Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Leaving for LA

We're off to Los Angeles today after Molly's 2:40pm appointment.  Can't wait to get the pad from her skin graft site taken off, if they can.  It's pretty encrusted in the scab on her scalp at this point.

More once we get settled in LA.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Took Molly to the Monterey Bay Aquarium today, was a good day.  Pictures are here...

We're off to Palo Alto to see Dr Roberson for her first post op tomorrow at 2:40pm.  Then we're off to LA to spend the night at Rob's house.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back to normal

Molly is pretty much back to normal.  She has a little bit of pain near the skin graft site but nothing too much.  The site is covered by a pad which is stitched in to her scalp I think.  Can't wait to get that off on Tuesday.

She's had a rough cough at times so I have her on some Delsym right now, she's snoring peacefully next to me right now.

All the pictures from yesterday are up here, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay and San Francisco.

We had a down day today, only went out to get her prescription filled and have lunch at Chipotle.  Her 'ear' drops are new, they're actually eye drops that can also go in the ear.  I'm going to have to ask the doctor before we start using them.  We're going to Monterey Bay Aquarium tomorrow, should be interesting, I will take lots of pictures.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A day in Chinatown

I took Molly up to see the sea lions at Pier 39 this morning, she had been asked to go.  It was drizzling and I was concerned it might get hard, so I bought an umbrella.  It then stopped raining completely.  Ok, so now we have a nice golf umbrella for home.

We then took a trip into Chinatown to browse.  Molly picked out a hat for herself, and for her siblings at home. 

Angry bird hats for all!

We then had a nice lunch in a noodle house.  She absolutely loved noodle dishes when I picked her up in China, so this was no different.

There's a tree lighting at Pier 39 on Sunday, maybe we'll come back for that.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back to rest

Molly and I are back 'home' to rest now.  Home being Erin's cousin Maureen's family in San Jose.  Molly is sleeping it off an dI'm going to lay down with her.  She had some jello and apple juice at Waverly Surgery Center, I expect her to wake up soon very hungry.

Maybe some eggs or noodles will do her good.

In Surgery

We arrived at exactly 8:00am, the Bay Area traffic was heavy, but not stand still.  We went in around 8:30 and we hung out in the pre-op area while they did paperwork and asked about her recent fever and sniffles.

The nurses let me lie down with Molly on her bed to keep her calm.  We played Angry Birds Rio on my phone, well, I played, and she critiqued.  The anesthesiologist called in from the OR and asked me a few questions about her past experience with surgery.  The anesthesiologist said the slight fever and sniffles were not of any great concern and he advised to proceed.

Molly got her sleepy meds about 9:30, they gave her Versed, twice the dose they gave her the last time she was here.  They were trying to reduce the anxiety of 'the handoff', when I had to leave her in the care of the nurses.  I could tell that they were looking to get started on her so I tried to get Molly to lay down on the bed so they could roll her back.  The anesthesiologist came in and I shifted Molly to her feet and she immediately walked off with him, only to realize that I wasn't directly behind her and came back for me.  So I had to carry her to a point then hand her off to the Dr., still very upset, but I think she resigned to being taken back.  The meds certainly took the edge off any objections she might have raised further.

So I'm in the waiting room, probably another hour or so before I can go back and see her.  I'll write more later once we're back at the house.  I need a drive thru Chinese noodle place for Molly.  I may have to stop on the way home and get something to eat also, I'm starving too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Twas the night before surgery

Molly is fast asleep next to me.  Her surgery is scheduled for 9:30am tomorrow morning.  Our arrival is to be at 8am and I've set 4 alarms on my iPhone just to make sure.

Molly had an audiogram, a CT scan and a routine cleaning today at Roberson's office.  Her right side atresia repair looks perfect and her audiogram is in line with what our local ENT has tested.

We didn't get to see Roberson before surgery, I find that a little bit odd but probably nothing.

Molly and I should be back to the house around 2-3pm, if not earlier.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Up in the air

Molly and I are on our way to see Dr Roberson in Palo Alto.

The flight took off a bit late and I met a very rude flight attendant. Most of the flight attendants I've flown with have been nice and even if they are super busy and stressed, they're not rude. This woman is. I'll send an email to American Airlines and then I'll forget about her.

Hopefully this isn't an indication of the while trip, just a hiccup.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A little video of Molly singing her favorite song.  She didn't do this before she got her right ear atresia repaired.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One week

We leave for LAX in one week, then it's a drive up to San Jose to stay with relatives.  We're very grateful to Erin's cousin Maureen to let us stay at her house.

Last time we saw Maureen and her family was just after Molly's surgery in June.  She had an instant crush on their son Mike.

