09 March 2011

And then there were tubes.

First, I just want to say that you guys rock my socks. The blog moved all the way up to #11 yesterday. Seriously? You guys are amazing! LOVE you.

So Bob and I left work early yesterday to take Carter to AI DuPont Children's Hospital to meet with an ENT doctor. Honestly? That hospital is amazing. This isn't the first time that we've been to DuPont, however. My poor little 5 month old Carter Man was there when he had RSV and everyone was so wonderful with him {and me!}
They should not have to make hospital gowns that small :(

Anyway, back to the ENT appointment.... we were referred to AI DuPont once again last week when Carter had his 4th ear infection in 2 months. After being on two different antibiotics for 20 out of 30 days, the fluid was still in his ears at his last pedi appointment. Sigh.

So yesterday, we met with Dr. Barth in the ENT department, and guys? He was awesome. Awesome. If anyone needs to take their baby to an ENT and you live in the Philadelphia area... go to him. He was so nice and calming and funny and both kids {especially flirty little Miss Brynn} loved him. After conducting a thorough physical and Q&A, he said the words that we were expeciting to hear: "Carter needs tubes." The fluid is just not draining and it will continue to stay there and get infected time and time again. Dr. Barth explained the procedure and it calmed my nerves that he would be doing it himself.

After talking it over with Bob last night {and trying not to cry thinking of my baby under general anesthesia} we decided that this was the best option for Carter. I'm calling this morning to schedule the surgery for as soon as humanely possible. I will keep you all posted on exactly when it will take place and I'll be asking for your thoughts and prayers on that day.

I know that this is a fairly common occurrence in babies/toddlers... care to share your positive experiences with the procedure?? Have you noticed a huge difference in ear infections afterwords? How about with speech? I'd love to hear from you!

PS- Brynn's 9 month check up is this afternoon, so I'll post an update later about my big girl's stats =)

PSS- Carter weighed 40.6lbs {100%} and measured nearly 38in {95%} at the appointment yesterday. ZOMG.

PSSS- {is there such a thing?} I lost another pound! Since I've been on the Medifast program for one full week, I thought I'd let you know that my Week 1 Total = -4lbs. I'm very happy with that amount... I think it's a healthy amount to lose right now and I can only hope that I continue to progress that way. Thanks for the motivation everyone!

#11!!!!! Love you guys! xoxo
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Bri said...

My 3-year-old had tubes inserted in September. He was averaging an ear infection once a month. I was very anxious about the anethesia, but the procedure is very quick.

We noticed improvements in Landen immediately - he could hear better. He was enunciating and speaking better. His balance was better. He was better behaved because he wasn't experiencing so much discomfort. And he hasn't had an ear infection since.

I firmly believe ear tubes are the greates contribution to Pediatric medicine. So worth it!

Southern Wifey said...

my niece, who is 4yrs old, just had this procedure done about 2 months ago. Before they put the tubes in, I swear she got an ear infection every other week and was starting to not be able to hear much unless you said it very loudly. My sister was nervous about the whole anethesia as well, but knew it would be the best thing for her. So they did the procedure, everything turned out fine, my niece has only gotten sick once since the tubes were put in, and she is able to hear alot better. Even saying to my sister "mommy whisper, I can hear you," while still lying on the hospital bed recovering.
all the best luck with you and your little boy.

Matt & Sabrina said...

My baby boy had tubes at 9 months. He pretty much had ear infections nonstop during the months of March and April, so it was a relief to finally hear the ENT say he needed tubes.

The procedure was relatively quick. Marshall cried a lot after he woke up, but he drank his bottle like a champ (then started crying again). They told us he wasn't in pain, but I am not sure I believed it, so we gave him tylenol that afternoon. He was calm by the time we left the hospital and playing happily that afternoon.

We're 21 months past the surgery at this point and the first tube just fell out a few weeks ago. He did have 1 ear infection 7 months after the surgery, but they gave us drops and it wasn't a big deal. All in all, the tubes have been amazing for Marshall!

Joy said...

Good luck, little (or should I say BIG!) Carter! I'm sure everything will turn out alright! I've known some kids in the day care I used to work at that had tubes and afterwards it was so much better for them!

Anonymous said...

