Sunday, July 12, 2009

First Ear Infection

My poor baby has his first ear infection at just 7 weeks old.

He is a Langan. His older brother also got his first ear infection at 7 weeks. And as previously mentioned, 3 of my older children have had multiple sets of tubes.

Here we go again . . . with the tubes, I mean.

My baby failed his hearing test (twice) on his left ear while still in the hospital after birth. They told me he had narrow ear canals (sounds like tubes) and said he probably had fluid behind his ear drum, causing him to fail the test. He has failed the test 2 more times. So he has an appointment at CHOP to determine whether or not he can hear. I do believe he can, just based on observation. But still, a more specific test is needed.

In the meantime, he caught a little cold last week. It was mostly on his chest and didn't last long. But apparently the fluid in his left ear became infected as a result.

But he has been making a weird sucking noise when nursing the past day or so. And then last night he woke up 2 hours after going to bed (normally he sleeps for 4-6 hours before waking). And then I couldn't get him back to sleep unless I held him upright and he was pounding his little fists against his ears. I started thinking that perhaps he had an ear infection. So I held the little guy but kept falling asleep myself and was afraid he'd fall out of my arms (I was in the middle of a king-sized bed so he wouldn't have fallen, but would have rolled out of my arms, but still, I did not want that to happen.) As a result, I would hold him for as long as I could (45 min to an hour) and then put him in the swing (he can sleep upright in the swing) for an hour or so while I slept. When he would wake crying, I'd go back to holding him. And then when he woke this morning he had a fever.

I called the doctor. (I love my pediatrician's office. You can call-in between 8-9AM every single day of the year. They will always see a sick child, even on Christmas!) Of course they wanted to see him because a fever in such a young baby is always a concern. I was praying it was his ears because if not, he was going to be sent to the ER for bloodwork and a spinal tap. Even though the exam resulted in confirming an ear infection, the doctor said that he could either prescribe an antibiotic OR send him to the ER for further testing. But given our family history of ear infections and given that this is my 5th baby, he opted to prescribe the antibiotics and send us home. He said to take the baby to the ER later today/tonight if he does not respond to the medicine or if his fever spikes again. I'm so glad he was willing to go with the less-aggressive treatment option. It would have pained me to watch him go through a spinal tap only to confirm an ear infection.

I predict he'll have tubes by Christmas.

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