There have been many articles written about the ears of a toddler. From how to clean them all the way through to questioning their function (because it’s clearly not used to listen to rational logic or you know, instructions of ANY kind).
This is not about that.
This is about how we finally listened to all the tests that Knox had done at school and took him straight to the ENT. Which in the process, absolved me of all the Mommy guilt I had been harbouring for the last couple of years about him, but placed double the amount of guilt on me about Kyla. But that’s a story for another day.
What we have to talk about here is that after waiting in the waiting room for close on 30 minutes, we finally found ourselves in front of the ENT. A lovely older gentleman that once shoved a camera up my nose when I was pregnant and similar to a shark, could smell blood every time I took a breath. Pregnancy did weird things to me. I just can’t explain it.
Anyway, Knox hopped onto the bed and the Doc got started. But at the first look in his ears we ran into a problem – too much wax to even see if there were any issues. The girls and I had prepared Knox to be a brave boy, so he sat quietly as the Doc got out this suction thing that he was going to try and get the wax out with. It didn’t work, so he had to get out a little scraping tool and tried to work the wax free.
When he pulled that wax out of my kids ear I almost had a heart attack. It was as long as half of my pinky finger! Like how is a little persons ear canal even that long? What the actual flip? Even the Doc was a bit flummoxed and said that he had never seen anything like it in a 3 year old before. Knox is basically a wax factory because it was exactly the same with the other ear!
He asked me if I cleaned his ears and I said, “Of course I do, I’m not a completely terrible mother OKAY?! But we don’t clean them with an ear bud because I have heard from a lot of nurses that this is really bad right? Right? Because it pushes it even further back into the canal instead of you, know, um, getting it out. That’s the right thing to do isn’t it? Is it? Gosh I don’t know.”
I might have a problem of talking to much when I think I might have inadvertently made my child deaf by not cleaning his ears with an ear bud.
But the Doc told me to shut up with his eyes and reassured me that we did the right thing.
Finally when the Doc could actually look into the ear, he could tell that there was some issues with one ear, but not necessarily enough to warrant grommits. At least not yet.
So we went for another hearing test and I was hoping that we’d be cleared and that it was just the wax that was blocking the poor dude from hearing properly, but alas, it was not to be. The tests proved that it was still not right. But with it being flu season, we have to wait a bit before testing him again to see what the next steps are.
Apparently the way to gauge the need for grommits is by monitoring how many times they have ear infections. The problem is that with his history of RSV, the poor kid gets sick quite regularly. If we forget to give his Allegex for more than two days, his snotty nose turns into a full blown chest infection within a day. Because it happens more frequently than most, we don’t go to the Doctor every time as we have a management plan in place with the paed to handle it (but also, because we’d like, have to sell our house or something). So the result is that we don’t know how many times he’s actually had an ear infection. It could literally have been 15 times in the last 3 years, or maybe even more. Despite how articulate the dude is, he doesn’t ever tell us where it’s sore, we just have to guess.
And how typical is this. By Saturday morning the poor guy was struggling with a stuffy nose – miserable as though the Man Flu had got him, then last night had him weak and lethargic with a 40 degree fever! And still, even knowing that his one ear was playing up on Friday already he won’t confirm if his ear is even sore.
So for now, I guess we’re going to have to wait and see how it plays out and put Knox on hold while we repeat the whole process for Kyla this Friday! Sigh.