Thursday, April 7, 2011

Maybe Ear Tubes?

Rosemary is having a hard time recovering from this ear infection.  Her fever has run longer than usual and she has been so sick that she hasn’t wanted to eat, and that child can’t afford to lose any weight.  I thought about her all day yesterday while I was at work and eventually decided that I was going to take her back to the pediatrician to bring up the topic of ear tubes for her and Piper.  Both Piper and Rosemary have pretty regular ear infections (by contrast, Henry has only had two ear infections ever).  In addition to that, whenever we’ve had them tested for hearing in connection with speech therapy, the girls usually have fluid in their ears.  Henry can speak pretty clearly (for a 2-year-old), but it’s much harder to understand many of the girls’ words.  Between the constant ear infections and the potential effect of the fluid on their speech, I became convinced that Piper and Rosemary needed tubes.  So I set up an appointment for Rosemary for this morning.

Then last night Penelope woke up way more than usual.  The third time, when I returned back to bed after nursing her to sleep again, I told Gary that if she didn’t have some new teeth in the morning that she had to have an ear infection, too.  So, I decided to bring Penelope along to this morning’s pediatrician appointment.

We have a pretty regular routine for the kids, and we’ve found that they tolerate change to that routine a lot better when we explain what is going to happen beforehand.  So, while we were getting the kids ready to go downstairs for breakfast, we explained that Mommy, Rosemary, and Penelope were going to go see the doctor and that Piper and Henry were going to stay home for a speech lesson with Can-Can (what the kids call their speech therapist). 

Rosemary is quite the drama queen.  As soon as she learned that she was going to the doctor, she started acting weak.  We asked her if she was okay with going to see the doctor, and she responded, very weakly, “I need a dock-tah.”  Soon after that, she seemed to forget that she needed a doctor and perked up a bit.  We went downstairs for breakfast, and after they ate Rosemary refused to get down from her chair until she was going into the car to leave to see the doctor.  We loaded up the car and headed to the doctor’s office.  At first Rosemary was dancing to the music on the radio, then she all of the sudden laid her head over to the side and looked weak again.  I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “I need a dock-tah.”

When we made it to the pediatrician’s office, I got Penelope out of her carseat then Rosemary out of her carseat, and we walked in to the office.  As soon as we got there, Rosemary exclaimed, “I need a dock-tah!”  Over and over again.  I kept telling her that we had to be patient and wait for our name to be called, which worked for a little while, then she’d start saying she needed a doctor again.  People were starting to snicker.  Eventually we were called back to the room, and she again told the nurse that she needed a doctor.  The nurse promised to get the doctor.

When Dr. C came in, he checked Rosemary’s ears first and said that they were healing and responding to the antibiotics, so perhaps her continued fever was the result of a fever virus on top of the ear infection.  Then Dr. C looked at Penelope and said that he could tell that she probably had an infection in her right ear.  He had me looking at her eyes to show me how he could tell, and I just went along with it.  I have no idea what he saw.  Anyway, he checked Penelope’s ears and she did indeed have a right ear infection.  That is her third ear infection in two months.

At that point, I started in on why I thought all three girls needed ear tubes.  As best as I can remember, Piper has had 4 ear infections in the past 6 months and Rosemary has had 3 ear infections in the past 6 months.  Of course Penelope has had 3 ear infections in the past 2 months.  And then add that to the speech issues that Piper and Rosemary have and the potential that the fluid in their ears is affecting their hearing and thus their speech. . . .  I was on a roll when Rosemary announced, “I need a dock-tah!”  Dr. C laughed and said, “Well, honey, then we will get you a doctor!” 

All three girls now have an appointment with the pediatric ENT on Tuesday afternoon.  I guess we’ll find out then if the girls need ear tubes. 

4 comments:

Brooke or ROOK;) said...

POOR BABIES!!!!!

Lindsey Wolfe said...

OH my - that post was both funny and sad at the same time! I am kind of cracking up at your little drama queen! Too funny. You are probably quite right about the fluid effecting speech. Logan had a lot of words at 18 months, but it was hard to understand. When he got tubes at 20 months it was like a whole new world! We could understand him - the persistant infections had stopped (THANK GOD) and he could hear things he had never heard before. Like the airplanes that fly over our house and such. I almost cried the first time he looked to the sky and screamed HAIR-PANE! (yes - hair, not air... and he STILL calls them that!)

I hope the appt on Tuesday goes well! For the frequency you described that was about where we were when Logan got his tubes. Hope they can get the girls in quickly for the proceedure!

Stephanie Panza said...

Your comment about the Doctor telling you to look into Penelope's eyes cracked me up. Assuming y'all use the same pediatrician, I do remember how eccentric he could be. That is too funny!

Triple U said...

What a lot to have to endure! I thought I would throw out there that maybe you should take the kids to see a chiropractor before you go through the expense and invasiveness of ear tubes. I know SEVERAL people who were "cured" of ear infections by seeing a chirpractor. They have never had another one since getting adjusted a few times (and they don't continue to get adjusted regularly). It's just a suggestion. I hope everything works out for your girls!