Now we're going to be staying at their house.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


We finally heard from Cheryl at Cal Ear.  Our out of pocket insurance costs are ZERO.  We met our deductible on her first surgery so we're really fortunate to squeeze her other surgery in the same calendar year.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Patiently Waiting

We're awaiting the insurance approvals from Cheryl at Dr Roberson's office.  Nov 3rd is two weeks before surgery and if we cancel within that 14 day period, it's a $500 charge.  Need to get insurance approval quickly!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Surgery Schedule

We received Molly's surgery packet today, outlining procedures, forms and appointment times.  Her pre-op appointment is 11/16 at 1:10pm, surgery on the 17th, post op appointment on the 22nd  at 2:40pm

After the post op appointment I'll drive down to LA to spend the night at Rob's, then in the morning, we'll drive back to Tucson for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Left Ear Scheduled

Molly has been scheduled for surgery on Nov 17th for her left ear.  Dr Roberson's office said she is a good candidate on her left side.  She will have a CAT scan the day before to confirm.

Our medical costs should be zero because we've met our annual deductible for the year.  That's why we're rushing to get it done this year.  Staying with relatives will cut the costs even more.

Molly has improved to a 20 db hearing loss in her last hearing test.  She started out life at 60 db hearing loss so she is right on the low end of normal, right where Roberson projected her to be.

More to come as we get closer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Molly's 3rd post op appointment

Molly had a great Dr appointment today, even though we had to wait almost 2 hours to see him. 
He removed the last of her ear canal packing and said it looks fantastic.  Next visit is August 18 when they will do the first post op audiogram! Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Singing Birds!

Molly continues to surprise us with what she is hearing, Erin posted this on her Facebook page...
Molly: Mom, I hear birds.
Me: what are they doing?
Molly: Singing
Me: (bawl eyes out, while driving)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pool fun

I took Molly, Katie and a couple of friends of theirs to the pool here in our community.  It's finally warm enough to swim in, it's actually quite nice now.  I bought Molly a swim cap just to keep splashes out of her ear.  It worked really well, I could actually enjoy myself while at the pool for the first time since Molly's surgery.

Molly seems to be hearing much more now that most of the packing has been taken out.  Molly was in the bathroom playing with water in the sink while I was in the kitchen talking to Katie and Molly kept saying "What? What?" as if I was talking right next to her.

We went to a local soccer game last night with some friends.  Molly was quite annoyed with the air horns and the vuvuzelas (annoying horns prevalent at soccer games).  I had to teach her how to cover her ear to drown out sound.  She had no concept on how to do it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2nd post operative appointment complete

Molly and Erin are home from Palo Alto.  They traveled there to see Dr Roberson to take out her packing.  The incision area looks great!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Molly's hearing

We are home and everyone is happy to be in their own beds.  It's about 110 degrees here in Tucson so it's going to be inside days for a while.

Molly is doing well and she's getting tired of me saying at different distances "Can you hear me now?".  Even with the packing in, she can hear much better, it's remarkable.  I'm really looking forward to her first audio-gram in about a month and a half.

Her pre-op ear.
and the new canal...

The skin graft site is healing as expected.  We were told it would be like a bad skinned knee and that's just how it looks.  She has a bit of gauze stuck near the bottom and we're just going to let that come out when it's ready.  The steri-strips behind her new canal will also just fall off when ready.  We're going to attempt to get some warm water in her skin graft site and see how she responds.

We're also doing antibiotic ear drops twice a day to keep the packing moist and expanded.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Leaving LA

Molly's post-op checkup went OK, she cried as the doctor trimmed away the sponge in her ear, but she made it through, then we got to talk with Dr Roberson who said everything was looking good.

We then left for LA to see Rob and Adrianna for a few days.  We did the beach, Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and saw some old friends that were also in town to see Rob.  Wes, Marlee and Randy Booden had just arrived in town Thursday.  We had dinner at Robby's house the last three nights and had a great time.  The kids sure miss him and our old mini dachshund Charlie Brown.

The kids had a great time on the pier with all the rides, Molly got to do almost all of them as well.  We then went to Mother's Beach in Marina Del Ray for a little quiet beach time.

Back to sweltering Tucson! 110 temps there since we left.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Off to San Francisco

We went to a local park for a bit of relaxing, sat at a beach and watched the tide push us up the beach.  Planes flying low into SFO was interesting to watch as well.

We went to IKEA for lunch, yum meatballs!  Then off to CEI to have Molly's bandages removed.  Boy it's a good thing we came into the office to do this.  We had the option of taking it off ourselves, but the spot where they took her skin graft was still quite bloody and they had to put a bandage back on.  Everything is normal they say, just needs a little more time to begin healing.

We went back to the hotel around 4pm and realized that we were supposed to have already checked out.  We had our schedule off by a day and we were due in the bed and breakfast in San Francisco.  So we rushed and packed up, everybody yelling at each other, ok, mainly Katie and I grumping at each other.  But we made it to SF and got settled in.

We're off to explore Golden Gate Park tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All done

Molly's surgery is over and we're relaxing at the hotel. 

She's doing very well and has returned to her former glory.  She's a little more tired than usual but otherwise fine.  She slept most of the afternoon and then we went out to dinner to BJ's Brewhouse.  She ate well and then we went to Toys-R-Us for a little shopping spree for all three kids.

