Ears, Elise, A Wolf, and Theatre

Can you guess how all of those things tie together?  You might think we took Elise to a theatre production about Little Red Riding Hood.  Good guess, but a little off.  Let me tell you a little story of our youngest, her ears and a few miracles!

Earlier this year, Elise took a standard hearing test at her pre-school… and failed it.  We have commented for years that Elise didn’t “pay attention very well” or was “flighty” and missed things.  Well, most likely that was because she wasn’t hearing us!  Poor kid!!

The school advised me to have her checked out by her doctor, just to make sure she didn’t have major wax build up, etc.  That checked out.  No wax in her ears!  So what next?  Her doctor advised me to take her to an audiologist to have a more in-depth test done.  Those test results were a bit of a shock to us.  She tested with moderately severe hearing loss and it appeared to be an inner ear loss.  Unfortunately inner ear loss cannot be fixed and Elise would need hearing aids.  This floored us!  We had not expected this at all.  She has no speech problems whatsoever that would have clued us into this being a problem.  One of the doctors said that with “clever” children, moderate hearing loss often goes undetected, because they find other ways to adapt and learn what they need to know…  my clever Lisie….

As i was giving the audiologist Elise’s history, I commented about homeschooling Marae for 3 years and that during all those years, I would read aloud to the kids.  Elise would always be on my lap for hours a day listening to stories.  The audiologist was confident that it was those stories that helped Elise to be able to have perfect speech despite her hearing loss.  Yay for homeschooling!!

So, now what to do?  We had a diagnosis that scared us a bit.  Severe hearing loss…  so the next thing we had to do was take Elise to an ENT doctor.  We were referred to a sweet little doctor, named Dr. Wolfe!  😉  He examined Elise and found there to be a middle ear and inner ear component to her hearing loss.  All the while, we were praying for Elise.  Nate, Marae, Carl and I would often pray for her in the evenings, touching her ears and asking God to heal her according to His plan.  We were referred to a surgeon to get a second opinion…

So a couple of weeks later, we saw the next doctor and when he examined her, he found her to have ONLY middle ear hearing loss….  which is easily fixable with surgery!!!  There does not appear to be an inner ear component.  Now, we don’t know if that was a mis-diagnosis, or if God decided to take the inner ear component away, but whatever the case, we are giving GREAT thanks to God!  Elise had her surgery last week (and was taken to theatre) where they removed the thick jelly like substance that had been in her middle ears for years… and they put ventilation tubes in.  Those tubes will need to remain for 8-12 months and then she should be as good as new!

We have her follow-up with her surgeon next week on Thursday, so will know for sure how effective the surgery was and if there is any residual hearing loss, but for now, Elise keeps telling us we are being too noisy!

Checking out those ears!

Waiting for surgery

Post-op. Not a very happy camper.

A little cheering up from daddy!


13 Responses to Ears, Elise, A Wolf, and Theatre
  1. Rach Reply

    What a story! Praising God with you for the opportunity to fix the problem through surgery.

    At a glance I really thought the girl pictured with you Mish was Marae! How grown up Elise looks!

    Big love to you all xxx

    • Michelle Reply

      Yes, Elise is a little lady now! 😉 She starts Grade 1 in january! I still can’t believe it. Thank you for joining us in thanking God for His hand over Elise. Love to you to dear Rachel!!

  2. Heidi Reply

    Sweet girl!! What a miracle! I am so thankful for diligent doctors and for your ability to homeschool this little one. Praying for a miraculous recovery and her ability to hear more than she has ever experienced.

    • Michelle Reply

      You are so right! She is a sweet girl! She is such a blessing to us and we are so grateful that God has and is doing miracles in her little ears!! Thanks so much for your prayers!

  3. Surita Kruger Reply

    Praise the Lord for His hand of healing on Lisie. We are grateful for the medical help that you received and trust that she will heal completely. Thanks for sharing this. Lots of love. Henk&Su

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks Surita (and Henk)!! We are soooo incredibly grateful that her hearing has been restored!! We, too, are trusting that she won’t have any further hearing loss. Thanks for joining with us!

  4. Jess Reply

    Smiling all the while reading this tale of your sweet little Lisie. You are so right, one would never have been able to tell by her speech! Such a clever girl. Not surprised though, she did have the best teacher!!! I am so glad that the doctors were able to restore her hearing through surgery. Thanking God for all His great plans and purposes! Praying for a full recovery and no further problems. xxx

    • Michelle Reply

      Awe, thanks Jess, for your sweet compliments. And thank you so much for your love and prayers for my little Lisie!

  5. Grandma Reply

    Yeah, for God’s greatness and goodness. We are all so blessed to have Elise being able to hear better again. What a delightful child ( and of course smart) to be able to do as well as she did without being able to hear as much.

    • Michelle Reply

      Love you mom!!!

  6. Laura Anne Reply

    Incredible story. Thank God for all the ‘routine checks’ in schools they do that picked up on this. What a trooper Elise has been! I laughed when I read she said you are being too noisy! I guess everything will seem so loud to her now until she gets used to her new hearing abilities.

    • Michelle Reply

      She says that it feels like her ears are “open” now! So awesome!! And we, too, are very grateful for those routine checks!!!

  7. Shell Reply

    I’m so very thankful you live in SA with some great Dr.s too. We’ll just thank the great DNA for the ‘clever’ child part too! What an experience. We can never take things for-granted and am so thankful that God is taking care of each of the Walden family members. Elise will now have a story of praise to tell.

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