Ear tubes

On Friday, I had to get Benjamin up bright and early so that we could be at our local hospital by 6:30am for an 8:00 surgery time. He had to get ear tubes put in his ears.

2 1/2 weeks ago, I took him in for a hearing evaluation as requested by his pediatrician. He is 2 and not talking yet, so his doctor wants him to have a hearing and speech evaluation to see if therapy is needed. So I took him in for his hearing evaluation and she couldn't do it as there was fluid in Ben's ears and given his history of ear infections, she referred us to an ENT. So a week later, we were at the ENT and yes there was a lot of fluid in his ears. Given his history of ear infections and the fluid, the ENT highly suggested we get ear tubes in Ben's ears sooner rather than later. They were able to do the hearing evaluation that day as well, and while Ben's hearing is coming in at the high end of normal, they all felt that the fluid was blocking how he was hearing.

This all led up to this past Friday, when Benjamin was scheduled for his ear tube surgery. Thankfully our hospital does youngest patients first, so Benjamin was up first thing. I had to have him at the hospital at 6:30 for registration and he was not allowed anything to eat or drink from midnight on. His surgery was scheduled for 8:00AM.

Benjamin was in a good mood when we got to the hospital and looked so adorable in his gown. After they got him registered, it was time for them to wheel us into the holding area. The hardest thing I had to do was put him in the bed and watch them wheel him away. He did have to be put under for the surgery and honestly that is what scared me the most. As they wheeled him away from me, Ben had this look on his face of terror and why aren't you coming with me Mommy? It broke my heart.

After they took him away, I was led to the waiting room where the volunteer told me that she would let me know when the doctor was ready to talk to me about how the surgery went and that if I wanted to get something to drink that now would probably be the time. So I headed off to get some caffeine as I had had NO sleep the night before and to call Bill to let him know how things were going. I had no sooner got back to the waiting area (not 10 minutes later) that the volunteer led me to a consultation room to talk to the doctor.

The surgery went well. He said Ben had a lot of milky white fluid in his right ear, and less in his left ear. He told me that it would probably be 20-30 minutes before they would take me back to Ben so he would have time to wake from the anesthesia. I called Bill to let him know, and went back to sit down. However, the volunteer told me that Ben was awake and I could go back to him.

When I went back, the nurse was holding Benjamin as she said he does not want to be put down. So I took him and I think he was scared of the hospital bed as when I went to sit down on it, he started crying. But he quickly calmed down and we got him some apple juice and the nurse gave him a popsicle, which he played with instead of eating. I was given ear drops for Benjamin and we were allowed to go home. We were home by 9:30am.

The rest of the day was spent with making sure Ben was getting back to normal. He was very dizzy and unstable on his feet when we got home, which I was told was normal from the anesthesia. He did take a long nap in the afternoon and seemed almost back to his normal self that evening. He did not like the ear drops at all.

It was hard to have to let him go through this, but if it will help him be healthier and hear better than it is worth it. We will follow up with the ENT in 2 weeks and then I have to take him in every 4 months until the tubes fall out.

Overall, it was a scary experience for me. It is so hard to be a mom in times like this, but I know it is for the better.


  1. Rachel
    I went through this with my DD, now almost 22. 7 sets of ear tubes by the time she was 7. Worst was when she had no hearing in one ear, down to 40% in the other. Fast forward, she hears completely normally, we saved her hearing. Allergies and huge adenoids were also factors for her.

    Ear drops burn-nope, not fun but a necessary evil to ensure a sterile environment while the skin heals over the edges of the tubes. This too will pass.

    Stay strong. : )

    1. Thanks. We are hoping this helps get his speech going, and he does HATE the ear drops, but like you said this too will pass.

  2. You all did great.

    I have put my son under major surgeries (1 heart, 3 GI, 4 on his arm) and more minor procedures more times than I could count. It is hard to watch, but they look to you to know it is will be ok.

    If you still are concerned about speech development, refer him to your state's Early Intervention Program (that is what I do!!!)

    1. I did better than I thought I would. I think it helped that everything went so quickly that I didn't have time to worry. I remember when we had Jacob in for hernia surgery that it was awful with all the waiting, etc.

      We are going to have his speech evaluated in a couple weeks by a speech therapist to see what she thinks we should do and then we will go from there....

  3. Poor little guy, but I'm sure it's for the best! I know how hard it is though as a mum. When Kazi was hit by a car when she was 18 it was a horrifying experience. I arrived at the emerg but they wouldn't let me in. THAT made me even more upset but I managed to sneak in behind someone else and found her. She was just shaken up and very bruised but really needed her momma! There was no reason to keep me away from her so I had to take matters into my own hands. Us mothers are a tough breed that's for sure. You did great Rachel!

    1. Thanks Jane! Us Mothers are a tough breed! :)

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