to sleep. I guess they decided that he was old enough to have the IV put in first. This did allow him to be put to sleep through the IV meds instead of the mask. I was good at remembering this time to let the anesthesiologist know that Alex has adverse reactions to being put to sleep and gets VERY nauseous and vomity after. They gave him Zolfran and another anti-nausea drug which seemed to work wonders for Alex.
The procedure only took about 35 minutes and Dr. Black was very happy with the amount of junk he was able to clean out of Alex's ear canal and the way his inner ear parts are looking. Alex continues to struggle because of the stenoses that narrows a portion of his ear canal down so small that ear wax, dead skin cells, etc... are not able to get out of his ear canal. Instead they block his canal making his hearing in that ear limited and nasty drainage an annoyance. We are anxious to see the results of his audiology exam in a few weeks now that his narrow ear canal is cleaned out.
Alex wasn't all smiles when waking up from the surgery. He was really tired and has a headache but other than that he was feeling pretty darn good. Dr. Black is thinking that in the near future it would be wise to try and cut off the stenoses that were created by scar tissue from building his ear canal and seeing if we can't just open his ear canal permanently.
It didn't take too long until Alex declared that this was "the best surgery ever." His afternoon entailed skipping school, eating a chicken sandwich, fries, and a milk shake, watching "Percy Jackson''Lighting Thief," going to his friend's house for a few hours, and receiving lots of sympathy from his brothers and sisters. I'd say he TURNED A LEMON INTO LEMONADE.
We are again grateful for those that made it possible for Birch and I to be together at the surgery center for Alex procedure, reliable insurance, a smart doctor, kind nurses, and caring anesthesiologist, and Birch's job that will allow us to pay for this surgery. We are blessed!