I took my little guy back to the audiologist for his follow up. I was optimistic as I got us ready for the drive to Jacksonville. We have seen so many improvements over the last couple of weeks. He is babbling less and using more words, the way he pronounces his words has improved, and he seems to be learning new words everyday. Despite these improvements, I believed the hearing loss was still present. I was looking forward to the appointment because I wanted to know if his hearing had improved as I expected it had, and I wanted to know if the improvement was due to the success of the antibiotics or the changes that we have made in our communication with him.
I now know that it is a combination of the two. The first thing that the audiologist told us when she examined my son was that he still had fluid in his ears and asked if I wanted to repeat the hearing test. I chose to repeat the test because I was interested in wether his hearing had actually improved or not. This hearing test did went much better than the last. He was much more cooperative, and now that I knew what to expect, I rewarded him with a high-five every time he responded to sound. Last time the audiologist told us that he should be hearing at 20-25 decimal range, but was actually hearing at the 50-55 decimal range. This time his test showed he was hearing at the 40-45 decimal range. It may not be a big improvement, but it gave me some real encouragement.
After our appointment with the audiologist was over we saw the ENT (Ear Nose Throat) doctor. He was fantastic. He explained everything that he was going to do to my son before he did it, and he explained it in a way that he could understand, so that he was at ease and cooperative. He determined that the fluid in my sons ears is infectious and said that he deserved another round of antibiotics before resorting to tubes. He set up a follow appointment for us 2 months from now in March. If, at that time, there is still fluid in his ears then tubes will be the next step. The doctor then explained what tubes are and even showed me a few different kinds of tubes so that I can see how small they are. He gave the statistics on how often the fall out prematurely and have to be re-inserted, and he explained the process of inserting them. By the time the appointment was over I felt much better about the prospect, and they were so good with my son that made me feel very confident about trusting them with my son.
Our pediatrician referred us to ENT for kids and Dr. Maddern. I will never be able to express how thankful I am that our pediatrician recommended him. My son actually had fun at the doctors office. There were toys in every room, one of the nurses raced him down the hall to the exam room, the doctor treated him respectfully, and while I was scheduling the follow up appointment and paying for the visit they gave him 3 stickers and an ice pop. I only wish we could use them for all of our pediatric needs.
I wish more businesses would follow the example of businesses like ENT for kids. If working for Old Town Trolley has taught me anything, it is that people are wiling to pay for service. Treating people as individuals that are special as opposed to treating them like cattle that they remember it, and will return over and over again to receive that treatment. It is why the company I work for carries 70% of the market, why Disney is so successful, and why I will got back to ENT for kids even though they are out of my insurance network. There is nothing that will make a person feel more special than being recognition, except maybe when special attention is paid to their significant others and children. I remember a few years ago I took my hubby to Disney for his birthday. They gave him a happy birthday pin to wear, so everyone we passed wished him happy birthday. Goofy called him on the phone and sang happy birthday to him. The wait staff at the Rainforest Restaurant sang him a truly obnoxious rendition of happy birthday. He hated all the special attention, but I loved it. I loved that everyone around was giving my hubby the attention that I believe he deserves. I’ll never forget it, and it is one of the reasons that I will return to Disney time and time again.