Clogged Drain

by statia on March 22, 2010

LG has been in a vicious cycle of sick now, for going on a month.  Ever since her stint with RSV last month, we’ve been back to the doctor three times, which is approximately $100 worth of co-pays.  Not that my daughter isn’t worth every last cent, obviously, but I can think of better things that I could do with a hundred dollars.  Like:

  • buy three bottles of good vodka.
  • treat myself to a nice new pair of shoes.
  • or maybe some jeans.
  • go out to dinner (excluding the money it would cost for a sitter, of course).
  • buy some liquid latex and see where it goes.
  • waste the money entirely on farmville cash.
  • fill my phone with apps and music.

You see? The possibilites are endless.

Now we’re on our third round of antibiotics, and either the ear infection isn’t going away, or it just keeps coming back.   Whatever the case is, I know that I’m so over having my kid on so many antibiotics.  I generally won’t even take antibiotics myself, but when it comes to my kid, and the possibility of her getting really sick, I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.  This is the part of parenting that I hate.  I liken myself to be a somewhat hybrid crunchy parent.  I stay away from foods with artificial stuff in it (save for the occasional “poison” piece of cake at a birthday party, or something of the sort), I try to be a greener parent, favoring the homeopathic route over the drug overload route.   I’m obviously not perfect, and realize that modern medicine has its place and will use it accordingly.   Hence the reason (against my better judgement) my daughter has been on three different rounds of antibiotics in the last month.    At our last appointment, I got the dreaded comment about possibly needing tubes.

I’ve been searching for alternatives, because my BAYBEE.  She’s only ten months old, and I don’t want her to be sedated, and do a treatment that might be medically unnecessary.   I feel as if doctors are so quick to put tubes in, rather than explore other options.   I realize that tubes are so not a big damn deal and they might be the next best thing to fairies and unicorns, but I’d rather spare her the trauma of the whole ordeal.     Then there’s the issue of, what if she needs them again, after they fall out?  What if this, or what if that?   All of this illness business is relatively new to me, and I hate seeing my poor little girl so miserable.

If your kid has had tubes, what was your experience?   If you searched for alternative medical therapy, have you had any success?


Melissa March 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Nicholas had tubes @ 18 months. He suffered from a “continuous” ear infection from Feb-May before our doctor recommended tubes. I have to say it was the best thing ever. We never saw the doctor, unless it was for a well check, for 15 months!

divrchk March 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm

My daughter had tubes when she was 3. She’d had an ear infection from Sept. to March/April and it was not a fun winter. Tubes were a life saver. The surgery was super fast and we were home and playing by lunch time. She, knock on wood, hasn’t had an ear infection since.

steff March 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

My son had his first set of tubes the day after his first birthday! It was wonderful and his language development sped up soon after. The Dr once told me his tubes were so blocked everything he heard sound like he was in a tunnel. That was the decision maker for me. Then at 3 we had another round of tubes and a pebble removal, two birds one stone! ha!

Shelly March 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

We have thus far managed to avoid tubes, but I fear they are not far away. So I have nothing for you on that front, but have to say I’m sorry you didn’t get your $100 of liquid latex.

Beth March 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I myself had the tubes. I actually remember, very vividly, waking up screaming from ear pain, the midnight emergency room visits, and finally the tubes themselves. I say, that if you can spare your daughter those memories, by nipping this in the bud, then do so. I never had an ear infection after the tubes, but OH MAN, can I still remember the pain of them from 30 years ago. I also lost hearing in one ear before the tubes were put in, so I say don’t wait!

Denise March 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I think I’m the same sort of crunchy granola parent- less doctor’s visits, organic real food and fewer medical interventions with limited medications. I don’t run to the doctor and throw medicine at the problem, I hate antibiotics too. With that, I’m a huge fan of the chiropractor. Jack’s been going since he was 1 week old. Proper alignment of the spine allows for proper drainage of the lymphatic fluid in your body. A backup can cause pooling in the ear canal and result in an infection. Our doctor specializes in family/pediatric treatments. No ear infections here since I think we’ve successfully prevented them with chiropractic appointments. Jack just turned 3 on March, same day as your son. Just my 2 cents, good luck.

