Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Horrible, Good-For-Nothing Ear Infection

Katra with her new kitty toys from her human grandparents.
By early January, Orion was at the end of a long stretch of uncomfortable issues.  The last of the annoying issues was nasty, burning diarrhea and we slathered on a lot of trusty Desitin hoping it would work wonders for his red parts.   

The Smelly Ear Infection
Looking back, it all started before Thanksgiving.  He had a smelly right ear but was behaving fine and was prescribed antibiotics.  The smell went down and did not disappear completely.  Well into December, the stench came back even stronger the second time around. I did the usual take-baby-to-doctor-and-get-medicine routine. 

The weekend before Christmas, Orion screamed when we put on his activated CI processor/coil.  We gave Orion and the equipment a time-out until he went to the ENT for follow-up Tuesday after the weekend. 

After showing up at the ENT and demonstrating the reek emanating out of his right ear and his attached-CI processor-yelling, I brought him to Children's ER.  That was on December 20th.  They admitted him, with IV antibiotics and eventually Orion had a tube put in his right ear.  By doing this they were being proactive to protect his ear and his implant. Everything went well and with a clean-smelling ear, he was discharged the next day on December 23rd late in the afternoon.  (We were so worried he'd stay through Christmas!)
Skyler and Anastasia track Santa's Christmas Eve progress via NORAD's website.
The Battle Over The Medicine
For his ear, he had to take 9cc's of bactrim orally two times a day.  It was a struggle!  He now dislikes applesauce and karo syrup because I tried and failed to conceal the taste of the medicine.  He would open his mouth for other foods but became tight-lipped when he knew it was applesauce.  The advice nurse gave me useless advice, to try to reason with him that he had to take the medicine.  I was left with trying to force the syringe in his mouth and squirting some in.  I took him to urgent care on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day asking for any other way.  I even asked for a special IV line where it can be left in and I can bring him to the doctors for a dose. I tried new strategies to get 18 cc's in Orion in a 24 hour period (karo syrup, or 6cc's every 8 hours, or 3cc's every 4, etc.)  By the time I think Orion's getting used to it, after around 10 days on bactrim late on New Year's Eve, he developed bright red cheeks. 

Orion's New Year's Eve festivities included sleeping.
The Rash
Oh, great!  No fever. Then on New Year's Day, dotted rash showed up on his chest in the morning.  By night it was all over his body. I took our little frequent flyer to urgent care again on January 2nd.  It was either post-viral rash or allergic reaction to the sulfa in the medicine he had to take so the doctor told us not to continue the medicine.  Orion happened to shriek and make his usual cute little noises... Yes, Orion, now's a good time to celebrate, you don't have to deal with the antibiotic anymore!

Is his implant OK?
On January 3rd, we saw his CI surgeon at Johns Hopkins and eventually the audiologist to tweak his processor volume to the point where he can wear it without crying.  He had to get used to it all over again, the wearing of a contraption on his head. 

It looks like the crying during the first week of January was because he hadn't worn it continuously since around December 17th when his screaming started even though he'd been wearing it regularly at that time.  I'm guessing his ear infection was so bad his ear hurt.  

That's All Folks!
It turns out the last of his issues was a yeast rash.  Nystatin was prescribed and his bottom improved quickly.  Bactrim can cause overgrowth of some bacteria... thus the yeast issue.

We don't know if the infection was caused by his CI's presence.  He did have a brief cold right before his infection was obvious. 

Orion has to wear a swimming ear plug in the bath because of the tube in his right ear.  His ears smell just fine. Thank goodness!

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