Saturday, June 07, 2008

Time for tubes

Elise's ears have kept us up all week.

Amazingly, the ENT had a surgery opening on Tuesday. We are counting down the days till she gets some much-needed relief!

If anyone is unsure about the procedure or expense of ear tubes, I can tell you that it's worth every penny. Andrew's were like a miracle.

It sure is hard to see your babies hurtin'.

Grandma came to the rescue with a tiny birthday cake and a baby doll from a great yard sale.

60 comments:

Tracey said...

I think it's fairly common to have to do it more than once...my niece had them 4 times.

pinkexplosion said...

We never realized how bad Claire's hearing was until after her tubes. We were standing outside one day and she said "mommy I hear a train" we had always heard it but didn't realize she hadn't!

Well worth it! Two years later hers has amazingly stayed in.

Christina said...

I concure both my boys had them and they were the best thing, much better than constant antibiotics. My thoughts will be with you next week.

Lisa said...

Our youngest had constant ear infections and he had tubes put in when we was less than a year old. It was a blessing also. Glad things worked out so quickly.

Lisa Q
lifewiththequeens.blogspot.com

~Tami said...

Praying for some relief for your child. I had earaches frequently as a child, and so did my firstborn. We both have had tubes, and they do help.

Sheila said...

I am so glad you feel this way. My younger daughter has had to have 4 sets. The last were modified t-tubes which were put in 3 years ago and have to be removed surgically. It's scheduled for next month - she is 8 now. While I know that there are some kids who recover from ear infections without even having to take an antibiotic, not all of them do, and it makes me angry when people try to suggest having my daughter go without treatment. Her ear infections were not even always healed by injected antibiotics. The tubes (along with daily medicine for allergy management) have been an absolute miracle for my daughter, and I am so thankful to God that He made these things available to us. Her case has been so severe that I feel certain that she would be severely hearing impaired if not worse without treatment. My older daughter needed one set of tubes, but was fine after that. I'm glad you are going to be able to get this taken care of so quickly. Waiting makes it worse! You will be in my prayers.

martha said...

I read this week that some doctors are using tubes containing silver, which fights infection. Worth looking into...

KayleighJeanne said...

My sister had them done as a child and they were such a blessing! She had a lot of trouble hearing before that, and her speech suffered as a result. There was almost immediate improvement afterwards, although she dreaded the ear plugs during the summer.

Amy said...

I'm saying a quick prayer for all of you! My DS had tubes put in last fall, and you're right, it was SO worth it.

Damsel said...

I agree about the tubes. We had our son's done when he was 9 months old, and the difference was unbelievable! He hasn't had an ear infection since (and he's almost four now).

Anonymous said...

Meredith,

I hope the surgery is a success! I don't know where, or who, your doctor is, but I can sure vouch for the Otology Group at Baptist, and I think they are at Vanderbilt now as well. Almost seven years ago I had a vestibular nerve section, a very involved procedure, done at Batptist by Dr. Gary Jackson, who has since retired. They were fantastic. I think they are one of the top places in the world for that type of surgery. They also do cochlear implants.

I wish you and Elise all the best!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. My son was 2 and could only speak about 10--15 words. He was going deaf. After having tubes put in, Adam now 11 talks constantly. Cheryl p.s. Good luck on Tuesday and I hope your daughter feels better soon.

Tubo Family said...

Glad you are confident, hope it goes very smoothly. Interesting that Andrew had the same situation. Any chance there are food allergies in your family?

Emily C said...

I'm 22 now and had tubes put in when I was little. I was slightly deaf as a toddler (and really whiny according to Mom!) until they discovered the fluid on my eardrums.

The tubes made a big difference, but then the pneumococcal vaccine was made, and that was miraculous for my 10-year-old self. Before that I'd spend most of the winter in the dr's office every 3 weeks for another ear infection.

Becky said...

Awww, she's a doll.

Earaches are a pain all the way around. With my oldest, we learned early on that the slightest bit of water in his ears, and he'd get an ear infection. Swimmer's Ear became something we used after any stint near water as a precautionary measure, and I'm sure helped to prevent many.

But then there were the earaches that accompanied teething. I know this sounds kind of hokey, but back in the days before antibiotics, English nannies (and native Mexicans from what I've heard) used to mash up and strain an onion, and put drops of the onion juice in children's achy ears (onions have a natural antibiotic properties).

We've used this method for years for just a couple of days after the first sign of an earache, and they cleared up without the use of prescription antibiotics.

Erika said...

My oldest son had tubes--my only regret is that we didn't get it done sooner. What a miracle treatment! Glad you got an appt.

hsgbdmama said...

My oldest had them put in at 3 mos, and what a blessing! Hope it all goes well ...

Darla said...

