I was starting to worry about Maddie when for the third day in a row she said she couldn't hear and she kept asking for things to be repeated or the volume to be turned up on the T.V. Last Saturday Ken had looked in her ears and they were red, though not yet "infected", so we just thought they were red from swimming lessons that past Thursday and that things would resolve. Well, last night Ken looked again and the poor kiddo's ears were so inflamed and the ear drum of one of them was bulging with pus. Today, she was so cranky, tired and just not the happy little girl she normally is. We got in to see a new family doctor (Why a new doctor? Well I think that's a story for another post) and she confirmed that yes, she has a definitely has a bilateral ear infection. She said both ears look "nasty". So, of course out came the prescription pad: Amoxicillin for 10 days. A necessary evil.
Ken was my knight in shining armour and went to get groceries and to pick up the prescription. At the pharmacy he questioned the 10 days, because he had read the Canadian Pediatric guidelines and they had said 5 days. Our pharmacists is really good and she spent some time researching it while Ken got the groceries. Apparently, there's a whole set of criteria, all of which are not too clear. But Ken and her decided the best approach would be to give it for 5 days and if she was all better to stop, but if her ears were still red and she was having discomfort to give it for 7 days. I think the 10 days is a bit excessive. We debated whether or not to try the non-antibiotic route and I would have been more than happy to except that I remember having awful ear infections as a kid and never going to the doctor and being in awful pain and discomfort. If perhaps we had caught the infection earlier we would have opted for some natural remedies, but alas I think the infection is too yucky and would take longer to get better. So for now we take the traditional medicine route and supplement it with the alternative. I am giving her a high dose probiotic and will continue her on it for several weeks after she's done her treatment (she already gets probiotics every day but just a low, maintenance dose, now she will need a high dose to recolonize her flora).
Of course, I feel the mommy guilt trying to creep in. I hate giving antibiotics and I hate that my poor baby is in discomfort. But I also know that ear infections happen. So I am grateful it's just an ear infection and that she's not in more pain (although I have to say I'm surprised she's not because, man, her ears are so infected!). I just hope we are now done, done, done with all this sickness! Nobody wants to be sick in the summer!
Update April 30: Well, day 2 of treatment is underway and so far she seems much better and more like herself. She has been sleeping much better and back to wanting to do her regular activities. It's nice to see her happy again!