We're settling Molly down for a good night sleep, and then back to CEI for a follow up appointment to remove the outer bandages.  More photos to come!

Time to be late!

We arrived at 6:30am at the Waverly Surgery Center.  Molly's surgery was actually scheduled at 7:00am so we were supposed to arrive at 6:00am.  Office mixup is all, everything is good.  I'm filling out paperwork, Erin has taken Molly back and they should be underway shortly.

Molly's anesthesiologist left a message last night, here's part of what was transcribed by Vonage "I need a drink after midnight."  I listened to the voicemail, what he actually said was "..nothing to eat or drink after midnight".  Ah good times, good times.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The day before surgery

We met with Dr Roberson and his staff today to talk about Molly's surgery tomorrow.  She had an audiogram and then we spoke with the coordinator to go over specifics.  Everybody was very nice there, we really felt welcome and comfortable with everyone.

As we were getting ready to leave, we were told that someone had left a gift for Molly, the Givens family left Molly a present!  Brennan Givens had an appointment yesterday and bought Molly a present.  Kim Givens and my wife Erin have been communicating back and forth and Kim has really been a big help understanding what will be happening during Molly's appointments and after care.

Thanks Brennan, Molly loved her presents and is sharing with her big sister Katie!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The day before we leave

Everyone is excited for our California trip, especially Molly.  I've tried to plan as many things as I can during our trip up.  I want to maximize the activities before surgery.  After surgery everything will happen at Molly's pace.  This whole trip is about her.

We're going to be driving to Palm Springs Monday night, and swimming in the pool as much as we can.  Molly's pool time will be severely limited after surgery for a while.  Tuesday morning we're driving on to Palo Alto.  We're taking the pacific coast highway up from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz or so.  We're going to try and stop for interesting things along the way, tide pools, sea lions, etc. 

Yesterday we went to a friends pool party.  Once Molly got comfortable with the people she didn't know (took about 10-15 minutes), she ruled the pool/hot tub.  She declared them 'all her friends' and was very upset when we left the party.

Anyhow, we are almost ready to be on the road.  It's more than a little scary.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pre-op check up

 Molly's pre-op check up has been completed, she is good to go!  She was so nervous wen I pulled her out of school for this appointment, she thought it was the actual surgery.  I tried to explain it to her but she was still quite apprehensive until we left.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A little scare

I get an email from Cheryl at CEI yesterday mentioning that the CEI operating room was considered "in network" for Aetna any longer.  So, I stop reading there and freak out a little bit.  My heart sank and I nearly lost it.  I called my wife and let her know what i had just read.  As I'm telling her what i just read, I keep reading the email and find out that Cheryl has moved us to the Waverly Surgery Center which is covered by our insurance.


Now I can climb down off the ledge, but I'm still nervous for any other insurance hiccups that may come.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

FMLA Paperwork

So I need to get the paperwork filled out for my FMLA leave to take Molly to CA. I sent the medical approval form to Dr Cravens' office yesterday. Today his assistant calls me and says there is a $25 fee for FMLA paperwork.

I fess this is where the money starts flowing out. It'll be worth it though.

Doctors appointments

Molly's pre surgery health check is scheduled for May 20th. Getting close!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Healthy and Happy

So Molly is back to school after a week of being sick.  My worry is that she will get sick just before surgery and be unable to through and we get charged a boatload for cancelling.  Yikes!  With surgery a little more than one month away, I am trying to figure out how to keep a 7 year old healthy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Molly's School

Nothing much to update, Molly is working on graduating Kindergarten.  She does well when she goes, but getting her there is 90% of the battle.  She's tough to motivate in the morning, no matter how much sleep she has had.

Katie and Colin's first grade teacher has requested Molly in her class for next year.  It's good to know she'll have a great teacher next year.  She's getting a lot of services so she's in a good place.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time to start updating again

Molly's surgery has been scheduled for June 14th at CEI.  We are very excited, but also very nervous.  I am trying to tell Molly what is going to happen and I think she understand a little.

So now we're working out travel plans to Palo Alto.  Do we take the whole family or do just Molly and I go?  It's about 13 hours from Tucson to Palo Alto so we will have to stop along the way, probably Palm Springs.  We found a nice room to rent in San Francisco after her surgery, sleeps five.  It's a bread and breakfast type room that is rented out by the family that owns the house.  About $119 per night, here is the link http://airbnb.com/rooms/85012

I will be updating as we go along.  I'm trying to figure out if there are any kind of grants from the government to help pay for medical expenses, it's a long shot I know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Insurance

The new year has brought new insurance to our family so I decided to call Aetna and see if Dr Roberson is now covered.  I was going to get ready to start the insurance fight to get Molly's operation covered.  Well, Dr Roberson is now in our network!  We are pleasantly surprised so I shot off an email to Cheryl at Cal Ear asking her to start the process to get Molly approved and scheduled.