Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ear Ache

In the future, when Quint already has an ear infection, we will not be getting immunizations. His body had been fighting off just the ear infection, but now it was busy working on the immunizations and the ear infection ran rampant. Yesterday, Priscilla's husband called from the daycare saying that Quint had a temp of 101.3 and was not a happy camper. I thought that might happen. So I went and got him at 10:30. He spent the next 12 hours within about 6 inches of me.

But at least we got to hang out in the hammock for an hour and a half. He slept a bit as we swayed in the breeze. I had taken drinks, a snack, a book, and phones out there. So when he woke up, we laid there eating vanilla wafers and drinking milk or water. I kept saying "good stuff" and at one point, he said "oo stuff" which made me laugh, which made him smile. One of the last smiles I saw for the rest of the day.

He kept feeling worse and worse throughout the day, despite doses of ibuprofen and tylenol. By 9pm, we put him down sleepy but awake, as usual and I went to bed immediately, trying to recover from my own cold. He was up at 9:30 screaming. SCREAMING!

I could get him calmed down for a few minutes at a time by nursing, rocking and singing to him. but as soon as I'd put him down, about 5 minutes later he'd be screaming again. By 10:30, he only wanted to scream and writhe in pain in my arms. He wouldn't even nurse. Loads of fun for us! We were out of tricks. Even the swing didn't help, since laying flat seemed to be torture. So we called in reinforcements: my sister the RN.

She told us that we needed to get the clog of gunk out of the painful part of his ear. She suggested a warm compress on the outside of his ear. Also Benadryl might thin out the mucus. Too bad we couldn't feed him a cup of hot tea to try to get heat to the ear area via the throat. Also, there's some old home remedy involving warm oil in the ear. We looked that one up. Google came through and said olive oil will do, make it just barely warm - not hot. Put just a few drops in the ear. Also, anything to distract him from the pain would be helpful.

So we went back downstairs to try our new tricks. We fed him some Benadryl, and some Tylenol since he was due for it anyway. I found our tiny heating pads and we nuked them for 10 seconds. Not too hot when I put it to my own ear. Sat him on my lap, ran the new ball popper (Thanks Julie!) and held the heating pad to his ear. Small pause for ball popping thought then amazingly fast writhing and high pitched shrieking. Followed by a long pause where he was out of air and thinking about inhaling. I held it on there for about 10 or 15 seconds. Extremely long seconds.

A few minutes later, he burped or coughed or something and the pressure in his head changed. Things were better! Now only minor, clingy whimpering. He hadn't really eaten his supper, so I asked him if he wanted to eat his supper. Direct eye contact and a positive look. Hubby said it looked like a yes to him too. Well alrighty then! I re-warmed his green beans and barley and it was nearly too hot for him. He gulped it down and looked relieved. He hoovered down most of the bowl. Maybe the warm goo warmed his ear area from the inside.

After his dinner, things were much improved! He even toddled around and would play a few feet from me. After he was clearly feeling better for about 15 minutes, we put him to bed - where he stayed until 6am. So he slept from 12:30 to 6. We went to bed immediately.

So! New in our bag of ear ache tricks are a heating pad on the outside and pretty hot food or drink on the inside. Benadryl seemed to thin the mucus which helped by getting things moving from the ear canal. We didn't try this, but we read that a few drops of warmed olive oil in the ear might help. Swinging in the swing might help. Laying down does not help. Keep the ibuprofen and tylenol coming at regular intervals. But if you want to skip one pain med, keep in mind that ibuprofen reduces swelling in the ear area.

And's naptime.

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