After 3 months, we finally got tubes placed in our 9 month old’s ears. But it’s been a long road to getting here. I think it all started when both our kids went to daycare in March and were exposed to the typical set of first time daycare attendee illnesses. The constant snot leaking from both kids noses that we couldn’t seem to get rid of. Ultimately, it was our 2.5 year old that drove us to the doctor’s office. She ended up with a fever so we brought her to the doctor, with baby in tow.
He confirmed she had an ear infection and a cold.
So conveniently while we were there, I asked him to look at the baby’s ears too, since he also had lots of snot leaking from his nose – though he never displayed signs of irritability or fever. According to the CDC, signs of typical ear infections are: ear pain, fever, fussiness or irritability, rubbing or tugging at ear, and difficulty sleeping. We left the doctor’s office that day with 2 kids with double ear infections.
Over the course of the next two months, it felt like I was at the doctor’s office every week. We started with a 10 day stint of antibiotics for both kids. While our toddler felt better, the baby became increasingly more irritable. So we returned, received a diagnosis of still having double ear infections, and got a different round of antibiotics to try for 10 days. On day 8 of this antibiotic, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was at my wits ends. At this point, we were waking up every 1-2 hours, screaming and SO difficult to put down to sleep. We often slept on the couch, in a slightly inclined sleeping position in an attempt to relieve pressure from his ears. I was basically a walking zombie. We returned to the doctors and got three rounds of shots. Inconveniently, it seemed we were always at the doctors office on a Friday, so we had the whole weekend to rough it out. Still no avail with these shots. Finally, we had a referral to an ENT, and another 10 day round of antibiotics in hand.
It took 10 days to get our appointment at the ENT, because even doctors go on vacation. I was literally counting down the days until this visit hoping to get some kind of relief, not only for the baby but I saw this as a silver lining to getting some sleep myself as well. By some miracle, his ears were completely clear at the ENT visit. Of course. So we left with nothing but a follow up appointment in one month just to recheck his ears before chalking it all up to a bad episode of ear infections.
A month passed, and for the most part, it was pretty uneventful. I was slowly getting more sleep and feeling much better. Until the follow up appointment. Yet again, the baby had fluid in his ears. And truthfully, I had no idea. Because just like when this all first started, he didn’t display any symptoms, not even snot this time. How could he be feeling ill and I don’t even realize it?
Surgery for tubes was set for 21 hours later.
The surgery went relatively quickly, with majority of the time spent in the pre-op check in process.
Later that afternoon, we were playing on the carpet in our living room with the numerous baby toys. While I never thought he was experiencing hearing loss, it made my heart happy to see how much he was smiling at hearing the crystal clear sounds of various rattles. It was like he was hearing everything for the first time again. I’m hopeful that this round of tubes solves our ear infection issues. It’s been a long a long three months.