We received the best possible news from Robby's ear specialist. We went to his appointment expecting to hear that his tube was misaligned and needed to be replaced. Although we hated the notion of Robby undergoing another ear surgery, recently the implications of his hearing issues have been glaring. His speech has stymied and it has been increasingly difficult to gain his attention when we are at a distance.
Instead of hearing our amateur diagnosed confirmed, the doctor threw us for a loop when she declared that the tube was still in place. She vacuumed out the copious amounts of ear wax that had formed around the canal and discovered extensive granuloma formation. The surgeon explained that these little obtrusive masses were probably the result of a lingering ear infection. He was prescribed ear drops to "melt" them away, and hopefully no further treatment will be necessary.
Although the granuloma tissue is still present, simply removing the wax from around the canal has made an incredible difference in Robby's hearing. He immediately began to talk about how much easier it was to understand us when we were speaking. He explained that many times he just nodded because he was hearing too many muffled sounds to decipher our conversation. Hearing this from him broke my heart! I wish he had told us earlier that he was struggling.
We had a lengthy family conference last night where we addressed Robby trying to conceal his difficulties. We reminded him that we are a team and that when one teammate is struggling, they need to speak up so that everybody can pitch in and help. Fearing that he was embarrassed, I tried to convey that his difficulty hearing was no more a reflection of how great he is than my amputation is for me. It is part of us, but we are not defined by our losses. I think he understood the analogy because he gave me a hug and promised to let us know the second he notices a difference.