Sunday, August 17, 2014

The ear saga continues

I had blogged two weeks or so ago about M's surgery.  He did fine.

After a phone call and email from me, and then another email from D directly to his HR people, we discovered that the children's medical center, which we were told by the insurance company is not in network, is not only in-network, it is the 1st tier so we shouldn't be looking at an outrageous amount of money since we've met our family deductible.

Which is fortunate because it seems our health-care dollars are going to be used for awhile longer on this ear situation.

When I took M a week ago for his post-op appointment he still had infection in the ear.  The ENT said it wasn't much pus and mucus, but it wasn't dry and clear like he wanted it to be.  So he said to do the ear drops (different from the ones we've always used before following surgery) for 10 days instead of 7 and to pick up an oral antibiotic.  And to come back in two weeks for another check.  Dr. B said he was going to keep close tabs on M until this whole thing is good and gone.

Friday was the last night for drops, and his ear is still draining.  He has been on Bactrim since Monday.  Dr. B said if this doesn't do it then we'll have to do ear flushing with boric acid or some such thing, but at the point he told me there was still infection I went directly and without stopping at Go to collect by $200 into panic mode, similar to what I had been in during vacation in Florida.  Anticipating the worst....more surgeries, likelihood of deafness, potential for death.

You know, typical Carrie thinking.

I decided to go ahead and get M tested for allergies, which we'll do this coming Friday.  Four sets of ear tubes in four years, plus adenoid and tonsil removal, and he is STILL having problems.  As much as I hate the idea of allergy testing and shots, I'm also ready to see if that might get us out of our family groove of a surgery every.single.year.  

M is most certainly his mother's son when it comes to Eustachian tube disfunction.  As a kid, I had at least 3 sets of tubes, surgery to repair a perforated ear drum, and allergy shorts for ten years.  As an adult, I think I've been on shots now for almost 15 years.

Of course, while I'm wrangling with all this, stewing with mother worry, I visited with a mom friend who had moved to DC but is now back in my area.  Her toddler has had pneumonia about 3 times since December, had brain surgery, and is believed to have a mitochondrial disease that could put his life expectancy at around 15 years of age.  Oh, and her husband is stationed in a tiny corner of the world.

Hearing about her son's medical issues certainly gave me pause and made me feel thankful that M is as healthy as he is, but I had to stop myself when that voice started to suggest I shouldn't worry, that my problems aren't really real or significant or bad enough to let them bother me.  That I had no right to feel worried because on the continuum of problems mine are minor.

I had to shut the voice down.

I had to remind the voice that my children's illnesses, however minor, are still worrisome to me because they are my children.  That while M is dealing with this ear thing, I've also been dealing with G, his OT, therapist visits and sensory problems and paying for those.   That I have my own underlying anxiety issues that make every stress feel more stressful.  That I feel what I feel.  That other people having it worse doesn't negate my own experience.

That hearing about my friend's son doesn't mean I need to add guilt to my list of feelings of the moment.

That it can offer me perspective.

No comments: