Sick of Ears

I am so sick of ears. 

For those of you who don't know our ear saga- here is the short version.

Aidan had multiple ear infections his first 6 months of life and he refused to eat when he had one.  He weighed 11 pounds, 6 ounces at 6 months old and had tubes placed.  They didn't have any hospital clothing small enough for him.

Two years later, we went through the same thing with Caleb minus the refusal to eat.  With all his allergies and asthma trouble, he also had tubes placed at 6 months.

After Aidan's tubes fell out, he got an infection that ruptured his ear drum.  

The week before Kylee was born, Aidan ruptured his ear drum again.  That has still not healed and we are waiting on an intense surgery called tympanoplasty that involves drains and grafts and all sorts of yucky stuff.  In the meantime, he doesn't hear well out of one ear and has regular pain in his ear.  

At the same time Aidan was rupturing his ear drum, Caleb was having his tubes surgically removed and replaced because he had an infection growing on the plastic parts of his tubes.  Antibiotics would clear up the infection in his ear and then it would just come back because the antibiotics couldn't do anything about what was on the plastic.  (In theory the drops should have been working, but they weren't.)

At only 4 months old, Kylee got her first double ear infection which never went away.  Seriously.  They finally put her on prophylactic antibiotics just to get her healthy enough to do surgery.  

After her tubes fell out, she got an infection that ruptured her ear drum (sound familiar?).

This was Christmas.  Guess what?  That photo above is my darling daughter's ear today.  Several days into antibiotics for ANOTHER ruptured eardrum.  

The ENT still wants to wait before putting tubes back in.  I understand that technically she doesn't meet the criteria yet (3 in 6 months or 5 in 12), but I think with her (and our) history it warrants being slightly more aggressive (and usually I am all for conservative medicine).  I really don't want another Aidan on my hands.  Imagine waiting for 6 years before they could repair it if it won't heal!  Our ENT was out of town this week and I plan to call back next week and see if I can talk to him again instead of just the nurse.  If this heals I want new tubes before it ruptures again.

And in the meantime- all of the rest of my babies will be getting the Logan plan (who notice is now 9 months and has only had 2 infections which I think is fantastic).  Delayed selective vaccination and sleeping upright as much as possible even if that means my almost 9 month old still naps in a car seat or bouncy chair if not on my back. 

Seeing as the Dr. Sears list of nine ways to prevent ear infections (scroll down to the bottom) does a perfect job of telling you exactly how my children should have no risk factors for ear infections.

Yet clearly Tim and I must make the most defective eustachian tubes known to man.


Kristin said...

I had to have a tempanoplasty the summer after I got married. I never had ear infections as a child, but had many as an adult, finally reaching the point where I had a ruptured ear drum along with a mega-infection. I haven't had any problems with that ear ever again since the surgery.

My other ear, well, that a whole other story.

I'm sorry to hear about all your ear troubles. I would definitely be sick of ears by now too!

Lisa said...

Sorry to hear all that Heidi. I can imagine being totally and completely sick of ears by now. Wow. Prayers that Kylee's heals all by itself, and soon!

Heidi said...

Kristin- Wow how weird to develop ear trouble as an adult! Ouch! Glad the surgery helped.

Kylee is fascinated by this picture- "That mine ear? What's that? Mine gooey ear?"

Meredith said...

Wowsers, Heidi. When you put it all in one place like that, it's really crazy sounding!

I think your new plan is a good one. We recently got over some ear infections with a homeopathic remedy, which I thought was way cool (after lots of antibiotics in the past with little Jesus on a string).

I hope you can get what Kylee needs before another rupture of mine gooey ear.

Leigh said...

I think you ought to print this out and take it to your ENT - it's a really good summary of the challenges you've had (and I wasn't 100% aware of everything going on with Kyle recently) and I agree it warrants a slightly more aggressive approach!

Sorry to hear about more challenges - but glad to hear that Logan continues to do well.

Heidi said...

Leigh that is a really good idea, thanks!

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