When Jane got her first cold at a little over six months, I thought how lucky we were that she had been so healthy through her infancy. Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch!
In the nine months following that first illness, Jane’s nose has run more than someone training for the marathon this Sunday. She’s had a cough that that rivals one of an eighty year old pack-a-day smoker. And what’s worse, she has had three visits to the ER and one to the Saturday clinic to diagnose ear infections.
On our first visit to the ER in mid-November, the doctor on call said “Welcome to winter with a toddler.” What?!?! “This is normal?” I thought. I could not imagine seeing Jane in so much pain again. And it seemed to come out of nowhere!
It was a Saturday, and she had woken up kind of grouchy. I related it to her congestion and the fact that she was teething. Throughout the day, she would play and laugh and then snap into a crying, fussy mess. She seemed extra clingy, but I didn’t see signs of anything I thought I needed to worry about. I left her and Mark to play while I went to a committee meeting. When I returned two hours later, it was like a different child had taken over her little body. She was crying hysterically and couldn’t be comforted by any of our good tricks.
After about an hour of trying everything, we decided to take her to the Ochsner Pediatric ER. What a WONDERFUL place! We were processed in about five minutes and were in front of the doctor on call in less than twenty. When your baby is feverish and in complete discomfort, every minute counts.
The doctor took one look in her ear and confirmed with an “Oh my, yes that’s an infection alright” what we had been afraid of. I felt like the worst mom EVER! How had I not acted sooner?! Why did I go to my meeting? My poor baby had been in pain all day and I missed the signs. The doctor comforted my guilt by telling me that often these raging infections can accelerate at a moment’s notice. Whew!
I had hoped I wouldn’t have to apply what we had learned from that first ear infection experience ever again. But, by the time Jane had wrapped up her ten days of antiobiotics for that infection, she was showing the same signs. We took her to our pediatrician’s Saturday clinic, and sure enough, she had a double ear infection. Ughhh!! Poor Jane!
Well, that was nearly three months ago, and here we are again. Sunday morning we found ourselves holding a very fussy Jane who seemed to be inconsolable. She had no fever, no ear tugging, no symptoms other than crabbiness. Oh, and the fact that she’s had an upper respiratory infection since what seems like the first of January. Do we take her in? I didn’t want to be the mom who takes her baby to the ER just because she’s having a bad day. We decided we didn’t have anything to lose other than a little pride if it turned out to be nothing.
Sure enough, one peak in each ear promised another round of antibiotics to cure another double ear infection. It seems like we caught this one fairly early on, so I suppose that the third time’s the charm. I just know that we’ll soon be having the “tubes” discussion. Our doctor said that we wouldn’t do anything until she had six in a year. Well, we’re three down and three to go…
I find the thought of Jane having surgery so scary. I know it is common place these days. And, I know that everyone whose child has them says that it was the best thing they could have done. But, it makes me worried to even think about. I suppose we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. And in the meantime, we’ll hope that with the arrival of spring comes a little relief!