The past few weeks have been quite the roller coaster ride of fever, congestion and medication. All four of us have had some form of illness, but we're finally in the clear. I went back to work yesterday, and Gracie finally went back to the sitter's house this morning. But not before we experienced just one more moment of drama and suspense.
Gracie still had a fever Sunday night, so we called Trevor's mom to see if she could take a day off from work to keep her for us. She agreed, and we made plans to go to work. Right before bed, Gracie told me that her ear hurt. No crying, no whining, just a simple statement. She had been slightly congested for days, but the MD had checked her ears last Monday and they were clear. I figured that she might be getting a bit of an infection, and decided I would call the MD in the morning for advice.
My first clue that something was amiss came when I was brushing her hair Monday morning, and the brush snagged on something in her hair. This is not unusual, because Gracie frequently gets food in her hair when she eats, so I grabbed wet washcloth to clean her hair. That's when I noticed the crust all over her right ear. When I checked it the night before, it was clean and pink. What I was looking at in the morning was not clean and pink. I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that I called the MD immediately to make an appointment.
Trevor's mom called me after the appointment to inform me that Gracie had a ruptured eardrum from an ear infection, and that's why all the gunk had drained out. Apparently the worst of it was over because it's the pressure that hurts, and once the eardrum perforates, the pain pretty much stops.
Well, thank goodness for small favors.
This is not the first time that Gracie's superhuman pain tolerance has delayed a diagnosis. She has had one other ear infection before, and the only reason it was caught because I took her to the MD for a completely unrelated issue. The MD seemed really surprised that she had not been complaining of pain, but she had never said a word.
Another time, she broke out in a rash all over, and when the MD diagnosed her with scarlet fever I couldn't believe that she had not complained of a sore throat. Scarlet fever is a rash associated with strep throat, and she had a pretty nasty case. I had strep throat once, and drinking water felt like swallowing razor blades. Gracie was sitting in the MD's office munching away at a package of crackers as though there were nothing in the world wrong with her!
I suppose all that pain tolerance will serve her well in childbirth, but for now I wish she would tell me when it hurts so I can provide adequate medical care before her stinking eardrum perforates from the pressure of the infection!!! More importantly, adequate medical attention before my child reaches a point that looks for all the world like I don't take care of her!
So now we are back to our normal schedules with the added routine of antibiotics and ear drops morning and night. Did I mention that she hates the eardrops? Trevor's mom gave her the first round, and she did fine because she had no frame of reference, but last night Trevor had to hold her down so I could get them in. This morning, I caught her before she woke up, but that will only work once with Grace. Tomorrow morning I'm pretty sure that no matter how early I go into her room, she will be sitting quietly on her bed, fully dressed and waiting for me. "Fool me once, shame on you....fool me twice...."
It's hard to ever fool Gracie more than once! Any suggestion from all of you ear infection veterans for getting the drops in without a straitjacket and sedatives? She loves to take oral medication...she actually asks for it...but these ear drops are going to do me in before it's all said and done.