It has been an exciting afternoon.
For the past four or five days Meredith has been asking us to constantly repeat what we just told her (“What’d you say?”). She has also been asking us to turn up the volume on the computer when she’s playing games and turn up the video volume. She’s been watching a lot of videos lately because she’s been lying on the couch, sick with a fever and cough since Friday. I blamed this sudden hearing loss on being plugged up from her cold.
Today, despite the fact that her cold has subsided, she still constantly asked me to repeat myself, “What’d you say?” I wondered if she had wax buildup. So, I sat her down and swabbed out her ears. When I got to her left ear, I felt something hard lodged there.
I tugged on hear ear lobe and saw a white object stuck there in her ear canal. It was far enough down that I couldn’t touch it with my pinky. I wondered if it was a piece of cotton from the q-tip. I lightly tapped on it with a bobby pin and felt that it was hard as a rock.
So I called her pediatrician and made an appointment. Meanwhile I looked online and saw that Meredith was suffering all the classic symptoms of “foreign body in the ear.”
I asked her if she had put anything in her ear. She denied it but may have forgotten since it probably happened more than five days ago.
I recalled that she had recently broken a bead necklace. I thought I got all the pieces but maybe I hadn’t after all and she put one in her ear, thinking it was an earring or something.
Our pediatrician was unable to remove the object from her ear. So he referred me to an ENT specialist. I called them at 4:30 p.m. as we left the pediatrician’s and the ENT agreed to stay late for us. I cannot even believe how nice this ENT and his whole staff was towards us! (If you live in Indianapolis and need an ENT, let me know!)
On the way over there, Meredith didn’t seem nervous. Although she was curious why she had to see yet another doctor. I realized she was a little nervous, though, when she told me, “Mom, actually I can hear pretty good!” (In other words, a second doctor isn’t necessary, right?)
Meredith did great. She enjoyed all the attention from the nurses. She sat in the big chair and cocked her head to allow the doctor to pry and poke at her ear with his fancy tools.
After about ten minutes, he frowned (never a good sign!) and said it wasn’t working. He said it would be too painful for him to dig any further without giving Meredith some anesthesia. He said we should probably meet at the hospital the following day and the anesthesiologist would give her some meds through a mask and he could work on it again.
As soon as I heard the words “anesthesiologist” and “hospital,” I asked him if he could please think of something else or at least try for a little longer. We do self-pay with a high-deductible insurance plan and I could see dollar signs swirling in my head.
He kindly agreed and he put her on her back, which he hadn’t tried yet.
After only another two minutes, he smiled and said, “I have it!”
It wasn’t a bead from a necklace after all. It looks like something you would shoot from an air-soft gun or something. I have no idea how she got a hold of this!!
Here is the little boogar that caused all the ruckus today!