Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Sep '08

Ear, Nose, Throat Visit

It’s routine to take kids with Down syndrome in to see the ENT (ear/nose/throat) doctor by the time they’re about one year old. That’s because kids with DS have smaller ear and nasal passages than other kids, which can mean trouble (like frequent ear infections). Wes has been super healthy and hasn’t had any ear infections, and I know he can hear just fine. But I took him in anyway just to make sure.

Wes made fast friends with the receptionist and doctor by smiling at them like crazy. But when the doctor put the lighted tube into his ears and the tongue depressor in his mouth (which made him gag), he might have regretted his earlier friendliness and he had no more smiles for the doctor. The ear thing was cool for me to see, though. The lighted tube has a camera on it and I could see on the TV monitor what was in Wesley’s ear. It was done quickly, so Wes wasn’t uncomfortable for long. When it got to the ear drum the doctor froze the frame on the TV and pulled out the lighted tube and Wes could relax. Then we looked at the ear drum together, the doctor knowingly and me pretending to know what I was looking at, and the doctor declared that both of Wesley’s ear drums appear healthy. He said this is pretty remarkable for a kid with Down syndrome and congratulated me (not like I had much to do with it…).

The doctor did say that as Wes gets older and interacts more with kids in the world he’ll be more prone to picking up ear infections, so we’ll have to see how things go. I’ve talked to a lot of moms whose kids with DS have tubes inserted to help drain the fluid and prevent ear infections. It seems not uncommon for DS kids, but if Wes continues on track hopefully we can get away without the tubage.

On another bright note, I always thought Wes has a lot of ear wax, but the doctor said it’s actually not too bad. Which made me feel better because, wow, his ears seem dirty to me. Maybe that’s just part of being a little boy.

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