Dubz has been having problems with his hearing for about a year and a half. We had been seeing audiologists on the NHS every few months and patiently waiting for a referral to ENT. Husband has had private insurance through his work for the past few years but we had never used it before. But in December we were feeling frustrated and anxious. Husband has glue ear that he never outgrew. Moozles started showing signs of glue ear at age four. And after two years of audiology and ENT she finally had an operation resulting in grommets and getting her adenoids removed. So there is obviously a family history of glue ear.
In December, we used Husband’s insurance to get Dubz an ENT appointment on the 23rd December. Less than two weeks later, Dubz got grommets. Grommets are tiny tubes that are inserted in your ear (after being put under general anaesthetic). The tubes helps drain the fluid away from the middle of the ears. Afterwards, the consultant remarked to me that Dubz had a large amount of thick fluid in his ears, and that his hearing would be markedly improved. It is such a relief that he now has grommets.
Dubz has recently been through three months of speech therapy, and it has helped but he does not speak like a typical 3 1/2 year old. The consultant thinks that we will notice a great improvement in Dubz’s speech in about a month. It has been so stressful, worrying about Dubz’s hearing and speech difficulties . He is due to begin school in September, and I can’t help but think about his classmates not understanding him or making fun of him. But I am feeling more positive now. My little boy can finally hear properly. And hopefully he will be speaking like his peers very soon.
Here are some tips if your little one has a grommet operation:
- Bring quiet games and toys, as there can be quite a wait on the day for the operation (normally the youngest children are seen first). Since we went private, we had a room to ourselves and a telly. But Moozles had her grommets through the NHS so there wasn’t a television or privacy.
- Help your child feel relaxed by bringing in a blanket/stuffed animal that he/she loves.
- The operation take 15-25 minutes. Bring a magazine/book and snacks for yourself while you wait.
- Although your child will have to wear a surgical gown, feel free to dress them in pjyamas for added comfort.
- When most children wake up from the anesthesia, they cry and scream. Apparently they won’t remember it. Try not to let it upset you too much.
- Recovery can be quickly for some. Dubz didn’t even need any pain killers that evening, and returned to pre-school the following day.
- Your child might be sensitive to noise at first. Remember, they’ve been used to hearing soft, muffled sounds and now everyone/everything sounds quite loud.