Friday, August 24, 2007

He Thought He Could Erase His Mind

Yesterday, right before supper, Tyrone informed Wayne and I in the most reassuring way possible that he could still hear.
That's good. "Why was Tyrone telling us this?" we wondered.

Then he broke the news to us. As part of a game he and Mitchell were playing, Ty stuck a piece of eraser into his ear hole. It was from my favorite pencil . . . white with blue polar bears on it and had a blue eraser. Apparently at some point in time, the eraser broke off (or was torn off--more likely of an explanation in this household), and Ty found this piece of broken eraser in his room and proceeded to, as part of his game, stick it into his ear. When he tried to get it out, he pushed it in further and further, until there was no way his fingers could grasp it anymore.

What to do?

Wayne looked into Ty's ear with the assistance of a flashlight and confirmed that yes, he could see a blue piece of eraser stuck in Ty's ear. But there was no way we were about to use anything we have in this house to remove the foreign object. Too risky.

Again, Ty reassured us that he could still hear. He said his ear didn't hurt. It just felt strange. But, he could hear.

We ate a quick supper and I dashed off with Ty to the minor emergency clinic situated closest to where we live, which took us 35 minutes to get to. Once at the clinic, Ty happily played while we waited (a long time) to see a doctor I could hardly understand. He was foreign and had a strong accent. First he asked Ty if he was a "big boy" and Ty said he was. Then the problems began. The doctor took his "ear tool" and began to work on getting the piece of eraser out of Ty's ear. Unfortunately, this caused much pain to my little guy, and as soon as that pain set in, Ty was not too cooperative about allowing the doctor to remedy the problem.

Because of Ty's uncooperative spirit (read: he was freaking out!), the doctor, in the best English he could speak, proceeded to tell me that sedation was required in order for this piece of rubber (as he referred to it) to be removed. He immediately got on the phone with a local hospital and was transferred to about four different people in a 15-minute time frame. He told each person on the other end of the line the same story about how he had this six-year old boy, with a piece of rubber stuck in his ear canal, and his inability to remove it, and that Ty needed sedation. He also stated that Ty was in a severe amount of pain.

Transfer after transfer, he was finally directed to the office of an ear, throat and nose specialist, but all he could do there was leave a message with a call-in center. He was informed by them that a note would be left for the doctor and his secretary would call me on Monday or Tuesday in order to set up and appointment for Ty to be checked-out. Monday or Tuesday?!!?!!??!! That didn't sit well with me. Nor the foreign doctor.

Fortunately, the foreign doctor had some connection to a doctor in the ER and made arrangements for me to take Ty there. So, about 45 minutes later, after driving across town to the ER and getting registered and waiting in lines for a long time, Ty was examined by the ER doctor. This is the same ER doctor that had to remove a foreign object from Mitchell's eye just three months ago. I'm not sure if he remembered that incident or not, but I was relieved it was him because he did such an excellent job of remedying Mitchell's problem and Mitchell remained calm and relaxed throughout the entire procedure. Unlike his brother, who literally had to be peeled off the seat he was grasping onto in our car as I tried to convince him that the ER doctor would be nicer than the first doctor we saw earlier that evening.

Anyways . . . the ER doctor laid out the options. One option was to give Ty some Advil and some ear drops to help relieve the pain and sensitivity. Then, wait it out and visit the ear, throat and nose specialist as soon as an appointment could be set up. A second option was to try to "flush out" the piece of eraser, and then once the ear canal was wet, use a suction-type tool to attempt to remove the object. A third option was for the ER doctor to use exactly the same tool that the first doctor had tried. The fourth option was to give Ty an I.V., sedate him, remove the foreign object, wait for him to wake up and take him home.

Obviously by this point, Ty had suffered a bit of trauma due to the first doctor-related incident. I definitely did not want to put him through that again. The ER doctor's recommendation was to wait. While Ty would be in some discomfort over the next few days, this was our best option. Because the foreign object wasn't alive (i.e. an insect), nor was it food (i.e. grain), there was no cause for concern. As he put it, he thought perhaps a mountain was being made out of a molehill in this case. Not that he was discrediting my concern for Ty. He understood why I was eager to have this piece of eraser removed as soon as possible. But when he told me that there was no harm in letting it sit there for a few days, I felt better.

He said that because the ear throat and nose doctor had more specialized tools to remove foreign objects, he advised waiting for the call to visit him for a successful removal of the eraser. Worst case scenario for this option is that Ty might, possibly, freak out again, and then the specialist would sedate him in order to remove the object. But that would be a last resort.

So, after Ty received a dose of Advil, we left the ER and purchased his ear drops. He's doing better now. He says the pain is gone but it still feels strange. I'm sure it does.

Now, it's a waiting game. I've got to wait for yet another appointment to be made, and for another doctor to wonder what on earth a six-year old boy was doing playing a game that required him to put a piece of eraser in his ear. I don't wonder about that kind of stuff anymore. Nothing Ty does surprises me. Nothing.


Amy said...

Oh my! How scary for your little guy...poor thing. We all do silly things as kids. One time me and a boy I liked dug a hole. We had an old rusty shovel and we would put our foot in the hole while the other one tried to hit it with the shovel! How dumb. I lost and had to get a tetnus shot! Serves me right though.

Let us know how the appointment goes!

Carol said...

If your specialist is Gore-Hickman or Spafford, you'll be in good hands. David had Gore-Hickman when he had to get tubes in his ears and the specialist was great! I'm sure they see this sort of thing all the time. :)

Kimmy said...

Amy: Yes, I'll give an update after the appointment.
Carol: Gore Hickman took out my tonsils, and Mitchell's been to see Spafford two times regarding the possibility of having tubes put in his ears when he was a toddler. I'm getting a referral to Dr. Spafford, so I think it should be okay. I just hope they can get this done before school starts on Thursday.

Kristy said...

I feel terrible for you and for him! Yet, reading this, I can't help but smile - either it's your style of writing (your quite good), or it's from the joys of motherhood!!
(and YIKES to Amy's comment up above!!!!!!!!!)
The things we do as kids.....and sometimes as adults too! haha!
Praying for your little man (and your mama heart!)

Becky said...

LOL. Sorry. I don't mean to laugh... But honestly. Little boys. Sigh. I think I am seeing a little bit of my future hear. (Pun intended.)

I'm praying that the next procedure goes smoothly or that you have a mini-miracle and the thing falls out on it's own. Poor little guy.

Kim said...

I just have to laugh because that sounds like something that would happen in my house. What our boys put us through eh! I have been without internet for awhile, but I wanted to comment on your previous post about no more babies. I felt a lot like you did when Kevin had his surgery. I felt a sense of loss. We were in total agreement, but it was like something was taken away from me. As Matthew gets older the feeling lessens but sometimes I wonder "what if" As for no girls, I think I just had one moment when I realized and said to Kevin "you wont ever walk down the isle with your daughter" That was it. Too tell you the truth having a girl scares me. The mother daughter relationship is a tricky one. Boys are a handful sure, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.