Thursday, May 31, 2007

To Kill A Dust Mite

Cookie has now finished two rounds of Omnicef, 2 shots, and now on a round of a combination sulfur drug for an ear infection that will not go away. It has now been two months that she has had the same ear infection.

On Tuesday, we went to an ENT who specializes in chronic ear infections. (There are only 35 pediatric ENTs in the country, and there are NONE in the state of KY.) So we went to the best we have in town. He was extremely professional, and described the risks of continuing with antibiotic therapy, as well as the risks of the next treatment to consider - surgery for placement of tubes. The risks of surgery, and the relative ineffectiveness of it scare me. Of course, the risks of scaring and hearing loss of constant infections, or the development of antibiotic resistance scares me as well. Tube placement does not eliminate the possibility of future infections. It merely seeks to prevent the common breeding ground, which is the fluid in the Eustachian tubes. He put it this way:

Imagine your garage is full of gasoline-soaked rags. That would definitely put you at great risk of a house fire. Take away the rags, and you take much of the risk. But you can't completely prevent a house fire altogether. And that's the common misconception of parents who come in almost demanding ear tube placements. They think it is a miracle cure. We could go through this, and she could still have chronic ear infections. It's all one big risk. It is surgery, no matter how you look at it. It involves putting a tiny child under. It scares me to death. I waited so long for this precious child, and the risk of anything happening to her is unthinkable.

Still, I know it may very well be what we must do for her best interest.

We go back on the 5th to see if her infection is gone enough to actually schedule surgery. We also have the option of waiting and watching, and only choosing surgery if the infection comes back again, even after this sulfur drug treatment.

Allergy testing is not an option, because even if a battery of tests would reveal something now, in about 4-6 months, her quickly developing immune system would have changed again. The doctor recommended we not do testing, as it would be unnecessary stress for her. His one big recommendation was to see if we can avoid having her in daycare. Um, no can do doc. Thanks. Anyway, there are just as many SAHMs and SAHDs whose kids get ear infections than ones at daycare.

In the meantime, I am on a mission.

I have allergies. I know this. I take Claritin, Singulair, Nasacort, Patanol, and use a saline spray every day just to avoid getting more frequent sinus infections. Yet I do stupid things. See, I had these pillows that I loved to sleep with. They were so old I am embarrassed to even admit it. I had put them in thick slipcovers just to try to convince myself it was OK. Then at the doctor's office I read about dust mites. Um, it is likely that the weight of my old pillows was now at least 10% dust mites and droppings.

So, I threw them away yesterday and bought new pillows and allergy and anti-dust mite covers for them. I bought a new zippered cover for the mattress as well as a new washable mattress pad. I sprayed everything with an anti-dust mite spray. I don't know if it will do a lick of good. I did not sleep well without my favorite pillows. *sniff sniff*

Still, do you know how flippin' hard it is to maneuver a king-sized mattress BY YOURSELF? I feel like an idiot. The mattress is all sprayed and leaning against the wall. The dust-ruffle is gone (just the word "dust ruffle" should have clued me in that this was not good for someone like me and Cookie). I had hoped to finish all this before Michael got home and we went to pick up the Cookie. But alas, I got so exhausted, I decided to blog about it instead of actually finishing the project. This is the story of my life.

Anyone else have any recommendations for getting rid of dust mites?

On the job front, I picked up 2 classes to teach at the community college this fall. One may not make, but the other likely will. So, I'll have my night class at the university to teach as well as at least one at the community college. That will at least pay the mortgage. This is good news. So, if I don't end up finding full-time work, I'll at least be able to contribute to the household and keep my finger in the working-class pot. Adjuncts don't make much money, but it will be a little to keep us afloat.

It's been a nice day here alone in the house. I have no regrets, and that feels awesome.


Micky said...

For me, having my Cherubin tubes inserted was the best thing. I knew it was not going to eliminate the ear infections at all, but it was better than doing nothing. My child had eternal ear infections since he was three months old, he would be put in a lot of antibiotic and have shots, and still not get rid of them. The worse thing was that he would get real high fever to the point of having seizures. With the antibiotics he would fine only a week at the month and get it again. He got his tubes back on Feb., since then, he has had only one flare, his speech has improved and has more energy.

Julie said...

My Sugarbean had tubes put in and the surgery was NO problem- she didn't miss a beat- she had adnoids out at the same time- and seriously- you would have never known she had surgery the next day. Now- she went to live with gm a week later so I am not positive how they helped but the surgery was no sweat.

read my blog- i have GREAT news!!!

Dream Mommy said...

Smiley had frequent ear infections before he went to daycare! Tubes were simple and helped tremendously. He had so much fluid poor thing could barely hear! It only took about 5 min and they just give them a little gas(no intubation). ENT said it takes longer to put them to sleep than to do the procedure!

Of course, we spent 3 hours going round and round with the hospital and social services about who was gonna sign the consent forms, but that's another story!

baggage said...

Snowbaby had them done. It was quick and easy. They don't really put them to sleep like major surgery. No tube down their throat or anything. More like if you were having a tooth pulled. She was back in 15 minutes, eating within the hour and playing by the end of the day. And she feels much much better now.

cloudscome said...

My oldest son had tubes put in at 18 mos. and it helped him tremendously. Now my two year old has been referred to a pediatric ENT (I didn't know there were only 35 in the country! WOW I feel blessed!) for tubes. My chiropractor is against it but the ENT said about the same thing yours said. I am going to wait to see how we do this summer when we are on vacation (I am a teacher and they are in daycare during the school year). If we have more infections, tubes in August.