We had 5 ear infections in 6 months.
He’s been on more antibiotics than I can keep track of and surely this isn’t a good thing, right?
He never complained about his ears hurting, but slowly stopped listening to me. I assumed it was because he was 2 going on 15 and being a jerk… but instead, I’m the jerk because it turns out he just couldn’t hear me. Or rather, as the doc said, hearing me was like hearing something through a jar of snot.
His speech, normally exceptional for a kid his age, was getting garbled. Coming out more like a drunken man mumbling to himself than anything we were used to.
It was time for tubes.
I never had ANY qualms about putting in tubes. The signs were just too clear to ignore and when he was getting infection after infection I knew it was the right way to go. But still, it was surgery. On my baby. But we made the plans, scheduled the surgery and headed into the hospital at an ungodly hour, dragging a hungry child (not allowed to eat after midnight) who was interested in what we were all doing there, but more interested in playing Angry Birds on my phone.
And because he wasn’t scared, neither was I.
He was cool as a cucumber, changing into his little tiger hospital gown, snuggling up in the recliner with the new Teddy they gave him and holding onto the phone, taking pictures of me the whole time. He laughed with the nurses, showed them his pictures and demanded that we remove his pull-up because “BIG boys don’t wear pull ups Mommy”.
And then a cup of Versed (to keep him calm), a nurse with a warm blanket and he was whisked away.
I was in shock a little bit that all of a sudden he was out of sight, gone from our arms. And for that first time I felt a shimmer of nerves, a little bit of OMG where’s my kid. Because as a parent, you can be as calm as you need to be in front of your children. You can be strong, and protective and the force that keeps the monsters under the bed at bay. But sometimes, even though you know that things are going to be fine, that fear starts to invade good sense. Lucky for me the procedure lasted all of ten minutes and he was in recovery before we knew it.
It went well they said. He’s still coming out of the sedation but he did great. He was laughing and joking with us up until we gave him the anesthesia.
I was so proud of how brave he was. So proud to see him snuggling with the nurse when we went back into recovery, wondering what the heck was going on, but no tears. So happy to see him, a little bit woozy, but still my baby boy, all grumbles about wanting his friends and wanting to go home.
How do we do this as parents? How do we give birth to children and let that huge part of our heart walk around outside our chests, in a world full of dangers and things that we can’t control? Gah.
That was Thursday and he’s fine now… and back to his almost 3 year old self.
God help me.
Does your kiddo need tubes? It’s an INSANELY easy procedure and can be incredibly helpful. For information on what to expect, go to WebMD.