Monday, May 21, 2012

The 'ear tube' conversation

I feel like more than half of my blog entries have had something to do with germs or sickness. I promise that parenting has been a more rewarding experience for me that this, but for some reason when time rolls around for me to write we are always dealing with a new health issue.

We are just a few days removed from the eradication of ear infection number five. And, as I’m sure many new parents are aware, that fifth ear infection holds special power. After that one you get to have the infamous “ear tube” conversation with your doctor.  Following the formula of a Tarantino movie I have now partially revealed the end of this story, so let’s go back.

Ear Infection #1

We had no clue what was going on. He wasn’t sleeping, so we of course figured it was teething.  We forced Orajel on him for a couple days before finally visiting the doctor. His ears were described as “raging,” we got an antibiotic and all was well.

Ear Infection #2

This time he didn’t have the sleeping problems, but was just sick. After a few days of trying to treat with over-the-counter medicine we figured he had a bad cold. We took him his doctor, they said his ears looked bad, we gave him antibiotics and all was well.

Ear Infection #3

This one was around his birthday. He had been fighting sickness on and off all week. He rallied for his birthday, but then on Sunday took a bad turn. We took him to a walk-in clinic. His ears were described as “screaming.” We felt horrible, got him an antibiotic and all was well.

Ear Infection #4

This time we weren’t messing around. He started to get the sniffles and we immediately went to the doctor. This time only one ear was infected and it wasn’t that bad. Hey, we were finally being proactive! They gave him antibiotics and told us to follow up with his regular doctor 10 days later.

Ear Infection #5

This one could really be called “ear infection 4 1/2.” Ten days after his last visit we went in for his check up and now both ears were bad and this was after 10 days of medicine. They told us it was time to escalate the treatment options. The poor guy now had to deal with 3 days of injections and a referral to an ENT for tubes. Our little man now recognized the doctor’s office and staged loud protests as soon as he realized where we were.

And that brings us back to today. Next week we go to consult with the specialist about ear tubes. I have heard from many friends that this makes all the difference and will dramatically improve Elliot’s quality of life. Anyone have and advice to share? Any similar experiences?

Jordan Echols is a Marketing Manager for Texas Health Resources and Dad to one son.

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