Monday, February 16, 2009

Lookie here! A new ear canal!

On Thursday the 12th, a doctor in Portland removed most of the packing from Kai's new ear canal. He said the canal--though still quite swollen--looked good. No signs of infection.

There's still some packing in the new canal that will be removed in 2 more weeks, but as near as we can tell, the surgery was quite successful. Without his hearing aid, he could hear Keddrick and I whispering to him. In fact, he can hear me softly say his name from the dining room when he's in the living room. Woo hoo!

He's now wearing his hearing aid only on the left side. With an ear canal on the right and his hearing aid on the left, he has some directional hearing, too. Pretty dang cool.

He'll have an "official" hearing test in another two weeks and we'll post the results here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Tricky Business

So, about soaking that dressing off... much easier said than done. The thing seemed cemented in place. The skin graft is very close to the ear that we're supposed to keep dry. Doctors suggested we put a cup over his ear during bathtime, so we created the special head gear that you see above. It stayed on his head for about 2 minutes. I don't think we'll be patenting it anytime soon.

With a cup over his ear we had Kai lay back in the water with the skin graft submerged and the ear just above the water line. In our first try, we were able to remove a 1/2" x 2" piece of dressing. In later attempts, we tried this new and improved headgear (the top of a sippy cup taped over his ear):

Kai quickly got tired of this, so we tackled it every other day. We talked with doctors who suggested working the edges with a Q-tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Really, really tedious. Here's what's left of the dressing as of Sunday, Feb 8:

It looks pretty good and you can even see hair growing back the skin graft region.