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Grommets - really anxious

(27 Posts)
fullcircleagain Wed 28-Jan-15 21:23:26

Hi there

My daughter is due to have grommets. I'm dreading it. She hates needles and I know she'll go under screaming. Makes me cold just thinking about it.

I know it's needed. But I keep wondering whether I should ask about a hearing aid instead for her. She's 6 so would probably outgrow the glue ear quite soon. But it has held her back a lot at school.

Does anyone regret going ahead with the grommets? Has anyone chosen a hearing aid instead?

I've got two days to decide. Help!

Blueundies Wed 28-Jan-15 21:30:09

I think you are worrying too much about get going to theatre. The nursery will be amazing and it will be much calmer than you imagine

Blueundies Wed 28-Jan-15 21:30:25


simpson Wed 28-Jan-15 21:33:07

My DS had grommets put in at 4. (Well 1 grommet in one ear).

I was dreading the OP tbh. But he was fine. The nursing staff were v good, he was v anxious. But it was relatively painless, although I sobbed when I had to leave him in the operating theatre blush but DS was out of it by then!

They positively encouraged a favourite teddy & a favourite book which you can read together as the meds are being given (with the book angled so the child cannot see, they will not feel anything as will have been given numbing creaming beforehand).

OP was 10/15 mins & he was in recovery. Honestly, 30 mins after OP he was bounding about demanding a happy meal grin

You are discharged pretty quickly once the child has eaten (pack snacks) & done a wee.

Good luck smile

Theas18 Wed 28-Jan-15 21:55:01

Deep breath op and have one of mn famous grips. The calmer you are and the more matter of fact the better she'll cope.

If you have magic numbing cream the little scratch to put the plastic tube into your vein for the sleepy medicine will hardly be anything at all. Then cool magic sleep and wake up in bed on the ward with mum.

My dd had 3 sets of grommets. She's allergic to the cream and had gaseous induction, you may even be able to choose this. I told her there would be smelly air- like whoopee cushions ( it used to smell rubbery it might not now) and a funny feeling and a magic sleep. She chose something to read the 1st time whilst she fell asleep so at almost 4 entertained the team as she "read" her big sisters beano for about half a sentence till she zonked. The next time we had a fantastic anaesthetist who said " strawberry or cherry gas today madam" and smeared a bit of lip balm in the mask ! A smear on the top lip would work too if your child would find that good.

Afterwards no problems. Dd freaked at blood so I wiped a trickle off one earlobe once and also made sure they covered Her venflon with gauze just so she didn't see it as the 1st time she did and in her drugged haze wasn't happy about it ( it's stays in till they are fine).

She was ravenous every time!

Home mid afternoon no problems - except her covering her ears with her hands as we left the hospital as it was all so loud !

Practically my concern was the 1st time going home by taxi with no car seat - I didn't like that and didn't clock it as an issue so if you are dropped off take the seat if it bothers you.

Shouldn't say probably but 2nd and 3rd times I offered her the choice depending on how she felt - we walked to the station and had a Starbucks - and as long as she was happy hopped on the local train as usual ! ( but she was 6 then 8).

Honestly it's so easy and life changing. My dd had them to start with as she had many many ear infections- they stopped the day she had them ( yep we had occ discharging grommets but no pain- well until the day they fell out and we were back to square 1. )

Oh and be prepared for a little eww moment maybe one day in the car " mum something from my ear.. Here it is" yup. Grommet- minute and wax encrusted ! Think we found 4 out of the 6 which is amazing considering how tiny they are.

PatriciaHolm Wed 28-Jan-15 22:04:40

DS has had 2 sets of grommets, second time he had the adenoids out too.

He hates needles too, but was absolutely fine; they put cream on the hand, and he lay down with me reading a book and not really being able to see his hand so it didn't bother him. Drifted off quite happily and woke up the same. Perky within an hour or so, hungry, and back to normal running around like a loon with a football within about 2 hours! Much easier and less obtrusive than faffing with a hearing aid (will they even do that for glue ear?)

And yes we found the grommets too! I always found that amazing as they are tiny.

stoopstofolly Wed 28-Jan-15 22:06:31

Both of my children gave had grommets twice. I don't regret it for a second- the improvement in DD's school enjoyment and performance (grommets at age 4 and 6) and DS in his language development (2 and 4 years) was dramatic. I regret not getting DD done sooner as she got off to a difficult start at school because of her hearing issues. I recently had a blocked ear myself and it was incredibly frustrating for the 2 weeks until it was syringed- imagine living like that for months/ years?
They numb the injection site with cream and the op only takes about 15-20 mins. As long as you're calm the children are clam, and the theatre staff and anaesthetists have all been magnificent.

