Monday, January 9, 2012
...of my baby getting ear infections.
I didn't post about it amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas, but a few days prior to the holiday, Nora was diagnosed with another ear infection. We suspected she might have one, but weren't positive. I called the pediatrician's office and debated aloud on the phone for several minutes before she convinced me that yes, it could be an ear infection, and no, we wouldn't be wasting their time if it turned out to be nothing.
So, on my last day of work prior to a 5-day Christmas weekend, I left the office an hour early to run Nora to the totally empty pediatrician's office for their last appointment of the day. And it was confirmed: Nora had an ear infection for Christmas, for the second year in a row.
Ten days of antibiotics later, she was seemingly fine. Unfortunately, that didn't last long.
We had a pediatrician's appointment scheduled for today, for a recheck of the ear--to make sure the Christmas ear infection had cleared up properly. But yesterday, we began to notice our girl feeling a bit under the weather again. A little more quiet than usual. A little more clingy. Constantly rubbing her right ear. Slightly feverish. The tell-tale sign came when I put her to bed at 7:00 p.m., and she woke up screaming at 8:30. Under normal circumstances, that's just not how Nora rolls.
So the appointment to recheck her left ear turned into a diagnosis of infection in her right ear. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Our pediatrician mentioned the possibility of getting tubes put in her ears back in October. At the time, we weren't feeling ready to make that jump, which was fine, since the doctor said she would give Nora a pass for one more ear infection between then and March--more than that, and she'd want to talk tubes. Well, guess what? She's now had two, and we're only in January.
For those who are curious, her history looks like this:
- Baby's 1st ear infection - December 27, 2010 - treated with amoxicillin
- Ear infection - April 2011 - treated with amoxicillin
- Ear infection - September 2011 - surprise diagnosis at well baby appt - left untreated
- Ear infection - Oct. 10, 2011 - treated with amoxicillin
- Double ear infection - Oct. 26, 2011 - unsure if it's same infection as 10/10 that never went away, or a new one - treated with omnicef
- Ear infection (left ear) - Dec. 22, 2011 - treated with amoxicillin
- Ear infection (right ear) - Jan. 9, 2012 - treating with omnicef
- Note: I'm about 98% sure there was another surprise diagnosis somewhere in there that we left untreated, but I can't remember exactly when that was. Our philosophy (with our doctor's blessing) has always been that if it isn't bothering her/she has no symptoms, we can leave it to clear up on its own.
We tried to talk to the pediatrician today about tubes, but she wasn't Nora's doctor--our doc is out for a few weeks on some kind of medical leave, and won't be back for another two weeks. This doc today said she likes to be very conservative about tubes, and personally, wouldn't recommend them at this time. But in our minds, she doesn't know Nora. And while I respect her as a member of the medical community, I would feel better about it if we heard it from our pediatrician.
We now have 10 days of an antibiotic, and then we go for a recheck again in 14 days--thankfully, our pediatrician is supposed to be back in the office that week, so we scheduled the appointment with her in the hopes that she'll actually be back and up for seeing patients.
In the meantime, we are just torn. We want the tubes. We don't want the tubes. Aside from the pain and discomfort the infections cause Nora, our two biggest concerns are: 1) We don't like to have her on antibiotics so often, and 2) We're worried she could potentially have some mild hearing loss from having fluid in her ears so frequently, which could be affecting her language development. At this point, I think what we really want the most is just a hearing test. We just need the referral to the ENT to get a consult and figure out exactly what we're dealing with. If there's no hearing loss? I think we'll be comfortable waiting a while longer to see if she'll grow out of it. If there is hearing loss? I think our baby is getting tubes.
Blah-biddy blah blah. I'm honestly just as tired of talking about it as I am of seeing my little one suffering. As always, we do enjoy the extra snuggle time. Last night, we couldn't get her back to sleep when she woke up at 8:30, so we brought her into our bed with the iPad and let her watch a good chunk of Toy Story 3 while lying there with us. Just precious.
Tonight, we have antibiotics that are hopefully doing their thing, and a baby who is (at least for now) sleeping peacefully in her crib, so we can at least give it the two weeks to see what the recheck brings. But I do find myself wondering if we're just delaying what is inevitable. Only time will tell.
Annnndd... I just heard her over the monitor. My poor baby. We made it until 9:15 tonight. *sigh* Perhaps we will watch Tangled on the iPad tonight. :) Goodnight!