As I count down the days to Grant's ear tube placement....the reality slaps me around a bit. I mean...this kid was exclusively breastfed for 5 months and is STILL getting daily breastmilk. Sometimes I feel like my milk isn't good enough or something stupid...but of course the truth is that he would have just been sicker and had a harder time these past 19 months without mama milk. Its just hard to think about sending your child down the dark dank (ok I made that up)institutional hallway without his mama...to be sedated, poked and prodded.
They say the procedure is quick and relatively painless. He should be in and out within 15 minutes. She is going to suck all the fluid from his ears and send a sample to the lab. We will finally know what the hell has been growing in his ears. Is it bacteria or a virus or even fungus? I read that merely 30% of all ear infections in children are actually bacteria....even though almost every one (at least those that Drs are monitoring) is treated with antibiotics. Hmmmmm..and why again are we having super germs and a generation that antibiotics do not work on? Everybody say "over prescribing".
What irritates me to no end...is that I did not demand a culture months ago when his ear was draining like a river. Unfortunately I did not know to do so. Here is my advice to all parents....if your child is uncomfortable and has draining ears...go ahead and get it cultured. It is a painless, non invasive process. They just need to collect it and send it away. Wouldn't it be nice to know what you are dealing with? Why guess? Its as simple as that. When you know who/what you are at war with...you have more leverage. Take charge of your family's health care. Be the advocate. Do your own research (I know it is time consuming...but do what you can).
I have been warned that when the child is detoxing the sedative...they can scream and cry for up to an hour! This can be the worst part of the whole experience. I admit that worries me. Why do they scream? Does it hurt? Are they hallucinating? Are they afraid? What the F%#*K? Hopefully little Grant will just nurse and nurse and eventually be fully awake and be able to go home very quickly. That is my mantra.
Oh...and they tell you that the child is to have no food or drink after midnight. However, there is plenty of literature that states that breastmilk is ok 2 - 3 hours before anaesthesia. So I will be going against standard protocol and little Grant WILL have milk till 3:30AM (and clear fluids aka water till 4:30). Then however, I must restrict him. This will be the first time EVER in his life that he has been denied milk for a long period of time. Sure there are times when we are out in public that I say "NO not now". But even then if he would persist I would find a place and make sure he got what he needed. So in order to make this situation less stressful for both of us...I am planning on not being around. Ideally I sleep in a different bed after 3:30am...and then I stay in a different area at the surgery center (wont be easy) until he is in recovery (Dad and Nana will be with him in the waiting room). Sounds terrible..and even tricky...but I just think it will be easier on him if he doesn't feel denied. If they aren't around...he has nothing to be denied. Right? Ugh...this sucks.
I would love to hear your experiences with ear tubes. Anyone?