Last Friday, Andi checked into Doernbecher's Children's Hospital for surgery #8 -- a new set of ear tubes! We met three anesthesia people that would be working on her, two nurses that would be in the room taking care of her, and just before 7:30, we met the ENT surgeon who would be performing this procedure. I honestly think he's the sixth or seventh ENT Dr. we've worked with in the past three years. The procedure didn't take long, and soon we were ushered back to the recovery area where Andi was not only awake, but extremely pissed off. Anesthesia had warned us, as did the ENT, that although she would not be intubated for this one, most kids wake up super cranky from it. It is believed to be because the procedure is so short, that they really don't get much rest, just disturbing irritation. The ENT surgeon explained that all went well. He was able to get a new set of blue tubes in place. He cleaned out a lot of "gunk" out of her left (bad) ear, and removed a pocket of red blood cells that had gathered in her right ear. I would likely see some bleeding out of that ear for a few days (which I did!). All went well though. Due to Andi's medical history, they decided to keep her for observation for an hour. Yes, an hour. I was expecting that we'd be admitted and staying the night. Nope, just an hour. Walking out of the joint as an outpatient was completely stellar! Before that though, I had to sit with a very agitated Andi, and even the iPad wasn't working. Surprisingly, the trick that worked to settle Andi down was singing songs. The kid in the next bed, on the other side of the curtain, started singing along. It was pretty cute. She curled up in a little ball and we rocked for a good 1/2 hour or more together. It was pretty sweet, and reminded me of the good side of our hospital stays, the cuddling time we spent together. Later that day, after Andi woke from a nap, I was on the phone with Ginga. Andi was standing with her back to the couch. Next thing I saw her take two steps away from the couch toward the dog we were dog-sitting. Her first two independent steps. It was AWESOME! I had asked her Dr. if her possible ear infection could possibly be causing her to fall more, 'no' he said. Well, having her ears cleaned out not only made her hearing improve noticeably for the day, but her balance was the best its been. She's eager to walk and we're continuing to try to work on it as much as possible. Today, Andi started her second and final week of swim lessons. She is paired with a teacher's aide whom can talk directly into her good ear and try to get her doing what the rest of the class is doing. Andi is definitely behind the rest of the group, but is slowly getting more comfortable in the water. I see it in the bathtub too, she's getting more bold and exploratory in the tub. It's pretty cool. We're going to sign her up for another batch of lessons in October in the indoor pool down the street. We are confident that swimming will help her with her balance. In addition to that, we have signed her up for her evaluation for hippotherapy. I am hoping these people have magic powers that will entice her to get on the horse, because I have tried and failed twice to get her on a carousel horse. We'll see. If it helps her walk, however, it will be worth the cost.
Lastly, today we met her two bus-drivers that will taking her to school and bringing her home. This will free up four hours of my day, making my life a lot less complicated. So, I look forward to this next chapter, although I can't help but stop to reflect that my little baby is growing up.