Back in May, I was randomly checking Chace’s ears since he had just had an ear infection the previous week when I noticed something unusual in his left ear. It wasn’t wax and wasn’t something he stuck in there (he has put things in his nose before so I wouldn’t be surprised if he stuck something in his ear too). I made a note to have my dad (a retired pediatrician) look at it the next time we were at his house. It happened to be Graduation day for my niece and so my dad looked as well as my cousin who is an ER doctor. Luckily my dad has an otoscope at home and they were both able to look and see that it wasn’t something that was supposed to be there. My dad thought it was a foreign object that Chace had put in his ear and my cousin thought they looked like polyps but wasn’t sure. Needless to say I needed to see a specialist and soon.
My dad made an appointment with his friend, a great head and neck surgeon for the following week. The doctor looked and said that he thinks they are polyps but can’t be sure without taking them out which would require surgery given Chace’s age and tendency to move around a lot. He said we can wait and just monitor them to see if the size or shape changes and then re-evaluate in 3 months and go from there.
I was relieved but slightly nervous that something was growing in Chace’s ear. It was reassuring that he said they weren’t tumors and nothing was affecting his hearing. Fast forward 3 months and they had changed size and moved slightly so the doctor recommended that they be removed through surgery. Immediately I got nervous. My kid needed surgery and had to be under anesthesia was not something anyone wanted to hear. The surgery was scheduled and I had one week to mentally prepare myself for staying strong for Chace and everyone else.
Surgery day arrived and Chace, Daddy, Poppy and I were trying to keep busy in the early morning hours while the doctors and nurses prepared Chace and themselves. I was a nervous wreck but no one could tell. I had made the conscious decision not to tell Chace why we were there. He is good at the doctor’s office and can handle being poked and proded but that is all while I am in the room. Him having to leave the room without me would be a whole different ballgame and boy was it.
When it was time to wheel him into surgery, he heard them say, you can go wait in the waiting room and we will come get you. Chace got hysterical and kept crying “Mommy! I want Mommy!”. I was dying inside because there wasn’t anything I could do. I wanted to hold him and tell him everything would be ok and I would be there the second he woke up, but there wasn’t time and it wouldn’t have helped. All he wanted was me to take him in my arms and leave.
The surgery took less than 30 minutes and was a complete success. The doctor was able to remove the 3 things and when he did he realized they were not polyps but some sort of foreign body that Chace had put in his ear or was somehow imbedded in there and then tissue had grown over it. He sent it away to be tested just in case. When Chace was in recovery, we were allowed in to see him. If anyone has been around a child waking up from anesthesia, they know that they cry but it’s an unusual cry. I held him, talked to him and hugged him so tightly but nothing I could do would comfort him completely. Eventually he woke up and was his normal, happy self. He asked for a popsicle since he had remembered the nurse promising him one. He didn’t have pain or any recollection of the surgery. We were able to leave and just watch him carefully at home. A few days later the doctor called to confirm that the three things were in fact foreign bodies and not tumors. Thank goodness! Special thanks to my mom for watching Harper during this crazy day and my sister and her family for sending Chace all the goodies. Family is everything!