Friday, October 31, 2014

The Not so Normal Annual Physical

Yesterday was the twins 10 year check up. If Tom thought getting the tetanus shot was going to be the worst part, boy was he wrong.

The doc starts his normal routine and finally gets to looking into the ears. Then he says, "Hmm." Followed by silence.

Doc: "Tom is there any reason you would have something green stuck in your ear."

Me: "He's an avid soccer player and it's quite possible there's grass in there."

Doc:"Mom, this is not grass. Come and take a look."

Me: "Gasp! Nope that's certainly not grass."

So the doc gets some special equipment that looked like a long flexible tube with a bulb on the back of it. He places it deep into Tom's ear and presses on the bulb, thus creating a small bubble behind the blockage and in theory he would drag the object out. Tom was screaming in pain. The doctor said since he does not use q-tips (which are NOT ADVISED) he has a very sensitive ear canal. So we were sent home with a prescription for ear numbing drops and told to have Tom lie on his left side as much as possible, adding ear drops a few times a day and eventually it will fall out. If that doesn't happen in a week we were to go see an ENT doctor.

After coming home, using the drops and irrigating the crap out of his ear with sterile normal saline nothing was coming out. Tom was convinced this was going to ruin his halloween even though it was not painful and he did not feel it in there.

I ended up calling the Sutter Urgent Care and asked if they had the ability to pull things out of ears. There was a young, full of energy doctor, Dr. Lai, who said, "It's my favorite thing to do!"

The check in process was horrible. For some reason I had to fill out paperwork after paperwork as they did not have Tom in the system, though he's been seen by Sutter doctors since he was an infant. Once that hour of paper work was done things happened pretty fast. They called us back and Tom got set up in this large chair with big lights on top. Dr. Lai comes bounding into the room to take a look. Boy was she excited!

She said there was definitely a foreign green object stuck deep in Tom's ear. She found her tools, the alligator forceps and then called for an audience, "Come on boys!" and two more white coat doctors came in to watch the show. They all took a look first and then Dr. Lai got down to business. It took her less than ten seconds to send the alligator forceps in, pinch the green object, and pull it out. Then everyone wanted to look at it! She paraded it around the office and then dumped it into a trash can.

We're still not sure if it was crayon or oil pastels or even play dough! Oddly though, one week ago Tom's class was working with green oil pastels. Tom is either too embarrassed to admit what happened, or he just doesn't remember. When was the last time anyone looked in his ears anyway? Could have been a year ago at his 9 year old check up. So there's no telling how long this object was lodged in his ear canal except that there was no irritation and no infection, leading us to believe it was probably in there for a short period of time.

And that is the story of the green crayon in my 10 year old's ear.


Ratatosk said...

My child once stuck a rock in his ear to see if it'd come out the other side. The peds clinic had us go to an ENT, who didn't believe me at first. I knew better, as he once had a leaf stuck up his nose for a longggg time. Liza

Anonymous said...

That is awesome that urgent care was able to get it right out - you don't want to wait around for a week - that's ridiculous. So glad they could get it right out! Tina