From earache to a perforated eardrum

From earache to a perforated eardrum

So Monkey woke up with earache on Sunday. He’d never suffered with it before and I had no idea what to do really. I was slightly concerned as Daddy P and his siblings all suffered with horrendous ear issues as children. I thought Monkey had escaped that fate, but maybe not. Anyway, I put a shout out to friends and googled. Everything suggested that Calpol/Calprofen and a warm flannel pressed to his ear would help. There were other mentions of olive oil but there was no way Monkey was letting me anywhere near for that. Little did I know then that within 2 days we’d go from earache to a perforated eardrum!

We were meeting up with a Spanish friend for lunch, Monkey was off his food and rather lethargic, when we got home he fell asleep on my bed.  I can’t remember the last year he fell asleep at home during the day.  Ok, well that’s the best thing for him. When he woke up his was still complaining of earache, so I dosed him up with Calpol and we tried the warm flannel again.

Everything I’d read said that earache in children usually just lasts for a couple of days. Monkey and I were off to Cambridge in the morning for a few days.  So I made sure I packed some Calpol/Calprofen and thought it would all be ok.  How wrong could I be!

We set off as planned on Monday, Monkey still had his earache, but was so excited to be going away, he chatted away in the car non-stop for nearly 2 hours and then enjoyed exploring our hotel room.  The weather was lovely, so we headed into Cambridge for lunch and some sightseeing.  He didn’t fancy much for his lunch but otherwise he was ok. By tea time he still wasn’t very hungry, even Pizza Express pizza couldn’t tempt him – normally a sure thing.

Monday night really wasn’t great.  At one point, in the early hours I nearly packed our bagged and headed home.  But the thought of him being upset in the car for 2 hours and me having to keep driving didn’t sound like my best plan.  He finally fell asleep and in the morning he woke up as bright as a button.  Yes Mummy, my ear still hurts, but he was cheerful and ate a fairly good breakfast.  Ok, well perhaps we’ll carry on with our plans then.  We were going to be spending the day at IWM Duxford (more on that in a future post) and he was really excited to be seeing all the planes, especially the Concorde they have there.  All was going well, he even fancied an ice cream.  Perhaps we’d reached the earache plateau and all would be well.

From earache to a perforated eardrum

We headed back to the hotel, by this time Monkey was rather hot, and promptly fell asleep on the bed.  Maybe we would head home in the morning, rather than driving over to Mildenhall to see friends.

He slept for a good hour and as he woke up I noticed something in his ear, something that had me freaking on the inside, trying to remain calm on the outside.  There was blood in his ear!  Oh wow, that couldn’t be good.  What the hell to do?  I rang our surgery at home, it’s ok, register with a local GP, they will see you today.  Right, no phone in hotel room, luckily I had something with the direct line of the hotel on it.  Can I have a list of local doctors please, the nearest possible first.  Rang the first one, our doctors have finished seeing people today, can you call back at 8am?  Uuum, no!  I have a 5 year old with blood in his ear, I’m no doctor but I really don’t think this can wait.  Second number, answer phone directing me to 111.

Call 111, go through the questionnaire, get transferred to a clinical assistant.  Right yes you need to see a doctor, no don’t drive home, but the problem is you’ve called at the wrong time.  Huh?  Well it’s too late to get you into a doctors and not quite late enough to get you on the out of hours service.  Can you call us back in 30 minutes? Right and how long will it take from there?  An hour hopefully, or you could go to A &E.  Uum, ok, I have no idea where that is.  So I dosed Monkey up with Calprofen again and we counted down the minutes until 6.15pm.

So Call 111,  go through the questionnaire again, get transferred to a clinical assistant.  By this time it’s 7pm.Right we can get you booked in locally at 7.15 or 7.30.  Ok, I’ve no idea where this place is, I’ll put it in my satnav, ok, it’s really close to you but I’ll book you in for 7.30 so you have plenty of time.

One Monkey scooped up and bundled into car, satnav programmed, last parking space in the car park lost, and off we go.  The surgery was really close and the doctor was lovely, very good with both of us.  Ok so we’d gone from earache to a perforated eardrum in 48 hours.  He’s temperature is rather high even with the Calprofen.  We need to get antibiotics in him tonight and keep up the Calpol/Calprofen regime too.  Prescription received, ok, I have no idea where I need to go.  Thankfully, the late chemist was actually just up the road from the hotel.

By this point, I knew we really just needed to be at home.  I decided I’d give Monkey the first lot of penicillin at the hotel, pack our bags and we’d head home a day early.  Now, I’m allergic to penicillin, so I have no idea what the banana flavoured stuff tastes like.  I can tell you it smells disgusting, and I love bananas.  I’ve never had a problem giving Monkey medicine before, but oh boy, he really doesn’t like this stuff.  He loves bananas too.  Oh joy, that’s it, we’re going home!

So that was our Cambridge adventure curtailed.  We got home just after 10pm, Monkey was fast asleep in the car, I managed to get him transferred to bed with him only murmuring, unusual.  He stayed asleep.  I realised I hadn’t eaten since 12 o’clock, not so good.

Monkey was awake at about 1am, and I put him in my bed and then that was us both out for the count until 7am.

He woke up and it was as if he was a different boy, my Monkey was back.  I’m not sure Daddy P realises just how traumatic Tuesday evening was, as he just saw our normal, happy Monkey.  Now to get some more lovely penicillin in him.  I’d decided that a medicine spoon was not going to get the yellow slime inside this chirpier Monkey!  Oh no.  Luckily I had one of the Calpol syringes lurking in the cupboard.  Monkey this will be much better, it will be gone before you really have to taste it!  I’ll even let you have Haribos and Dinosaur biscuits (these have to be sent from Granny in Spain!) as a treat afterwards.

Job done, he even gave most of the Haribos to Daddy P, and hasn’t asked for them again since.  So here we are 48 hours on from earache becoming a perforated eardrum and Monkey’s temperature has stabilised, his eating better, still complaining that his ear hurts, but not so bad.  We’re on penicillin for a total of 7 days and the first non-emergency appointment I can get at our doctors in Friday 31st.  Monkey’s not allowed to get water in his ear at the moment, so that’s swimming lessons cancelled today and next week and we’ll have to see what the doctor says next week.

So don’t always presume that earache will just disappear, but also do know that it’s quite common for children to suffer from perforated eardrums.  Hopefully there’s no lasting issues with his hearing, we will just have to wait and see.

9 thoughts on “From earache to a perforated eardrum

  1. Oh that sounds like a horrendous time. So sorry your break away was a bit of a mess but I am so glad that Monkey is so much better! x

  2. If you’ve never burst an eardrum, the pain before it goes is awful. I’d rather have another baby. I burst the same one twice and I do have sone hearing loss and it’s more waxy and sore if I get a bad throat, but only since the second time x

  3. Oh poor Monkey. Glad he’s feeling better, it must have been really scary for you. I freak out when my boy doesn’t talk for over an hour never mind having blood in his ear. Kudos for staying calm & getting through xx

  4. Oh no poor Monkey and poor you! It’s awful when they get ill at home, nevermind when you are away. It must have been so painful. Glad he is on the mend now and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer holidays.

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