I’ve been meaning to post a LOT this week. Seriously, I have. But then, as usual, the winter weather got in the way. Because winter weather = cold season. And apparently, every time more poor little babe gets a cold, he also gets an ear infection. It’s brutal. If your child has never had one, here’s what you have to look forward to…or at least, what happens in our house:
- Your baby will randomly stop sleeping in the middle of the night. But, for the first night (or maybe two nights, depending on how long the infection festers before it takes hold), you’ll chalk it up to a head cold or teething, or something of the like.
- Then, you’ll be really tired and starting to realize that your baby’s getting sick. But you’re still kind of hoping that they’re going to miraculously getting better. You try to put him down for a morning nap. And it’s a no go…within twenty minutes of putting them down, they’re up, crying for you. The afternoon nap is the same. Suddenly you realize – it’s the ear pressure. And it’s an ear infection.
- As fast as your body will possibly move you’re simultaneously signing into the online appointment system and getting on the phone with your doctor’s office, because we all know what a pain it’s going to be (not to mention the extra cost tacked on) if you can’t get in during the day and end up in urgent care. You get an appointment twenty minutes later, start warming up the car, check your wallet for insurance cards (in case they somehow mysteriously ended up in the pocket of your jeans or a different purse the last time you were in, and load up the car.
- Suddenly, something happens to get in your way. It never fails – either you have a pet emergency, a diaper blow out, or, in my case yesterday, you realize that no one’s been through the plow your driveway from the ten inch snowfall that came through the night before. Which means there’s a three foot snowpile at the bottom of your driveway, standing in the way of you and that very precious LAST appointment at the doctor’s office. Of course, you gun it, thinking that your big SUV can punch through the snow. And then you get stuck on top of the pile, have to call your husband to tell him that you did something really dumb AND call the doctor’s office to BEG for a later, squeeze in appointment because you’re an idiot who just got…stuck…at the end of their own driveway.
- Somewhere during the hour and a half you’re waiting for help, your child falls asleep sitting up in their carseat, reinforcing that yes, he does have an ear infection. And if you don’t make it to the doctor for meds soon, you’re going to be up all night while your baby sleeps on you sitting up.
- So finally your car gets plowed out, or the diaper gets changed, or the dog mess gets cleaned up and you get out the door. Halfway to the doctor’s office you realize…you never brushed your teeth today. Oops.
- So you get to the doctor, go through the process, and it’s confirmed. Baby’s got an ear infection. Well, this time baby’s got a double ear infection AND an ear canal infection. So let’s schlep it to the pharmacy.
- Upon arriving at the pharmacy, you check in right away so that they can get started on your prescription. You do a little shopping, come back and are promptly informed that while the regular ear infection medicine is ready to go, the “new” ear drops are going to be $160 AFTER insurance. Light at the end of the tunnel: they can call the doctor to see if there’s an alternative ear drop. Now, let me clarify that if I have to spend money on a prescription for my kid, I’m going to do it, obviously. BUT if there’s a way for us to get the same effect from a medicine that is going to cost us 1/16th of the price, I’m going to try to get it.
- The first time you go through this process with your baby, you learn that the ear infection medicine doesn’t actually kick in for a while. So you prepare yourself for another sleepless night, and stock up on Children’s Motrin and Tylenol, so that you can give your baby some relief. You still end up awake around 2 am, watching Little Einsteins while the meds kick back in to let your baby sleep, but know he’ll sleep through the night tomorrow. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel! We’re almost there!
And that, my friends, is the story of pretty much every ear infection in our house. Since this is little Ricky’s sixth one of the year, I feel like a pro. We’re at the point where it’s time to sit down with the ENT to talk about tubes…which is next on my list of to-do’s.
So now we’re off to the pharmacy to pick up his NEW ear drops and get little man a Jamba Juice for being such a good sport.
Tell me in the comments: did your baby ever have ear infections and/or ear tubes?