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dd is seeing ENT consultant this morning- what can I say to help her get the help she needs?

(3 Posts)
cupofteaplease Mon 01-Aug-11 09:06:14

Dd is 6. She has had repeated ear infections since she was a baby. She had grommets fitted at 2, and for the 9 months they were in, she didn't have any infections, it was bliss. Naturally, they fell out, and slowly but surely, the infections returned.

I asked for her to be seen by the consultant again at age 4, but he said she would grow out of the infections as her tubes grew and he was happy to discharge her from his care.

Roll on 2 years and there have been no improvements. Her ear drums burst on a monthly basis. Leading up to the infection, her hearing is compromised and she shouts. At the peak of infection, just before the ear drum bursts, she is crying in pain. The doctors at our GP surgery have been so blase stating that, 'Ear infections are common in children', Fine, but that doesn't help dd; 'she will grow out of them,' well I accepted that at 3, 4 and 5 years old. She's 6 now and we've all had enough. 'Infections in winter are common,' so what about the ones in May, June, July? 'Antibiotics every month won't cause any harm', no, but surely this isn't ideal? Sigh.

Anyway, we saw the ENT specialist at the GP surgery and he agreed that she had quite a history so he would refer her to a consultant at a different hospital for a second opinion, but was very clear that unless she had an infection on the day she is seen, expect them to say all of the above, as they do not like to fit grommets twice. However, with the next infection 2 weeks later, a different GP said they should now be considering permanent drainage tubes, due to her history.

So, here we are (thanks if you've got this far!), we are leaving for the hospital in an hour and Sod's Law, dd doesn't have any pain today, so I am expecting the consultant to send us away with the above excuses reasons why they won't do any more to help. Is there anything I can say to help dd have treatment that may help her? I know it seems awful to wish a general anaesthetic and minor surgery on my child, but I know that when she had grommets fitted, she had NO pain, and no burst ear drums for nearly a year! If it worked before, why can't we give her another year of no pain, or something more permanent, if it is available?

Sorry, I've gone on too long, but I'm really nervous about the appointment and being dismissed as a neurotic mother. sad

cupofteaplease Mon 01-Aug-11 09:22:09

Well no urgency now, the hospital have just rung to cancel the appointment. angry Have had to reschedule for the middle of our planned holiday. So pissed off now. sad

DeWe Mon 01-Aug-11 12:29:15

I could have written some of your post about ds. He started ear infections at 3 months and had them pretty much fortnightly with a slight break in the summer months until he had grommets in a 20 months. The grommets came out last autumn and he had 6+ burst ear drums over the winter.

I saw the ENT (registrar) in February and she looked at him and said "well, it's nearly summer so he won't get many more before then I'll see him in 6 months". Initially I thought great, then I rethought it when I got home and nasty though it is putting them through the operation, this is silly. Fine, he might not get any though the summer, so going back in August is a waste of time as then they'll say "hasn't had some for some time, wait and see", which will probably mean another 6 month appointment... in February, when her argument of nearly summer applies again.

So the next time his ear drums burst I saw the main dr. at the GP practice, and he asked me if I was happy about not having grommets. When I said I wasn't he wrote to the consultant for me and the consultant agreed to see me himself.

I was in with the consultant about 2 minutes before he booked "with ds's history" him to have second set of grommets two day later.

The things that I focussed on was less of the recurrent infections and more of behaviour, hearing problems, particularly as he'll start school in September, missing school (he missed all of February due to illness) and social problems due to not being able to hear in a classroom environment.

The not more than 1 grommet operation is not standard, I know one child who's on at least her 5th. Ds has never been seen with an ear infection, so that seems a strange thing for the Dr. to say to you. His hearing without grommets is just out of the normal range, but only just, not enough to need grommets if it was just on hearing.

The ENT stuff says they should grow out of ear infections by age 8-10, so grommets would be reasonable at age 6 imo.

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