Secret Society of Ear Tubes

Entering the new stage of having a preschooler can definitely take you on a rollercoaster ride. My little one started preschool this year. We enrolled him in a part-time program to ease him into a school setting and to help his social development. Along with cute bookbags and lunches came his preschool hearing and vision screening. Surprisingly, he failed his hearing exam which prompted a visit to his pediatrician. After multiple ear infections and failed hearing exams, it was discovered he had fluid in his middle ear and the doctor recommended a myringotomy. A myringotomy is a tiny incision in the eardrum and fluid is removed. A small plastic tube, a tympanostomy tube, is inserted in the ear to keep the middle ear clear. This procedure requires sedation and has to be performed in a surgery facility. Many refer to this as ear tubes.

My heart dropped when I heard my little toddler would have to be sedated and have surgery! I went home to think about it and called my close girlfriend to discuss it. Surprisingly, she informed me her son had the procedure done and it was quick and easy. I called another friend of mines and she also informed me that her three nephews got the procedure done and gave them a better quality of life with breathing, hearing and speaking. My mind was blown! I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when her computer crashed and she felt like everyone was getting their computers backed up behind her back. It made me think everyone was secretly getting tubes placed in their toddlers’ ear. It appeared this was a normal procedure done on toddlers. Talking to my friends eased my anxiety and prepared me for what to expect.

On the day of his procedure, the room was filled with children waiting to have surgery. This eased my mind and I knew I wasn’t alone. The hospital was very warm and welcoming and I was allowed in the operating room for the sedation. The overall procedure took about 20 minutes. The scariest part was waiting since parents aren’t allowed in the operating room during the procedure. When my little one came back to the recovery room he was sound asleep and woke up an hour later. After the procedure, he slept for half the day. He also had his adenoids shaved down because they were inflamed. After the procedure, he was back to normal the next day. I noticed he was more vocal and no longer snored at night. I wanted to share my story to let other moms know they are not alone and this procedure sounds scary but it is normal and often done to many toddlers.

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Jane Benson
I am a graduate of Florida State University. I’ve lived in Atlanta for about ten years and reside in Midtown Atlanta. My husband and I moved away for a few years to the New England area and Central Florida and we are glad to be back in Atlanta. There is no place like home! I worked in the Finance/Insurance industry for ten years and now I am a stay at home mom. I have a three year son and a ten month old son. I also teach a music and movement class for children and their caregivers. I enjoy spending time with my family and exploring the city. I am excited to discover what Atlanta has to offer for our growing family and our little ones.