As a baby, Silas seemed to consistently get ear infections. This was not specific to only one ear either. Sometimes he would have a double ear infection. By the time Silas was 9 months old the ear infections were so bad and often that he had surgery to place tubes in both ears. This is my sweet chunky monkey waiting to be taken back before the surgery.
Ear tubes are plastic and shaped like a hollow spool. Doctors suggest tubes for children who have repeat ear infections or when fluid stays behind the eardrum. A specialist (otolaryngologist) places the tubes through a small surgical opening made in the eardrum (myringotomy or tympanostomy). The child is unconscious under general anesthesia for this surgery.
The purpose of the tubes is to allow air to enter the middle ear, allow fluid to flow out of the middle ear through the tube and into the ear canal, clear fluid from the middle ear to restore hearing, prevent future buildup of fluid in the middle ear, and decrease the feeling of pressure in the ears which reduces pain.
Since then, the ear infections lessened for a little while but kept coming back. Every time I took him to the doctor they would prescribe me some antibiotic and eardrops to give him. This of course cleared up the leakage from the ear and lessened the symptoms but it seemed like the infection never truly went away. A few weeks and sometimes months later, the infection would be back again. It didn’t seem like the tubes were doing what they were supposed to do.
Last week we took Silas to the doctor because it seemed like his latest ear infection was hurting him really bad. She of course prescribed some antibiotic and eardrops. This time though, she took a swab of the leakage because I told her how it seemed like the infections kept coming back. Two days later she called me. She told me that the bacteria causing the infection was too strong to be treated by the medications Silas has been being prescribed. That explained why the ear infections kept coming back. She gave him new medications and since then his ear infection seems to be clearing up.
This morning we took Silas to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. Once again, we explained Silas’ medical history and everything that has been happening. Then it came time for him to examine Silas. This was not at all fun for anyone in the room. Silas is a very strong little boy when something is happening that he completely does not want to participate in.
I sat in the exam chair with Silas in my lap. I held down is arms while Robert held his legs and head in place. The doctor was having one hell of a time trying to look into Silas’ ears. I actually found it amusing but felt really bad for having to restrain Silas like that. He was screaming at the top of his lungs and fighting to get free. He is a pretty good escape artist. After the first attempt, the doctor had me change positioning with Silas.
This time I put Silas’ legs in between mine with him sitting on my lap. His right arm went under my left arm and behind me. My right arm held onto his left arm which controlled his upper body. My left arm held down his head and shoulders to my chest. Sounds confusing I know, but it worked. As much as Silas struggled, I had him locked in place. This will definitely be a move to remember. Perhaps this may be useful for you, who knows…
After the exam was complete, the doctor recommended removing the tubes. This would enable him to see if there was any buildup in the ear. He said he would clean out the ear and look into and around the ear drum. If there is buildup in the ear drum he said that he would place new tubes into Silas’ ears. If there is no buildup, he said that we could try going tube free for a while. Robert and I are both hoping that Silas can go tube free for a while. This would let us see if perhaps he could be okay without the tubes.
Silas has the surgery just mentioned next Thursday. It’s not going to be a good experience for him at all since he has to once again go under anesthesia. The procedure itself takes only about 30 minutes. The longest part is once he comes up from the anesthesia we have to stay an hour or so for him to be observed. If you have never experienced the wrath of a child waking up from that I hope that you never do. They do not know where they are or understand what is going on. Last time, he was super groggy and pissed off at everyone. He cried and screamed the entire time we were there. He looked like a little red hulk with veins popping out everywhere. I was hoping to not have to make him go through that again. But, here we are and time is approaching quickly.
I hope that this time, the ear problem gets solved so that is one more medical issue we don’t have to continually face and try to solve. This is a long and daunting process but we will figure out all of these medical issues. Perhaps that will lessen the symptoms of autism he has. Until next time…