Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012: Attack of the Middle Ear

Most kids just got peanut butter cups, lollipops and chocolate bars on Halloween. Brayden got a hospital date for ear surgery.

This was a long time in the making. For many of you long-time blog devotees, you may recall such memorable and popular posts as Ear Infection Haiku and I’ll Take Baby Ailments for $1,000, Alex. In short, Brayden’s had more than his fair share of ear issues, and it’s time to take the treatment (or prevention) of them in a new direction. But before I get too far into all that, let me back up and go over the highlights of what is generally supposed to be one of the most fun days of the year.

The good news was that Brayden’s amazing pediatrician’s office pulled some strings and got us a rush appointment with Dr. Dooley at Nevada ENT & Associates. The bad news was that it was scheduled on Halloween at Noon which is the start of nap time in toddler land. That was my first clue the day was going to be interesting.

The second clue revealed itself the moment we got to the appointment—they were running more than an hour behind. Now I had an ear achy, overtired toddler on my hands. By the time we actually got in with the doctor, Brayden was nearing meltdown mode. He made it through the testing fairly well but lost it afterward while Dr. Dooley was explaining Brayden’s condition and the need for tubes.

In layman’s terms, Brayden’s middle ears are filled with liquid that won’t go away, causing pressure, pain and reduced hearing. The doctor is going to drain his ears, insert the tubes and evaluate his adenoids for possible removal later. Considering how bad it is, the doctor’s office called the hospital and expedited the surgery so Brayden will have the procedure this Thursday, November 8. I know getting tubes is a very common thing, and, if you know me at all, you know that I am very action-driven so I welcome the opportunity to make this better. BUT…the mommy in me is nervous and hopes little B gets through this with as little pain and discomfort as possible.

I walked out of Nevada ENT with a sobbing toddler, armfuls of paperwork and a heavy mommy heart.

But, doctor’s appointment aside, it was still Halloween gosh darn it and we are going to have some fun today if it’s the end of me!

Fast forward to that night, and it was time to take Brayden trick or treating. Brayden had an adorable Thomas the Train costume*, and, seeing as Thomas is his #1 favorite character, you’d think dressing up it would be a snap. Not so much. He would only agree to wear the conductor’s cap and instructed me to carry around the train portion. If we showed up at your doorstep, this is what we looked like:

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Brayden had so much fun going door to door. He would make these sweet, little two-year-old knocks on the door and shout, “Trick or treat!” Adorable.

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Part way through our evening, it dawned on me that instead of ferrying around a brightly colored little train, I was trick or treating with my child who was dressed in black pants and a dark gray hoodie. We could have been the poster family for dangerous Halloween outfits you probably shouldn’t wear while walking on the side of the road in the dark. But oh well.

Near the end of our night, I took the obligatory single parent portrait of B and me by holding out camera and hoping for the best.

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When we got home, I immediately dropped my sticky, gooey, sugar baby into the tub. Then, during teeth brushing time, I realized that the child who wouldn’t wear the $30 Thomas the Train costume I bought him was wearing Thomas PJs while squeezing out Thomas toothpaste. Apparently, I should have just saved my money and taken him out in what he wears to bed!

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I hope your Halloween was a fun one and did not include hospital dates or eschewed costumes. And it goes without saying that I will keep you up to date on Brayden’s surgery and his recovery from it in next week’s post. Please keep Brayden in your thoughts on November 8, if you can.

* This is a picture of what Brayden’s Thomas the Train costume was supposed to look like. I’m pretty sure they have a well-behaved English child modeling it.

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