Bun pulled through like the champ she is. They make you do a lot of waiting for a procedure that only takes about 15 minutes, though! It was a very long Monday.
When the doctor came out to me, he asked if Bun had been acting okay. I said she had been, wondering why. He told me that while her right ear had been clear of infection, her left ear was really bad. I responded, “Well, she does have a really high pain tolerance.” He nodded. “You know,” he observed, “she probably thinks that pain in her ears in normal. I think you’re going to see a happier child.”
When I do the math, I boggle a bit. Bun’s been alive for 28 months. Factoring in last year, she’s probably had ear infections over, say, 16 of those months (counting from November to April). Can you imagine being a 2-year-old who has had chronic pain? Who thinks that ear pain — on top of teething pain, no less — is probably normal? If someone did something to take that away, even if it were a little scary at the time, wouldn’t you be happy, too? No wonder kids are completely different people afterwards!
And Bun, at the very last moment, did get scared. She slept badly (probably because of that raging infection in one of her ears, even though she was on antibiotics), and was quite put out that she couldn’t eat yesterday morning. I couldn’t even give her a glass of water. She got pretty feisty in the waiting room, but wasn’t too much trouble. After about half an hour, they called us back to get her ready for the surgery: I had to dress her in a loverly hospital gown and non-skid socks. There was a toy push-type car that the kids could ride in back there, and Bun’s favorite thing: other kids. She made three friends while we were waiting. With the exception of a little boy who was probably about a year old, she was the youngest child I saw. (She was also the most verbal, surprisingly. And she took turns in that car amazingly well, without one protest. I was proud of her!)
After almost another hour, they came to take her back for “magic air” and the procedure. When Bun realized that I wasn’t going back with her, she went totally boneless. She didn’t scream or cry or really even struggle, but if you’ve ever had a 2-year-old go utterly limp in your arms when you’re trying to get her to do something she doesn’t want to do — well, it presented a challenge. I comforted her, and made sure she had Cuddle (her lovie), but the look she was shooting me was both accusatory and pleading.
I did not break down. The quiet whisper of faith I had been waiting for finally showed up, and I knew she would be fine.
I finished my coffee back in the waiting room (well, in the cafe outside the waiting room), called DearDR, and went back into the waiting room. The doctor came right out and told me Bun was done, and she had done great.
She has to have drops for the next few days, but other than that, she can resume normal activity. We’ll have to get earplugs for swimming and bath time (for bath time, we can also use cotton balls with Vaseline over them). In about 12 to 18 months the tubes fall out (if someone can tell me what that is like, I would appreciate it), and also by that time, we hope, she’ll have outgrown the problem that causes ear infections. I have my fingers crossed.
A big, huge thank you to everyone who has given me support and encouragement and who said some prayers for my little girl. After months and month of agonizing over this, I truly feel we did the right thing. I’m really glad it’s over!