Tuesday, January 05, 2010

sickness ahoy!

Back on the illness bandwagon.

I guess hoping for a healthy 2010 was too much to ask quite yet, so this morning featured an emergency trip to the pediatrician for another diagnosis of ear infection.


Last night I slipped on a friend's driveway while carrying Josie's car seat (with her in it) and both she and I BAILED on the patch of ice. I landed on my side and dropped the car seat in the process, so she hit the ground and I did nothing to break my fall. It was a terrific moment. Truthfully, though, I didn't think much of it. I was pretty sore, but she didn't cry and didn't seem particularly stunned or hurt by the whole thing, so we got in the car and came home.

About 45 minutes later, right around bedtime, the crying started. Hers, not mine. And the crying continued, throughout the night, despite repeated nursings (yes, we're still nursing, which is a whole other HOLY SMOKES post), infant Tylenol, rocking, walking, shushing, sleeping in our bed, stern warnings from Josh, and many, many, many attempts to get her to settle down. Nothing was working, and all of a sudden, at 2:47am, it occurred to me that all of this could be related to the fall and I promptly had a nervous breakdown.

We called the pediatrician, at 2:50am, and had a long conversation about whether to take her straight to the emergency room or to watch her until morning and then bring her in for an appointment. She finally calmed down sometime after 3am and we opted to wait for the morning.

Thankfully, the culprit was the ear infection, not some kind of head injury, which is what we were all nervous about. The pediatrician, prince that he is, didn't even bat an eyelash at the 3am phone call.

We're all a little frustrated by these repeat ear infections, though, and although I do not, repeat, do NOT, want tubes, I've asked a few times already about whether we need to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. The answer every time has been that she isn't a candidate for tubes because her ear infections resolve fairly easily, except for one time that required three rounds of antibiotics.

So my question is, do you have experience with this? Should I push for an ENT referral? Do you think she's fine? This is her fifth ear infection since birth, fourth since October. Her hearing seems good, she has buckets of words (about 15, I'd guess), she always seems fine after the first day of antibiotics, but she did nosedive off of her growth curve at her one year appointment. Up until this latest appointment she was in the 75th percentile for weight and last week she was in the 20th percentile. 20th! I know this is due to her lack of eating whenever she is sick or on antibiotics, which has been about nine weeks out of the last three months.

Another sigh.

Words of advice, please. Should I be pleased with the fact that two pediatricians in her practice think she is not a candidate for a referral to a specialist? Or am I wrong to trust in their expertise?


Rev Dr Mom said...

IME unless has constant (i.e., another one develops as soon she stops the antibiotics)ear infections, or there is some other indication, she probably won't need tubes. Baby J has had probably that many in that period of time, too.

The Kid had tubes around that age, but he was NEVER without an ear infection.

As long as you trust your pediatrician, and it sounds like you do, I'd just go with the flow for now, as hard as that can be.

And I'm glad everything is okay after the fall. Falling is scary (besides painful!!)

heddie said...

Just curious: Why do you not want tubes for her? My child had repeated ear infections during his first year, got his tubes at 15 months, and literally has not been sick since. My 11-month-old just got his first cry-all-night ear infection and I want to BEG the ENT for tubes! The "surgery" isn't like surgery at all, it's over literally in 5 minutes, there's no post-op healing (they're completely normal when you walk out of the office), and then you never have a screaming child all night again. Well, at least not due to ear infections :) Good luck!

divrchk said...

My daughter had tubes b/c she was starting to have hearing loss and was having one ear infection after another. The surgery was nothing as far as recovery if she does end up getting tubes. I'd say just pay close attention to her hearing and if the antibiotics stop doing the trick get her right in with an ENT.

Chatty Cricket said...

The only experience we have with repeated ear infections are with my sister's boys. They both have tubes (older Nephew was 3 years old before he got his- THAT IS THREE STRAIGHT YEARS OF CONSTANT EAR INFECTIONS before he was a candidate, baby Nephew went in at just over 1 yr), but from what I understand both of them had issues with draining which is why the tubes. Like, their ears would just never clear. Ever. I told you, right?, that Older Nephew was a loud talker until he got tubes and they found all of this very thick fluid? And they realized he COULDN'T HEAR?

Good times.

Although I will say that for the boys, the tubes were night and day. Not one ear infection since for either of them, and it was obviously what they needed.

As far as the ENT, hmmmm, I don't know. I agree with Rev Dr. Mom that as long as you trust and agree with your Ped, then ok I'd trust him too. I like that he's pulled in another ped in the practice for a second opinion. On the other hand, insisting on a referral to an ENT couldn't be BAD. After the asthma debaucle of 2009, I'm more prone to trust my gut and if your gut is telling you to try and get in to an ENT for confirmation, then trust it.

But if that's not what your gut is telling you, then I wouldn't stress.

Could I be more all over the map?

halloweenlover said...

I don't want tubes unnecessarily, I should have said, for the simple reason that I don't want my kids to have surgery. Gabe also had a ton of ear infections right around this age and then got to be 2 and they stopped very suddenly and we haven't had one since. So I'd hate to have tubes put in when maybe they weren't needed. Also, isn't it a pain with bathing and swimming and all that?

I also just spoke to my friend who is a pediatrician also and she said she would feel foolish for referring me at this point if she were my doctor. She said Josie still doesn't warrant tubes, so that makes me feel wayyy better about the situation.

My new motto is amoxicillin is my friend.

liz said...

I would start a diary on the ear infections. Note the start date, the end date of the antibiotics and the start date of the next one. Ask your doctor if you can bring Josie in a couple of days after the antibiotics are over to check if the infection's really cleared up.

Bobbie said...

My son was perfectly healthy until his first birthday. He then had a six-month long battle with constant ear infections. After seeing the same (old-fashioned) doctor in our practice for almost every visit, my husband took Joe in on a weekend. The (young) doctor said, "why hasn't this kid gotten ear tubes?"

He only needed one set, and he never had another infection. The operation took about 5 minutes (I carried him into the OR, and by the time I got back to the waiting room blubbering my eyes out to my husband, they were bringing us back to hold him as he woke up).

And now he's 19....

halloweenlover said...

My other concern is that Gabe also had tons of ear infections right around his first birthday, maybe 7-8 and then he turned two and never had another ear infection ever again.

So I get nervous that maybe this is a phase my kids go through?

Jessica said...

No advice on the ear infection issue, but wanted to say hi since it's been so long since we "talked." Reading some of your archives makes me realize we need to reconnect, as I feel like we are on parallel trajectories--my own toddler boy is 2, and has a new sister (7 months). We were also in real estate hell (sold our condo but now renting) and also had to make some hard decisions about our pets (our dog went to a family friend, one of my cats died, it all sucked, etc.)

I'll check in again soon and we can commiserate! --jess (formerly known as fancypants)