Heather March 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm

LG is the same age as my L. At 9mths L got tubes. She had had 6 ear infections from Sept. to January. I hated having her on antibiotics all the time. She hated taking them.
Tubes was the best thing. She has since had two colds that did NOT turn into an ear infection. If she does get one? It’s antibiotic drops in the ears not an overall oral antibiotic.
The surgery itself was anything but scary or traumatizing for her. I was there when they put her under and there shortly after she woke up. The whole thing took maybe 15min. Actually thinking about it now, giving her oral antibiotics twice daily all those times was probably more traumatic for her. She did not take kindly to me shoving liquid down her throat.
Good luck with your decision.

Orodemniades March 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I had tubes put in when I was 9 – in retrospect, it probably should have been much earlier. I suffered from ear infections so frequently as a child I was constantly on antibiotics, and I’ve got the teeth to show for it.

Surgery was simple, went to sleep, woke up a bit later have rarely had an ear infection since.

Veronica March 23, 2010 at 3:15 am

I can only tell you what we did and that was to avoid tubes. Here, they didn’t want to do them until she was 2, but by then, she wasn’t getting infections anymore.

That said, we spent from age 6mths to age 12mths with almost a constant ear infection. It ended up being about 10 days on antibiotics and 3 days off, before she’d get ill again. Not pleasant.

Shanna March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

Chiropractor! My son went through the same thing with the constant ear infections and antibiotics not touching the infections and I took him to the chiro and after one adjustment he starting improving.

Ms. Pants March 23, 2010 at 9:24 am

Hybridcrunch? *cough* I love you, darling, but you are completely and totally Maple Nut Fucking Crunch. Now get out of my coffee and PULL UP YOUR PANTS!!!!

Tommie March 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

My younger daugher (now three) got tubes when she was eight months old. She’d had four infections in four months when her doctor suggested the tubes. After the placement of the tubes (quick, easy procedure) she didn’t have another ear infection until just last month. Her tubes fell out over a year ago and her doctor thinks this last infection was a fluke. Good luck with the decision. I just know I was happy to forgo the antibiotics and go with the tubes.

Kath March 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Hi Statia, I had originally written an entirely different comment, assuring you that tubes are safe and wonderful and great. My husband’s one of those eary-nosy doctors who likes them for the fact that the procedure is so minor and the effects are so dramatic and quick. But then I checked my comment with him and he asked me to read him your post first, and winced a bit when he heard LG’s age. At that age, there are two problems: the anatomical constraints, which make positioning the tubes very tricky, and the sedation, which is riskier at such a young age. The alternatives? He is afraid antibiotics are essential for acute infections, to avoid the risk of the infection spreading to neighboring structures. What you might try — and try religiously — is to administer infant nose drops regularly, to keep the swelling down and keep the eustachian tubes ventilated from the inside. And when in doubt, administer NSAIDs such as ibuprofen — to treat the pain and reduce the inflammation.

When all else fails, he says, it’s worth trying the tubes. Wish I could have sent my first version…

Siera March 23, 2010 at 11:33 pm

When Aaron turned one he had an ear infection for a month straight. It took 3 rounds of antibiotics to kick it. I wasn’t impressed with the fact that he was on them but I didn’t want him to be in pain. We did go see and ENT and he said he wouldn’t put tubes in unless the ear infections were more reoccurant. He told me the amount of infections needed in X time frame but I can’t remember. I had tubes as a toddler and it did the trick. They never fell out I had them taken out when I was 7 or 8.

Mina March 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

I think my experience is similar to most others that posted. My son got tubes at 10 months after 4 rounds of antibiotics. The surgery went very well and he has had one ear infection since then. Used drops and it was gone in 2 or 3 days. He is about to be 3. My biggest concern was the fact that at 10 months, he was already showing hearing loss. This happened to my nephew and now, at the age of 8, he is still in speech therapy and cannot speak clearly. My son is now the biggest babbler there is! By 21 months people were amazed that this pre-two year old could string together 3 words to form sentences. And that you could actually understand him! Is there an alternative, there might be. But I have a lot of faith in modern medicine and figured things would work out okay. And thankfully, they have.

I will say, my only concern is they haven’t fallen out yet. So not sure what the doc’s will say next month when I have to take him for his 6 month follow up.

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