Fun With Otoscopes

Fun With Otoscopes cradlerockingmama

So I had this whole post worked out in my head for today, and then Monday night happened.

Sunday, Zac really seemed to be on the upswing. He’d gotten his appetite back, was playing and his nose wasn’t running as much. So it seemed like a good time to write those “wrap up” posts about the sickness we’d been dealing with.

Monday morning he was still doing well. By the afternoon, he wasn’t eating as much. By dinner time, he was cranky.

But it was 45 minutes after I put him to bed that things REALLY got fun.

A little side bar: sometime during this last illness the kiddos decided our thermometers were actually cool toys, took them to play with, and promptly lost them somewhere in the house.

So I haven’t been able to take anyone’s temperature for over a week now. Not so great when everyone is sick!

Monday, we made a trip to town to grab some essentials, and I wanted a new thermometer to replace the ones we’d “lost” (which, true to Murphy’s Law, have already been found now that they’d been replaced).

Right there next to the thermometers was something I hadn’t seen before: Otoscopes for home use. 

Well, now.

We’ve already paid for two doctors visits where we were just sure  one of our kiddos had an ear infection, only to learn their ears were just fine. So if this little $18 tool could save us from even one unnecessary doctors appointment, then it would actually make us money.

So I bought it…you know, just to have in my handy dandy “mommy medical box”. (Hey, it’s even called “Dr. Mom Otoscope“!)

Okay. Back to the story.

45 minutes after Zac went to sleep, he woke up screaming, whimpering, and absolutely tugging, pulling, flicking, and otherwise messing with his right ear.

Unfortunately, Darrel was asleep and Zac was firm in his belief that no one  and no thing  should touch his ear.

In my quest to use my new otoscope to look in his ears, I was out-wrestled by my 20 month old. Unbelievable.

In the end, it didn’t really matter right then to see inside his ears, so I gave up and focused my attention on trying to make him feel better.

After hours of doing everything I could think of with little success, we both finally managed to pass out on the couch in the most awkward and uncomfortable position, with a movie on the TV and a boob constantly in his mouth while he whimpered. The last time I remember seeing was 2 am.

Bright and early yesterday morning, Darrel pinned Zac down for me so I could look in his ears.

Left ear looked okay to me.

Right ear…holy mother of ear infections!!

I called the pediatrician immediately and within a couple hours had a squeeze in appointment for the afternoon with our beloved nurse practitioner.

Knowing that she’d get a kick out of it, I told her about my newest medical foray into the land of “Otoscopes for Dummies”. Once she peeked into his right ear, she told me “good eye, Mom!” To which I said “Seriously. It didn’t take any talent – they have pictures for you to use!” See?

Seriously. This could not be simpler.

Seriously. This could NOT be simpler.

Not only was his right ear just a gigantic mess of an ear infection, but sometime between when I’d looked in the morning and when she checked him out in the afternoon, his left ear had suddenly developed an infection.

A double ear infection. 

Coming off a nearly two week long “virus” that the whole family suffered from.


Antibiotics are in our future. 

Now, I think it’s clear by now that I prefer to try and treat things naturally and holistically, if possible. And I know that ear infections are one of the most over-medicated childhood ailments.

But at this point, Zac’s little body had been fighting an infection for two weeks, and he was not winning the battle. This infection (obviously bacterial, not viral) was proving to be a stubborn jerk.

I really believed that antibiotics were warranted in this situation.

Only this time, we know that Zac reacts to the Rocephin shots. So if we are going to have a reaction regardless of what we give him, then maybe it would be wise to keep the Rocephin in reserve? After all, it is some pretty heavy duty antibiotics.

Our NP agreed, and called in a regular antibiotic to the compounding lab.

And the fun begins anew! 

Turns out, our compounding pharmacy can only get ONE form of antibiotic that would be effective against an ear infection in it’s pure, plain, un-fillered form. Azithromycin. But they have to order it. So we’d have to wait until Wednesday to get the meds.

Or we could take an antibiotic full of fillers that we KNOW he will react badly right then.

Or…we could just get the Rocephin shots.

Despite having good reasons for NOT getting the shots, we went with the shots. I hate the idea of leaving him in pain for another 24 hours before he got any medication. And if he’s going to react to his medicine (which seems likely; I’d hoped that a different antibiotic might give us a “honeymoon” period the first time through where he didn’t react…but with fillers, it’s a given that he will react) better to get it in his system and be done with it quickly.

Dosing him for ten days with something that is making his FPIES flare just seems…cruel. 

So back to the doctors office we went, Zac got his shot, and for a few hours was still just as miserable as he’d been all day.

By the evening, though, he was asking for food again, playing, and happy.

And he went to bed like a champ.

So another two days of a 50 minute one way drive to the doctors office for shots, and we can give him some gut rest, and then, finally, we can resume food trials.

And God willing, this is the last of the cooties we have to deal with for the season. (I made some Thieves Oil tonight to use in sterilizing my house; hope it helps!)

With luck, I can get back to my regular posting…fellow Brown Thumb Gardeners, have you picked out and purchased your seeds yet? Better hurry!


Anyone ever used Thieves Oil? How’d it work for you? I’m planning to dilute it with water and use it to clean…anyone have any tips on that?

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2 Responses to Fun With Otoscopes

  1. Ruth Pinnell says:

    Ha-ha – we have that same otoscope and LOVE it!

    Andy saved seeds from our most vigorous plants last season and has ordered the rest, so we’re on target. Did you know that saving seeds will naturally select plants that thrive in your garden’s little microenvironment?

    And yes, huge fan and user of Thieves Oil for many purposes! I put a few drops of oil, a few drops of Dr. Bronners liquid soap, and water in a spray bottle for general cleaning.

    • Carrie says:

      LOL Ruth, the more I chat with you online, the more I think we are soul sisters. 😉 If I want to do it, you probably already do it. If you want to do it, it’s something I have a recipe for! LOL

      Yes, I did actually know that about the seeds that you save from your garden. Sadly, I’ve never had big successes in my garden enough to save seeds from (except once, but I don’t know if those seeds are any good two years later).

      How does the Thieves oil work for you? Does it actually help keep you from getting sick?

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