It’s hard to believe that it has been 5 years already since a scared little boy and a couple of scared parents instantly became a family. For those of you that might be new to our blog, we celebrate Gotcha Day each year with a few traditions; a cake (there are 5 candles but 2 are blended together in the photo)…
a few presents…
and a comparison stairwell photo.
It’s always shocking to look at the stair photo and see how much he has changed. Below are the links to the past stair photos if you missed them the first time around or if you just want to see them again.
Wow, I am so behind, two holidays have already come and gone since my last post! I’ll start catching up with Thanksgiving.
For Thanksgiving week our original plans were to meet up with some friends in Orlando for a week of Disney fun. On the morning we were to leave, I woke up feeling dizzy and could barely walk because the room was spinning so badly. I worked my way into the shower only to make things worse. As soon as the water hit me, I started throwing up and couldn’t stop. Rob took me to the doctor’s office and I’m still thinking the doctor can fix me and we can make our flight in 3 hours. Boy was I wrong!
His diagnosis was an inner ear infection and he gave me a shot for the nausea, antibiotics and steroids. He told me there was no way I could fly with my ear infection. Rob broke the news to Liam and he was so sweet about it and was just worried about me and not missing the trip. Best kid ever, more worried about his Momma than missing Disney!
I was out of it for the next few days. My ear was not feeling any better by the weekend so I went to an urgent care center. The doctor there confirmed that I had an inner ear infection and just needed to give the meds time to work.
On Monday, I returned to my regular doctor and told him it had been a week and my ear wasn’t any better and I had finished all my meds. He gave me different steroids to take and told me it would take time. I just knew something wasn’t right because I have had ear infections before and this one wasn’t the same.
I scheduled an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor and couldn’t get an appointment for 2 weeks. Luckily, a week later, the ENT office called and said they had a cancellation. The doctor examined me and told me that I did not have an inner ear infection. His diagnosis was sudden sensorineural hearing loss. What? He said that it was unfortunate that I hadn’t been diagnosed sooner because the best chance of recovering my hearing was within the first 72 hours after it occurred. I was now 14 days out and he said he wouldn’t even treat me if I was 21 days out. He also said that it is common for general doctors to misdiagnose this as an inner ear infection because it is not that common and has all the same symptoms.
Over the next week, I did 3 treatments of cortisone injections thru my eardrum into the middle ear. Yeah, it was as pleasant as it sounds. None of the treatments had any effect on my hearing and I had to persuade the doctor to even do the 3rd treatment. I figured I had nothing to lose doing all 3 treatments. In the end, the treatments didn’t help but I would’ve always wondered had I not done the 3rd one.
He is not certain what caused it, my blood tests and MRI did not show anything, but his best guess is that it was some sort of viral infection that I had that attacked my ear. I now have only about 10-20% of hearing in my left ear and constantly hear a high-pitched hissing in that ear that is called tinnitus.
A few days before Christmas they made a mold of my ear for a hearing aid fitting. He is hoping that the TransEar type hearing aid will allow me to regain my ability to distinguish sound direction again. It should be ready for me to test sometime after the new year.
I still can’t believe this happened and I hold out hope that my hearing will return on its own one day. In the meantime, I hope that reading this post will help someone else if it happens to them. If you ever wake up dizzy, throwing up and have problems with your ear, RUSH to the emergency room and request an ENT. The faster they start the treatments, the better chance you have of regaining your hearing. If anyone reading this has had sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSD), I would love to hear about year experience and outcome.
Up next…Christmas post!
I’m a little late getting our Halloween post out here and I know all of you that are still reading our blog have been eagerly awaiting this.
In keeping with the superhero theme that Liam began last year as Spiderman, this year we moved from red to green as in The Hulk. I must say he made a pretty scary-looking Hulk and he was a bit obsessed with his muscles.
The costume was enough to frighten a few of the smaller kids that he encountered until he took his mask off so I guess you would call that a successful Halloween costume!
I did a little Halloweening myself at work. I dressed up with a couple of my co-workers and put together a quick costume as Dr. Seuss’ Thing 2 from “Cat in the Hat.”
