Thursday, October 10, 2013

ear infections & tubes

On Wednesdays I have Gavin all to myself while Emily is at school and Steve is at work.  I look forward to lots of smiles and giggles and an all around fun day with my little man.  But he just wasn't himself yesterday.  He was fussy and crying most of the morning and didn't want to eat or nap.  He was only happy being held and watching Baby Einstein, so that's what we did. 




 I called our pediatrician's office and got him an appointment that afternoon.  Gavin has had six ear infections since he was born.  Possibly even more than we know about because little guy hardly ever fusses or gets a fever when he has one. This past week he has not been sleeping well, doesn't want to drink his bottles and he has been a little fussy so to the Dr. we went.  Poor baby has a double ear infection that the pediatrician called 'significant'.




He just had an ear infection mid-September that we had re-checked, after his antibiotics, at Children's Hospital Express Care.  And now he has another.  Our pediatrician told me that he would decide at Gavin's 9 month visit if he should be referred to an ENT specialist for tubes.  I don't know a lot about tubes, but if it's for the best, I'm all for it.  I don't want him to be in pain or on antibiotics all the time.

Have any of you dealt with tubes? Tell me all about it.

Thankfully, it usually works out that while one baby is sick the other is happy. {if it didn't work this way, I might be in a padded room somewhere}  So naturally, Emily has been in a great mood the past few days- actually since my post about her crying all the time...





 ...maybe she read it and felt bad?

16 comments:

  1. I've had a couple of personal friends have to do the tube thing and it was really great for them in the end. That being said, Drew had a few ear infections each year until he was two and it wasn't enough to need tubes. I think there's a minimum that most peds like to stick to before considering tubes. Is this only his second infection? I don't remember the exact number, but I thought it was near 10 in a year or something... I remember it being high!!

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    1. This is his 6th ear infection. Emily had a few in her first year too, but they never talked about tubes with her.

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  2. My best friends son has tubes. The placement wasn't as hard as she had thought it would be and I don't think her son had anymore infections after the tubes were placed. She did say that the kids have to wear ear plugs when in the tub or pool which her son didn't tolerate well. He sons tubes fell out on their own recently (he's almost 4 now) and the chronic infections haven't not returned {knock on wood}. I agree with you on the tubes. You don't want him in pain or on antibiotics often. He is such a rock star I'm sure tube placement would be a walk in the park for G. Good girl Em for being such a sweetie while baby bro is under the weather!

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  3. Ohh poor G!! :( I can understand how he is feeling right now because I am actually battling an ear infection myself right now and it is awful!! Ugg. Ear pain (and tooth pain) is the worst at any age. I don't know a whole lot about tubes but from everyone I know who has had them or has kids with them, they have had a lot of success. I would say go for it if he is getting ear infections that often.. poor thing.

    So glad Emily is being such a good girl right now!! :)

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    1. Ear infections are the WORST adult or baby! I hope you feel better soon Fiona!

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  4. I said the same thing about C and the post I wrote about her not liking me. Literally that day, and every day since, she says mama all the time now and is nicer in general! I swore, JJ read it and taught her how to say mama before I got home from work, haha!

    I don't have any experience with tubes personally, but I've heard of people with kids who got them and it made a world of difference. I hope if he does end up needing them, that puts a stop to all the ear infections. Poor buddy. :(

    Glad to hear Emily has been in a great mood! I agree, it's not fun when they are both screaming.

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    1. hahaha! I think these kids are reading our blogs Steph!

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  5. You know I'm an audiologist, I'm surprised you didn't ask for my phone number and just call me, actually, if you want to, please do.

    Tubes are typically a magic solution for most kids with chronic otitis media (middle ear infection). Under anesthesia the surgeon perforated the eardrum with a scalpel and then pushes a plastic or metal grommet into the opening. It takes less than two minutes per ear. They often do this on adults who are awake, kids just can't hold still!

    You have to keep dirty water (bath and lake water, chlorine treated water is not much of a concern) out of the ear until the tube pops out and the perforation heals. Most tubes last around a year, which means that some kids have to have the tubes put in several times, up until about age 5.

