Friday, July 10, 2009

It Always Happens After Hours, Doesn't It?

All you parents out there get this. If you don’t, you will. Raise your hands if your kid has required the services of a medical professional after office hours. I thought so.

This morning, the kids and I ran a few errands with my dad, and of course, Sammy made his usual request to stick with Grandpa and go to his house. What Sammy didn’t know was that Grandpa had anticipated this and was already preparing to take him back for the afternoon. Nice break for me, down to 1 kid, who most of the time takes a nap (which, gratefully, she did).

After the Hub got home, we headed on over, as 1) we’d been invited for dinner, 2) they have a pool at it was 104 degrees, and 3) we were never going to get away with “We’ll pick him up after college” anyway. Chris and my sister, in for the weekend, took my big kids out to swim, and I stayed inside (casting my lot with the air conditioner rather than the pool) and watched the baby. My mom had an eye on everyone at once, per her usual, and was making a sweep when she came inside to tell me my eagle-eyed sister has noticed something in Sammy’s ear. I didn’t know what was in his ear, but alarms were going off in mine.

In February, Sammy had his third ear tube surgery. This time, the doctor had recommended t-tubes, which remain in the ear for 2-3 years, as opposed to 6-12 months for the regular type. I hated putting him through yet another procedure and all that it entailed, but this was supposed to be the solution that got him through the ear growing years so that the fluid wouldn’t keep building up when he was older. I’d gone into that surgery thinking that this would be the grand finale. That notion was chipped away a little by the 3, no 4 people that morning that told me their children had had 4 or more rounds of tubes. Heh, heh, heh, no. When the doctor came by for the final pre-surgery consult, I told him one thing: Third time better be the charm, or the fourth one better be free.

You can see where this is going from space. I ran out to check Sammy’s ear, and yep, there sat a little blue noodle-looking thing. A frantic after-hours call to some doctor I’d never heard of but now have the cell phone number for told me that if I could see the tube, it was out of the ear canal and there was nothing I could do but take it out (it was just sitting there anyway). Ugh. Sammy’s no fool, and even the mention of looking in the general vicinity of the sides of his face sends him into high pitched hysterics these days. He gave a fine performance, breaking all of our hearts in the process. Thank goodness for Grandma and Grandpa and their Magic Towel, because they will mostly able to get him to lay down (still thrashing but horizontal) long enough to play the suckiest game of Operation every recorded. I now have the baby boy of a tube in a plastic bag as evidence.

That sucker has prongs. Prongs that were on the other side of my boy’s eardrum a few hours ago. How he didn’t burst into flames of pain is beyond me. Can I have a drop of that resilience?
Sammy’s good now, having received a new Thomas train and a McDonald’s apple pie for soothing purposes. Me, I’m trying to tamp down the fire of my irritation at least until Monday, when I’d better be talking directly to the doctor and getting some answers that I can hopefully live with. For those of you keeping score, 2-3 year tubes lasted less than 5 months. I’m no marketing expert, but I am an engineer, and that seems well within the warranty period to me.

(If you're so inclined, please say a prayer or think good thoughts for Sammy. At least so his mom's head doesn't explode.)

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