Friday, June 21, 2013


The process started at christmas... Baby Girls first ear infection which we let fester for over a week before we took her in. Since Christmas Baby Girl has had 8 "official" ear infections (meaning diagnosed and treated w antibiotics). In the new trend of avoiding antibiotics we often heard wait another night before you bring her in. If she is REALLY unbearable then maken an appointment tomorrow. I get it. I didn't want her on antibiotics because they not only kill the "bad bacteria" they also kill the "good bacteria." I work in health care and am exposed daily to antibiotic resistent infections daily. I'm overly cautious and never touch baby girl when in my work clothes. When I get home she does not touch me until I've gotten washed up and changed. My work shoes never enter our home, and my work clothes never intermingle with the family laundry. My work clothes are always washed on the sanitize setting and I wash my hands after doing work laundry. Its anal but I deal with crazy bugs. Most healthy people can handle the exposure I experience daily because we are healthy and have the good bacteria to keep the bad bacteria at bay (i'm simplifying this). When Baby Girl was on antibiotics her susceptibility was higher because the antibiotics are taken orally and kill everything. I also get it because I know there are people that dont take antibiotics correctly and thus decrease their effectiveness for us all. I was getting my hair cut a while back and the hair dresser said that what she does is keeps the leftover antibiotics and if her kids shows signs of an infection she gives them a "pick me up." I wanted to shake her. Instead I did not comment. Since antibiotics are a suspended medication I'm not sure how detrimental this procedure is but it highlights the problem. I wanted to wait out the winter. See if she got better on her own, but each appointment the doctor would bring up tubes. Finally after six ear infections I caved and agreed to a consult because the doctor recommended an ENT that worked at a hospital 30 miles away from us. Another part of my reservation for appointments prior besides the weather changing was the ENT at the hospital 5 minutes from our house has a reputation of putting tubes in every child that walks thru his doors (he is the one was had a hearing test with in October because of her speech delay and prior to having any ear infections told us if we had three consecutive ear infections to call him). So with an alternative MD for a consult I conceded. We finally had our consult in March after ear infection seven. I liked her. She wanted to wait six weeks to see if the seasons changing allowed her to have a long enough break from ear infections that her tubes would clear of fluid. She said that if Baby girl got another ear infection immediately that we should just call and schedule the surgery. Baby girl went one WHOLE month without an ear infection. Ear infection #8 antibiotics were finished 5 days before the follow up appointment so we waited for the appointment. When we arrived for the appointment her ears were again infected "mildly" and her hearing test indicated she wasn't hearing from her left ear and her right ear had deficiencies. So we all agreed that although it was a risk to do tubes six months before winter hit us hard again that tubes made sense. Thus turning this appointment from a follow up into her pre-op appointment. So today was the day! I was apprehensive and nervous- what if her ears had cleared in the two weeks since her pre-op appointment? What if she really didn't need it? She has her six words she needs by 18 months. Am I doing what is right? Anesthesia has risk... gah!!! Lets just say I didn't sleep last night. This morning despite Baby Girls continued requests for milk and food we packed her into the car and off to the hospital we went. She wasn't taken into surgery until 9:04 so she was a champ despite the lack of food/milk. We waited in the waiting room. We finally were called back and given the mask she would use to play with while we waited. I wore it, she wore it, Dad wore it, baby doll wore it- she was ready. I gowned up so I could go back with her. The nurses blew bubbles as we walked to the OR- she loved it. Then came the hard part I held her in my lap as she cried into the mask- she finally fell asleep and I got to give her a little kiss and off I was ushered. Twenty minutes later the pager went off and we were sent to a consult room to meet with the MD. This is where I found out- we made the right decision. She had "glue ears" meaning the "fluid" had turned to a honey like consistency. The hearing loss she experienced would not have gone away without the surgery and the ear infections would have continued. I then switched from feeling guilty about putting my child thru surgery so she wasn't constantly on antibiotics to feeling guilty for not having pushed for it sooner. We were brought back to see her. She was madder then a hornet. It took two arms to hold her as she pushed away from us. She didn't want food/milk. She didn't want to be held. She didn't want to be rocked, put down, picked up, nothing made her happy. The looks we got from the nurses was a little annoying- I realize its a recovery area but what am I supposed to do?! Unfortunately the recovery area was for both adults and pediatrics and it seemed like there were not pediatric nurses that were dealing with us. I knew what she really needed was to get OUT of there and the car would be our friend... which I was right- she fell asleep in the car ride home. After a two and a half hour nap she woke up happy and hungry. Each time I said her name today she looked up on the first time. She seemed visibly surprised and then cried when the dump truck drove up the street - normally something she loves! She listened to her music on my iphone (normally it has to be on the TV and I've wondered if she just couldn't hear it from the phone- which I now know is correct). She jumped two feet off the ground today for the first time. She said truck and walk for the first time. She repeated "I love you." to me. My little girl can hear! So what I've decided is just like with antibiotics; when a kid needs tubes a kid needs tubes. She wasn't harmed permanently by my caution but I think had I keep firm with "no tubes" I could have. I'm so excited to hear the language she gets in the coming weeks, the weight she gains, and the physical growth she will achieve with a summer free of fluid in her ears!

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