TOTALLY AGREE!!!!! The ones we've had put in in the ENT's office were just the cost of the co-pay ($15).

holynickel said...

Gotta love the tubes...my two youngests needed them...the oldest just barely scraped by without them. I remember being sooooooo worried about the tubes and not wanting them with the first kid and by the time the next kiddo had her 2nd ear infection I was asking for them.LOL

Jennifer said...

They are a relief! My Luke has had 3 sets and had a major speech delay due to the hearing loss from recurrent ear infections. It is worth it to make sure she can hear. Good luck!

Elise said...

Oh, I'm so thankful that she'll be feeling better soon- it is so difficult when they're hurting.

She takes my breath away with her beauty- reminds me a lot of Eliana! :)

Meredith said...

I'm fairly confident that the ear infections do NOT come from allergies.

Andrew had several infections from 3 months onward--at the time he was exclusively breastfeeding and I was on an allergy diet excluding dairy and eggs.

I pretty much tried any natural solution that would give him relief, but without much luck. I know some countries don't even treat ear infections in children.

He received tubes at 11 months and never had another infection.

I think there is a strong genetic tendency to inner ear infections based on the inherited shape of the ear.

Andrew and Elise are like 2 peas in a pod, so I'm not surprised that she also started getting them.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Elise got her birthday cake and a present! And, hopefully, the best present will be no more earaches. Earaches are so painful and my heart breaks when a child is in pain.

debby said...

My youngest had 4 sets of tubes. I only cried when they fell out, knowing that the infections would start again.

She's 17 now and just interviewed at MIT. She has a minor hearing loss from all the infections (not the tubes!) but is otherwise a wonderful young lady.

And she doesn't have food allergies. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me "just take her off milk", well, MIT would be paid for already.

Stephanie said...

Feel better soon, little Elise!

At my last yearly, my midwife mentioned something I'd never heard before about treating ear infections. She said that she puts a cut garlic clove just inside the ear, similar to putting cotton in the ear. Of course I would be careful inserting anything in the ear, but she swears by garlic's antibiotic properties. Best wishes to both of you...it is so hard on mama when baby is hurting.

The Mom said...

I don't realise how hard it is cos not once in (over 100 yrs if I add it all up) of parenting have I ever come across an ear infection in children.

Weird but true.

I do think there must be some genetic or environmental trigger. My kids have had lots of common complaints - and we recently managed to get a wholesale dose of Scarlet Fever - but never once an ear infection.

I dunno. . .something must make some children more susceptible.

(My dc are prone on the whole to urine infections/kidney issues; weird teeth issues - several have had supernumerary teeth grow thru the roof of their mouth - and to tonsilitis/adenoidal issues. But not ear infections. I am thankful. It sounds horribly painful. )

LOL I would have suggested cutting out dairy products - but what do I know?

Hope all is better very soon

The Mom said...

PS: and despite all my years of parenting, we have rarely used antibiotics. . . . almost never (half of my dc have never seen a doctor other than for routine checks; and most of the others have only been once or twice in ten yrs - we have really been blessed with good health . .even tho we didn't always follow the "how to raise a healthy child" guidelines; e.g. non of them were breast fed)

I have a friend whose child did end up with ear tubes, after having 18 (can you believe doctors did this???) different doses of antibiotics in his first 12 months of life?

Not that I am anti medicine; early intervention saved the life of my youngest child. But over intervention is no blessing to anyone. . . .

martha said...

...and I forgot to say: You look marvelous! I didn't initially notice you in the background, but when I did, I was impressed. You look cool, calm, and elegant - a true rarity as mother of the birthday child. Give yourself a pat on the back.

32-p said...

I just love that second picture... it seems to be the epitome of what a little girl's childhood should be all about. Baby dolls, sprinkles, and ribbons!

Anonymous said...

A Bitty Baby at the Yard sale?!

Sheila said...

I posted earlier, but wanted to add something. People were mentioning food allergies. With my daughter (the one with 4 sets of tubes), she is allergic to most every kind of tree and grass. She tested allergic to 29 or 48 common allergens that she was tested for. When she was little, she displayed NO allergy symptoms other than the ear infections. Nothing. The ENT wanted me to have her tested for allergies at the second set of tubes, but I resisted, because I didn't want her to go through that. I thought being poked with needles like that would be a bad experience, and I wanted to protect her from it. That was a mistake that I so regret. I just didn't think it was allergies, because she didn't sneeze or cough and didn't rub her eyes or nose. I didn't agree to have her tested until I think after the 3rd set. I was SHOCKED to see how many things that she was allergic to. My daughter would have ear infections even with the tubes - they helped a lot, but didn't totally stop the infections. Since she started taking daily allergy medication, I haven't been able to believe the difference. Currently she takes Zyrtec. Sometimes we have to add a nasal spray as well, but not too often. Interestingly, she displays more traditional allergy symptoms now (she is 8) than she did as a baby, which is helpful in knowing how/when to treat her. I just wanted to say this, because I regret waiting so much. If your ENT suggests it, please don't do what I did. The testing itself is nothing like I thought it would be.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck with the tubes. I'm so glad you're going to get in soon! I had mine done nearly 40 years ago, as did my sister, & the difference was amazing. My sister was particularly cranky because of earaches all the time...my mother stayed up so many nights with her. The throbbing pain just wouldn't cease. This, as well as the fact that her language was so delayed, was the reason my parents started seeing the ENT. I'm very glad they did.

