Or, surgically inserted tubes...
Noah has had five ear infections since the beginning of 2006. And, frankly, I don't think he has ever been without fluid in his ears. So, after having filled him full of antibiotics a half dozen times, we saw an ENT specialist and got "approved" for ear tubes.
In fact, Audrey took him to the doctor last Tuesday and we were scheduled for the procedure for the following morning at 6:30AM. Much faster than we expected, but we had to jump at the chance to just get this done. It was tough to get up that early, but the little guy handled it like a champ. Because they were giving him general anesthetic, we couldn't allow him to have any food or water after he went to bed. It makes you feel like a horrible parent when your child keeps telling you that he is thirsty and hungry and you can't give him anything. He doesn't understand why and probably thinks you are punishing him for no reason. Noah kept saying things like "Daddy, thirsty...water please" or "Hungry for breakfast, please". I felt like a jerk. He even tried to get tricky with us at the surgery center. He could see the styrofoam cups for the coffee available in the lounge (one of those single pod machines), so he asked to have one to play with. I let him have one in an effort to try and make happy, but that immediately led to him asking for water for his cup. Thankfully, it wasn't much longer before they took us back to the operating area. It was unsettling to dress our toddler in a gown and put him in a hospital bed. He was pretty chill, watching Disney and handling the poking and prodding with ease. He got very upset when the time came for the procedure and they took him out of the room and down the hall. It was obvious that he knew something was going to happen and that Mommy and Daddy wouldn't be with him. He seemed scared and cried out for us, which made us both want to cry too. But, no more than fifteen minutes passed before we were called back in to see him. He was just sleeping in the bed, peacefully. I think he started snoring a good bit, so we jut waited for the drugs to wear off. When he awoke, he was somewhat disoriented and had a bit of a crazed look in his eye. His hair was kind of wacky too. But, he calmed down pretty quickly and was quick to accept the cherry ice pop they offered him. The whole event ended rather quietly. He finished the pop, we got him dressed, and headed on our way.
We stopped at an Einstein Bagels joint on the way home. Dude, that place sucks. Horrible bagels that do nothing but disrepect the name "Einstein". The coffee wasn't too bad and the chocolately brownies that we bought grew on me, but Audrey's egg sandwich looked like microwaved ass. Noah was fussy and indecisive and basically couldn't choose just one thing. We bought two different brownies and chocolate milk and he still started to get cranky and ask for a cookie. We wolfed down our food and left.
I think it has made a huge difference in his behavior and general attitude. Think about it...if you no longer had pressure in your ears and verying degrees of discomfort and pain, you'd be much happier too. It hasn't been perfect, though. We are still giving him antibiotics, orally and putting drops in his ears, and we are waiting to hear back on the results of the bacteria culture. There is some concern that the chronic infections are the result of drug-resistant bacteria, meaning it make take some additional measures to truly clear up the problem. Additional measures meaning the doctor straps Noah to a bed and suctions crap out of his ears or they put a central line into him (tube in him up to his heart) and pump him full of more antibiotics. The kid is already getting Cipro, what the hell else can we do?