Friday, December 09, 2011

Ears, Pain, and FAS . . .

Dustin does this weird ear thing. He sticks his pointer finger in his ear and scratches up and down about 60 times. He looks like a dog. Drives us batty. It has caused problems in the past by him scratching his ear canal and causing inflammation. This is compounded by the fact that the boy makes more earwax than any other person on the planet. When he does the dog scratch, he tends to compact the wax into his ear.

This Tuesday, he got out of the shower and began carrying on about his ear hurting. Some nasty dark wax was on the outside of his ear and I cleaned it up with a Qtip. He went to school the next day and went straight to the nurses office and said I had crammed a Qtip in his ear and has hurt him. Nice.

After speaking with the nurse, I assured her that I did not do that. She did say that his ears were VERY compacted and that she could not see the ear canal at all. I went to pick him up and headed to the clinic. The doctor said the ears were VERY bad and they needed to lavage them out. This involves a waterpick type instrument and a convenient little water & goo catch-y thing. The doctor also said that he has very odd, narrow and twisty ear canals which complicates things. They did the lavage 6 times on one side and 4 on the other. Not much came out. They still could not see any part of the canal, but his pain was relieved. We left with 2 prescriptions and need to head back in 4 weeks for another go at the lavage.

Dustin has been complaining about loud noises for a month or so. I truly ignored it because he decides to complain about things in a cyclical pattern. He finds one thing to focus on and then he will not let it go. I thought this was the complaint du jour. I was wrong and I feel badly.

The worst part is that because Dustin has lessened pain receptors, he rarely complains about things until it is VERY painful. This doctor told me this amount of compaction would be quite painful for anyone and he could not understand how it got this badly before he complained. He was very kind. He was understanding and kind to Dustin. I really liked him. I feel so terrible that it got that bad before I took care of it. But, I suppose it is what it is. This is exactly what happened earlier this fall with his bowel obstruction. He does not know he is in pain until the damage is far greater than normal.

I can only hope that this is the reason that the last month has been so completely and totally wretched behavior wise. He has been impulsive, explosive, grouchy and grumpy. He has been over-the-edge nasty. I can only hope it was his body reacting to the pain, even if he did not feel it completely. Today I kept him home from school. Last night's behavior was particularly bad and I thought he needed some extra sleep. Tonight has been 1 million times better . . . I hope this trend continues!


Becky said...

My son is like that as well. If he complains about anything - well, that is because it has hit the critical stage- but getting other caregivers (hospitals) to recognize that is like pulling teeth, lol.

Feels great to be reading blogs again! Love ya :-)

Miz Kizzle said...

As one of those lucky people whose ears produce tremendous amounts of wax I recommend washing Dustin's ears out with a bulb syringe filled with a OTC product called Ocean before having the doctor lavage them. The Ocean, applied several times before you go to the doc, loosens the compacted earwax so it can be flushed out more easily. Good luck.

marythemom said...

My daughter produces an amazing amount of ear wax and has tiny ear drums (have to use the infant size) to the extent that it actually blocked her hearing. She'd been complaining, but she has high somatic complaints (complains ALL the time about psychosomatic issues) so I'd been ignoring it. Hate it when that happens.

I wanna buy one of those little squirt bottles with the cool hose things, because the doc recommended we clean her ears EVERY day... yea, not going to happen with that little bulb thing.