26 March 2007

Did you know you can smell an ear infection?

Actually, I should say a ruptured ear drum? I do now since it was comfirmed at our pediatricians' office this morning.

It all started about 5 days ago. Libby was eating breakfast. I leaned down to give her a kiss on her left cheek and smelled something...something foul. It must have been something she'd gotten in her hair. We had to get to preschool, but that evening I made sure to scrub her little head. A couple days later, I smelled the same odor. Maybe it was her breath? I took her upstairs to scrub her little teeth with Aquafresh. Yesterday morning when I smelled it yet again, I discovered the odor was coming from her ear. I said something to Bryan mainly to see if he thought I was crazy. (Bryan fondly refers to me as The Bloodhound.) I knew if Bryan could smell it, the odor was real, or, at least strong enough to cause real concern.

I called to get her a doctor's appointment, but I wasn't really even sure what might be wrong with her. Her ear might or might not have an unnatural smell seeping out of it? The nurse asked what other symptoms Libby was experiencing and I honestly said nothing, except being a little clingier/fussier than normal. No fever, eating fine, no inconsolable crying, nothing even leaking out of her ear. Feeling a little silly and over-anxious, I quickly offered to call back today instead of taking a coveted weekend appointment space. We ended the call agreeing that I would call back today unless she started running fever or gunk started oozing out her ear.

Just to make sure I made the right decision and to discover if "smelliness" could even be a sympton of an ear infection, I tackled calmly approached a pediatrician we go to church with and innapropriately asked him to do a quick examination of my child right in the middle of the sanctuary. He said he thought she would be fine to wait until today, especially since. She. Had. No. Other. Symptoms.

This morning I woke up realizing how much I needed to get accomplished and feeling just a tad bit hesitant about taking Libby in to see a doctor about a stinky ear. I would be deceitful if I did not mention that our health insurance changed this year and we have to pay in full for sick visits. Ouch! Honestly, though, if I absolutely knew my child was sick and needed medicine, I would pawn all my valuables to pay for care. It is just when I'm not so sure that I question the necessity for a pricey visit to the doctor. I woke up this morning feeling not so sure. However, I sure am glad I took her in anyway.

And, you better believe I will be taking her in for the follow-up visit that I never take my kids in for!