Michaelahpurple Thu 29-Jan-15 09:24:40

Joining the theme here. Hearing aids not an option for glue ear and ignore the "they'll grow out of it" argument - yes they will buy would you want to spend the first 2 years at school not hearing anything?

My son had 3 (or might have been 2 - we all forget!) sets, starting at 3. Totally transforming. He though painful ears were normal service to the point he had stopped commenting half the time. Plus he could hear and his speech improved massively (with some help). Plus his balance improved so he became much more physically active - I hadn't realised there was any problem with this.

Needles really aren't much of an issue oddly. The numbing cream works really well, and is quite fascinating as it squishes around under the plastic film and then they pop in a butterfly needle and strap it den so the child barely sees it. The first time he was a bit bothered by it during recovery but he was tiny then and if I tossed a blanket over his hand to hide it he soon forgot.

The grim but is when they come round as they can be very disorientated and thrash around a bit, which is nasty for mummy, but remember that they don't know about this - is like a dream state.

Have some tasty little snacks and drinks ready for when they are ready as you won't be able to leave until they have been to the loo so you want them consuming and the hospital offering may not be conducive. I made it a screen time free time (for the older sessions) and he couldn't believe his luck.

I would go for it.

Michaelahpurple Thu 29-Jan-15 09:25:10

Oh, and at her far it is unlikely she would need more than one set

Michaelahpurple Thu 29-Jan-15 09:25:44

Sorry - should have said "at her age "

Lovethesea Thu 29-Jan-15 10:01:26

DS had his done when he was 2.5 due to glue ear. The op was so simple, he played with a toy doctors kit they had on his bed, 6 kids were in for the same op and the youngest went first.

He watched Madagascar in the waiting area, had the numbing cream on, waited, then was interested but not distressed by the canula going in.

When his turn came I sat him on my lap while they distracted him with a wee robin and then showed him the tap and explained they were putting the medicine in, he watched that fine and then went unconscious in my arms. Popped him on the theatre bed and sobbed my way back to ward.

20 minutes later he was back, he came round fine and was starving....ate 4 slices of toast and drank 2 apple juice cartons and cheered up straight away.

We hung around while they checked he was fine, he then threw an almighty strop as we were free to go home and he wanted to watch more of Madagascar.

DS attends a speech unit now 4 days a week as the glue ear affected his speech badly and he has to relearn sounds he couldn't hear when the glue ear was causing him deafness.

letsplayscrabble Thu 29-Jan-15 11:27:55

My son had grommets at 2. Very few words at the time and proven hearing loss. Had his adenoids too, so more major surgery, but very quick recovery.

He got his first new work the next day, had about 5-10 new words at the follow up appt 2 weeks later. Now, 8 months on, he is talking in 6-7 word sentences. It was life changing. Go for it. The anaesthetist will be used to kids and skilled at it. Be liberal with the paracetamol for a day or two afterwards and she'll be fine.

ReallyTired Thu 29-Jan-15 12:13:53

Hearing aids are valid option for glue ear. My son had hearing aids for 18 months. Grommets give perfect hearing where as hearing aids just amplify the hearing the child has.

My son first had grommets at three and half years old. Grommets go wrong for roughly 1 in 100 children. Ds grommets fell out after 6 weeks and he had perforations in his ear drums for about nine months. He had a constant smelly discharge for nine months and it was very unpleasant. When the perforations closed up we opted for hearing aids.

We saw the ENT consultant about every four weeks. ENT consultants get to know the children who have problems extremely well. I think it makes ENT consultants really cautious about grommets. Grommets are fantastic for 99% of children.

DeWee Thu 29-Jan-15 12:37:53

Ds is on his third set of grommets. We asked for hearing aids last time, and they considered it, but said that grommets were the better option as his ear drums were bulging and were likely to burst (which they do with regularity when he hasn't grommets in).

For ds they didn't do any needles in while he's awake. They put him under with the gas, and then put the drip in his hand (with magic cream on). The only thing is that it is there when he wakes. He found this really upsetting the second time and I had to stop him pulling at it, but the first time (at 20 months) he didn't seem bothered, and the third time I'd told (6.6yo) him beforehand and he looked at it, then ignored it.

He's 7.6yo and one of the grommets has come out, but the other's still fine. But he hasn't grown out of ear infections nor glue ear yet. Our ENT says 10yo is generally when you can say they grow out of it. Here's hoping!

The operation was easiest last time. Because I could explain fully and he could understand, even though he was keener to have hearing aids, the consultant explained why grommets were better for him in terms he understood. They have a play therapist at the hospital that you can ask for, and she spent time showing pictures and talking it through with him.

