Monday, February 14, 2011

Medical Merry-Go-Round

Thank goodness for a new Flex year. :)

We've have been on a medical merry-go-round lately.

For several months - maybe a year? - Justin has had some hearing loss. At the end of January, he went to an ENT, expecting to find some impacted wax. What the doctor found instead was a collapsed ear drum. He got a CT scan of his head. On top of the ear drum, he had a wickedly abscessed tooth he didn't know about (aren't those supposed to hurt?) and a infected pocket in his right sinus. He was scheduled for surgery for five days later.

February 3rd, Justin had surgery on his ear drums. The doctor discovered that Justin's Eustachian tubes aren't functional. Those are the tubes that you pop your ears with to equalize the pressure in your head. So he gets this negative pressure in his head which pulls on the ear drum, causing it to collapse. The collapsed ear drum drapes over the tiny bones in the ear and over time that erodes the bones and causes permanent damage.

There is no way to fix his Eustachian tubes to make them work. Luckily for us, a fancy set of tubes in his ear drums allows him to equalize he ear pressure without the Eustachian tubes. So Justin got a set of tubes in his ears and this will become routine for us every couple of years.

before the operation

The surgery went well. Justin was nervous of being cold, but was thrilled to have heated blankets piled on him. He did well. He was pretty funny coming out of anesthesia, quoting Llamas with Hats to all the nurses.

Just a few days later, on February 7th, Justin went to the dentist to have the abscess checked out. The dentist took one look and sent him to a surgeon. So he had an unexpected surgery that morning. His gum was cut into, and the abscess was drained and scraped out. No root canal. No tooth removal. This surgery has been harder for him. A lot more pain. Oh, and the antibiotics for the infected pocket have had some really rough side effects. He's looking forward to feeling all better.

Yesterday, we had a little scare with Joci. She's had a runny nose for a few days. Friday night, she developed a bit of a fever. Saturday, I was out crafting at my sister-in-law's home and Justin called me to tell me that he didn't think Joci was well at all and that we need to take her in. Her fever was going up, she wasn't eating or drinking, and she did nothing but lay on the floor. Time to get her in. I met Justin and Joci at the urgent care clinic and was so sad to see my little girl limp like a rag doll.

Her breathing was shallow, uneven, and labored. If you haven't seen breathing retractions on a child you can see a video my sister posted of her baby with RSV. Joci had RSV twice last winter and I thought for sure this is what was going on. They tested her for RSV and the flu. RSV was negative, but she came back positive for two strains of the flu - one of which is super similar to the H1N1 swine flu of 2009. Her temperature was 103 on Tylenol and her oxygen levels were low. She got a breathing treatment and a steroid shot. Oh, and she has double ear infections.

We were sent home with a nebulizer machine and prescriptions for albuterol, augmentin, and TamiFlu and instructed us to come back the next day.

It took me forever to find a pharmacy open after 7 p.m. on a Saturday. Thank goodness for Walgreen's 24 hour pharmacy, but since it's the only one open, it was packed. I had to wait an hour for the prescriptions. Oh, and for whatever reason, my insurance wouldn't cover TamiFlu. What's the point of insurance if it doesn't cover stuff? Grrr.

breathing treatment at 4 a.m.

We have to administer breathing treatments at home every 4-6 hours. So last night was fun. :) This whole next week will be fun, waking ourselves and our little girl up every few hours. But today she is worlds better. Not all the way better, but good enough to be clingy and cranky. I am sad she will have to miss the Valentine's party at daycare tomorrow - we made her Valentine's this weekend - but I am just glad she is on the mend.


Liz Smith said...

poor little thing. That sounds awful! I'm glad you're seeing an improvement though and i hope she feels better soon.

Glad everything went well with the hubby's surgeries...although that abscess sounds horrible! :( :( :(

Beckie said...

OOOH that is awful-- soo sad when the little tiny people in our life are sick-- and struggling-- I hope she feels better soon!! and those breathing treatments-- aren't they fun!! -


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