Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The one with... mother's instinct

I think we women, more often than not we are blessed with good women instinct
- as a wife, and as a mother especially.

Kazim has been having temperature for the past 2 days. This morning, before leaving for work I wanted to take measure of his temperature using the ear thermometer. And I was so shocked to see there's this mucus-look-alike liquid coming out from his right ear.

I wanted to put up the picture here but it'll be too gross. So I'll skip that.

I wiped off the liquid with tissue and using a torchlight function of my iPhone, I took a peek into his ear and saw more liquid-ish stuff.

This cannot be good :(

But a father being a father, my husband said it could be just something minor and one off thing. He said, let's monitor it for another day before deciding whether or not to bring Kazim to see the pediatrician. To my husband, Kazim satisfies the following 'alarming' checklist:
  • ✗ temperature
  • ✗ signs of discomfort
  • ✗ unusual behavior
  •  eats well
  •  drinks well
Well, kind of true actually.

So we continued on with life like normal. We got ready for work, and my husband left first to drop Kazim at the caretaker's house while I left shortly after to go to my office. He had a meeting at 9am and I had a meeting to attend at 11am.

Throughout my journey to office, I kept thinking about Kazim and the image of his ear I saw in the morning kept on flashing before my eyes. I was having this Gollum moment, playing question and answer with myself.

Did I do the right thing by going to work?
Yeah, he's fine. He looks ok.
But what if the situation worsen?
No lah, he should be ok. Worse come to worst, can always bring him to the hospital later.
But if go hospital after work, we wouldn't have the chance to see the paeds. We will just be seeing the MO on duty.
Nothing to worry lah, he's a tough cookie. Plus he has a temperature no more. So he definitely is getting better. Maybe that discharge from his ear is a sign that he's getting better.
I mean, he is definitely getting better right?
Hmm that didn't sound convincing did it?
Well, ok what does your instinct tells you?

And it was when I almost entered the car park building near my office when I was being determined that I need to bring Kazim to see the pediatrician. Made a u-turn, called the boss and the colleague to inform that I have to call for emergency time off, and went I make my way back to the caretaker's house near my mom's house to pick Kazim.

I text-ed husband about it, and said, I had to do it. Normally I agree on the emergency checklist. But this. I had to follow my mother's instinct. It was too strong to ignore.

And lucky enough I made that decision. When I picked Kazim, the discharge was filling up his ear it almost spills :( I wiped it a bit, not wanting to wipe off completely the 'evidence' that the paeds need to see. This definitely calls for a visit to the paeds clinic 

Upon reaching the clinic, we were given the priority - we were called in to the see the paeds immediately. Sigh. I learnt that Kazim had an ear infection to the point it may have affected the ear drum, and hence the pus that's coming out of the ear :(

Worst, this is the second time he's having it after he had it last month (yes, he had it last month, but no pus whatsoever). So, 2 months in a row = not good.

Thing is the paeds can't examine the inner side of the ear further because the view is blocked by the pus. So he gave us the ear-drop together with the antibiotics to clear it first, before us having to come again for a follow up. He was surprised when I told him that Kazim didn't show any signs of ear pain or discomfort. 

Well, that's the thing about Kazim. Throughout the 3y2m of his life, he rarely displays signs of weakness whenever he's under the weather. Almost to, never. Which always making it difficult for us to exercise our judgment on the seriousness of things that he's undergoing. He can be all active, eating and drinking well despite having a 40degC temperature. I still remember there's this one time when we were having a snorkeling trip, we discovered that Kazim had a mouthful of ulcers accompanied with fever. And yet, he insisted on joining us to swim and playing by the beach.

One.tough.cookie. this fella.


The paeds went on by answering all my doubts and worries (gotta love this paeds!) and he had me all teary at 'Grommet Insertion'. A term he's referring to when he talks about the procedure he's inclining to do; subject to our next visit.


What is Grommet Insertion? He explained to me in a laymen term just now, with a drawing of how the procedures will be performed.

