17 October 2008

How to Feel Like a Bad Parent

I got a call from the school nurse the other day. She’d done a routine hearing test on the kindergartener, and was concerned that there were some frequencies at which her hearing wasn’t perfect. She thought it might just be a case of too much earwax, so I took her to the pediatrician.

He looked in her little ears and found that they looked clogged, so he told her “we can cut your ears off and wash them out in the sink, or we can bring the sink to you”. He had her lie down on the table, positioned one of those little kidney shaped basins alongside her head, and began squirting water in her ear with a beautiful stainless steel irrigation syringe.

Nothing happened.

He moved onto a curette, and a teensy special q-tip, and eventually little pieces starting coming out. He got out the syringe again, squirted some more, and finally dislodged the largest glob of earwax I have ever seen. It was so stunningly huge that I almost wanted to take it home to show my husband (but I restrained myself from fishing it out of the trash). The other ear contained an only slightly less impressive glob.

Luckily she giggled through the entire thing. Her ears seem to be fine, but they’ll repeat the hearing test at her five year old check-up next month.

28 comments:

FreshHell said...

Oh, I think this makes you a good parent. You took her to the doc who cleaned out her ears. I mean, aren't they telling us NOT to jam Q-tips in our ears (like I do to myself daily)? So, no one expects you would do it to her. Getting one's ear aspirated (or squirted) actually feels kinda good. Hope they sent her home with a sticker or a lollipop.

S. said...

I'm impressed you resisted the impulse to show off the glob! I'm not sure I would've managed such restraint if it had been Z.'s ears.

A. would have been so satisfyingly squeamish.

Awesome Mom said...

I totally would have taken pictures and blogged it. You did show a great amount of restraint.

How were you supposed to know that there was a monster glob of wax in there?

Furrow said...

Eh. There's no way to win. Use a q-tip, puncture your child's ear drums, don't use one... whatever.

I would have liked to have seen the glob, but then, I'm the one who took a picture of my placenta.

Aunt Becky said...

Dude. Some people (my son included) just produce such massive amounts of cerumen like that. Sounds like it's something just part of who she is.

And I'm sad that there is no pictures.

Kate Lord Brown said...

You are a great mom. It never ceases to amaze me what they can squirrel away around their persons. Have you read 'Captain Corelli' where some extraordinary piece of earwax comes shooting out after half a century? I remember a hearing test where they thought I was totally deaf (but they had put the earpieces *over* my incredibly thick hair so couldn't hear anything. Try Hopi ear candles - gentle but gooood!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Yes, I was thinking of the Captain Corelli story too! It's such a great scene - the doctor "cures" an old man of his decades-old deafness, and the guy is thrilled, until he realizes how much his wife has been bitching him out all the time, and then he wants his deafness back.

slouching mom said...

from one earwax overproducer to another... you go, m.!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I don't think the earwax has anything to do with you. Now if the school had alerted you to a possible problem and you did nothing . . .

Sunshine said...

Our oldest gets mega ear wax going on. I can only guess it's just one of those things, some people are prone to it, but the amounts are a lot!

noble pig said...

I wish I wasn't eating pizza when I read that..I gagged a little.

Mental P Mama said...

I read somewhere that it is a sign of a very healthy person to produce a copious amount of earwax. I'm serious. Now, laundry? That's a whole 'nother story.

Anjali said...

You should have kept it. Don't you have an Ear Glob Fairy that comes to your house!

Julia said...

Eh... not a bad parent.
we had the wax thing too. The ped gave us drops to use atb home. It was all better by the next visit. come to think of it, should check on her ears again...

painted maypole said...

you can do that at home with those cool cone things that you burn... I've never done it on myself, but my husband finds them really helpful.

and that chunk of earwax in a jar would have made a GREAT Halloween decoration!

Jennifer said...

Hello, I just followed you here from a comment you left at Phantom Scribbler (about mean girls). My older son (3.5 years old) is one of those "produce a bunch of goo" kids. I would have loved to see pictures!!

I had to check out the commenter named magpie because my blog has magpie in the name, too, and I always like meeting fellow magpies!

Angeline said...

did she jump when the water was first 'sprayed' into her ears? my friend did that when she was in her 30s and she SCREAMED! *laugh*

I'm glad to read the last para that she actually handled it so well, 'cos she giggled through the entire thing! *laugh*

Janet said...

I once fished a big kidney stone that I passed out of the toilet to show my husband. I think I would have picked the ear wax out of the garbage. ;)

Sorry i missed your blog action day post. i haven't been reading much lately.

the mama bird diaries said...

I think my daughter would have been seriously freaked out by that ear cleaning.

How were you suppose to prevent that ear wax?

Ree said...

I've never had that done. And probably should have, oh, say, 40 years ago...

Now I'm going to read the next post to see what those home remedies are.

womaninawindow said...

I would never ever forget that earwax. It would amaze me like a mosquito stuck in amber. I might even make a necklace out of it.

Mine had this done when she was two 'cause of repeated ear infections. Doctor did it with something that looked like a darning needle. Then came the tubes. Oh, the tubes...

Kyla said...

Your kid had massive ear wax, mine was deaf for a couple years...we all miss things. ;) The important part is always making it right once you realize.

Was it the size of a dime? A QUARTER? A raisin? Or grape? Inquiring minds, we bloggers have.

Gwen said...

I'm obsessive about cleaning out my kids' ears which is all kinds of wrong since my q-tip is way smaller than an elbow. But I can't help myself. If only I were so conscientious about giving them allowance, making them be more responsible, having them clean up their own messes, etc.

At least the procedure wasn't painful!

Mad said...

Miss M is in the midst of all sorts of hearing tests. Let's hope it's nothing but ear wax.

Also, my doctor once said to me "no one told me when I entered medical school that I'd have to deal with soooo much ear wax."

Don Mills Diva said...

My husband has to get his ears cleaned a few times a year - some people just produce A LOT of wax...

Library Lady said...

Some kids are prone to it. My younger one has always had that--though it seems to have slacked off this year.
Interestingly, she's also the one who has developed a tendency towards "swimmer's ear"--I wonder if there's any connection?

When she had her pre-K health exam, she flunked the hearing test and had to go to the audiologist. As I suspected, she'd just been ignoring the doctor--she loved the attention at the audiologist and proved to have perfect hearing!

Kimberly said...

This happened to my brother when he was about five. My mum felt so rotten over all the shouting she'd done because he never listened.

He so got an ice cream cone after that doctor's visit.

MiMi said...

Hi-I have had the same problem with my ears since I was her age. It seems every couple of years or so I have to get this procedure done. No, you're right it doesn't hurt, it tickles. And yes, the big glob is amazing. There is this over powering urge to save it and share it with loved ones. I have to admit I did this once and for some reason the same amazement and wonder I found in the spectacle was not shared! Oh well, I keep my earwax to myself now. I'm glad your daughter is better. I will tell you even though I've had this over-manufactoring of wax my whole life, I have never had any other ear problems.
By the way...found your blog from Mom-e-centric.