We didn’t win any awards for our costume but it made for a fun day at work. I think we might have even motivated a few others to dress up next year.
We celebrated Liam’s 4th Gotcha Day by going out to Rosa’s for dinner. I’m guessing he picked Rosa’s because he LOVES their chocolate cake. On the way home, we stopped by Donna’s house to take our annual stairway comparison photo (see below) that shows Liam in 2008 on his way out of the baby home compared to today. It’s a reminder to me every year of how much he has changed and how fast he is growing up.
We got off to a rough start this year with Kindergarten but since the Christmas break things have been going great at school and his after school child care. They informed me today that he has been picked to be the Star of the Month at the child care because he did so well in January and his Kindergarten teacher gave him a reward for his good behavior. I’m so happy that he is finally adjusting to all the changes he had this year.
Most of all, I think he has learned the most important thing in life…that chocolate will always put a smile on your face!
Wow, it’s been over a month since our last post on here. We have become such blog slackers! I think Kindergarten has taken a toll on all of us but more on that another day.
Liam is in super hero mode these days so of course, he was Spiderman for Halloween. I really didn’t expect him to leave that mask on for more than 5 seconds or I would’ve picked a costume with a different kind of mask that didn’t go over his head. We spent a great deal of time adjusting it so he could see through the eye holes. Lesson learned!
We went to 2 carnivals over Halloween weekend and then trick or treating in our neighborhood on Halloween night.
Here’s a couple of pictures of Spidey Liam getting into character:
Spidey Liam swings from his “webs” at sunset:
Trick or treating was an adventure and Liam was really into the “trick or treat smell my feet…” chant this year. Someone (me) regretted teaching him that one. About half way through the neighborhood, we were told to be careful that there had been a coyote in the neighborhood the day before. Yikes! We survived and after 3 days of Halloween activities, I was ready for it to be over.
Wow, I just noticed that it’s been over a month since our last blog post. With our Facebook status updates, this blog sometimes gets forgotten so let me fill you in on what all has been going on in our world!
As noted in the last post, Liam played T-Ball for the YMCA and for the most part, he enjoyed it. The temps during June were over 100° most days so it was a bit miserable for the kids (and the adults). Each Saturday, we usually had two back-to-back games and by the time the second game started, Liam was ready to be done. One of the coaches dunked the kids’ caps in ice water during the breaks to keep them cooled off. It was fun but at the same time, we were all kinda happy to see the season end. It should definitely be moved to a winter sport in this area! It didn’t end without an injury though—during one of the games, Liam was charging for the ball and collided with the kid who was running to third base and somehow the kid’s check bone hit Liam in the corner of his eye. There was blood & tears but after we got the bleeding stopped and an ice pack on it, he was ready to go back in a finish the game.
June was also a month of sadness for us. My Mom passed away suddenly, but very peacefully on June 8th. It has been bittersweet losing her. She had been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s for the past couple of years and she would’ve never wanted to live like that, but on the other hand, you’re never ready to lose your parent. Every Sunday we’d go visit her and even though she no longer knew any of us, Mom lit up everytime Liam was around. Losing his “G-Ma” has been particularly tough for him. He has a lot of questions about death and worries about getting old. Telling him that she had died and breaking his heart was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
I’m so very grateful for all of the support we received from family & friends during this difficult time. For those of you that may recall, I also lost my brother about the same time last year so June has not been a good month for us the past couple of years.
The one good thing about all the extreme heat that we’ve been having is that it has made for some really nice days in the pool. Liam is getting so good at swimming that I think he will have it mastered by the end of summer. I still make him wear a life jacket for jumping off the diving board and swimming in the deep end but he has been doing a lot of practice without it in the shallow end. He’s just a little fish in water and if there was any doubt about how much he loves it, I think this picture says it all:
So that should about cover it for getting our blog up to date. As we say here in Texas, stay cool & hydrated!
Liam celebrated his 5th birthday on April 28th. He wasn’t really into having a big birthday party this year. They had one for him at his Pre-K with all his friends from school so we just had a small celebration at home. I got him a pirate themed cake and decorations since he is all into the Disney show Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
For his birthday gift, he finally got a bike and he was one happy little boy!