Ears, Nose and Butt Update – part II (8m1w)

What a difference a week makes!!  Last weekend was a blur of temperatures, Tylenol, cold bottles and worries.  This weekend was relaxed and full of hanging out at home, playing on the living room floor while Daddy was at work installing a new server.

Ears: The procedure on Wednesday went GREAT.  Other than having a hungry, fussy baby in the pre-op area, there was no troubles at all.  In and out in about 25 minutes.  Kieran was awake and happy to see us when we got back into the post-op area (which happened to be the same as the pre-op area) and nommed his bottle like a good boy.  The doctor described Kieran’s left ear as “a terrible mess” and his right as just completely full of fluid, but not nearly as infected.  He said the powerful antibiotics we’d been giving Kieran were just “barely holding things at bay.”  So we’re very glad we went ahead with the procedure, even with as young as Kieran is.

He’s doing great now.  He obviously hears much better – he spent all day Thursday in wide-eyed fascination of EVERYTHING.  There’s been a tiny bit of drainage from his left ear, but that stopped already.  He finished out his Cefdinir oral antibiotics, and is still getting ear drops for a few more days.  We don’t need to worry about getting water in his ears now – although I’m not 100% clear if we’ll always need to have ear drops on hand in the future or not.  I’ll be sure to confirm that with the ENT at our follow up appointment on the 17th.

Nose: Still congested, but not nearly as much as he was.  I don’t know if it actually has anything to do with getting his ears drained out, but I’d like to think the general pressure in his head has been reduced.  We haven’t had to suck out his nose since Wednesday morning, so I’m calling this a success as well.

Butt:  Kieran was still on the Cefdinir, but diligent use of the new, gentle diaper care products has produced amazing results.  Plain water with baby washcloths, the California Baby Gentle Diaper Wash spray, and when dry, a spritz of the Boudreaux’s Rash Protector.  The damage from the fire poos has been abated, and I think the probiotics that Dr. Meghan recommended have worked their magic, as the fire poos themselves seem to have abated as well.  We’ll be back to our regular Up & Up  sensitive skin wipes in another few days I’m sure.  But it’s nice to have a go-to regimen to clear things up in the future.  The Boudreaux’s Rash Protector really was great in place of diaper cream – nothing to rub/wipe onto red, irritated skin.

Again, thanks to everyone for their kind words, prayers, good thoughts and suggestions over the last week or two.  Paul and I are so grateful to have such amazing friends and family.

Ears, Nose and Butt Update (8m)

Ears:  Kieran’s surgery is scheduled for 8:30 tomorrow morning.  (March 2.)  We have to check in between 7:00 – 7:15am.  Kieran can have food until midnight, formula until 1:00am and clear liquids (in our case, Pedialyte) until 5:30am.  We’re excited and anxious for tomorrow – but we’re convinced that Kieran will reap such huge benefits from this procedure that we’re eager to have it done.  (His teacher told me this afternoon that he had a rough day of patting at his ears.)  I just want my baby to feel better.

We should be home by noon or so tomorrow, I assume.  We will be updating on Facebook before, during and after I’m sure.  Prayers for Kieran’s health, our peace, and focus and calm for the doctors would be appreciated.  I know this is supposed to be a super simple procedure, but it’s still scary as heck to this first-time Mama.

Nose:  Kieran is still SUPER congested – two months and counting.  The anesthesiologist wasn’t happy to hear it this evening when I spoke with him, but it shouldn’t be a problem.  He even agreed to try to suction out Kieran’s sinuses while he’s under tomorrow.  (We’re hoping that once the pressure equalizes inside his little head, that Kieran’s sinuses will finally drain as well.)  In the meantime, the snore wafting up from the crib matches the one rumbling from Paul’s side of the bed in tone and pitch, if not volume.  On the whole, it’s quite adorable.  (That said, I’ve had quite enough of having a literally snot-nosed kid, and I’m sure he’s sick and tired of me attacking him with the battery-powered nose sucker.)

Butt:  I asked my friends and family on Facebook for suggestions today on how to deal with Kieran’s little bum, having suffered through a month of progressively stronger antibiotics.  He looks like a little baboon, and screams like a Banshee during diaper changes these last few days.  I’m frustrated that all diaper rash creams seem to be geared towards protecting his bum from moisture – but nothing seems to address the honest-to-goodness pain my little guy is in until the antibiotics stop and he stops pooing fire. * After wading through a plethora of great suggestions, Kieran and I hit up Target this evening and made a few purchases.  (The top three creams I was looking for are apparently hard to find locally:  Mustela, L’il Goat’s Milk, and Triple Paste.  I called around to several places looking.)

