A quick update on ear-related issues

At 8:40 am on a bitterly cold January morning in New England, I bundled my 14 month old into his winter gear – with practiced negotiation passing the beloved cars from one hand to the other. Our journey was short – maybe a quarter of a mile. If it hadn’t been 15 degrees and windy with snow-covered sidewalks, I would’ve walked. Even 25 degrees and moderately clear sidewalks. But no.

I wrestled him out of the car and into the clinic. I think that until he can walk, I need to leave the coffee cup at home. If you know me, you know how much it PAINS ME to admit that there is ever a circumstance before noon that I might be parted from my beloved beverage. But 30 pound squirmy 14 month old makes it unusually challenging to keep my coffee upright.

I digress.

Thane was actually lovely in the waiting room. He played with his cars on the table “Vroom vroom!”. He lost a car behind a chair, managed to reclaim it, but was unable to extricate himself. I did not laugh, but politely extracted him. The ubiquitous office ladies with perfect manicures were unable to find our referral. I suspect this has to do with the fact it was submitted on one of those new-fangled computer thingies. My pediatrician verified that the information had been submitted and accepted, so I’m unconcerned. He has an iPhone and a brand new computer system and enough savvy to go around.

Then we went to wait in the office, and this was less lovely. The number of exciting things at boy-height made it imperative to keep him off the ground. Thane does not like to be kept off the ground. I contemplated the brightly lit “on” switch for the auto-clave and the child safety covers on the power strips and decided that someone around here wasn’t aware of just what would attract a 14 month old’s eye.

The doctor came in a very long 10 minutes later. Thane’s tonsils were pronounced “tiny”. (I think that’s good.) He looked in both ears. Shocking, he found fluid in both ears. (Duh!) He recommended surgery for ear tubes. He said that we’d schedule in 3 to 4 weeks for Boston. Done! I spent more time doing the exiting procedures than we’d spent in the exam.

And there it is. Sometime before Valentine’s Day, Thane will likely go into Boston for a very quick surgery. Apparently children are only “out” for about 10 minutes. They cut a tiny hole in the outer skin of the ear drum, vacuum up the offending liquid and insert a little tube to prevent the cut from healing over. Sometime in the next 6 – 18 months the tube will fall out of it’s own accord. The procedure is meant to help prevent ear infections (by preventing the buildup of fluid) until his face lengthens and the Eustachian tubes start going down instead of straight across.

I hope that this will make Thane slightly happier. Where he is right now, he can be a delight but… I am unwilling to take him anywhere. Dinner out is disastrous. The library was extremely hard to manage. He bolts, he pulls things off, he has a very firm idea of what he wants to accomplish and if thwarted will pitch a fit. He’s ok in the safety of our own home, or in any area where it’s acceptable to put him down and let him wander. Most of the time. Except last night, where he was 100% crying if he wasn’t being held and only 30% crying as long as I had him on my hip. Not Daddy. Not Emily. Mommy.

On the other hand, he is absolutely adorable. You should hear him say “cheese”! It’s awesome.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

6 thoughts on “A quick update on ear-related issues”

  1. Poor baby! I am sure this will help!

    Hahah! I can’t stop laughing about him getting stuck behind the chair! Hahhaha!! How did you not laugh?

    CHEEESE!!! I’m telling you, this is a kid after my own heart – books and cheese!! 😉


    1. He looked so tragic, trapped in a cage of chair legs, cars clutched tightly in either fist!

      Mostly after your own heart… he’s also an unrepentant carnivore.


  2. Having had tubes put in myself in the last few years, I can verify that the process is very simple and quick. They let me watch mine on the TV – it was fascinating. The only reason they put kids out is to keep them still.


  3. Hahah!!!!

    Well, he still has plenty of time – I wasn’t officially vegetarian until I was 18 😉 I’ll just have to corrupt him to it when he’s a teen, like I did to my godchild and little bros-in-law! 😉


  4. Hmm. tubes have not improved Danny’s ability to be out in public 😉 but they did eliminate nasty ear infections and all that goes with them… I almost hoped Mal would get them too, because he had 3 infections back to back and there’s such joy in not having to worry about things like a) infections b) pressure on airplanes (lucky boy!) 🙂 Hang in there, let me know if you have questions.


    1. I appreciated your call the other day. I’m not very frightened about the tubes — it seems common, easy, relatively safe, etc. But please, don’t kill my hope that somehow it will magically cure the severe case of 15montholditis he’s contracted!


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