Wednesday, May 29, 2013

8 Month Update

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this--it's been a while.  How time flies, huh?

Things here have been interesting--good, but interesting.

  • L underwent surgery on his right ear to rebuild his eardrum.  Once he has healed we will retest his hearing--probably in August--to find out how successful the procedure was.  Surgery was about 2 hours long, and as they were messing with his inner ear he was pretty dizzy and nauseous when waking up.  His middle ear, or the teensy-eensy bones that clank around, showed scarring from infection, so it will remain to be seen if he will need permanent hearing aids.  We are realllllly hopeful that the surgery will do the trick, but realistically we are probably in for a much longer road.
  • His left ear was fitted for a hearing aid.  I read a million stories of huge, massive toddler battles about wearing hearing aids, but L decided almost immediately that he *loves* his. He wants to wear it at night, and asks for it each morning.  Something to be very thankful for.
  • He makes this face when he hears something new, which is about every 10 seconds:

The list of new things he can hear are kind of astounding--we honestly didn't realize how bad things were and kind of didn't believe the audiologists when they gave us results of his hearing tests. He can now hear the dog walking on the hardwoods, Cory sneezing (which is kind of like a bomb going off), the garbage truck outside, and the list goes on and on and on.  Nuts.  I can't tell yet if his language is improving--I think I'm around him a bit to much to really know.  He will have a formal evaluation in the fall by our school district and hopefully will qualify for speech and language services. 

The most interesting thing about the last few weeks in relation to adoption is the increase in...I don't know...pity stares.  I've had a stranger a day tell me I'm amazing for "taking on such challenges" --between the limb deficiency and his bright yellow hearing aid, we have now achieved sainthood.  Good to know.  We are also told how "inspirational" he is, and I just don't have a response to that.  I mean, what are his options?  He's missing one hand and is wearing a hearing aid.  People get along just fine with a lot worse than that.  Seriously, he is the goofiest kid around, with a laugh that rivals Eddie Murphy, who thinks it's hilarious to ask for eggs and poop for breakfast.  He's normal.  But with obvious and noticeable differences, I really need to work on appropriate, deflecting responses.   

Other than that, things are just plugging right along.  L is excelling at Little Gym, where he's making friends and is increasingly following directions.  We were out for a week when he was Mr. Snot Faucet, and when we returned he was met with lots of "Yay!  L is back!" from the other kiddos in the class, which made me happy.  He's a rough and tumble little guy, and I suspect can be overwhelming for other kids at times.  But apparently they appreciate his enthusiasm as well.  The other kids are also very interested in his arm and on more than one occasion a child has taken his arm and looked closely at it (he has several small finger buds).  He responds by picking up their hand and looking closely at it with a I don't really get what we're doing here, but I'm game look on his face.  Funny, and at least at this age the explanation that "he was born that way" suffices.  I know that won't last forever. 

We are continuing with preschool on Fridays in anticipation of him going on his own in the fall, plus have signed him up for soccer and are considering hockey (husband's childhood game).  We've been working L dressing by himself, and he's doing well--we are down from about 40 minutes to around 5 when he's focused.  Zipping and buttoning are still challenging, but he's getting there.  It was an exercise in teamwork--he and I figuring out each step together.  The limb deficiency does make a difference when pulling on jeans. 

And soooo, pictures!
First ride on a ferry! 

His preschool's playground space shuttle--perfection.
At the airshow--not really sure about this!

Changing the train line (on an old and unused track!) in Montana

All ready for surgery!