January 15, 2011

"So what if I can't hear? As long as my Toy Story 3 tattoo's still here, I'm all good."

Corrina, my two-year-old daughter, stopped meeting normal speech milestones around her first birthday.   She got to “mama” and “dada” and then just quit.   At first, we weren’t too concerned — Bailey and I actually met while teaching in the same preschool classroom, and we had a grand old time mocking all of the helicopter moms who enrolled their six-months-old in French classes and rushed off to a specialist with every sneeze.  We were perfectly content to wait it out, letting Corrina talk in her own time, pretty sure that eventually, like her mother before her, she’d find herself unable to shut up.

Then, all of a sudden, I got nervous … about the New York state budget.  I’d just figured that we’d wait for Corrina to come around, word-wise, and then if at some point there was clearly a problem, we’d get her some help.  But last spring and summer, when the New York state government couldn’t get a budget together to save its life, I got worried.  What if, when we needed it, help for Corrina wasn’t there?  I panicked, and called for an Early Intervention referral.  When the woman who conducted the initial assessment suggested there might be a problem with Rina’s hearing, we were skeptical.  We were certain that she was ignoring us out of pure spite.  But, lo and behold and an audiological evaluation later, it turned out that abnormal amount of fluid in her ears was reducing Corrina’s hearing by 40%.

Corrina's doctor labeled her earlobes with his initials, 'cause apparently, that's how it's done.

Fast forward to early this Tuesday morning, when I woke up my child before dawn, deprived her of liquid, juice and trekked up to Surgicare for a bilateral myringontomy, more commonly known as tubes in the ears.  This procedure is incredible simple, common and quick — so quick, in fact, that you can watch it on YouTube. But it was still my baby, in a hospital gown,  under anesthesia, on an operating table, without me.  And that’s scary, right?

Corrina took Ugly Doll into surgery with her. Also, a purple flashlight. You never know when you might need one of those.

Amazingly, it wasn’t.  The entire experience was incredible — from the pre-admission phone interview (thanks, Nurse Mark!) to post-operative care and discharge (you’re the best, Nurses Cindy and Erica!) every single person involved in caring for Corrina made me feel calm and confident, simultaneously assuring me that there was absolutely no reason to freak out but that I absolutely had permission to freak if I felt the need.  And, in the end, THEY thanked US for coming!  (Seriously.  They sent us home with a personalized thank-you note.)  Unbelievably amazing.  So amazing that I desperately missed the nursing staff when we returned home and I, who had been counting on some post-surgery grogginess leading to a mommy/daughter nap, was rudely confronted with my every day high energy toddler dancing on tables.  (Literally — her new favorite thing to do is to climb up and dance on the dining room table, which I suppose is fine.  It’s not like I ever serve gourmet meals there or anything.  Chicken nuggets are best enjoyed on the couch.  I digress…)

The whole thing was so pleasant, so unremarkable in terms of stress level, that it could have sunk back into my slew of run-of-the-mill-medical-appointments memory bank, except for one thing: on Tubesday night, Corrina was heading upstairs to where her biggest brother and friends were jamming out on our ridiculous assortment of musical equipment, and she covered her ears, looked at me, and said, “NOISE!”

Thank you, bilateral myringotomy w/ tubes, for enabling my daughter to appreciate how truly loud and obnoxious her family actually is.

-Meryl at the Goose

The End. Heehee.


4 Responses to “Tubesday”

  1. Hooray for fully-functioning ears! After 17 years of poor hearing and chronic infections, I chose to have tubes put in my own ears in my late teens. They’ve long since come out, but my hearing is vastly improved and I’ve only had two infections in the last 10 years. That’s in comparison to the 3-4 a year in my teens, and many more before then. I hope they work so well for Corrina.

  2. Asha Says:

    This makes me so happy!

  3. Carole Rubin Says:

    What a beautiful article! It should go into a magazine for parents of young children so they know what to expect. That way they can avoid some of the concerns that you had. Love reading you “stuff”! Glad Miss Corrina is doing well and that her parents have survived the ordeal.
    Carole Rubin

  4. Yael Saar Says:

    I love reading your voice, and it’s even sweeter in this one. Thank you for sharing this experience, the girl is too cute, and this story is priceless. And yay for Joyful Noise, double yay for being able to notice it.

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