Had you asked us in August (or even any time during the fall), we would have happily told you we would not be visiting an OR again for some time. A couple of years, even. But, you know how this all goes. Hannah is complex and God has other plans. Hannah is having surgery tomorrow...again. It will be her third surgery in less than one year. This will be the surgery for her second set of ear tubes and the sedated, thorough hearing test.
The tubes will drain all the fluid currently behind her ears and will be a part of her life for the foreseeable future. Tubes are commonplace in the cleft world and something we fully expect to replace annually. Her current set of tubes were placed at the time of her lip repair last spring and did not seem to last as long as I would have expected.
The hearing test should give us accurate information about what sort of hearing loss we are dealing with. She could simply have loss related to all the fluid in her ears, which "should" be alleviated and drastically improved from merely placing the tubes (though I did not notice a great difference in her hearing after her first set of tubes). Or, she could have permanent hearing damage/loss, possibly related to ongoing, chronic, untreated ear infections earlier in her life. Either is a possibility and I go back and forth on what I think the results will tell us. Parents who have walked this road before us say we will get the results from the doctor on this hearing test immediately following the surgery.
This should be a fairly in and out procedure (the whole thing is expected to last less than an hour!) with minimal issues related to recovery. We do not expect any surprises or real difficulty with recovery related to this. Honestly, I think it will take them longer to do all the pre-op stuff than it will for them to get it done and get us out of there. We didn't even start preparing Hannah for it until today and as of right now, she is "cool" with it (though I did have to tell her over and over that there would be no owies when she wakes up this time). And while we expect this to be completely routine and fairly a breeze compared to her previous procedures, we do recognize the great power and peace found in prayer. We invite you to join us praying for Hannah and her procedure tomorrow--for minimal anxiety and discomfort for her and for a direct path to be laid out for us as far as assisting her with her current hearing deficits.
One thing in all this remains quite clear and sure. Hannah is brave. Braver than most. Again.