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.