Micah had Ear Tubes #13 placed today. Thirteen is his... different.... number. From his standpoint, it was rather unlucky. The future Micah may think it was a good thing, however. At least for his left ear.
Before I forget to give props where major props are due, the hospital was a dream to work with. The nurses, the doctor, the anesthesiologist and all the supporting staff completely agreed with me that the least invasive the better, Versed wasn't needed if we didn't want it, Micah didn't have to put on his hospital gown at all, the arm band went on his leg only at the last minute, I went back to the OR to count down with Micah and keep him calm, and the IV came out as soon as we asked. It was quite the pleasant experience, really. That was such an answer to prayer.
So while we were waiting in pre-op, where Micah normally freaks the heck out because he knows exactly what's coming, the boy chose a different method of dealing with the stress. He napped. I guess he was tired from watching Mary Poppins in the bathroom of the hotel last night at 2AM. (No, it wasn't stress or nerves that had him up then, because he didn't even know surgery was happening until we arrived at the hospital. We purposely kept him in the dark to minimize his stress level.) The nap was a good thing for all of us, though. Perhaps he thought he'd just wake up and the hospital thing was all a nightmare. Sadly, it wasn't the case.
The proposed plan was to insert a tube into his right ear like we have 12 other times, but take a tiny piece of cartilage from his left ear and form a grommet with it to insert into his left ear drum into which a tube will be placed. The grommet is to help the tube stay in much longer than Micah's ears like to normally keep tubes around. We'll do his right ear the next time around, because, according to the doctor, there's not a surgeon in the country that would do both ears at once. (It was worth asking.)
Twenty minutes into our breakfast, Sam received a call from the doc. Micah's left ear canal is tiny. In fact, it's so tiny that it impressed even the doctor that sees all the patients with problem ears. He strongly recommended enlarging the ear canal to better visualize the ear drum in the office in future, to place tubes easier, and to help Micah with drainage of all the fluids that cause him problems. We agreed it would be a good idea in the long run, even though it would be a more invasive surgery, cause Micah more pain, and turn recovery into a 2-3 day event. He also apologized for the fact that Micah's left tube was still intact even though he'd told us it was out. There was wax covering the tube and he didn't see it. There was, however a perforation in the ear drum, so he would have needed surgery to repair that anyway. It all worked out. Fascinatingly, enlarging the ear canal happened trough a tiny incision behind the ear.
So Micah has a teeny, tiny incision on his ear where cartilage was harvested, a larger (but also small) incision behind his ear that oozes blood and freaks him out, and two new ear tubes; one of which we're hoping stays in for a minimum of a year and a maximum of "oh hey, we forgot that thing was even in there!" His left ear will get the grommet next time.
The good news is that Micah is staying home from school tomorrow for recovery. He may also get to stay home on Wednesday. The bad news is the pain kicked in this evening just before we were able to get his pain prescription filled. I hope we can control it through the night enough to keep him comfortable, because he's just a miserable wee guy at the moment.