Aww poor guy :-( Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

My son had tubes at a year old after having numerous ear infections. Another ear infection would appear within a week of being off an antibiotic. I'm here to tell ya, it was the BEST thing we did. He has not had a single ear infection since getting the tubes! After coming out of surgery he was a little groggy and "out of sorts", but we were home within hours with a happy little boy!
Good luck! I would TOTALLY do it again, if we ever needed to.

Allison said...

My little one got tubes in January when he was 8 monhs old. He started getting infections at 2 months, and had 10 before we decided to get the tubes. I was a mess, he did great. The hardest part for us was the 6 hour fast beforehand, but C sould be fine being older.

I will tell you that I am glad we did it, but the tubes themselves have been a nightmare. We are a very rare case of having the surgeon say "oh wow" at the post op appointment to relaize that both tubes were completely blocked after 2 weeks. It is NOW taken care of, but the post op period has not be an easy road for my baby. Like I said, super rare, and even with that, I would still get the tubes (knowing we can treat future ear issues with drops instead of oral antibiotics).

Be prepared coming out from anethesia is difficult for the little ones, otherwise he will do great and you will be so happy!

Andrea said...

No experience with the tubes, but I just want to say good luck! I've hears its very quick and easy, and it looks like your litle guy is a trooper anyway :)

Olivia's Mommy said...

I know countless kids that have had tubes, I think all three of my cousins kids, and a bunch of friends kids, and it's helped so much! He will do great, and so won't you! And no more ear infections! I am sure you say when it's scheduled, I will be thinking of you! He did so good at the Doc's Olivia crys when we pull down the street...but she's finally getting better!

sara said...

No advice here, just thinking good thoughts for carter!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni!
Lil' Carter is going to be just fine and soooo much healthier and happier in the long run. My daughter had them at 14 months and just had them put in a second time at 30 months (the one has clogged and stopped working). She is remarkably better and finally the ear infection have stopped, no more antibiotics, yeah! With some caution, he'll be able to bathe and have fun in the pool with no problems. Good Luck! Lara

Erica said...

I actually have a question about the Medifast. Do you find yourself feeling hungry? I need to drop 8 to 10 lbs.

Already thinking and praying for Carter and your whole family!

LOVE your blog. :)

Toni said...

Thoughts and prayers for you guys! Carter will be fine. My nephew had tubes put in a few years ago and it really helped with his ear infections. The procedure went smoothly.

And I'm sure you're very thankful to have some great childrens hospitals in this area!

Christy said...

My son Noah had tubes when he was 3. He actually had his tonsils and adnoids taken out and tubes put in all at the same time. He did great with them. He has had a couple of ear infections since getting the tubes but they are not as bad and we just use drops to clear them up.

Liz said...

Tubes have been amazing for my little guy. We were super nervous about our son's surgery ... Seeing that he was having it 4 1/2 hours before we had to catch a flight from Utah to North Carolina. Everything went smooth. He flew great and we enjoyed a 9 day family reunion at the beach with swimmer putty in his ears and a neoprene band around his head. He has had his tubes since June and after having them placed his speech changed literally over night. He talks non stop and carries on full conversations. He has only had one ear infection since his tubes which was easily cured with an amox and ear drop antibiotics combo. The doctor attributed the ear infection to a croup infection that was going on at the same time. Tubes were.seriously one of the most wonderful things we did for our sons health. I know it probably won't help - because it didn't for me, but know that he'll do great. It will be more stress and heartache for you and Bob. He'll come through with flying colors and you will be so grateful for the reduction in colds, medications, late nights, doctor visits and fevers. Good luck Carter man!

The Mrs./The Mom said...

When I was a surgical tech, i actually assisted with these surgeries. From the OR standpoint- It's very quick and easy and Carter won't know a thing. The hospital I worked at (NJ) had movies playing for the kids which distracted them (most of the time) from getting the anesthesia (which is absolutely painless). We also suited a parent up (usually the mom) and let them be with the child until they were under- hopefully you will have similar experiences at this hospital. He'll be back in your arms before you know it!

You guys will be in my T&P's!

SSG said...

