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My four month old has an ear infection and our experience last night!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry this is so long! I usually never start a thread.

I can't believe that my exclusively breastfed (never any formula or solid foods) four month old son has an ear infection so young. I have been told by a doctor and PA that it could have been a lot worse if he wasn't breastfed though.

I am very concerned about what happened last night and was wondering if anyone else went through an experience like this. Ds felt warm last night so we took his temperature and it was a little over 101. I called the pediatrician's office and asked if we should bring him in (they have urgent care walk-in until 9:00 pm). The nurse I talked to said it was up to us but they might just want to "take a peek" to make sure he was OK. My husband didn't think it was necessary, but I said we should bring him because he is so young.

So we brought him in and the physician's assistant said he had an ear infection. The PA said that he needs to have some blood drawn because he does not have all of his vaccinations because he is so young (I guess you would call us delayed vaxers - we only do 2 shots at a time instead of 4) and they wanted to check cell counts. We got really nervous when he said to us that our dd would have to leave the room because it could be scary for her to see. Dh didn't think it would be a big deal for her to stay but I told him to take her into the waiting room to look at the fish. After they left the room the nurse came in and said he had to check ds's oxygen level with the finger thing. A little while later I was told to bring him into this other room. There was a lot of equiptment set up and I said "that looks scary" and one of the nurses said that it is just clean. They said that they were going to do the catheter first to collect some urine. The PA ever mentioned that. I asked what it was for and they said to look for bacteria. I was very uneasy about this but I let them do it anyway. He screamed the whole time and I wanted to cry. The blood draw was worse because they kept moving the needle around his arm looking for a vein while he was screaming. They finally found a vein in his hand and it took forever for a little bit of blood to come out. They then gave him a shot of antibiotics for the ear infection and cried even louder. My husband came back after it was all over and I told him about the catheter and he was as shocked as I was and that if he was in the room he would have questioned it more and might not have let them do it. That made me feel awful. Dh could hear him crying from the waiting room and it is a big place! I nursed him there and he fell asleep. He was awoken again to do the nose swab for RSV and screamed again. Thankfully it was negative. He fell asleep on the way home. I felt like he was traumatized by the experience and I felt traumatized watching it happen.

I took him back this afternoon because they wanted to recheck him. Thank goodness he was able to see one of the peds that I like, who was also my lactation consultant after Carter was born. She checked his ears and said he had an ear infection. I said "yes" and she said, "They knew that last night?" and she said she didn't think all of those test were really necessary. He doesn't have a fever any more and she thinks that the tests that come back on Monday will be fine. Now I am thinking did he go through all of that FOR NOTHING? I usually really like this practice. I love the kids' primary ped who gives us information and tells us what he thinks and is fine with any decision the parent makes. Is is really understanding of how we want vaxes done and our decision to delay solids. He is one of the doctors that started the practice and has the most experience. I love our ped, the LC, and many of the nurses and I don't want to leave the practice at all, but I am wondering if what they did last night was really necessary. I feel like such a bad mom for letting this happen to my sweet baby. I grew up learning to trust doctors. My dad works for a medical college. I still do trust doctors and the medical profession for the most part but now I am second guessing because of what happened last night. I know that they were being cautious because he is only 4 months old and I would want them to catch it if he was really sick with something serious. I am just so confused and sad right now. Has anyone else out there been through anything like this before?
post #2 of 14
OMG are you serious?? For a 101 fever? That sounds WAY excessive to me. No wonder he's traumatized: poor little guy, and poor you! I would run from that practice, honestly...esp since it sounds like they're punishing you for not vaxing all the way? Just wondering, since you mentioned that they brought this up as a reason for all the tests.

Don't blame yourself, mama. It's hard to deal with the medical machine when they're in "crisis" mode and when you're already worried about your LO. Give him some probiotics to help his gut heal from the abx, take plenty of vitamin C yourself to boost his immune system, and you can do garlic oil or BM in the ear, too.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just to clarify, I don't think they were punishing us for not vaxing all of the way - they would do the same if he was fully vaxed. I think their reasoning is because a four month old is not as vaxed as an older baby is. I am happy that the ped/LC I saw today didn't think it was necessary. I will be speaking with our regular ped about this situation at our next vax appointment. I trust him and he is very different from many of the others in the practice.

I keep hearing about probiotics for babies on MDC. Where do you get them? What does it look like? I have only seen them in the yogurt I eat.
post #4 of 14
That sounds horrible. I think it was unnecessary. I am sorry that your DS and you had to go through that.

I get probiotics at our health food store. You can get capsules and you can take them and you can open up a capsule and put some on your nipple before feeding DS to give it to him.
post #5 of 14
I wouldn't leave the practice! The docs sound great from what you have said , but the PA sounds terrible and the nurses sound really BAD at drawing blood. I just wouldn't let my child be seen by a PA.

I just don't trust PA's to do a good job. A lot of them seem to think they are as good as a physician when they are not, and a lot of them don't seem to have the knowledge, and require their patients to go through too much testing.

