Posts Tagged ‘ear tubes’

In Sickness and In Health

They should totally make you take that oath when you become a parent, too.

One of my good friends and I have this theory about kids.  Every kid has their “thing.”  It may be physical, it may be emotional, it may be intellectual, it may be behavioral.  And that “thing” may be big or it may be small.  Maybe it’s a couple small things, maybe it’s really big and intertwined.  But every kid has their achilles heel … a part of their life that just doesn’t develop or function normally.

For our oldest daughter, her “thing” is a less-than-stellar upper respiratory system.  Hers is a Bermuda Triangle situation: a bifid uvula, which is a couple big leaps away from the same mutation that causes a cleft palate; that seems to impact her eustachian tubes, which currently do not function; and the ear problems seem to cause repeated upper respiratory viruses/infections which sets off her cough-variant asthma.  And you can throw in a propensity for croup, just for good measure.

She has had four sets of ear tubes and after a visit with her ENT the week before last, she’ll be getting her fifth set this Tuesday.  For whatever reason, her eustachian tubes cannot equalize pressure in her tears; so what happens is her eardrum gets sucked back and retracted, the ear fills with fluid (which may or may not become infected), and then obviously her hearing becomes mildly compromised and she gets sensitive about any and all things in her ears, especially when swimming.

Thankfully, though trial and error, we have discovered that the combination of ear tubes and a daily nasal steroid spray do an excellent job at keeping the upper respiratory infections under control, and therefore her asthma under control as well.  I also have to give credit where credit is due.  By chance, she was selected to participate in an asthma study through Washington University in St. Louis, MO and through that study, we have been working with an asthma coach each month for the last year.  She really helped us identify her asthma triggers, treat those correctly, identify her asthma early warning signs, begin treatment at the right time, and teach us how to correctly and fully treat her asthma flare-ups.  After our monthly calls, I am a HUGE supporter of asthma coaches and believe they should be MANDATORY for all parents of kids with asthma because it helps keep asthma better controlled (thereby reducing doctor and ER visits, which ultimately cost us all money) and do so using the least amount of medicine required.  Seriously, I’m a big, big fan.

Because her health has been very good lately – thanks to all of the above AND my husband’s discovery of epicor as part of our daily vitamin and supplements – we were very surprised when she woke up this morning at 4am with croup.  Thankfully this seems to be a mild virus, no worse than the average kid you hear in the grocery store, so it’s status quo around here and full-speed ahead to Tuesday and ear tubes, set #5.


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