So I ended up with a gentle diaper area wash spray from California Baby (with calendula, witch hazel, and aloe vera – all of which I was hoping to find in a gentle cream or something) and a spray rash protector from Bourdreaux’s.  I really like that both of these are sprays, limiting the amount of touching/rubbing/applying necessary.  I’m using cotton cloths and cool water with the spray wash, and once dry spraying the protector.  So far, one diaper change down – and no tears.  I picked up a little plastic bin to make a baby sitz bath with some baking soda as well.  We’ll put that to use tomorrow if necessary – but Kieran was so sleepy when we got home this evening, that I didn’t want to put him through it.

So THANK YOU to all my friends and family who answered the call of Kieran’s red butt:  Tricia, Claudia, Nina, Heather, Kelly, Grandma Dee, Patrick, Cousin Glenn, Linda, Kym, Cousin Eowyn, London, Jessica, Rachel, Teri, Aunt Nita, Barb, Kelley, Mia, Amy, and Kristy.  It takes a village sometimes.  I am grateful for your willingness to offer suggestions, if nothing else.  :)

*  At the suggestion of family friend and pediatrician, Dr. Meghan – Kieran is taking probiotics with this course of antibiotics.  The diarrhea isn’t as bad as it has been with some of the other meds, so I assume they’re helping.  Dr. Meghan has been such a blessing to us this past week, calming Paul and I as Kieran cruised through last weekend with a nearly 104 degree temperature while on the max dose of tylenol.  So if you’re reading this, THANK YOU again Dr. Meghan.  <3

Tubes (7m3w)

A little backstory on Kieran’s ear infections…  He’s basically been congested since the middle of December with one cold after another.

  • January 12: 1st ear infection, discovered at daycare after Kieran had a 102 fever at school.  10 days of Amoxicillin (ending on 1/21) seemed to clear things up.
  • February 1: 2nd ear infection, fever of 101+.  Prescribed Cefdinir by Urgent Care doc, which caused what we thought were bloody diapers within 24 hours.  Next day, ER doc put him on more-than-double-strength Amoxicillin instead of the Cefdinir.  Amoxicillin finished on Friday 2/11.
  • Sunday, February 13: Kieran spiked a 102.6 fever and was pulling his ears again.  Saw someone at the pediatrician’s office on Monday 2/14 who put him on a Z-pack (5 days) and referred us to an ENT.  (This counts as a continuation of the 2nd infection, not a 3rd instance on it’s own.)

Monday we saw the the ENT while I was off work for President’s Day.  (I’ve missed a fair amount of work due to Kieran’s ear infections already, so I was thrilled that I could get into the ENT so quickly.)  He checked out Kieran’s ears and was surprised to see that they had so much thick fluid built up behind them both.  He said he has rarely seen ears looking like this in someone so young.  He offered to let us “keep going” with antibiotics until we were tired of doing that or we could go forward with tubes now.  He suggested going with tubes, as hearing damage begins when fluid builds up for more than 3 months, and we’re assuredly at 2 months now.  He said that usually tubes aren’t recommended for babies as young as Kieran, but the chronic build up of fluid coupled with the fact that fairly strong antibiotics aren’t seeming to knock down the infections puts him into a different category for treatment.  It’s not unheard-of to do tubes on an 8-month-old, just not the norm either.

So, this Wednesday (March 2) Kieran will be going in for a Tympanostomy to get his tubes.  We’re not thrilled with the whole idea, but we’re even less thrilled with the possibility of hearing loss, and we don’t want Kieran to have to suffer with ear infections like Paul and I both did as a kid.  (Plus, antibiotics aren’t fun for his little system – the Z-Pack last week made him throw up a couple of times a day.)  I’ve chatted with several Mama friends whose kids had/have tubes and they all agree that when they’re necessary, getting them is a godsend.  The procedure is done under general anesthesia, but all the doctors swear that it’s not a big deal, will take 20 minutes tops, that Kieran won’t even need Tylenol afterward and can go back to school the next day.

The more that Paul and I think and read and talk about this procedure, the more we realize that Kieran has probably been having trouble with his ears for longer than we thought.  It’s been suggested that he might sleep better afterwards, because he won’t have the (probably) constant painful pressure in his ears.  (We’re not daring to hope.)  We’re wondering if Kieran’s unique finger-chewing style (one finger shoved way back into his jaw, chawing away) is more about trying to relieve the pain/pressure back there in his ears than actually chewing on his fingers.  Case in point:

Mama loves her boy!Beautiful Boy.

As I finally finish this post on Thursday evening, Kieran again has a fever of 101.5 and is patting his ears.  He didn’t nap all day.  I’m calling the ENT tomorrow morning first thing, because I don’t know what he wants us to do at this point.  Kieran got Tylenol tonight before bed since he can’t have Motrin for 2 weeks before or after surgery.

Paul and I have done a lot of research in the last week or so about what this procedure is and what to expect.  Paul really liked this video to explain the procedure:

If you’re curious about it and don’t want to watch the video, here’s a few good links:

Prayers that this helps our little man as much as we hope it will would be appreciated.  We don’t know what time the surgery will be on Wednesday morning, but I’ll update with more info as we get it.