As you can tell, I have had several bad experiences with PA's!
post #6 of 14
Yep, sorry--didn't read your original post carefully enough. You should definitely bring this up with your regular ped, maybe even write an official letter laying out your complaint. Even for a 4mo, this is totally excessive. Hope you find some peace with all this, and get some good snuggly time with your sweet babe.

You can also get baby probiotics in powder form. Whole Foods or similar type places sell them, or you can order them online. You can dip your finger in some and give it like that, or mix a little bit into some expressed BM and give it in a bottle or syringe/whatever. ds had his only round of abx for a raging ear infection at 8mo, and we were battling yeasty gut for literally 4 months afterward. They're bad stuff.
post #7 of 14
they did the EXACT same thing to my 3 mo old when I brought her in (and she had an ear infection and a slight fever)---It BROKE my heart---it was the PA that we didn't normally see-and everything was fine---thinking about it---of course there's afever---their ear has fluid!!--

this really finally helped my hubby see that dr aren't always right about what to do about your child---mom knows best---

also don't beat yourself up about it---those drs can scare you into worrying about your baby's health( and sometimes they're right)---your LO has already forgot about it!
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by Mbella View Post
Just to clarify, I don't think they were punishing us for not vaxing all of the way - they would do the same if he was fully vaxed.
I do NOT trust MDs, and I do not believe that statement at all.

So in the future, a 101 fever isn't a call to take a baby in. My boy was around that age when he not only had a fever like that but also had a febrile seizure (the shaking actually happened AS his temperature skyrocketed...I was holding him at the time), and our ND told me (over the phone) natural methods to lower his temp, and just said to call if I needed/wanted. It was simply no big deal.

Now for an ear infection, the MD protocols are supposed to be moving AWAY from antibiotics off the bat! They KNOW abx don't do much good, that they cause abx resistance, and that time is the best healer, but I suppose when someone brings a kiddo in for a 101 fever they expect that the parent has an expectation of *something* being done, so they do it.

Get your child to a gentle chiropractor, make sure baby's first cervical vertebra is free of subluxation. THAT is the general cause of ear infection LIKE symptoms, and even ear infections. One of the biggest benefits parents see when they bring their babies and toddlers to DCs is that the ear infections go WAY down.
post #9 of 14
I agree they were punishing you for not vaxing on schedule. Maybe not even consciously, but there is no reason to have done all that just "because a four month old is not as vaxed as an older baby is." That makes no sense. What VPD did they think he might have had???? I would definitely ask. I think the answer would be as ignorant as the unnecessary procedures they put him through...then you would have some reinforcement as to whether you should leave the practice, or maybe just refuse to be seen by anyone but your LC.

It is hard when you are a FTM and your LO is so young. I feel that peds' offices reeeeeally take advantage of the situation to scare you.

I recommend the book "Healing Childhood Ear Infections" for some insight into why he may have gotten one so young. Some other good books that might help you are "How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor"; "Take Charge of Your Child's Health"; and "Gut and Psychology Syndrome". Good luck!
post #10 of 14
I know ear infections are scary and awful, but my son got one...no abx and that was it. I strongly am against abx at this pt, I know it's rough but better to go through it once and be over with than chronic ear infections which are even worse and cause more damage and later surgeries, etc.
post #11 of 14
Just to clarify, I don't think they were punishing us for not vaxing all of the way - they would do the same if he was fully vaxed.
I have to disagree. I'm mom to 2 fully unvaxed kids and a who has had his 2 mos shots only (my oldest). My youngest 2 had tubes at 7 mos b/c they had recurrent infections starting at 2 mos. No one ever drew blood b/c of it or took urine samples etc. They treated the EI and that was it, even though they had never been vaxed. AJ did end up in the ER at 4 mos and was put through the ringer, but he was screaming non-stop, wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep etc. He had labs and a spinal tap. He ended up having a double EI, an URI that was thought at first to be RSV, and viral meningitis. I was so upset they did this, but know they had reason and obviously he was sick. I would've been livid had this happened to the other 2 just for an EI. My friend's ebf 4 mos old is vaxed, but is on EI #3 right now and no one has ever reccomended further testing either.
post #12 of 14
they did that exact thingt o my daughter and she is vaxed at this point--I think there are just dr (or PAs) out there that always want to be SURE!!! and thusly think there's no harm in just making sure! --

I refuse to give my dd abx

we did that route w/my son---chronic ear infections and now he's either allergic or resitant to almost all kinds---we're in trouble if he get phnemonia!
post #13 of 14
There was absolutely no need for a catheter. If they wanted urine, they could have done the baggy, or a clean catch, which is easier to do on boys. Does it take a little more time, sure. But there's no need to torture a baby for a little pee.
post #14 of 14
That is just out of this world. All of that for a 101 fever in a 4 month old and an obvious ear infection? I would complain. Not only was it a waste of time, effort and money, it was unnecessary to put your child through all of that and introduced new avenues of potential infection.

I am so sorry you and your little boy had to endure that .
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