Ethan has an ear infection in his "little ear." Because you need an eardrum to sense an ear infection and Ethan has no ear drum, we had no way of knowing. Nobody had any way of knowing until Dr. Brad made his incision. In fact, had it not been for this surgery today, Dr. Brad suggests that the infection would ultimately have either gone away on its own (although he did feel compelled to label it a "massive" infection, and come on, have you met me? have you seen what passes for luck in my life?) or spread to the other ear where Ethan is equipped to sense it. Of course at that point we'd be up to our ears in fever, tears and heartache ... cats and dogs living together ... Just plain carnage.
So the good news is that we discovered an infection that could have really laid E low. The bad news is that the infection was so massive that Dr. Brad couldn't finish the surgery, which in itself actually contains some very good news. First, we now know the condition of Ethan's ear bones. The incus and malleus had to go and Dr. Brad removed them today. The stapes was apparently salvageable and when we return in a few months, Dr. Brad will use it, completing the chain with prosthetic ear bones. The other good news is that the facial nerve is nowhere near being in jeopardy. So Ethan now has a hole -- the rough framework for the ear canal. We will have to come back once the infection has gone away (he's already had his first dose of antibiotics) when Dr. Brad will re-open, place the prosthetic bones in place, create the ear drum using cartilage from behind the ear, and line the new ear canal with a skin graft from the upper arm.
If I were on the outside looking in I would expect that I'd be sad or deflated. I wish I could explain why, but I'm not. In fact, I was so giddy to learn that Ethan was OK that I couldn't really think of anything else.
So Ethan was released from the hospital, groggy and even cuter than when we dropped him off. We had intended to stay until tomorrow, but the prospect of sleeping in our own beds -- of sleeping at all -- is really attractive right now. Plus this area is expecting a snowstorm tonight and driving in snow is even less attractive than not sleeping through another night.
I promised Thomas one more trip to the pool so we're heading down there now. After that we'll hit the open road, stopping off at Sheetz for a few dozen Starbuck's double shots.
To all who once again offered your mojo, thank you. Hope you have a little in reserve since it looks like we'll need it again in a few weeks or however long it takes to get rescheduled.
So let me end this post not with a period, as in "end of the statement," but with a comma, as in "to be continued."
"It ain't easy being green." -- Kermit the Frog