Thursday, April 21, 2011

gratitude and good ear news

Wednesday and Thursday Gratitude

*  I took Paul to the ENT this morning to have the fluid checked in his right ear.  The last check was March 22nd in the pediatrician's office, and the fluid was clear, thin like, and not infected.  The ENT doctor, the most friendly doctor we've ever encountered, couldn't even see the eardrums.  He told Paul his ear wax was so thick it was like having peanut butter covering both his ear drums.  "No wonder he failed two hearing tests!  No one can hear with that much peanut butter in there!"

He took us to another room where he proceeded to look through a microscope and suck all the wax out of both Paul's ears.  As we walked down the hall for a hearing test after that, Paul commented, "Wow!  Every body sounds so loud!  Even my own voice."

He passed his hearing test easily and his eardrums looked great.  He's cured!  We're so thankful!

Now, three hours later, Paul continues to comment on how loud everything sounds.  Hee! Hee!  We're all tickled at him.  He has a very loud voice, which gets on everyone's nerves.  Maybe now that he can hear, he'll naturally tone that down?

Doctor said Paul has a definite 'allergy shiner" look to his eyes, and he also noticed Paul doing mostly mouth breathing.  He said to get Zyrtec 24-hour allergy pills over the counter.  The Loratadine syrup (generic name for Claritin) I was using didn't work at all to relieve Paul's itchy eyes.  I researched children's allergies last week and learned that Paul is probably allergic to tree pollen, given the time of year.  Grass pollens haven't started in this area yet.  I also think he has indoor allergies.  I hope to obtain a referral for allergy testing sometime this year.  My husband is allergic to all the environmental allergens except mold.

My pediatrician never suggested giving Paul allergy medicine to try to clear his Eustachian (nose) tubes, so that the inner ear fluid could properly drain. Ear fluid build-up drains through the Eustachian tubes, if the tubes are functioning normally.  Having blocked tubes, from allergies or from a cold virus, causes fluid to build up, and makes it harder for it to drain once it's there.  I suggested to my pediatrician that maybe allergy medicine would help (based on my reading), and he said no, that allergies were a reason to build up fluid--not a reason that keeps fluid from draining.

I ran this by the ENT, and he agreed with me that yes, allergies need to be treated both to prevent fluid from building up, AND to help it drain once it builds up during a cold.

I need to change pediatricians!  Our guy has been practising medicine about six years.  Apparently that's not enough time to build valuable field experience.

I also asked the ENT if he thought all ear infections should be treated with antibiotics, since 80% are viral--meaning they should go away on their own. He said we can't practice "cookie cutter" medicine.  Each child needs to be treated differently--meaning we look at all the variables.  No surprise there. In a child with allergies complicating the matter, antibiotics might be appropriate. In a child with no special circumstances who doesn't appear very sick, or is symptomless, antibiotics are overkill.  A wait and see approach is better.

That's probably way more ENT information than you cared to read.  Sorry 'bout my long-windedness today!  I'm so giddy with excitement that Paul's only problem was wax!

*  In other good news, Momma and Poppa Robin began building a new nest yesterday in a corner of our neighbour's rain gutter.  They gathered all the materials from our yard and worked all day yesterday, continuing this morning.  We can't see the nest or take pictures without some difficulty, but at least we'll be able to watch the babes learn to fly, God willing.

Two robins got into a fight in our backyard, just as we sat down to dinner last night.  We remembered from our research that the females will fight other females over territory, and the males fight other males.  Of course, we have no way of knowing if these robins are the same ones who regularly nest here.  We just assume that, since they started their nest the day after losing their eggs.  Momma Robin's body must be very healthy to be able to produce eggs again so soon.  She did lay five eggs before, which is one more than normal.  Maybe she'll only lay a few this time?  Three to six eggs is the normal range, but most robins lay four at a time.

Okay then.  That's probably much more robin information than you needed or wanted?

* Another blessing for today is that the sun is out!  It's windy and 50 degrees, which isn't great, but at least we can take a walk!  Our spirits really needed a lift after so much dreariness.

* Miss Beth has a lingering nighttime cough from her April cold.  The post-nasal drip can be somewhat controlled when I hold her head higher, by cradling it in my arms on a pillow.  Late last night as I held her like this, I got teary-eyed. Overwhelmed with gratitude. She is so much sunshine!  So much sweetness! She won't be in our bed much longer.  I can tell her sleep cycles are lengthening and she'll be sleeping through the night soon, and will share a room with her sister--nursing just at naptime, bedtime or when she's overwhelmed.

How I'll miss her!  How I'll miss babies!  My life in some respects will be so much easier. She'll stop climbing cupboards, stealing from the fridge, and getting into things soon, and I'll be able to finish my thoughts, finish my tasks, and keep up a bit better around here.  Sanity will return, so to speak. But with that sanity will come some heartache.  Help me, Lord!  Help me accept change. Help me let go.

* We gave some girl clothes to my cousin's wife, whose young son just fathered a baby.  Peter asked why we were giving them away.  "What if we need them for another baby?", he asked.  I'd been carefully avoiding this question since the 2009 vasectomy, but this time I said, "Daddy decided we wouldn't be having any more babies."

Peter asked, "Is there some medicine people take to stop having babies?"   I said there was a surgery, and Daddy decided to have it.  He asked if it was painful and I said no.

I explained that letting God plan as many babies as He wants takes a lot of faith on the part of parents.  This is why most families have two or three kids, instead of six or eight or ten or twelve.  Faith is a gift, I told him.  People have different levels of faith in God's plan.  Some can let go entirely, while others need things to make sense right away.  And some people, I  told him, have medical problems that make it hard to have a lot of babies (post-partum depression, high blood pressure, history of pre-eclampsia, cervical problems, etc.).

I also told him my personal belief was that God's greatest blessings are reserved for those who put all their faith in God--for everything (notwithstanding following sound medical advice).

He contemplated this for several hours, and then told me he would let his wife have as many babies as God wants.  My husband and I both teared up at this.  What a gift Peter has!  Yes, he is young to even contemplate this, but somehow, I believe him!  He has repeated this twice since his initial decision. I pray his wife is equally gifted in faith!

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