Monday, October 15, 2007

Pre-surgery thoughts

That tacky little ticker up there says we have surgery in 2 weeks.

Gratitude with a pinch of anxiety is what I’m feeling these days. I’m still in awe of the fact that our insurance is going to cover Ethan’s surgery. Rich and I were preparing to do battle and were caught completely off guard with the news. They won’t cover any visits (ENT, audiology) that have to do with Ethan’s deafness because it’s a pre-existing condition. (This could be fodder for a weeks worth of posts) But they cover the surgery because the implant is viewed as a prosthetic device.

I think I’m distracting myself from Ethan’s impending surgery by focusing on his other issues. I’ve been delving deeply into the sensory stuff and apraxia-land. And he doesn’t even have an official apraxia diagnosis! But buddy when that comes down the pike (and my gut knows it will), I’ll be on the ready with my recipes for a gluten-free and casein free diet, as well as all the supplements I’ve been researching. I’ve got books on their way here right now! And don’t even ask me how many hours I’ve spent reading messages on my mailing lists, devouring every morsel of experience and advice I can find. It’s ridiculous!

The actual surgery is one thing. Granted, it’s a pretty big thing, but it’s actually only the beginning. I’m a bit worried, as any normal parent would be, but not overly freaked out by any means. Having been through it once before does make it easier. I know he’ll be fine.

There will be loads of follow-up appointments, probably more this time around than after his first implant. We’ve been told that our implant center likes to do more follow-ups with bilaterals since there isn’t much formal research out there on children yet.

There will also be several mapping sessions with the audiologist. During the first year of having a Ci the sessions are very frequent, every 2-4 weeks for a while, then 6 or 7 months later it backs down to every 2 or 3 months.

These appointments are a 3-hour drive (in each direction) for us. We usually stay with my dear friend Audrey and her husband Mike (and their new cutie Blake), but we will still be doing a lot of back and forth.

It’s a lot to add to an already busy therapy schedule. I drive Ethan 1.5 hours each way to his weekly speech therapy and 1 hour each way to his PT/OT sessions – which are every other week now. He also has 2 aural rehab sessions per week here in Athens.

It’s all just a little bit overwhelming.

I’m reminded of the days following Ethan’s first Ci activation, nearly one year ago. I was filled with anxiety about maintaining the equipment and keeping it all on Ethan’s head. Everything was fine though and looking back I realize that I got pretty worked up for no reason.

The same thing happened when he got glasses last year. When his doctor told me we needed to go into the next room and look at frames I nearly fell to the floor in the fetal position. I couldn’t imagine putting any more gear on E-boy’s head and I worried that it would be next to impossible to keep it all intact and in place. Well that turned out to be not such a big deal either.

So to this new dread and anxiety I feel creeping in I say, “Beat it! I’ve got better things to do.”

15 comments:

Nikkicole said...
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Beck said...

The gluten-free diet is sort of intimidating at first but is actuallly very doable - The Baby has Celiac Disease and she's doing very well on the diet.

flutter said...

I'll be thinking of you

Kellan said...

I will too - I'll be thinking about you and praying for your family.

Kyla said...

Okay, I feel totally lucky that our specialists, ped, and hospital are only 45 minutes away. Her therapies are even closer than that, and it still feels like I do a lot of driving.

I am so excited for you guys. You're always in our thoughts.

slouching mom said...

I think all of you are going to do great. Change is always difficult to contemplate.

KC said...

You and everything you do for Ethan - totally a rock star mommy. He'll sail through this one!

Oh, The Joys said...

I'll be thinking of you guys...

Best,
OTJ

Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm with KC - you are a rock star mommy. All that driving and schlepping must be overwhelming (I know I would hate it) but you have such grace, and even here you sound so ... balanced when you discuss it. I am beyond impressed with both you and Ethan.

Hetha said...

Thanks to all of you guys for these sweet and thoughtful commments. I appreciate it more than you know.

Kellan said...

You know you are still in my prayers. PS: come back by my site, I've got a little treat for you. See ya.

jen said...

i would be having a hard time, too. i think you are doing very well and this is going to go very well. i know it. i feel it.

Redneck Mommy said...

Best wishes to you and the little guy. I will put in a prayer that all goes well. I have an in upstairs with the big Guy...my own little Angel.

It's gonna go great and the rewards of the surgery totally outweigh that little anxiety devil perched on your shoulder trying to freak you out.

Good luck!

Eileen said...

Heather,
I am thinking about you and Ethan. Know you will be held tightly in my heart and prayers during the surgery and the recovery process. I know he will do great!! I wish I could offer more in terms of support, but know I am here if you ever need to "talk." You both are such good parents and Ethan is going to continue to grow and thrive.
This morning I was at an IHOP eating breakfast, before hospital visiting hours, and a group of teen boys came in. Some of them were signing, some were talking, one had the device behind his ear that you showed us a picture of last month (If you hadn't shown the picture, I would have thought it was a blue tooth phone). Anyway, they were all laughing and having such a good time. Later some girls joined them, and they looked like they were having even more fun. I couldn't help but think of Ethan and how some day he will be that teen guy hanging out with his buddies. All you are doing for him now is so important and is so wonderful and I guess the point of my long,rambling story is I just think you are such a great mom. E-boy is one lucky dude! XOXO

thailandchani said...

This is my first time here and I probably don't have all the background.. but I am certainly sending good thoughts your way (and Ethan's) :)

kor hai chok dee ka


Peace,

~Chani