Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We are so glad to be home. The surgery was a success. Lauren had a lot of scar tissue and the doctor was able to remove it. All of the other minor tweeks the doctor wanted to do were also done. Dr. Lewin said that kids just like to produce lots of scar tissue and that it is something we are going to need to watch for carefully. We can not say enough about Dr. Lewin, she is the greatest doctor. Lauren as usual is just amazing. It is incredible to watch how fast she bounces back. She was eating to her full capacity just hours after her surgery. We are biased parents, but she is absolutely an amazing example of patience and compassion to everybody she meets. The staff at the hospital were so complimentary of her. We are glad to be back and are hoping we are done with surgeries for a while. Thanks to family and friends who helped us get through another surgery.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surgery Update- Day 2

Lauren is doing very well today. She was a bit grumpy for a few hours after surgery, which seems to always happen each time she starts coming out of the anesthesia. But once it wears off she is back to being her cheerful self. Her next appointment is on Monday and hopefully she will be cleared to return home. If not, they may need to stay a couple more days. In the meantime, the hardest thing for them is finding things to do. Strange thing to say since Disneyland is so close.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Surgery Update

Lauren came out of surgery around noon. She was in for about 5 hours. It took a little longer than expected but she is just waking up now in recovery. Once she can show she can take in fluids, she will be released to go back to the hotel. She has some bandaging and will be wearing the protective ear cup again for a few days.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lauren arrives in California

Becky and Lauren flew into California today and they were able to meet with Dr. Lewin for the pre-op visit. Dr. Lewin was very pleased with what she saw with her ear. She pulled a large scab out of her canal that formed after we started using the ear plugs. She says it is not threatening the framework and should be easily cleaned up during the surgery. There is also a lot of scar tissue build up that she will clear up as well. She will have the surgery on early Friday morning. I am not sure how long the surgery will be. They are staying in the same hotel we were in last May for her surgery. She is very close to Disneyland, but they probably won't be going there this time. I will update the blog throughout their stay.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another surgery..

So it is amazing at how fast things can change. It looks like we will be heading to California next week for another surgery. Although we were planning on another surgery, we were not planning on it being so soon. We noticed something right below her ear canal that seems to be constricting the entrance to her canal. We have sent pictures to doctors, and the guess is that it is either scar tissue, bone, or the medpor implant. They want to look at it soon to reduce any risk of infection. It will not be a complex surgery, but they just want to take care of it sooner than later. They will also do the other minor surgery as well which we were planning on doing already. Her surgery is May 14th and we will need to be there for a pre-op on May 12th. We will be able to come home May 17 after her post op appointment. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another mouth piece

Today Lauren had another device put in her mouth. It is supposed to help the left side of her jaw catch up with the right side of her jaw. After it gets to the desired length, we will then start to turn it to widen that added extra length. She is a trooper. Luckily she gets to take it out when she eats. She is adjusting to talking with it in. I think it is going to take a while to relearn to talk once more. It is amazing at how patient she is.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hearing test results

Sorry, we haven't been updating this. Today Lauren had her hearing tested. We haven't done this in about a year. It was pretty good news. Her hearing has stayed consistent throughout the past year post op. She still has a hearing loss with high frequency sounds. This is something she will have to learn to compensate for, which she already does. We spoke with the audiologist and she is going to speak with Lauren's kindergarten teacher on placement in the class, and a possible amplified system. She said that when the classroom gets real noisy, Lauren might miss some things. We feel so lucky that Lauren is doing so well, and blessed that her right ear remains perfect and has compensated for any loss on the left ear.

We also having been doing some treatment with a steroid ointment and ear plug on her ear canal because it seems to have constricted a little. That has really seemed to help. We will continue this treatment for another two weeks. The steroid ointment helps scar tissue expand and thin, thus stretching it back to where it was. Finally, we spoke with Dr. Lewin afer sending some current photos of Laurens ear. She is very happy with the ear. She wants to do one final surgery on her outer ear in the future. It will be just to tweak a couple things and to add a little fat in her left cheek.

I almost forgot because Lauren is so patient, she has also been doing a lot of orthodontic work because of her jaw. She just had an upper palate expander taken out after about four months. She then was measured for another device upper and lower that will help stretch or lengthen her left lower jaw. She was excited that they could custom make it pink just for her. She is a trooper. It will be done in two weeks and then we will have it put on. Luckily, it can be removed when she eats and won't be as uncomfortable as the last expander. She is a trooper and never complains, we learn and grow from the strength that she shows as she accepts and deals with everything so calmly.

We will try to do better at updating this.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1 Year Anniversary

It was one year ago today that Lauren had Atresia repair surgery with Dr. Roberson in Palo Alto, California. She continues to do well and the surgery was definitely worth it for her. She doesn't have perfect hearing on her left side, but it is much better than prior to the surgery. We haven't had her tested in a while and would like to do that again soon. The tests that were conducted post surgery showed very good improvement in the higher decibel ranges, but she did decrease in some of the lower ranges. Overall, the tests have shown successful results. We are hopeful that she will not need a hearing device in the future. I have included photos from before and after the surgery. The Medpor surgeries were conducted in May and October 2009.

An update on Grandpa Ottley. He had Ulnar Nerve Decompression on January 13th. He has since recovered but has had limited improvements. The doctor says it may take up to two years for any improvement to take place. Nerve regeneration is a very slow process and patience is required. Grandpa attempted to go back to work today on a limited basis to see how well he could do. He is planning to take it slow and ease back into working full time again.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grandpa Ottley and Lauren: Update 14

I apologize for not updating this in more than a month. Both Lauren and Grandpa Ottley have been continuing to recover. Lauren has been back in the swing of things and is still healing very well. She had her ears pierced during her last surgery. We kept the ear rings in for about a month. On her birthday, she received some new ear rings so we took the old ones out. She started to get a bit a swelling soon after that so we have kept the ear rings out since. Dr. Lewin says it shouldn't be anything to worry about and to just keep an eye on it. I promise to add some new photos of her on here as soon as I can. 2009 has ended and it is overwhelming to think of all she had to go through last year, but all in all, she has handled it better than any of us could. We don't have anything planned for her this year. She is continuing to wear an expander that is placed on the roof of her mouth. We tighten the device daily to expand her upper pallet. She will have to do this for a couple more months. After that, she may wear another device to try and lengthen the jaw on her affected side.

As for Grandpa Ottley, he has not gone back to work yet. He is doing much better after the bypass surgery but he has had some lingering effects in his arm and hand. He has been diagnosed as having nerve compression in his left arm. The doctors say this was probably due to the arm placement during his surgery and/or recovery in the hospital. It compressed the nerve near his elbow and it has caused pain, tingling and numbness ever since. The solution, we hope, is that another surgery will fix the problem. It is an outpatient surgery and recovery time should be short. They basically reposition the nerve so that it is not compressed. It may have immediate improvement or it may take some time. If he is able to this ailment fixed, he should be able to return to work.