Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The post in which I am neither funny nor happy.

I've talked off and on about Llama's ears, and I've mentioned twice now that she's getting tubes put in her ears on June 1. Which is in five days. It's the best decision, and I will explain why. (I'm going to state, parenthetically, that one reason for this blog is to record Llama's life for her in a much more organized way than the box of "stuff" under my bed. This post is mostly for her.)

In February, Llama got an ear infection. It was her third. It seemed normal. The doctor gave her the same antibiotic she'd taken twice before (amoxicillin). Six days into it, she broke out in hives. We went back to the doctor and he switched her to a different antibiotic (omnicef). She seemed to be much improved.

But when we went back for her ear re-check in March, she had either a new ear infection or the same one that had never really gone away. So the doctor gave her more of the same drug that hadn't really worked (omnicef).

Llama was still running a fever and was still very crabby and messing with her ears. She was inconsolable, but it was Sunday. So we went to Med Express, where they gave her yet another antibiotic (zithromax). She seemed to be much improved.

But then we went back to the doctor in April for her ear recheck and her ears were infected and she seemed to have a sinus infection. The doctor said this was definitely a continued infection, not a new one. And he put her back on omnicef. Which hadn't worked TWICE in the past. And he said if it didn't work, he would give us a referral to the ENT.

But first, we went back for the recheck. The omnicef didn't work. And she was again in a lot of pain, running a fever, and inconsolable. So the doctor decided there were three options and presented them to me. First was to wait and see what happened, which I was not willing to do since Llama was so obviously not herself. Second was a series of possibly three shots of another antibiotic (rocephin). Third was a different antibiotic (vancomycin), which is a drug of last resort and most pharmacies don't carry and most insurances don't cover. So I went with the second option of shots, even though we had to go to the doctor three times in three days and Llama ended up having two shots that were painful for her. In the end, they did clear up the infection. But not the fluid.

I was not surprised when it didn't work all the way. I was not surprised when we got a referral to the ENT. I was very surprised when the ENT was able to see us in less than a week. I guess that's a benefit of living near a major medical center?

The ENT gave me three options. (I really liked him, by the way. He was quick with Llama and he didn't keep us waiting in the exam room forever. That's valuable when you have a curious, nimble little girl.) The first option was to keep treating her ear infections as they come, but her hearing is already impaired. The second option was to put her on a daily antibiotic for several months, but that will definitely mess up her teeth, possibly mess up her tummy, and she's allergic to the antibiotic that they like to use for it. The third option was tubes. I thought for about 5 seconds and asked him how soon the surgery could be scheduled, and it could have been two days ago if it hadn't been Memorial Day. So June 1 it is.

The whole thing will take about two hours, and that's counting the 30 minutes we will spend each way in the car. It's an outpatient surgery and it's in the same building that my OB is in.

I was not okay, but now I am. Bucket is taking the day off from work, as much for me as for Llama, I think. I'm okay with that, because even though she won't remember, we will. And one day, we'll be able to tell her that she's a chatterbox because we took her to get her ears fixed. :)

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