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Do you need to go to the Docs with an ear infection? (& dilemma)

(14 Posts)
handlemecarefully Mon 07-Feb-05 12:12:26

I think baby ds has an ear infection.

I say think because it has presented in a different way to dd when she had it some months ago.

I did notice a red ear and some tugging at it over the weekend - but he seemed in perfectly good humour, and quite normal, so I didn't think much of it.

However Nursery has just rung me this a.m. to say that he has discharge coming out of his ear, and is clingy and not himself. However he has no temperature.....They are 'happy' to keep him at Day Nursery

Does it sound like an ear infection? Does he need a doc's appointment, or just conservative treatment (calpol)?

I suppose I should leave work and take him home for the rest of the day (although he presents no risk of infection to any other child).....however, I'm reluctant to do this.

Since returning to work from mat leave in November I have taken time off (using my annual leave but short notice given to my line manager) no less than 6 times for illness for either baby ds or his toddler sister. I was 'heavied' by my boss about this last week and made to feel very uncomfortable indeed. Colleagues also making comments. Dh does fuck all in these situations and never takes time away from work.

Would it really be so bad to leave him at Day Nursery and just pick him up a bit earlier than usual? There is nothing more that I can give him at home than I can at work...tlc you might say, but he gets that at Day Nursery, and if I took him home I can't give him full on attention because I also have a 2.6 year old....(he would probably get less cuddles than at Day Nursery)

miranda2 Mon 07-Feb-05 12:18:30

I imagine lots of people would say you should collect him - but in your position I have done exactly what you suggest, get him a little bit early but basically authorise them to give him calpol and assume he'll be better off there (and you'll certainly be better off at work!). It probably is worth ringing the docs and seeing if you can get an 'emergency' appt for the end of surgery today so you could take him when you pick him up from nursery - or see if you can make one for first thing in the morning or last thing tomorrow? I always feel unhappy about using the word emergency in this context when the receptionist asks 'is it an emergency', but the docs always seem quite happy to classify a baby presenting something new as an 'emergency appt', and they see you after they've finished the routine appointments, often about 5.30/6pm, which is perfect for fitting in with the end of work!!

I know how stressful it is having to take time off for an ill child - when my ds started nursery at 5 months he was off virtually every other week with conjunctivitis for the first two months - drove me round the bend, as he wasn't 'ill' at all! But it does get better as their immune system deals with all the germs quite quickly - people say you have a lot less colds etc at school when they've been at nursery, apparently!

zubb Mon 07-Feb-05 12:19:36

HMC - if they are happy to keep him there, then I'd leave him there for the day. If you can pick him up early can you then take him to the doctors - do they have an emergency drop-in in the evening at all?

BubblesDeVere Mon 07-Feb-05 12:20:29

Personally, I would take him the doctors as soon as you can and as for your boss and other colleagues, stuff them, you know what is best for your children and its their problem, a friend of mines ds had an undetected ear infection and he ended up with a perforated eardrum and now his hearing is quite badly affected.

Also, I have been plagued with earaches all my life and know how excruciating they can be, just take him to put your mind at rest and also to sort out any possible cause for the discharge.

mears Mon 07-Feb-05 12:22:11

Since Day Nusrey is happy to leave him there then I would. However I would get him checked by the doctor to daignose what is actually wrong. You could then discuss with Dr whether conservative management is appropriate.

lailag Mon 07-Feb-05 12:27:39

I think the "evidence" for the usefullness of antibiotics is not hard (in some continental countries they often don't use it), but whenever ds has had a earinfection dh (who is a GP) has always given him a course (the discharge sounds convincing for earinfection, although would have to see it). If you do see a doctor may be useful to take a culture swab to see what bugs are causing it, to make sure he has the right antibiotics,
I had the same problem DS was fine for 6 months, as soon as he started nursery (day 2!) he became ill quite frequently. Luckely my boss has small children as well so was quite understanding...
Don't know when you finish work but wouldn't have thought a few more hours would make a differnce. Good luck anyway

Marina Mon 07-Feb-05 12:29:17

Dd regularly attends day nursery with discharging eardrums but otherwise well and happy. Nursery are quite OK about this, thankfully. Once the ear is discharging, it means the eardrum is perforated and the severest pain is over. It can be a bit messy, of course. But she is cheerful, eating well and playing happily etc.
Although I sincerely hope this doesn't happen to you HMC, dd is a veteran of these infections and is under an ENT specialist with a view to having her adenoids out if nothing improves. Many times she has been prescribed antibiotics, but all they seem to do is resolve the matter a day or two more quickly than if we leave nature to take its course (this is the specialist's verdict too).
If you are unlucky enough to have a child with this sort of ear problem on a chronic basis, you cannot possibly take them out of nursery each time if you are also working outside the home. I'd have been sacked by now
So don't feel guilty about this HMC.

lailag Mon 07-Feb-05 12:29:54

btw, ds often had discharge from his ear, a sign that he had perforated his ear drum again. He was eventually referred to ENT specialist for hearing test which was fine.

handlemecarefully Mon 07-Feb-05 12:45:03

I could cry with relief at the messages here. I was expecting some element of censure, and have been beating myself up re not collecting him instantly......feel a bit better now.

I will take him to the Doctor's 'open surgery' which starts at 16.30 just to get an opinion on him.

BubblesDeVere Mon 07-Feb-05 19:40:13

How has is gone at the doctors?

handlemecarefully Tue 08-Feb-05 09:03:18

Thanks for asking...Baby ds is fine. His eardrum has perforated and so he isn't in any pain anymore because all the gunk drained out relieving the pressure. Doctor gave him a course of amoxycillin, and wants to see us in 2 weeks to see that everything has healed.

We got off really lightly in fact since we were spared the misery of a baby rolling around in agony for several days - since his ear infection didn't really bother him until yesterday and ear drum popped on same day.

Marina Tue 08-Feb-05 09:41:53

Sounds very like dd, HMC. She really shocked us the first time - we would have expected screaming etc, but she is very stoical. Glad he is feeling better and hope it's a one-off for you.

fisil Tue 08-Feb-05 09:50:36

HMC, I'm sorry I didn't see this yesterday - we have exactly the same with ds. As your GP said, once the gunk is coming out ds will feel much better! One time nursery rang me in exactly the same way, except ds was still at the floppy stage and hadn't perforated yet. I was in the middle of being inspected so there was no way I was dropping everything! I actually waited until the earliest I could get away, and booked someone to come & look after ds at home the next day! By the next day he had a constant stream of gunk down the side of his face!

Glad he's feeling better.

handlemecarefully Tue 08-Feb-05 10:01:28

Ear infections are the pits aren't they!

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