We thought he had a listening problem, but it turns out he has a hearing problem. Our oldest son Tyler, failed a hearing test at the end of last school year. We didn't take it much serious at the time, but decided he should go see his doctor after failing the next hearing test at he beginning of this school year. After a 3rd failed test (two at school and one from his doctor) the diagnosis is non-infection fluid trapped behind his eardrum hindering his hearing from that ear. Doctor says this is probably leftover from a previous cold. This is not an uncommon occurrence for children, and his auntie had similar issues when she was a young child. So according to what his doctor told us we either leave it and let him suffer quality of hearing in that ear the rest of his life or have tubes put into his ear. This is a common procedure where they create a tiny hole in the eardrum, place one or more tiny tubes in the hole, and let the fluid drain out slowly over time. As the child grows older, the tubes usually work themselves out over the next 18-24 months.
We decided to go ahead with the procedure of having tubes put into his ear. While going over information with is doctor about the procedure, we found out that they put him under anesthesia to eliminate the possibility of him moving during the procedure and casing sever damage to his internal ear. That made a lot of since to us, but we then started noticing the frequent use of the word surgery by the hearing specialist. This is when the little voice in the back of my head started to wonder how much this was going to cost us. Upon calling Kaiser (the insurance and medical provider provided to us by my employer) the told us we will have about $1100 in out of pocket expenses after our insurance coverage.
So here's the deal. We are not poor, but nor are we rich. We're an everyday middle class working family. We've elected for mom to drop out of the workforce and stay home to raise the kids while dad has stayed in the workforce to bring income home to the family. The youngest of our 3 sons just started pre-school this year and we're getting closer and closer to mom being able to return to work. This will be fantastic as we've been on the single income plan for about 8 years now, and quite frankly, its getting old. When we can we strive to save extra funds, but extra has been uncommon for many years now. Especially when unexpected expenses arise such as a vehicle repair or appliance replacement. We live check to check and work hard (mom works much harder raising the kids than dad does at work everyday) for what we have.
Will we be able to pay for this on our own, Yes. Will it be difficult, Yes. Will it destroy us, No. Will this once again delay our plans to take the kids to Disneyland? probably. However, we know there are some fortunate people out there that get much gratification from helping others. If any of those people out there would like to help us, we'd greatly appreciate it. Until the time we can one day pay it forward, thank you.