To get the gas into him they challenged him to blow up a balloon. using the special blower. When it had started blowing up, they changed it onto the gas, and he was asleep very quickly, still chuckling that he was beating the challenge.

He does seem to generally take some time to really recover from the anasthetic, longer than other children. He was sick 2 out of 3 times as he came out, and he had to be persuaded to eat with difficulty, but once he was home he was fine, I don't think he even needed calpol the next day.

Blueundies Thu 29-Jan-15 13:06:11

Reallytired smelly discharge means it's infected... Been there got the tea shirt - two DC through the whole issue. The exact antibiotic to give depends on which bacteria, based I am astounded that they left it like that. We get ear drops which clear it up within 48 hours

ReallyTired Thu 29-Jan-15 13:32:28

The infection was resistant to anti biotics. The ENT consultant did arrange for pathology to culture the gunk. Some infections are just incredibly difficult to treat. Ds immune system defeated the bacteria in the end and the perforations in the ears closed up. Ds had all kinds of ear drops and anti biotics and they did diddy squat. Unfortunately the glue ear returned and we chose to go down the hearing aid route.

Overcooked Thu 29-Jan-15 13:39:29

My DD (5) had them done last week. I too was absolutely dreading and it was so simple. The nurses/anaesthetists were amazing with her, she did panic slightly while she was going under but it was too late by then IYSWIM.

She was delivered back 20 mins later still sleeping and took about half an hour to come round properly. She ate some toast and had some water and an hour later we were on our way home.

Immediately she started complaining about things being too loud, it has made such a big difference for her. The teachers in her school always said that they see a big difference when it's been done.

I think you need to counsel her about it, explain why it needs to be done, that you'll be there the whole time and that it will make a big difference. Get her a toy or some other treat for after the op and go for it.

thetroubleis Thu 29-Jan-15 13:45:51

I'll second what everyone is saying, I had a little one that needed them at 2.5 yo.

The nursing staff were amazing, but the most magical thing, the thing that made me cry is when we took the dog for a walk round the woods a couple of days later- she was looking round, head whipping back and forth and we were saying 'What is it? What's wrong?' and only after we had stood there and puzzled over it for a good five minutes did we realise it was the first time she'd actually heard birdsong.

In tears right now actually because that moment was just one of the best moments in my life- her little face.

fullcircleagain Thu 29-Jan-15 14:10:11

Thanks everyone. Hugely appreciated. Troubleis - you made me cry. So goodness knows how wonderful that moment was for you. She really can't hear much at all. The sound waves were totally flat. So we will go ahead. Wish me luck. You've all made me feel so much better!!!

FaFoutis Thu 29-Jan-15 14:13:31

I went for hearing aids and now wish I'd chosen grommets. My son is slowly growing out of it but I'm sure now that he would have been better off with grommets.
Hope it goes well OP.

thetroubleis Thu 29-Jan-15 16:51:47

Fullcircle, I would do it all over again. Good luck and love to you and your DD x

PercyGherkin Thu 29-Jan-15 20:38:39

DD had grommets at 2 and again at 4. Both times she utterly freaked out when it came to the moment to go to theatre, both times I ended up restraining her whilst the theatre staff struggled to get the mask on her. Both times she came round to 45 minutes of thrashing out-of-body screaming hysteria. Then she'd stop suddenly, have a glass of squash and be right as rain. And she could HEAR. We also had a number of ear infections (thankfully treatable with a-b drops). And despite all of the above, I'd do it again if she needed it, it made a tremendous difference to her world to hear properly.

BMO Thu 29-Jan-15 21:42:33

We may have this decision coming up and will opt for hearing aids.

ReallyTired Thu 29-Jan-15 22:12:32

My son's experience of grommets is rare. I don't know anyone else in real life who has had a disaster with grommets. Ent surgeons don't do grommet ops lightly. I feel it's important for parents to be aware of the potential risks of grommets. However in some cases the potential risk of constant perforation of the ear drums is a greater risk to hearing than repeated grommets.

Ds had hearing aids as a second set of grommets were not a suitable option for him. Hearing aids did help, but they do not cure glue ear.

Blueundies Thu 29-Jan-15 23:16:20

One of my DC has permanently perforated ear drums. She had so many glue ear issues from 12 mths -3 with ear drum popping that they never healed after a while. It actually does not effect her at all. (grommets do the same thing). She has perfect hearing. Rarely now gets ear ache or infections - once in last 2 years for 2 days. She wears moulded ear plugs for weekly swimming. She is excellent at swimming. They will repair them when she stops growing about age 14. I can not imagine choosing to give her hearing aids and not perfect hearing ???

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