Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Our beloved son is almost four years old. He is bright, active, and kind. Just last night he gave his father a brief (and respectful) talking-to about how Daddy should be nicer to our dog, for example. He gets additional suckers for his sisters when he goes to the barber shop.
He also has a diagnosed speech delay. It's his articulation, his "expressive language." What does that mean? He doesn't make all of the sounds in the words he uses, making him difficult to understand. ("Papa" is Ahpa, "popcorn" is op-orn.) I get him most of the time--in context with familiar words when I'm completely alert. But if he starts trying to tell me about a bad dream he just had, I get nothing. And I'm with him all day! It's worse for Daddy and forget complete strangers most of the time.
Daddy and I have suspected he wasn't up to par speech-wise for more than two years. Various advice-givers weren't terribly helpful. He's a boy, he's a second child, you're just comparing him to Madeleine who's way ahead (she had a working vocabulary of more than two dozen words before her first birthday. I made a list.) We knew better. We did the ISD thing, where he regularly passed the hearing tests but had flat tympanograms. Usually he'd been diagnosed with an ear infection a few days before, and those appointments are a bugger to make, so we just chalked it up to illness.
Now at almost four he's in speech through our local school district. I love his therapist; she adapts to whatever the circumstances are (uncooperative child, extra siblings) with grace and a sense of humor. I just have had the feeling that he's not making the progress he should despite her expertise. There was something more going on. I knew it.
So when we went in to the pediatrician last month, the nurse commented, "Wow, his adenoids are huge!" I had a Dory moment. You know, where she recognizes Nemo and all of her memories come back? That's what it was like.
Adenoids? Those are in your nose, not your throat. She must mean tonsils. Your brother had his adenoids out when he got tubes for his hearing and he snored like your son- becausetheyblockedtheEustachiantube-yourhusbandhasnotonsilsandhegottubestoo-couldTHISfinallybewhatiswrongwithyourlittleboy? EUREKA!
Wait, wait. Maybe they're just swollen because he's ill. Let's not jump to conclusions.
The next week, when my four-year-old son was trying to explain something and I wasn't getting it, I was in tears. When Daddy came out of their bedroom and all was calm, I said, "I'm tired of not being able to understand my son."
His reply? "We have the insurance. Call the doc and get him to an ENT."
So I did. What happened at the ENT?
1. He passed the hearing test but had a flat tympanogram. Again.
2. The doc and intern saw his "huge" tonsils--a 4+ on a scale of 1-4.
3. They did an x-ray and saw his enlarged adenoids. (And showed me.)
4. They peeked in his ears and, while they didn't see an infection, there is evidence of "mucosal fluid" in there.

Result? When his secretary gets back next week, she will call us to schedule the surgery to remove his adenoids and tonsils, and if he finds fluid in his middle ear, tubes too.

While I don't relish the thought of my son under the knife, I'm tired of not being able to understand my son. It's time for him to be understood.



At 2:30 PM, Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Not to mention--he will be healthier. I'm not talking about "no sore throats" but I am talking about better night breathing, better ability to eat and swallow (sometimes enlarged T&A get in the way of that) runs in my DH's family too and after the surgery one of my nieces was like a different kid--in a good way.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger The Mom With Brownies (The story of us) said...

Brian, Kazz, Brise, my father, his brothers, my aunts and I all have ours out. Talk about running in the family! LOL It made all the difference in the world! He will breathe so much better.

Brise had ear tubes. Absolutely much better hearing. He will startle easily at first and may cry due to "weird" noises or "loud" noises. He hasn't been able to hear correctly. When Brise first got them he was very easily startled.

Here's the Bad news, you may have to give your pets to a relative. Many times irritation is from allergies. :-( We had to do that and Brian's cousin had to give her beloved dog of 7 years to her brother so her daughter could stop swollowing snot and waking up ill in the mornings. (Gross I know but that's the raw deal)

Just keep a watch out for that. He may have this problem due to that kind of household allergy from birth.

We didn't think about it either but that was the deal for us too. I couldn't believe Kazz was suffering all those years and we didn't even realize he had allergies adn was allegic to his own pet. :-(

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Daisy said...

My niece recently had hers out too. You'd be surprised what big adenoids can affect. All her 3 years, she had been inexplicably constipated. It was so bad that she used to scream her way through bowel movements. She was toilet trained well before the surgery, and afterward had to kind of re-toilet train, because the surgery fixed her constipation completely! They had checked her for everything from a thyroid disfunction to gastric issues and could never find anything wrong that would have been causing that constipation. She also slept much better and spoke more clearly after the surgery. For the first few days, though, she would try to talk the way that she did before surgery, which was kind of weird, since she couldn't exactly replicate it.

At 4:03 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Praise the Lord that you at least have an answer, a path to follow! :) Will keep ya'all in my prayers.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger M. Alexander said...

My son also received speech therapy at 4 years old. He had lots of problems with intelligibility, nodes on his vocal cords from voice abuse, articulation problems, etc. We saw a private practice speech therapist who was awesome. Now 7 years later he has just had his tonsils out- 5 cases of strep in 6 months. The recovery is rough but so worthwhile.

Now he has tested positive for almost all environmental allergies, trees, grass, 5 kinds of mold, dust, etc. Then we did food allergies- wheat, dairy, corn, eggs, rice, and on and on and on.

You are on the right track! Good luck!

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