Monday I noticed Cakes had a little bit of a runny nose but I wasn’t too concerned about it at first because it was clear snot, she didn’t have a fever and otherwise seemed fine. Although she was also scratching the insides of her ear until they bled but she’s done this before without an ear infection just as a nervous habit. But I remembered the nurse practitioner had encouraged me to bring her in if she had a runny nose just in case it was the only sign she was giving of an ear infection. I let it go Monday and on Tuesday morning it was still running and even runnier so I made an appointment for that afternoon.
I’ve been trying to explain to Cakes what we’re going to be doing before we do something. So when I told her we were going to the doctor, she repeated me almost as a question. Then she said ears and when I confirmed we were going to have her ears looked at she said hurts. I asked her if her ears hurt and she wouldn’t confirm they did but kept repeating herself. I still don’t know if she associates the doctor’s office with the otoscope and not thinking that having her ears checked is very comfortable or if her ears did, in fact, hurt.
Cakes was much chattier at this visit than she’s ever been in the past and I was really impressed with her social skills as well. Maybe those trips to toddler story time are paying off? The nurse practitioner tried to listen to her heart first and that never goes over very well. This girl has got some lungs on her! Once she was done she tried to take a peek in her ears and this is another thing that Cakes is not a fan of, so she screamed and thrashed around while I tried to keep her in a bear hug hold long enough for the NP to look in her ears. The NP confirmed her ears were red but she didn’t see any fluid or infection – whew! After checking her chart she said she was going to put her on a new medication (I think we’ve been getting progressively more intense as the ear infections have lingered) called Suprax and gave me a coupon (thankfully she did because even with insurance, I would have had to pay $225 versus $25).
I mentioned the other NP in their office had said before her last ear infection had cleared up that we might need to talk to an ENT if the ear infections kept happening or didn’t go away. She said she agreed we should meet with one since this was her fourth ear infection this year. I disagreed with her and said there was just the one ear infection but they considered each new medication because we were doing rechecks a separate ear infection. I still disagree with this logic but agreed to make the appointment.
Today we headed to the ENT for a consult. Cakes was a completely different child today and while she didn’t want to get weighed, even after being told stand there (it was a different type scale) she did really well. This was the first time she has ever allowed anyone to look in her ears and nose and didn’t resist (read – scream and flail) in the slightest. (With the exception of family, she prefers males to females and I wonder if this was the reason she was so calm and relaxed? Her pediatrician and all of the NPs at the office are female.)
The ENT said her eardrums were sunken back a little but that could be from allergies and assumes that she might not even have an ear infection and her ears were red at her previous appointment from all of the screaming. He said if she did have an ear infection he doubts it would have cleared up with only the two doses of antibiotics Cakes had taken thus far. He said it could allergies since there’s a lot of flare ups with everyone right now (my husband and I included) and gave me some nasal spray to try out in addition to continuing her on the Singulair. Because her ears look fine and there was no sign of infection or damage, he said we don’t even need to discuss tubes and he’ll see her back in six weeks for a follow up to see how the nasal spray is working.
I can’t tell you what a big relief that is! I know it’s a simple, routine surgery but it still is surgery and freaks me thinking about her going under. Not to mention she loves baths and swimming and this would put a damper on our summer plans. I’m really praying that it’s allergies and we can get ahold of these ear issues. She spied the suckersgoing into exam room so I’m wondering if that’s making a difference in her attitude – knowing that a sucker awaits her?!