It’s All a Bit Ear-y

Poor poor Dexter. You may recall last week when I wrote about how his pediatrician perforated both of his ear drums and and the resulting drama. It was a difficult time, and the poor kid was in a lot of pain. To properly assess the situation, though, and to decide what to do regarding any potential legal claims, I needed to get him to a specialist. I called up our doctor’s office and asked for a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.

Luckily, they were able to see us quickly. But unfortunately it was an appointment that didn’t go very well. Dexter was absolutely hysterically upset at the thought of ANYONE looking in his ears. I don’t blame him! He’s been traumatized!

We tried enticing him with kind words and sweet treats. But no amount of lollipops or fake giggles would stop him from screaming, kicking and crying when anyone came near.

Enticing a wary patient with a lollipop

I was given instruction for the “ENT Hold,” which involves having the kid straddle mommy, chest to chest while pinning his arms under my armpits so he can’t thrash and holding his head still with my chin. That didn’t work either. So we were forced into something drastic. The papoose.

Oh. My. God.

NEVER AGAIN.

What is a papoose, you ask? Well it’s where the child is strapped to a hard plastic board, and his legs, torso and arms are held tight by velcro straps, while the head is forced forward by its own strap. Technically this is supposed to work well. But I think that Superman shirt my kid was wearing gave him super human strength because that kid managed to break his bonds over and over again. It ended up with FIVE people (including Mark and me!) holding him down while the doctor tried her best to look in his ear.

I am SUPER TODDLER! I SHALL BREAK THESE BONDS!

It took a while, but eventually we all had to admit crippling defeat. This kid was stronger than all of us, and there was no way she’d be able to do anything without putting him to sleep.

So we rebooked an appointment for a week later, and in the meantime they booked us an operating room. The doctor wants to knock him out and then go in and clean his ears properly and then insert tubes.

Today was the second appointment, and it was clear from the second we got in there that Dexter would never willingly submit to an exam, so we were sent home with a surgery date.

It’s this coming Monday. Two days before Christmas. Joy.

So now we have this to look forward to. My lovely not-yet-three years old toddler will be having his first general anesthetic. His first IV. His first surgery. We get to be there at 5:30 AM, and I’ll be honest – I’m nervous. I know kids have tubes put in all the time, but you just never know, right? It’s hard. So hard.

I’ve been warned that kids come out of this surgery either completely docile and like nothing happened or like raging bulls who are really PISSED OFF. I am prepared for Dexter to be the latter. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a little angry at us. But hopefully it will improve his quality of life and we can all breathe a little easier.

Have you ever had a child go through surgery? What was it like? Did you feel totally helpless? How did they behave afterward?

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Katie Reed

Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a 38 year old mom blogger from Salt Lake City, UT. She is married to the man of her dreams and together they have four beautiful boys. Dexter is 9, Daniel is 7, Chester is 5 and Wilder is 2. She writes about living with mental health issues while navigating motherhood. Her blog focuses on tips and tricks for moms, information and parenting news, kid-friendly recipes and crafts. She loves to reflect on the humorous side of parenthood and shares the reality of her life, with a "warts and all" attitude.

8 Responses

  1. My youngest (now 7) had her first surgery at 3 months, then another a year later. It’s hard! I was a nervous wreak for the first one, she was so tiny! It was to remove the extra pinkies and toes she’d been born with. Most of us have 20 but she decided she needed 24 lol . She came out of the anesthetic like a bull, busted my lip open when she hit me in the face with that little plastic guard they put over the IV. Hoping your experience is better than that!

  2. My son had his adenoids removed and he was a raging bull. We were promised to be there before he came to. Unfortunately this was not the case. I heard his yells before the nurse came to take us to his recovery room. As I ran to him he was thrashing and in hysterics. He pulled the nurse’s earring out. It broke my heart and no amount of cuddles or Popsicles could fix it. After about 30 min it got better. Prayers for your little one!

  3. Oh my, that must have been so traumatising for him and you. I think I’d cry my eyes out, if I had to pin Amy down like that and see her so upset. I do hope Dexter’s surgery goes well and that you have a pain-free and relaxed Christmas x

  4. I’m so sorry! Both of my bits had to be hospitalized when they were two yrs old due to really weird infections. The hardest part will likely be the IV insertion which they’ll have to do before they knock him out. Ask them to put the numbing cream on the site and then wait for it to work. The IV is another one of those procedures that requires them to be absolutely still and it does hurt! But, it is pretty quick – faster than the ear exam. Once they have the IV in, they can easily give meds to calm him or sedate him completely, so it really is going to be the first big thing.

  5. It`s really hard to watch your child go through it, but it helps to know he`ll be better after the surgery. My daughter had tubes put in 2x, at 18 months and 3 years. Really hard to sit in the waiting room each time. Lots of popsicles and a disney princess balloon helped her to forgive me the last time. Hope Dexter does well!

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