Genevieve had a pretty healthy first year, but in December (2015) she was diagnosed with a double ear infection, strep, and a cold. Between that first diagnosis and the first week of March, Genevieve had been diagnosed with 2 additional double ear infections, and separate cases of strep and an upper respiratory infection.
At our 18 month well child visit (it happened at 19 months), I spoke to her pediatrician ab out her new trend of frequent ear infections and illnesses. He told me that we could wait and see if the trend stopped as the weather got warmer or he could refer me to an ENT to discuss the possible need for tubes in her ears.
We met with the ENT, Dr. Linson, on March 28, 2016. He checked her ears for fluid and asked about her recent history of ear infections. In fact, even though she had just finished her last round of antibiotics a week prior, she still had significant fluid on both ears. Based on our conversation, I suspect that Genevieve has had fluid on her ears since the first ear infection, and since she was always asymptomatic, I would not be surprised if she started having problems prior to her first diagnosis.
After he spoke with us, we were directed to another room where she was given a test to check the movement of her ear drums. We were told that a normal test result would look like an inverted “V.”
The image below shows a “normal” range test result. Genevieve’s test results showed an almost flat line, with a barely noticeable rise in the center. The doctor told her that this meant that she had almost no movement in hear eardrums.
Image Credit: Florida Otolaryngology
Dr. Linson told us that we were lucky that Genevieve had not experienced a language delay since the the test results indicated that she was hearing everything as if she was under water and probably had been for some time.
We scheduled her bilateral myringotomy surgery (tubes in both ears) for April 5th. We were told that she could not have any food or beverage (not even water!) after midnight prior to her surgery. We arrived at the hospital at 6:3o am and were taken back to a pre-op room at 7:30. About that time Genevieve started getting cranky wanting something to eat and her cup, and I dont blame her! It was so hard to tell her “no!”
The nurse had us put her in a tiny little gown and we tried to keep her occupied and distracted until they took her back for the procedure.
They also gave her a cute little bear made by a local church.
When they took her back into the operating room, she rode on the bed pretty contently. I think she was enjoying the ride, like it was a game. The staff wouldnt let us go into the procedure room with her. This caused me some anxiety, as I didnt want her to feel abandoned and scared in a strange place.
The procedure only took about 15 minutes. They told us she did really well and that she only cried when they switched her to a new bed and had her lay down. They said she cried for about 45 seconds, which caused the anesthesia to work faster. I really hate that it happened this way. It just seems wrong to me. I dont understand why they let her take two blankies and a doll into the procedure room, but a parent couldnt go back with her until she was asleep.
After the procedure we were taken to the 1st recovery area where Genevieve was waking up. We were warned that she would be angry and very upset as the drugs wore off and would be for 20 to 30 minutes. This was definitely our experience. The screaming and crying were heart-wrenching!
She calmed down when we were moved to the 2nd recovery area. We were only in the 2nd recovery are for about 20 minutes, while we waited for our discharge paperwork. We were scheduled to follow up with the doctor for one month after the surgery.
We will use antibiotic ear drops in each of her ears, twice a day for three days.
Genevieve slept on the way home and then was pretty normal the rest of the day, just fussy and whiny. She snacked a large part of the day and even though she fought a nap, she did take one in the car when I went to pick up her medication.
Im looking forward to her feeling better and hoping that its fast. Im ready for my happy baby to be back to her normally happy and healthy self.