Mommy My Ears Hurt

Sunday, January 16, 2011

That's what she told us last night about an hour after putting her down. All day she'd been spunky and spritely, I was happy to know that she wasn't feeling sick like she had a few days ago. She felt so great that she didn't even nap. But then she woke up screaming, complaining of pain.

"Mommy, I don't feel well. I need to go to the doctor."

I just held her and sang to her. (Sidenote: I'm loving her proper use of grammar! ) We put some ear drops in her ears to help alleviate the pain and gave her some of the Hyland's Belladonna and Ferrum Phosphate. Again, she slept for another few hours. Then came the time that Don and I had wound down to go to bed, close to 2AM *seriously*. We had both checked on her and she was fine. Right as we were FINALLY settled in bed, because this pregnant woman needs about six pillows positioned in just the right way to be comfortable, we heard a tiny voice coming from the other room. I nodded my head, gave Don the look and we agreed to let her sleep with us. The coughing would continue and it was best if we could monitor it in our bed. We piled on the pillows for her since we know she has an ear infection. From previous experience, the more upright they can be, the better they will feel, so she was leaning on a mound of pillows. At this point, I couldn't quit chit-chatting about mindless things. I was nervous and anxious for Mari and those two don't mix well if I'm trying to sleep. Poor Don. And then she shot up asking for a towel and the vomiting began. Serious sickness, that both Don and I were amazed and horrified. I ran to the bathroom and grabbed another towel because that one was being filled quickly. Where did it all come from because she'd hardly eaten all day. At first I thought it was a stomach bug, but after further investigation (yes, I looked, whatever!) I realized it was mostly mucus. And then I felt worse for her. While Don cleaned up (such a great dad!), Mari and I took a warm bath and I took the opportunity to do some skin-to-skin with her because well, that's what my instinct told me to do. Within moments she was passed out. This was all good until the water got too cold. Out we went and tried to go to bed. It was now nearing 3 and I was still jibber-jabbering because I feared she'd start hovering over the bed with her head spinning around. Fortunately, Don calmed me down and her too and we were all asleep.

Until 8:30 rolled around and she was up again. Although, this time, the tiny whiny voice was requesting breakfast, so that gave me hope! I whipped up some scrambled eggs whipped with cream cheese and turkey bacon. I served everyone up some juice and then she didn't want to eat. He had a half a bite of egg, even less of bacon, and a sip or two of apple juice. As she sat there in a lethargic state, Don and I were trying to come up with a plan of action for church. Right as we were ready to execute, Mari executed a plan of her own all over herself, Daddy, and the comforter. And just as he cleaned up, she got sick again. Again, where did it all come from???? Mucus making machine, I tell you. I nodded at Don and we cleaned up and prepped to go to Acute Kids for a check-up. As I learned from Christmas, if you can't keep the fluids down, you need to go to the doc before dehydration kicks in. Off we went and like every visit, the staff was super friendly, the doctor amazing, the nurses are even better, and the wait time is less than waiting in a line at Wal-mart. I love going to them. I wish there was an Acute Adults! Anyway, I got off track.

The doctor checked her ears and sure enough, she told us they were both bad. And then she did something that no other doctor had done before. She asked us if we wanted to see it for ourselves. Both Don and I jumped at the chance. He saw one ear and I saw the other. The one I saw was bright red, with a couple of tiny blisters, and a bit of pus. My heart fell to the floor. It is moments like that where I feel completely and utterly helpless. I knew what she had. I knew what we needed to do, but I don't have the authority to write a prescription. Here's the rub with antibiotics: We don't like them. I know, I know, sometimes we're crunchy like that. But we have good reason to not like them.

Here's the story: Mari's very first ear infection at 9 months old was treated with Augmentin. Her pedi totally skipped the basic pink stuff and hit it hard. We were warned it might be a bit tough on her tummy. That was an understatement. This experience showed us the marvelous wonders of cloth diapering and yeast infections. Blech. Next go round, less than a couple of months later, her pedi treated it with Amoxicillin with Augmentin. Same effect, and this time, she had rash and a complete and total "out of it" state. A month passed and we had to hit up the doc again. This time the nurse practitioner advised us about probiotics, the nature of antibiotics, and how the ear infections Mari had been getting very well could have been viral, but there was no way to tell. When I described her symptoms from taking the medication, she told us that Mari had experienced an allergic reaction. You can imagine my surprise when her pedi called a couple of days later advising us to put tubes in her ears. That is when we switched pediatricians. Immediately, that pedi acknowledged the Augmentin allergy and suggested other ways for us to not only treat ear infections, but to prevent them too. Fast forward a couple of years, and in November, we did an antibiotic test run with Omnicef. This is when we discovered that she has a full blown Penicillin allergy (just like her grandfather) after her entire body was covered in a rash and again she had another yeast infection, despite the probiotics we had given her. There you have it, our aversion to antibiotics because they cause more problems than actually fixing them.

We are trying something new. Another antibiotic that doesn't have any penicillin, but apparently it tastes awful. We were advised to totally skip the flavoring and just mix it with chocolate syrup. Instead of getting Hershey's (because it is loaded with HFCS and a bajillion other things we can't pronounce), we are trying out this Ah!laska, which tastes just like chocolate syrup did when I was a kid (even though it is $3 more than the Hershey's yikes!). Also, these Yum-Yum dophilus tables are like Sweet Tarts. I don't like them, but Mari loves them! A great way for her to get her probiotics and only $11.99 at Whole Foods. The great thing about antibiotics is that it will protect her from the Strep that is going around at her school, as well as any other bacterial infection that she has been exposed to.

We are both quite fatigued, both emotionally and physically, so coffee was in order. I enjoyed a caramel macchiato, which that particular drink was probably in the top 5 best coffee drinks I've ever had. It made me so happy and oddly less anxious. Don enjoyed a fabulous French Press coffee experience. I was more alert, and Don was smiling. And Mari, well, she was sleeping.
Poor thing. When we got home, she was up and we loaded her up with the meds and gave her a homemade apple popsicle to enjoy. Plans for today have been delayed a bit, but as long as she's feeling much better, I don't really care. She takes priority first.

For those of you interested, here are some other homeopathic things we tried before the doc. This is just information we found online and/or has been recommended by our Nurse Practitioner or Osteopath. It is by no means supposed to replace or substitute your medical practitioner's opinion.

  • Hyland's Kids Kit
  • Warm compress on the ear, especially like a rice sock
  • Ear ache drops
  • Drinking water to keep the fluid/mucus not as thick
  • Popsicles are effective too
  • Breastmilk when she was nursing
  • Light soothing massage
  • Sleeping or sitting upright to help with drainage

1 comment:

Helen said...

Goodness! Poor, sweet girl!

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