After months of agony, trips to the doctor and round after round of antibiotics, K and I finally took E to see a Pediatric Otolaryngologlist (ENT) with the support of his pediatrician.
E had a follow-up with his pediatrician yesterday, who said that his cough and wheezing were improved enough to discontinue the nebulizer. His ears also looked a lot less inflamed but the fluid was still present. She said that tubes were still likely in his future but that the ENT might want to wait a few more months.
K and I battled terrible driving conditions, creeping along with a grumpy and wailing E in the back seat as we crept through traffic to get to his ENT appointment this morning. We saw several cars in the ditch along the way. We were about fifteen minutes late to the appointment but they luckily saw us without any grief or wait. A PA initially assessed E before the doctor came into the room, and kept remarking that E is a very happy baby. We all laughed as E willingly opened his mouth when the PA held up a light and tongue depressor to look at his throat.
The specialist was really nice and informative, explaining as he showed us anatomy charts that E was prone to chronic otitis. He said that E could likely benefit from tubes, saying that we could either have them inserted in the near future or pursue a watchful waiting approach. K and I both liked that he said that there was no wrong answer between those two options, and that he gave us many factors to consider, including those we hadn’t initially considered, like the days upon days we’ve had to take off of work and constant visits to (and associated copays with) the pediatrician.
K and I both agreed and communicated to the doctor that we want to schedule the procedure in the near future because we really feel that this is impacting E’s quality of life and causing him a lot of pain. We also said that we’re concerned with the amount of pain medication we’ve had to administer as a way to keep E comfortable. As soon as we told the doctor our preference, the doc said, “It was the best decision I ever made for my daughter.” We were really impressed by this specialist and feel good about our decision.
The ENT told us that if we, as adults, needed tubes, he would provide the very quick procedure (the doc quoted roughly 30 seconds per ear!) during an office visit by numbing our ears. But E, as a little guy who would likely be stressed and fidgety during the procedure, needs to be given some gas to keep him still and calm, which will, in turn, allow the doc the ability to perform the delicate procedure with much more accuracy.
I’m awaiting a call from the office staffer who schedules these procedures and anticipate that, in the very near future, E will finally have some relief to the months of ear pain hell. We’re finally feeling optimistic about his ears!