March 10, 2012

Eyes, Ears, and Swings!

Chase returned to the eye doctor and ENT this past week for checkups as it had been six months since his last surgery involving his ears and eyes. Here's a quick update:

EYES: Good news, Bad news.

The great news is that the eye doc was somehow able to pull out one of Chase's nuchal tear duct tubes in the doctor's office with only a little numbing medicine! Yes, this was as crazy as it sounded, and I was so squeamish I felt like I would pass out... despite the fact that he wasn't even doing the procedure to me! But Chase was great and with me giving him a bear hug to keep his arms down, he didn't try to dodge the forceps. (If he was not cooperative, we would have had to do this under anesthesia, so it's nice that we can skip that step!)

The bad news is that one of the tear duct tubes had fallen out, which means that we have to go back into surgery to replace it. Bummer.

We are not immediately scheduling the procedure, however, because we are waiting to see how Chase responds to the one tear duct having stayed in his eyes for six months and them having been removed. If his tear ducts stay clear and his eyes do not get gunked up like they always have in the past, he will be done with that eye. But if all of this is not successful and his eyes still remain blocked and gunky, the doctor will have to actually rebuild a new tear duct system to put into Chase's eye. And yes, that is as involved as it sounds - we do not want to have to deal with that. So please pray that all this ends up a success so we can be done with this tear duct stuff and skip the next step!!

EARS: Good News, Bad News.

The ENT appointments are a constant presence in Chase's life, as we want to know at all times if Chase is able to hear adequately. With Chase's narrow passageways, he is prone to infections and the build-up of fluid. If there is fluid in Chase's ears, he cannot hear well and will not progress will with his speech development. So it is important that we have his hearing checked every six months.

We saw the ENT on Monday to check both his hearing and the placement of the tubes. Both tubes were still in his ears (Good!) but one ear had fluid in it and the ear was irritated. So we are starting antibiotics and ear drops and will go back in to the ENT in another month to have them checked again. Because of the fluid, one ear responded well at the hearing test whereas the other ear did not, as a result of the fluid.

The ENT also recommended another sleep study for Chase (his third...), to see whether he is still experiencing sleep apnea and to what extent. His last study was before the tonsils were out, so there may be a change. As we learned at the Gigi's Playhouse Gala this past weekend, 85% of kids with Down syndrome have sleep apnea, which leads to a lack of adequate oxygen to the brain during the night, which in turn leads to a lost opportunity for the child's brain to develop to its full potential. By eliminating sleep apnea, the kids can develop to their maximum potential. So we will be scheduling this next sleep study and will go from there.

Despite these ongoing issues, Chase really is in excellent heath and has been so blessed that he doesn't have to deal with anything more serious!


  1. Yay! Chaser can swing!!!! We will continue to pray for him with all his health issues. Love, Nana & Boo

  2. All of those medical issues that no one used to understand... I'm sure Chase will reach his potential.