Brenda

Anonymous said...

I'm glad everyone else has had great success with tubes. Really. I'm not jealous! I promise.

My son was one of the very few who have the tube fall into the ear instead of out of the ear. The tube is now lodged in his middle ear - trapped behind his eardrum. The surgery to remove the tube comes with risks of further damage to his hearing.

Just last month the ENT wanted to put new tubes in - I don't even know what to think about that idea.

It's a long shot - but can I ask if anyone has had any success preventing ear infections without tubes?

Tara said...

Wonderful that you can get in so quickly and have relief soon!

That yard sale baby doll is quite the find! I bought the same one, brand new, for my daughter - it was quite pricey! Another point for the frugal mama! Or should I say - the frugal grandma!

Jen said...

We call them grommets here in Australia. Do you over there? And I know that kids can't go swimming with them in... how will you cope in summer? :) I am so glad that you are able to give her the relief they bring.

Amanda on Maui said...

Have you ever had your kids checked for food allergies? I just read a book with a woman who's son had a wheat allergy, and they didn't know it until they saw a naturopathic doctor. The son was just about ready to get tubes put in his ears too, but as soon as they removed wheat from his diet everything cleared up and he didn't have to get the tubes.

Just so your child doesn't have to go through surgery it might be something to look into if you haven't already.

If she does go through it, I hope she'll be well and happy when it is over and that she wont have any pain during the procedure.

Amanda on Maui said...

Oh, and after seeing a couple of posts in here mentioning food allergies and milk and you saying yourself that you were on a dairy free, egg free, diet while pregnant with your son... I wanted to make sure my post was clear in that it was WHEAT not dairy that caused these problems. 1 in 133 people in the U.S. alone have problems with gluten(the protein in wheat). And with wheat being consumed so heavily by our society it is no big surprise.

Anonymous said...

For someone who has not got any sleep you both look pretty good. I say if the Doc says tubes would help than do it. You are right it is not easy to see your babies hurting. And by the way- pregnancy looks great on you! Even though we can't see your whole face- you look terrific! \
SuzeQ

Andrea said...

Providential! I am so glad the doctor had the openings necessary for relief for Elise - the Lord certainly hears us!

I guess my only question, not getting ear infections until older in life (and able to cope better) - I had swimmers ear basically all through high school...

What do tubes do exactly? Will she have to get them again? Do they hurt going in or are they painless? I've been blessed (so far) with Liam, but a few of my friends with littles his age have gotten tubes put in their babies ears and I'm curious.

I'm just glad that ya'll get some relief soon! :)

TracyMichele said...

I have no experience with tubes but I sure hope they provide much relief but more importantly.. sleep for you all. :)

Meredith said...

Ears seem to be my family's weak point. As a child, I was rarely if ever sick except for ears--and it's the same for my children.

When Andrew had his repeat ear infections, he was exclusively breastfed. I did not eliminate wheat, but later he WAS tested for allergies including wheat sensitivity.

He only tested positive for seasonal allergies.

I do think it's wise to investigate other causes, but you get to a point when a physical solution like tubes is FAR superior to an antibiotic every month. Plus, it can keep them from getting hearing loss and speech delay because of fluid in the inner ear.

After 12-18 months the ear tubes fall out. Our goal is to get Elise through the fall/winter cold season and give her ears enough time to heal and grow.

She can swim as normal as long as she wears ear plugs.

Like I said, I'd rather not put her through a surgery (however short it is)--but it's much much better than chronic ear infections.

Meredith said...

My grandfather was a doctor even in the pre-antibiotic days, and he treated me throughout my ear infections in childhood/teen years.

He told me that there were just as many ear infections in the past as people have now. The difference is that they just weren't treated except with hot compresses, etc.

Ear infections will go away on their own. According to my friend, they are not even treated at all in England.

But at what cost?

Meredith said...

I think my mom paid $5 for the doll and basket--not even knowing it was something expensive.

Just that it was extra cute : )

Stephanie@AHighandNobleCalling said...

My daughter had her tonsils out after many, many infections and it was by far one of the best things we ever did!

