Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Have you ever had that feeling that this is the best I'm ever gonna do, this is the best I'm ever gonna feel... and it ain't that great? (from the movie City Slickers) Happy Birthday.

40 sure isn't starting off with the vibes of great things are to come, I'll tell you. I always remember the movie City Slickers where Billy Crystal's character receives a phone call in the middle of the night from his mother who goes on to tell in glorious terms the details of his birth, wishing him a happy birthday. Yea, well, I too was awakened in the middle of the night by a loved one, but it was certainly under different circumstances. First off, my mother would likely only call me on my birthday in the middle of the night only to tell me how painful labor was, not to recount the joyous moment of my birth. Sophia - Zach's guardian angel stopped in to say "I cannot sleep - he is making too much noise." She plops in bed with me, and I am off to find Zach running a fever of 102. OK - no other symptoms, I know the gig. Steve heard the hullabaloo and came in to find us, then retrieved the ibuprofen and got it into Zach. 30 minutes later, Zach's fever had gone down and he was off to sleep. Steve allowed me to sleep in to 7:45 (!!!) and off I went to get Sophia dressed, fed, brushed and on the bus.

I canceled school for the day for Zach, and promptly called the pediatrician's office. He (once again) has a pretty severe ear infection in one ear, and fluid in the other. My poor little guy! We have an upcoming appointment to the ENT March 4 to do a hearing screening and discuss options. We are considering having an ABR done, an auditory brainstem response test which is a physiologic test, and not the typical behavioral test. I am really thinking that tubes would be a good idea for a number of reasons, first off, stop these ear infections! He cannot tell me if he is in pain or where the pain is - so I have to base it on crankiness, fevers, and the occasional cold symptoms. Chronic ear infections can lead to hearing loss. Fluid in the ear can also create hearing difficulties.

Zach has recently been unable to say words that he had no difficulty with before. SLP doesn't seem to have an opinion on what this may be. I am wondering if his hearing is being impacted by the continual fluid and infections. Yale had recommended an ABR but I had read that it would require sedation which made me have some hesitation about having it done. The ENT's office has indicated that they may be able to conduct the ABR without sedation.

From the superintendent:
You are obviously blessed people. In all of my years of being a Superintendent I have never had something like this occur. Our buses travel just shy of 1,000,000 miles per year so multiply that by 10 years and that is a lot of miles!

I received an email from the school superintendent and the assistant superintendent about Sophia's incident. I am still trying to figure out why I am blessed that Sophia fell out of the bus. LOL With this sort of luck, I should probably stay away from the lottery. Anyhow, I had been hounding them for the report of the bus incident which took a ridiculous amount of time to get to us. Of course, the assistant superintendent shows up at 8:45 in the morning while I am still in my pajamas. I let Steve get the door, and I stood back and listened. I couldn't take it anymore, after I heard some of the rhetoric being spewed, I swallowed what little pride (and remember my vanity is already gone...) and went into the mudroom and introduced myself. As he described what happened, I told him that it was conjecture, they weren't sure what happened. And then I looked down, looked at all the cupcakes on my pajamas and wondered if people with purple pajamas with cupcakes are allowed to say words like "conjecture". He claimed the buses are inspected frequently , and blah blah blah. I asked about cameras on the bus and he said this bus didn't have one and that it wouldn't have helped if there was one. Again - does he really know this? Was he taking me seriously? Afterall I am just some dame, a stay at home mother nonetheless, who talks to school officials in her pajamas.

I went on to ask about the buzzer going off, according to him the buzzer is activated when the latch is all the way opened. This set alarms off in my head. (pun intended) The buzzer should be activated when the latch is pressed, not just when it is open. I honestly don't think that this guy really knew, but was stating what he thought to be true. I gotta tell you, I hate that. That's the engineering training coming out. If there is one thing I learned from my career, it's that it's OK to have theories, but facts need to have a basis, and decisions and strong statements should be based on facts. Anyhow, the guy went on to tell Steve and I that the district has implemented changes, specifically a policy change on loading the bus, where the emergency exit is the last seat loaded.

Steve and I will be inspecting the bus next week after winter break. I need to see what this all looks like.

OK, so Mr. Assistant Superintendent left likely thinking he thanks God his wife never answers the door in her pajamas, and off we went to get Zach checked out. And yes indeedee he has one ear with fluid and the other filled with pus. Poor little guy. We picked up the prescription and I have to say - the poor little guy has sure come a long way when taking medication. These are the things I have to think about when I get all caught up in the - "he can't say much" sort of rhythm. He takes medication now! And it doesn't end up on the family room floor!

The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house and cooking in preparation for the party. Steve worked hard to clean the basement so there was running room for the kids. I spent some time shopping at Marshall's looking for things to put on our empty walls. The phone rang all day with well wishes for my birthday and requests to sign up for credit card security protection.

It was just another day in paradise. Happy Birthday Me!


Kyra said...

If you haven't scheduled an ABR you might want to inquire with the doctors about an OAE test. Aidan had both done and for the ABR, the whole process from check-in to going home took almost six hrs, b/c of the sedation, and the results were inconclusive. The OAE took literally four minutes. They stuck what looks like tiny ipod headphones in his ears while he was asleep on my shoulder, and printed out the results. Obviously I can't speak to specific children's individual needs but the docs led me to believe the OAE tests for the same things as the ABR. It may be the OAE is more expensive depending on insurance?

Anyway, might be worth a try to ask if it would be appropriate. It stands for otoacoustic emissions test and from what I understand it measures the sound waves in the ear cavity i.e. if the waves are present and normal he has normal hearing meaning both the ears are structurally normal as well as that the brain is sending the correct signals to the ears.

Lora said...

Happy belated birthday. Sorry that so much stuff is going on and I hope that everything is working out better for everyone. And that Zach's ears are better either by healing or by getting ear tubes. After Griffin got his tubes it sure did make a huge difference, I would highly recommend it. It only took a few minutes and he didn't even cry afterward. Leanne I hope that your birthday had some joy in it, after all it was a milestone birthday. It is great to turn 40, it is a time of wisdom and inner beauty I believe. Take care, Lora