I'll skip all the crap and get right to the meat of the story: At about 11:30 this morning Dr. Brad came to the family waiting area to tell us how it all went -- big, shit-eating grin on his face. As you can imagine, we had been on eggshells for the entire day, but one look at his face and I knew it went well. Out in the hall he whipped out a few pics he'd snapped while Ethan's innards were exposed and explained how the great ear gods had truly smiled on us all this day. As he spoke and pointed, I was amazed at how enthusiastic he was. Like a guy who had just won the lottery talking in great, excited detail about the trip to the store that yielded the winning ticket.
To put it lightly, the procedure went perfectly. My impression from Dr. Brad's account was that it was more like textbook on steroids. The stapes presented itself like it had been expecting him, the prosthetic bones were a perfect fit, the eardrum went in like it was custom made, the skin graft was the perfect depth, and on and on and on. Ace after ace after ace. And we smiled and got giddy and hugged each other and felt relieved and felt relieved and felt relieved. But the best moment of the day -- possibly the defining moment of this whole journey to date -- was yet to come.
After Ethan had been admitted to his room, Dr. Brad came to check on him. He lightly scratched his fingernail against the bandage on Eth's head and asked if he could hear it. And Ethan said yes.
Oh my fucking god, he said yes. He can hear. It worked.
I'll write more later, but for now wanted just to report the results: Ethan can hear. For a guy who loves language, I'm suddenly having a hard time finding words. Do tears count as words? Because those I got in spades. This has been one of the best days of my life.
Good night, world. I'm off to dream of whispering 'I love you's into Ethan's ear.