Your dolly looks like a Bitty Baby from American Girl. That is a great yard sale find! To think someone spent about $100 on a doll only for it to end up in a yard sale!

Anonymous said...

A Bitty Baby for $5! That's when you do the happy dance!!

Anonymous said...

Ear infections in "the olden days" sometimes did great harm. My mother grew up before antibiotics, and had repeated ear infections that persisted into elementary school. She used to tell me stories of her teacher heating her cap on the wood burning stove and putting it on her ear. She was ultimately left with one seriously scarred eardrum and another with a permanent hole in it, the result of repeated ruptures. Extensive mastoid surgery was required later in life, a very unpleasant experience. She also had a tympanoplasty to repaid the hole, but it was unsuccessful.

I'm grateful that present-day parents have options!

Marty

Jane said...

This reminds me of a funny story...and who couldn't use some humor whilst nearing surgery?

Once in college I was on a date with my boyfriend to the movies. We were kissing when he grabbed his ear and whispered, "There's something in my ear!" Sure enough, it was one of his tubes from when he was a little boy! The drs had always said that it would eventually fall out!

Sandy said...

Oh, I hope she is out of pain soon. She is such a DOLLY herself!

Yay for Grandma and CAKE!

Ewokgirl said...

Bless her little heart! I hope the procedure goes well on Tuesday, and she gets some much-needed relief!

Jackie said...

My children never needed tubes, but I have heard from other mothers stories of instant relief.

God bless.

Tubo Family said...

I want to add to my comment asking about allergies, that it is wonderful we live in a day & age where something CAN be done about chronic ear infections other than suffer through and I'm glad you were able to arrange relief for Elise so quickly. I asked about allergies only because some people don't even consider it (as you obviously have).

Sheila said...

I actually remember my operation for tubes. It's one of my earliest memories, and I was 4. And it made such a difference. I can remember screaming in pain from ear infections beforehand, and not really getting too many afterwards.

I will pray that your little one's operation goes well, too!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Amy said...

I hope everything goes really well with her surgery. My best friend's son had it done and it has changed their life. I know you probably already know that with Andrew, but I am sure you will ALL be so much more well-rested. I am thinking of you!!

artgirlATL said...

I hope she's doing better.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow's the day! Prayers are with you.

I doubt you'll do the garlic cure, but to anyone who might try, please don't put raw garlic against a child's tender skin. The volatile oils burn! Those who use garlic medicinally will make a poultice: mash and heat the clove in olive oil, drench cotton in the cooled oil, squeeze, apply.

I have NEVER seen a Bitty at a yard sale...My daughter loved hers ragged. She was worth every penny but wow, $5!

deb meyers

Sniz said...

Look at that birthday cake! Yum! I hope the tubes give her tons of relief (and you too!)

Take care! Sniz

Amphritrite said...

I had tubes put in my ears when I was about 18 months old, and haven't had an ear infection since.

An additional benefit of not having chronic infections is that when something IS wrong with my ears, I immediately know and can get it taken care of.

gclyne said...

Not related to tubes at all (though I hope went well today), but I just noticed the phone on the play kitchen in the background of the picture. I thought, "hey, Eva has a phone like that; I bet Meredith got that at someone's garage sale." ...Then I remembered you got it at MY garage sale! (chuckling to self...)

Grace

Anonymous said...

I had the surgery in 1969, and didn't think much about it until recently, when I learned it was a fairly new surgery at the time. My parents were nervous about it, but knew it had worked when they came into my room after the surgery. Mom was wearing a skirt and heels as one dressed nicely for that kind of important thing back then. Though I was still more drugged than awake, I put my hands up and covered my ears at the loud noise of her heels clicking on the terrazo floor.

(mild tinnitus is a small price to pay for having my hearing! I didn't even know other people didn't always have this little buzzing whine in their ears until I was reading that same article!)

annieck said...

I think your blog is fantastic! Thanks for sharing so much great information. :)
An anonymous poster asked if anyone knew of any other successful treatments for ear infections besides tubes, and I felt compelled to share. Chiropractic has had a lot of success with the treatment and prevention of ear infections. My husband, actually, is a chiropractor and we have had a lot of success in our office with kids dealing with chronic otitis media. A lot of times, the root cause is a misalignment in the neck. Many times, chiropractic is a parent's last hope. I encourage you to try it. It's natural, non-invasive, and it works! :)
I will say that while tubes may work for some kids, in others they cause damage. That was the case with my brother-in-law. He is 35 and has had two ear surgeries due to damage from ear infections and tubes. He is now nearly deaf in one ear. I don't say that to scare anyone, but rather to encourage a more natural route firt...for your sweet kiddos.
Thanks, again, for all your great information! Blessings to you!