Hey Jenni!
Long-time follower, infrequent commenter :)
I had tubes as a child, and I also worked in an ENT office prior to going to PA school (physician assistant).
I will tell you that my experience with my tubes is that since I had them inserted when I was 3, I have only had 2 ear infections since then and I am now 30 yrs old. I also had speech difficulties (related to not being able to hear because of fluid), and those have resolved. I still get fluid in my ears when I have a cold, but it doesn't get infected anymore. I also have problems hearing in large, loud places (i.e. gyms, cafeterias), but I'm not entirely sure that is related to ear infections/tubes anyway.
As far as the procedure, it is very simple. If adults have tubes, they do not even recieve anesthesia. Kids get general because they would not be able to sit still, and it is too anxiety provoking for them. The doc uses a very very small little knife to make a hole in the eardrum, and then inserts a tube that looks like a little thread spool or bobbin, and that is it! The tubes don't stay in forever, you'll probably find it on his pillow someday down the line.
If you have any questions, I would be happy to help, my email is babyshmizz at gmail dot com


Unknown said...

I don't usually post, but I do follow your blog (love it by the way!) I just wanted to tell you that I had horrible ear infections as a child, and I had tubes put in my ears when I was 5 years old back in 1988. I haven't had an ear infection since. =-)

Olivia said...

When I was three back in 1994, I had to have tubes. My mother tells me that the only reason they knew I had repeated ear infections was because I would lose my balance. After I got the tubes, I got one ear infection years later once my tubes fell out. Thats it. I bet Carter will do great! The only thing I remember from the surgery was being around a bunch of nurses and doctors and a doctor putting a weird smelling mask on my face and telling me to count down. It wasn't scary. Sending good luck vibes your way.

Tracy Eyles said...

I also had tubes when I was five. After missing over 50 days of school and over ten ear infections over a five month period, they chose that course. I had the tubes removed when I was eight and haven't had an infection since. Good luck with your little one;)

Amy said...


I previously worked at CHOP in the ENT dept for a few years. Tubes are going to do wonders for him, trust me. I know its scary, but it is a quick procedure and he will feel better in no time. He won't have any more ear infections, and he will be your happy little guy again.

Good luck and let us know when it is.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenni, it's Roxpup from TB :)
I had tubes in my ears twice when I was little... I couldn't hear well at all before the first set and because of that, the tubes made an IMMENSE difference. I get ear infections BAD (screaming child in the emergency room anyone, yeah, that was me), and IF i got an ear infection post-tubes, they were much more minor and were easily treated.
With all that being said, I wish I had the tubes earlier than when I got them (5/6 and like 11/12) because I have some permament issues with the ear that got infected the most. I have a very hard time hearing when theres a lot of background noise, I can hardly hear deep voices of men, and I also read lips to help me understand what people are saying. If there is a TV show on and it's being narrated by someone, if I can't see that person, I need closed captions to be able to make out some of the words. Good for you for doing what's best for Carter, you wont regret it :) :)

Linsley said...

I don't have experience with tubes but I do with duPont. My daughter has had four surgeries there and we've been so happy to be a part of that hospital. When they do the surgery they do everything to make you comfortable and someone comes out to keep you updated throughout the surgery. Also, get the cookies in the cafeteria - they are awesome!

stay@homedad said...

Jenni, I am a new follower from Bloggy Moms. Just a tidbit of information.......I have seen two infants, one of which was my own, not have to have tubes put in their ears. Chiropractic treatments work wonders. The first time I saw it work was when I was growing up as a teenager. A cousin of mine was roughly around maybe a year, it's been a while so I don't remember right off hand. Anyway, she had numerous ear infections, so her parents decided to get the tubes put in. My father and my family encouraged them to take her to a chiropractor. They were very reluctant at first, but after just one or two adjustments, the tubes just fell out. When they took her back to the pediatrician, they didn't say anything about the chiropractic treatments. The Pediatrician called it "spontaneous remission(sp??)". The next time she started to get an ear infection, 6 mos. later give or take a month, they took her back to the chiropractor and the adjustment knocked it out within a week. Now that I am older and have a daughter of my own, I did the same thing. Even though I was raised going to the chiropractor, I have to say I was a little nervous about my daughter being adjusted, but each time she got an ear infection....between the adjustments and some herbs, minerals, and vitamins she got better. There was only one time that we had to use the prescription antibiotics. I'm not saying to not go and get tubes put in, but if you are concerned about it, try a chiropractor. Just be aware that like any other profession, there are bad ones out there. Do some research and call around your area. Hope this helps.

Jen said...

My lil one is going in for tubes at AI on the 7th of April. The ENT doctors up there are great, made me feel so much better about the whole thing!

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