Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Yesterday the girls were playing quietly in our formal living room, which should have been my first clue that something was awry.

Parenting Rule 102, Section 2.0: If your kids are quiet for an extended period of time then something is about to drop, break, burst, implode, explode, or spontaneously combust. It’s a veritable Russian Roulette of catastrophe just waiting to happen.

Miss A burst into the den sobbing and holding her ear.

“What happened?!” I asked, knowing that whatever it was, it was not good.

Through her tears she explained as best she could, with Miss C at her side looking quite distressed, that she had cleaned out her right ear with a Q-tip and then forgot about it as they were playing and then laid down her head directly on to the Q-tip. Later Miss C confessed to telling her to go get a Q-tip after she said her ear was bothering her.

I tried not to panic and the hubby rocked Miss A. She was crying, but fairly calm, as I called the pediatrician’s emergency line. We waited for the doctor on call to phone back and I started getting us all prepped for what I was sure would be Miss A’s second trip to the ER. The hubby then calmly and quietly looked at me and said in a low voice, “We are DEFINITELY going…there is a little blood coming out of her ear.”

And then I really thought I was going to lose it.

Our pediatrician’s office called back within about 10 minutes and my husband explained what had happened and they told us to head to the clinic, and not the ER, which was somewhat comforting. I called our parents to tell them what happened and I was trying to stay calm but any time your child is bleeding from THEIR EAR, no matter how small an amount, it’s scary.

The pediatrician on call checked out her ear and said she’d ruptured her ear drum. 90 percent of these injuries heal fine, he reassured us, so we’re putting special steroid/antibiotic drops in her ears for 10 days and crossing our fingers. I’ll take her to her doctor in two weeks for a follow-up, so we’d appreciate all the prayers and good vibes we can get.

Miss A was playing later that afternoon as if nothing had happened after she’d had some Ibuprofen. The administering of the ear drops seems to cause plenty of trauma, though, and there is much cuddling involved. Oh and I left out the best part. We have to put the ear drops in her ears three times a day.

She got a sparkly glitter tattoo at the drug store after the whole ordeal and some gum drops.

I got a new reason to put Q-tips under lock and key and drink on Sundays.

Disclosure: I don’t want to get sued by Q-tip so let me just reiterate you should never, ever let your kids have access to ear swabs. Ever. Besides, these were Publix brand ear swabs.


  1. Rebecca at Toothwhale says:

    I’ve been thinking about her. I hope she’s all healed by the follow-up appintment.

    Last summer at the start of a visit with my parents in Florida, I put a swab in my ear and it came out cottonless. I was hysterical and was sure the cotton was in my ear, but my husband thought the cotton had been off before I put it in my ear. For the next week(s), when I took a shower, the cotton would fill with water and block my hearing. After a while, I pretty much couldn’t hear out of the ear. I had an appointment with my general practitioner but she couldn’t get it out and had to refer me to an ENT. At that appointment, the ENT pulled it out and poof! — my hearing was back (after close to a month). I always knew I was overzealous with the cotton swabbing, but that really proved it to me.
    .-= Rebecca at Toothwhale´s last blog ..Project 365- Week 33 =-.

  2. Mary says:

    I made blood gush out of Matt’s ear one time by using a q-tip to clean his ears. I mean LOTS of blood. Luckily, there was no damage to anything but it scared me to death and made me feel horribly guilty.

  3. Tabor says:

    If there is something they can use or mis-use they will find it. You cannot put everything under lock and key. Remember, my generation used to run with sticks…hard to put away all the sticks.
    .-= Tabor´s last blog ..Looking for Something =-.

  4. amie says:

    Yikes! Seems like injuries involving eardrums & eyeballs re some of the scariest. Have some wine – you deserve it!

  5. Melinda says:

    When I was 10 years old, I had a really bad double ear infection that ruptured one of my eardrums. Other than feeling sick for a few days (because of the infection) it was fine. It healed up perfectly and didn’t have any lasting damage.

    Tabor is right. Kids will find a way to misuse and abuse everything. But kids are also resilient and they will survive it, in spite of themselves!
    .-= Melinda´s last blog store adventures =-.

  6. Blonde Mom says:

    She is doing mucho better and went to school today and there were no calls from the nurse or teacher. The actual ear drops seem to cause a lot of drama but she said today after school that her ear felt fine…yea!

    Crossing my fingers for the follow up appointment but so far so good.

    Miss C once shoved a blue bead up her nose when she was about 3. THAT was fun.

  7. Sky says:

    I have put a cotton swab too deeply into my own ear in the past and recall the pain i felt when putting the ear drops in following that. It was intense pain for a few seconds – the kind that makes you grit your teeth and make noises! Fortunately, it went away quickly and stopped permanently within 48 hours. Learned my lesson. Bet she did, too! So glad she’s better. 🙂
    .-= Sky´s last blog ..And Life Is Good =-.

  8. Jennilu says:

    Been there, done that! I went throught the same exact thing with Kaylea. She was playing robot while I was drying her hair and I somehow hit the cotton swab and crammed it in her ear. She screamed; I cried; Bub called the pediatrician. Her ear was bleeding and we had to use those awful drops on her. She fought us about putting the drops in her ear, so we would wait until she fell asleep and try to slip them in. It didn’t really work, though. She would just wake up screaming. Her ear has healed fine, but we did discover through all the hearing tests that she had hearing loss in the uninjured ear. Go ahead, throw the Mother of the Year nominations my way!

  9. Jennifer says:

    OUCH! That just made my ear hurt… Poor baby girl! I am glad to hear that she was just fine later on! Poor Mommy – sometimes I think when our kids hurt themselves it is more traumatic on us! I also learned something because I just keep my q-tips stored under the sink in the bathroom – Note to self…. put them in the medicine cabinet!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..PRESCHOOL TACTLESSNESS =-.

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