Based on a quick google search, here goes:

How do grommets work?

Grommets maintain normal middle ear pressure by allowing air into the space on the other side of the ear drum, from the outside. This reduces the risk of fluid building up in that space. If an ear infection does occur, the resultant pus flows out through the grommet, limiting the pain your child suffers. If your child develops an ear infection with grommets in place, your doctor can use topical treatments (such as prescribed ear drops which are put directly into the ear) rather then oral antibiotics. Studies have shown that topical treatments are more effective than oral antibiotics in treating discharging ears.

When might my child need grommets?

Grommets may be recommended for glue ear that won't clear up or for frequent episodes of acute middle ear infections; as a general guideline, if your child has had:
  • middle ear fluid (glue ear) for more than three months, depending on the degree of hearing loss

  • six acute ear infections in one year, especially if the infections have occurred in both ears

  • repeat infections through the summer months, when such infections should be less likely to occur

  • previous complications because of ear infections

How successful is the operation?

With grommets in place, any hearing loss caused by the pre-existing fluid in the space behind the ear drum will be reversed.
Parents often report a better quality of life for their children after grommet insertion with better sleeping and overall behaviour.

Who will perform the operation?

A specialist ENT (ear nose and throat) surgeon (also known as an otolaryngologist or ORL surgeon) will perform the operation.

What happens to my child during the operation?

  • your child will require a brief general anaesthetic

  • a small slit is made in the drum and the grommet is inserted into this

  • the surgery usually takes about ten to 15 minutes

What can my child expect after the operation?

There is not usually any pain in the ears after grommet insertion. Although your child may be a little unsettled at first, they are usually back to normal after a few hours. They can usually return to school the following day.
Sobs. I don't know whether I have that many readers here. But I appreciate it if you can drop a comment or two to share what do you know about this through your own experience or others; just to calm the nervous mother here. Huhu.

Praying for the best of his health. I'm glad I followed my mother's instinct and got my priority right this morning.

Brotherly love 
(Pic taken last month, when Kazim was admitted because of mycoplasma pneumonia )


  1. there's this one time,i saw some dried blood on the pillow.but i thought it was from the dead squashed mosquito. later, saw dried blood around zairil's ear. the panic button switch on, clean it with the cotton bud. then more blood came out. told hp about it, but he said just leave it alone, it will heal itself. zairil didn't have any fever, doesn't show any sign of pain. he's just being himself. of course i'm worried, afraid if this will affect his hearing. hp did the hearing test, plug in the earphone to zairil's ear. he can hear well. so the next couple of days, the wound heal. no more blood came out,alhamdulillah. but to live with worried in those two days, it's just unbearable ='(

    1. omg i can imagine! somehow guys tend to be calm kan. sheeshhh. and that must have been 2 painful days, to live in the unknown. anyway glad that all is well in the end.

    2. yeah,tell me about it =| dah ajak jom pi klinik,tapi dia cakap "nanti dari takde pape,nanti jadi lagi teruk" i think so too,sebab lps try guna cotton bud tu,lagi banyak berdarah. zairil pun ok je,so kenala play it cool je. walaupun dalam hati hanya Dia yang tahu =(

  2. hope kazim will get better soon okay, hang in there. you can do it, kazim can do it!

  3. very sorry to hear this... hope your little one will get better. but i do have one question: do u know the root cause of this infection.. air masuk dalam telinga ke, ke bugs? but kalau bug or water, it should hurt.. right?

    eh suddenly feel itchy in my ear :p

    1. alhamdulillah the puss has dried today. so far not sure what caused the ear infection. but preliminary assumption by the paeds is because of that series of flu and cough that my son is having (my son is prone to asthma). so because the ENT is all related so that could be the cause of it. but then, will be getting the confirmed result during our next visit hopefully. coz with the puss, the doc can't look inside the ear to see what's causing the infection. so kena tunggu puss tu kering dulu.

      speaking of feeling hurt, we are loss for words as well how come kazim didn't show any signs. he's physically all well, behaving normally.. sigh.