    The tube functions as an artificial pressure release valve allowing fluid and infection to drain down the Eustachian tube into the throat, although sometimes the fluid and infection drain out through the tube. The tubes also give ear drops direct access to the middle ear so infections clear more easily.

    Untreated ear infections cause scarring on the eardrum and in the middleware as can lead to permanent hearing loss. Even without permanent hearing loss chronic ear infections can cause speech and language delays.

    Each ENT has their own idea of when tubes need to be placed, but your description comes close to our office's standard. If your pediatrician recommends the referral, do it. Also get a referral to an audiologist who can make a pair of custom swim molds (around $80-90) for use in the bathtub. Finally, Gavin's hearing should be checked about 2-4 weeks after the tubes are in to make sure his hearing is normal.

    Sorry for the book, but please do let me know if you have any other questions.

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    1. I did think of you when I wrote this Michele! I knew you would have a ton of good info for me :) I will email you after his 9 month visit to let you know what the ped decides. Thanks!

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  6. Our son had tubes put in just before he was 9 months old. We have an extensive family history of ear infections and tubes, and our ENT states that a child is a candidate if they have three or more ear infections in 6 months. He had three in three months--during the summer!!! The procedure itself was about 10 minutes, he was just cranky from the anesthesia for the rest of the day and was back to his normal self that evening. The tubes help with drainage and if they get an ear infection again, can be treated with drops intead of antibiotics. He did get another ear infection a week ago (a month after tubes) and we treated it with drops.

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    1. 3 in 3 months- poor baby! I'm glad you had a good experience with tubes, that makes me feel better!

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  7. I LOVE TUBES. They are my lifesaver. From September 2012-March 2013 Avery had 14 ear infections (between teh two ears). She had 5 different antibiotics, was allergic to 1, and became immune to 2. Since she got tubes in March 2013 we have only had 1 ear infection and it is because the tube is slightly dislodged. AND when they have ear infections with tubes (which can still happen) there is no fever, minimal fussiness, and a decent appetite compared to regular infections. Also you get to use drops instead of oral medication. Make easier to give, she is not pumped full of antibiotics and she can't get immune to the drops.

    I know some people are against it. I was all for tubes, but my husband and doctor wanted to be sure she needed them. Unfortunately by the time we decided enough was enough 10 ear infections, it took awhile to get into the ENT and then awhile to schedule the surgery.

    With our insurance it cost us about $1600. And it was a super simple procedure. Check into the hospital at 6:00 and home before 10:00. She was sassy coming out of the anesthesia but once she had a good nap, she was good. The next morning she was right back to her normal self.

    I would suggest checking on when you deductible plan year runs, in case his tubes dislodge and he needs to get them reset. We are thinking about fixing Avery's before the year is out, since we have met our deductible.

    Email me about ANYTHING. It is so hard when they are continually sick.

    Feel better buddy!

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  8. I have a friend here whose son just got tubes put in. She said that the worst part was that they couldn't be with him for the procedure and had to wait awhile to be with him while he was waking up in recovery. Other than that, her son has been sleeping way better and has been healthy! I would be nervous to have it done, but that's just me because I stress about everything. Finding the right Dr. and getting the surgery done sooner rather than later will be much better for G. I can't imagine how miserable G and you guys are. Thinking of you and Gavin. Those pictures just break my heart!

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  9. Poor G! Ours gets a fever so we get them checked with any fever and he's on antibiotics right now for infection #3, which is not too bad in my opinion in 22 months. That said, I would definitely get the ENT opinion and I've only heard one of my friends have an issue with tubes- the majority were very pleased. One thing we're trying to do more consistently is 1-3 times a day doing a nasal rinse since our pedi says this is a good preventive measure with ENT infections, it makes sense but- geez- he sure does not like it one bit! Good luck. Two of the most adorable kiddos btw- happy or not- preferably happy for you though:]

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I would love to hear what you have to say!