Sunday, September 5, 2010

If it isn't one thing, it's a chunk of orange rubber

Last weekend we had a playdate and made green goo.  It's fantastic stuff, a mixture of Elmer's glue, water, borax and food coloring.  Once they are mixed, it becomes a stretchy shiny slime.  Similar to silly putty, but not quite as stretchy.  The boys have been playing with it ever since.  Little Dog in particular has been enamored of the special sludge.  His hands are stained green from the food color I added in generous quantities to turn it a brilliant shamrock green.  We have a special mat in the living room designated as the safe play area for the stuff since I don't want it ground into my furniture in any quantity.  It's fun to seem him so engaged in play with something we made together.  On the downside, he's been tempted to put the stuff into his mouth, up his nose and in his ears.  In fact, we've been having to remind him not to do these things on a very regular basis.
The other night, Little Dog was playing with the goo when a strange looked crossed his face.
"What?" I asked him, wondering what he was up to.
"I put it in my ear and it disappeared!" he said, "It went right into my brain!"
"Don't put it in your ear!" I loudly reminded him as  I dove down to peer into his ear.
I didn't see anything, and later that evening he showed up with a piece of the goo dried in his hair.  I assumed that the tiny chunk from his ear had fallen out into his hair and hardened.  I reminded him not to pull a repeat of this stunt, and worked the dried sludge from his hair.  And all seemed fine and good.
Fine and good until this morning, that is.  Little Dog was sitting on my lap and when I looked at him, I caught a glimpse of something dark in his ear.  I took a closer look and saw what looked like dark ear wax building up in his ear.  Not good.  See we're a family with a long history of severe ear infections.  Dark ear wax is frequently the first sign before the screaming starts and the antibiotics are prescribed.  I got a q-tip to verify and when I swiped away the ear wax something green appeared at the edge of the ear canal.  Shit.  The green goo.  I tried to catch the edge of it with the swab and something went wrong.  Instead of getting the green goo out, I manged to push it further into the ear.  And then the screaming started.  Feel free to lecture me on proper Q-tip use, I know, I know, but I didn't venture into the ear canal, just tried to pin the edge of the goo and sweep it out.  After  a few minutes of screaming, I decided we needed to take him to the ER, this was certainly not normal screaming and if there was a chunk of goo in his ear since the other night, it was probably hardened and could possibly do real damage.
We went to Children's Hospital as a family, because that's how we do things.  We were quickly screened, checked in and taken to a room.  Soon the doctor came in to check things out.  When she looked into the ear, she was a little confused.  "I see something, but I'm not sure that's it," she said.  "I'm going to get  another doctor to take a peek, then we'll try to take it out."
The next doctor came pretty quickly and spotted the object immediately. "We'll flush it out with saline.  We should probably sedate him a bit if you think there is going to be a struggle."  And we did so they did.
Little Dog was dosed with Versed and when he appeared relaxed and mildly sedated, the doctors returned.  Mr. Dog and Big Dog went to the waiting room while I stayed to help hold Little Dog.   Three syringes full of warmed saline manged to loosen the object and move it to a point where it could be moved with some kind of ear scraper.  Once it was in a good position, tiny forceps were used to grab it and when the doctor declared victory he held up a piece of bright orange rubber.  WTF? 
"What is that?" I asked, caught unprepared for the orange chunk in place of the anticipated green goo.
After Mr. Dog and Big Dog returned,  we decided it was likely a piece of the straw on Little Dog's water bottle.  Though when asked if he put that in his ear, he flatly denied it.
"Then how did it get in there?" asked Mr. Dog.
"Maybe it just snuck in," suggested Little Dog.  Somehow, I'm not buying it.

1 comment:

ABDMama said...

I just found your blog and have to admit this one worries me for the future (my little boy is 11 months old). My uncle once put a bean in his ear that sprouted, so I guess it can always be worse!

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