Ear infections are the worst. Ever since our son, Sutton, was a little baby, he was sick all the time. From 18 months on, he was sick every other week for an entire year.
As soon as we would hear his first cough or a sneeze, my husband and I would literally get sick to our stomachs and say, “How is it possible that he’s sick again?!”
Another cold. Another fever. Another ear infection.
The next three days would be filled with doctor’s appointments, cancelled plans and lots of tears (mostly mine.) We would fall into a mixture of emotions: sadness for our poor, sick toddler, frustration, exhaustion, confusion and anger.
We knew that Sutton would be hurting, that none of us would get any sleep and that we had to pay more money for another doctor’s appointment.
For over seven months, we noticed a continual pattern of ear infections, but the doctor’s just kept putting us on antibiotic after antibiotic. Every single time we went in, they told us that his eardrums had almost ruptured. Over and over and over again.
After six double ear infections in less than 2 1/2 months and Sutton repeatedly asking us, “What?” because he couldn’t hear properly, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was emotionally drained. I was also pregnant for a lot of this, so that didn’t help. 😉
It got to a point where I felt so incredibly guilty for pumping Sutton full of medicine that I started seeking other options from anyone I could find.
A Temporary Solution:
One of the best recommendations that I received in the interim was the all-natural Kid’s Ear Clear Oil from Sprouts or online (Garlic Oil is similar and should work just as well!)
This oil helped to heal Sutton immediately three separate times and prevented us from having to go to the doctor. Unfortunately, Sutton’s ear infections were so bad and recurring that they just continued to come back and the Ear Clear Oil stopped working.
However, if your little one is tugging at their ears and might be in the early stages of an ear infection, put 3 drops of Ear Clear Oil every few hours and lay them on a heating pad or hot washcloth (this draws out the infection.) You should see symptoms disappear quickly!
We finally spoke to enough people who recommended the ear tube surgery that I began to consider it. I was hesitant at first because he was so young (Sutton was 2 1/2 years old at the time), but I realized that anything would be better than his continual suffering.
We called countless doctors and hospitals and they were all scheduling over 3-4 months out. We couldn’t wait that long! We were desperate. We called an Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist (private office) and although it was slightly more expensive, it was worth every penny.
Look at those sick eyes! 🙁 We visited our doctor’s office for the consultation and as soon as he looked at Sutton’s ears, he noted that they were so incredibly infected that he was surprised our pediatrician hadn’t recommended the surgery a long time ago.
He allowed us to look into his ears and we saw what looked like severe inflammation, redness and mucous.
Our doctor offered antibiotic injections just in case we weren’t comfortable with the ear tube surgery, but we didn’t want to put Sutton through that anymore. My heart hurt! We decided to proceed with the surgery. I was so hopeful that we finally found a solution.
The surgery, called a myringotomy, is a tiny incision in the eardrum. Any fluid (usually thickened secretions) will be removed. In most situations, a small plastic tube called a tympanostomy tube is inserted into the eardrum to keep the middle ear aerated for a prolonged period of time.
Sutton’s surgery was scheduled a week after the consultation (I can’t even explain how happy I was!) But as we got closer to the day, I was a nervous wreck because Sutton hadn’t ever been under anesthesia.
When we arrived in the morning (around 5:30am), we got checked in and didn’t wait long at all before we were called in.