Thursday, September 15, 2011

ENT

Have I mentioned yet that Daniel has chronic ear infections? I may have alluded to this problem a couple of times, but since I try to keep sick-blogging to a minimum, I probably have spared you the details. He's had at least six or seven since the beginning of the year. Honestly, I lost count because there were a few times when he'd finish a round of antibiotics (which got steadily more powerful and less effective, I might add) and start complaining of an earache the very next day. The last two, or possibly three, were in July, and the fact that we've gone two months since the last visit to urgent care is, frankly, worth noting.

We got a referral to see a pediatric ENT specialist, and Daniel finally had the big appointment at the children's hospital this afternoon. There was also a sophisticated hearing test. Everything went pretty much as I expected: he's got plenty of fluid still in his ears, though no current infection, and has significant hearing loss as a result. Fortunately, the hearing nerve is totally normal, so the hearing loss is all because of the fluid, which is completely correctable. Surgery is recommended to correct the problem. He'll need tubes to drain his ears properly and the doctor will also remove an adenoid. Because Daniel hasn't had recurring ear infections before this age, enlarged adenoids are probably the culprit; this is apparently most common in children ages 4-8. The whole procedure will take about a half hour, but recovery - which includes a week of fatigue, sore throat and skunk breath from the adenoidectomy- means he'll miss several days of school. I wouldn't want to send him to school with skunk breath, yo.

I have no idea when they'll have an opening for the surgery. Maybe in two weeks, maybe in two months, who knows? They wouldn't tell us. I'm trying not to be a big ball of nerves and anxiety. I'm trying to keep this all in perspective and remember that there are children in that very hospital with far worse medical problems than clogged up ears. It's hard, though, because of course he is my child. I wish I could endure the pain and discomfort for him, but I can't. (I've actually had a few ear infections this year, myself, but unfortunately they don't do anything to alleviate his!) I just have to keep telling myself: it's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. In the long run, it's going to be okay.

5 comments:

katie said...

This may not even be on your radar, but chronic ear infections is one of the reasons even traditionally minded doctors sometimes recommend chiropractic. It was just hard for me to read this post without mentioning that, knowing that you might be completely uninterested, which is your business.

Whatever happens, in the end, you'll be looking back at it from the future someday. You'll get through it.

Becca said...

FWIW, I had this done when I was six. I had a tonsillectomy, tubes, and both adenoids removed. I was out of school for a week. Painwise, the only trouble was sore throat. Ice cream, popsicles, and jello helped with that.

I'm sure it was much harder on my mother than it was on me.

When he gets his tubes, talk to the doc about the best earplugs for Daniel to wear for bathtime and swimming. He'll need those to avoid any water getting past the tubes.

Suze said...

Katie and Becca, thanks for the info and support!

Katie, I've heard of chiropractic care to treat ear infections, but as of yet not one of our doctors has recommended it. It's not just the eustachian tubes, it's the enlarged adenoids, so I think surgery is the clear course of action here.

Becca, we had an info/learning session after the appointment, and already got some ear putty! It's funny stuff. Apparently, he'll need to use it swimming and whenever he is washing his hair. Hopefully it won't be a big deal!

Claire said...

Let us know when he has it so we can bring him a little gift or something.

Kathy said...

Yep, surgery sucks. Going through it made me feel for folks who have chronic/ ongoing health stuff with their kids. Hope you get some answers soon about the scheduling... the unknown is tough.