Monday, December 15, 2008

Astrid's 1st ear infection

One morning about 2 months ago Astrid was complaining that her ear hurt. She was persistent about it and was holding her right ear, so I made an appointment to take her in to see her Pediatrician to get it checked out. Up to this point she'd NEVER complained about pain in her ears.

The earliest I could get her in to see her doctor was later that morning - and she seemed to be okay so I dropped her off at school telling the staff about her ear pain and that I would be back in a couple of hours to pick her up and take her to see her doctor. Before the two hours was up I got a call that Astrid was vomiting. Luckily she's right across the street from my office, so I hightailed it out of there and went to pick her up pronto. (My kid doesn't vomit. She just doesn't.)

When I got to the school I saw Astrid standing outside looking very guilty, and her teachers told me it was projectile vomit and she hadn't had another incident. Astrid told me she was doing an art project with other kids and "I spit all over Amy's paper." I had to explain to her that it was okay, that all of us get sick sometimes and Amy understands it was an accident, and she didn't mean to throw up on her paper.

So I took her to the doctor and sure enough Astrid has an ear infection in her right ear. The pediatrician was quite shocked that this was her first ear infection and she's 3 1/2 years old. I guess they're quite common in kids. The left ear is perfectly fine. We caught it in the early stages and the pediatrician recommended waiting 4 weeks to see if it wouldn't just clear up on it's own. Only thing she recommended was that Astrid not go swimming (which at the time was a Friday evening event at the YMCA with her babysitter).

So we tried that. I got Astrid some ear drops and we all thought her ear infection had cleared up since she said her ears felt better and never complained about any pain. But I scheduled another appointment 4 weeks later just to make sure, and get a clean bill of health - only to find that her ear infection had gotten worse. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pediatrician said it was a 7 and prescribed an antibiotic - Omoxycillan - twice a day for 10 days.

U. and I felt awful. All this time she had an ear infection and was in great spirits and never complained about the pain. We started to think maybe she was like us - with a high threshold for pain. And after 4 weeks the doctor said it should have cleared up on it's own if the body was going to heal itself.

Today I went back again, just to make sure, and sure enough the ear infection is STILL there. It hasn't gotten worse, but it hasn't gotten better either. This is Astrid's FIRST ear infection, and FIRST time taking any antibiotics, but the infection appears to not be responding to the antibiotics. So now our pediatrician has prescribed a stronger antibiotic to be taken for another 10 months.

At this point it doesn't appear that pain is a problem, but I'm more concerned about it affecting her hearing in her right ear. The left ear is still free and clear. But 2 months of an ear infection in the right ear does worry me. Each time we go back Astrid always reassures me that her ear is fine and the infection went away and she can go swimming again. I hope that in 3 weeks, at our follow up visit, that will be the prognosis.

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