The first winter LP went to daycare, I think he had 8 ear infections, and was on antibiotics non-stop. It was such a painful time, seeing your baby sick all the time but also all the day-to-day scrambling that went with it. Taking so many antibiotics can’t be right for such a young child, but what were we supposed to do? Finally, we were referred to a specialist who told us his ear canal was nearly horizontal, making it impossible for fluid to come out (this is fairly common in young children due to their small features, but in his case it was especially pronounced). He scheduled him for emergency ear tube surgery, which we went through when he was 16 months old. I dreaded it so much, and it was a really tough day, but then when it was over wow, what a difference. Except for a few little colds here and there, he was basically never sick again, and we never had to wrestle him so he’d swallow his disgusting banana-flavored chalk-like medicine.
Last year, he lost one tube, which was expected, since their usual lifespan is between one and two years (the other one is still in place and doing its job beautifully). It was towards the end of the winter/virus season, and we got lucky: it didn’t really have much of an impact.
But at his latest appointment the doctor told us his inner ear is now filled with infected liquid again, just like in pre-tubes days. We thought that by now he would have grown up enough for this not to happen again, but no such luck. So he asked us to spend one month of intensive nose-blowing and saline solution washing, to see if it gets any better. If not, you’ve guessed it, it's back to surgery.
I know it would be fine, but I’m still really not looking forward to it. It was awful back then, but now that he understands what’s going on it can only be worse: we’ll have to prepare him, explain things to him, and of course I know that this is ultimately beneficial but will also probably make him anxious and stressed. Brings me back to how much I feel blessed that, well, that’s the worst thing we have to face. Because how difficult and draining it must be to face a serious illness… Kudos to these parents.
At least this provides a little bit of solace in that lately, LP had returned to one of these phases where his clumsiness goes to extremes, his balance seems completely off, and he just keeps falling weirdly and hurting himself. Even though it’s clear that he’ll probably never be super physical, we thought we had put this problem behind us (I posted about this several times in the last two years, we saw different doctors, an orthopedist, etc.), his daycare teacher talked to us about it again recently, telling us that even though his fine motor skills are like those of a 4 year old, lately his gross motor skills were more like those of an 18-month old, which is like, ouch. So we started worrying about the fact that it seemed to recur by episodes at random, and wondered what the next step was, painfully beginning some research on neurological disorders affecting balance, etc.
Although we know that balance is governed by your ears, and -even though all doctors shrugged it off- we always kind of figured that all his infections could have somehow led to his issues, we had never added the two. But of course, the doctor told us, this new phase is due to the fact that his ear is full of fluid, causing pressure and unbalance on one side only and hence some disorientation… Poor little guy. He's had three (minor) face injuries in the last month alone, one requiring stitches. We're a little discouraged... And wonder when we'll finally see the end of this.