Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Do not get diagnosed with an ear infection. GO straight to ruptured ear drum.
Wow. So I apparently had a little intuition going on Friday when I said that I thought his ears might be bothering him. Our doctor’s partner checked him out and said his ears “looked great.” More concerned about the lungs.
Today I was pretty sure one ear was the problem and I was right. Unfortunately.
Ironically I just mentioned to a writing friend that she too could own her own piece-of-crap otoscope for $10 at Walgreen’s. Then two days later I report a busted ear drum. Just for the record, the two are totally unrelated. I have been too chicken to stick the thing in far enough to see anything more than the edge of his outer ear, which I can see with my own eyes, but not all magnified and with a light on it.
I have learned a lot about my sweet boy over the last couple of days. He is one tough kid. I thought he had complained enough that they were going to say “Yes, he has a medium-grade ear infection,” not “Yes, that’s snot coming out of his ear.”
The fevers have been many and they have been wicked. From normal to 104.8 in the blink of an eye. And there have been enough to ascertain a pattern. It goes something like this:
Nicholas is fine. I think maybe he is better. He asks to sit in my lap. I hold him and within minutes his skin is so hot I can barely touch him. He fusses mildly but as long as I hold him he seems to bear it. Take temperature. It’s in the 104 range. Give tylenol or motrin, whichever is up next in the rotation. He lays limply in my arms.
Temp goes down to the 103 range. He starts pointing to my eyes and nose and mouth. We talk a little.
Temp goes lower in the 103’s and he wants a book. Any book.
Temp goes down to the high 102’s and he becomes more choosy as to what book we read.
By the low 102’s he’s decided he’s hungry and we get out food and drink. He doesn’t really eat anything, but drinks a little.
By 101 he’s happily playing and will let me out of his site for about a minute at a time.
Then we start all over again. Throw in a nap after one of the high fevers and you now know what I have been doing for the last 4 days.
He’s on oral antibiotics now (get ready for the diarrhea stories, I’m just saying…) and ear drops (which he REALLY, REALLY does not like.)
I have snot patches on each shoulder and one on my stomach where he lay for part of the afternoon. Only 13 1/2 more doses of antibiotics to go…
And I can’t help but mention that if the doctor’s partner had actually taken the time to remove the wax buildup that was completely covering the ear drum maybe some of my son’s pain and (hopefully not damage) would have been avoided. Unless his otoscope has X-ray vision, I’m not sure how he could know what the ear drum looked like at all. But I guess we’ll never know.