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Ear tubes

by Juliemara


I’d heard about kids with tubes in there ears when I was little, it sounded a bit like science fiction to me. Today my 2 Year old baby got these tubes put in her ears.

Jordan and Talia went most of their first year without even a cold. They both got their first stuffy noses on a trip to Israel when they were nine months old. After that the colds were one after another.

But all along Jordan always got them first, worse, and they lasted longer. This past winter she had a reoccurring ear infection four times, her pediatrician recommended tubes. She was evaluated and confirmed as a good candidate.

The procedure was scheduled for 10:15, we had to arrive at 8:15, no solids after midnight and nothing to eat or drink for four hours before the surgery. We woke her just before midnight to give her a cup of milk and when she woke around three I gave her juice. We got really lucky that Jordan slept until 7:30, so when she woke up we got straight in the car to go. They moved us quickly through the registration and waiting room, then we were seen by a few people and told it wouldn’t be long, but it was only 9:15. I love how an hour in the medical world is referred to regularly as just a few minutes. Nearly an hour later, a visit to the fish, a whole lot of stickers, and even more answers to the question “why?”, hand washing, and bubbles, It was our turn. After the calming experience wed had in pre-op walking into the operating room was like hitting a tree at 50mph. It was bright and cold. There were no cute pictures or soft voices, I barley had time to think of how to comfort my suddenly distressed baby before I realized she was being held down and sedated. Tears in her eyes. Poor baby. I felt sad for her. I left and went to get our things and move to post op. The adrenaline that had been keeping me positive and cheery and entertaining all morning was now keeping me numb to what was happening so that I could keep it together. Two months of sleep depravation was not good preparation for this.

There were no needles or IVs, breathing the air from the mask kept her sedated for the procedure.

The ten minute wait in the post op room felt like an eternity. I was nervous to get water worried that I would not be ready when she came out. Then I heard her, before I saw her, she was being carried, screaming, wrapped in a blanket, the same one that gave me so much comfort just two months before when I’d been in surgery, I was scared then and I knew what was happening. As the nurse walked towards me with her I was told to sit in the chair, when she handed her to me she didn’t relax in my arms and hug me with her head on my shoulder like she so often does when she’s having a fit. This time she trashed a fought and screamed for what felt like so long. I tried putting her down, but she just tried to wiggle to the ground. I had to hold her with all my strength so that she wouldn’t hurt herself.

She was yelling “I don’t like it”. She wouldn’t eat or drink. Eventually she drank some juice, let me put her shirt back on and leave. She got the lollipop shed been promised and ate it in the car. We went to get her ear drops and she finally relaxed in my arms. Then we went to target to pick out a new hello kitty back pack, which I hate, but it made her so happy. Then we went home.

The rest of the afternoon wasn’t the best we’ve had but after a lot of attitude, No naps and a good dinner both girls finally went to sleep. Jordan has to have drops twice a day for a few days, which I got in one ear before she decided it wasn’t for her. More chocolate chips I guess.

I wonder how Talia will remember these times. When Jordan gets all kinds of extra treats for taking medicine and going to the doctor. I’m sure she’ll have a small part of her that will always wonder why Jordan got those treats and gifts, until she is old enough to read these stories and then she will understand that Jordan paid with fear and discomfort for those small treats.

I can only hope that these magic tubes in Jordan’s ears give her some sort of super powers that make her stronger going forward so that sometimes she doesn’t have to be sick, and can just play and sleep comfortably, like kids are suppose to.

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