Monday, January 25, 2010

golden nuggets

For the past eighteen months, whenever Liam has had a doctor's appointment- be it a well baby visit or a sick visit- I've been told he has an awful lot of wax in his ears, to which I have always replied, "Is there anything I should be doing about that?" I was consistently told no, there's no safe way to irrigate the ear canal, and I was always like, so why are you telling me how waxy he is? and they're all blah blah blah and I'm like ?????? and they're like, have a nice day!

For at least a week, Liam has been tugging at and poking at one of his ears. It started just at nighttime before bed and I thought he was simply stalling because he doesn't like going to bed. More recently I'd ask him what's wrong and he'd say, "I'm fine." There was an absence of any other symptoms like coughing, congestion or a fever so I let it go until yesterday, when Liam was touching his ear all day and saying it hurt. I got him in to the doctor late this morning expecting some kind of stealth ear infection.

Once again, when the doctor peeked inside of Liam's ears I got the wax comment. This time it was, "Whoa! Got some wax?" I didn't even ask this time. I was just like whatever, at least I have a small co-pay for this visit. Then the doctor went on to say Liam has so much wax built up that it's all packed in and he can't even see his eardrum. So he used a little tool (I just tried Googling it to see if this tool has a name but I ended up with some gross earwax shots so I'll leave it at that) to dig a tunnel to check out the eardrum. The eardrum looked good- no infection!- but he gave me two options about the wax:

1) Buy an over-the-counter liquid to dry up the earwax
2) Flush out the wax in-office, same day

I chose number 2 for quicker results for Liam's relief. And HOLY MOLY. I cannot believe what came out of my son's ears!

There were several flecks of wax floating in the little cup that caught the water as it came out, plus a few pea-sized gobs of yellowy-black wax. The SIZE OF PEAS!



It was so gross and fascinating. I didn't even know there was ROOM for that much wax inside of Liam's cute little ears.

It was not a comfortable procedure for Liam; I held him close to me and he quivered and cried but he was so good and did not try to get away. Almost as soon as it was over he looked at me and said, "Mumma, I feel better already!" This evening as I was tucking him into bed, after I read him a few stories he told me his favorite part of the day was going to the doctor and fixing his ear.

From now on I'll be dropping peroxide into Liam's ears weekly to prevent the future need for wax-flushing. Most importantly, I don't want Liam in that kind of pain and discomfort again if it's something I can prevent.

Also, I cannot get the image of those wax nuggets OUT OF MY HEAD!

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