Hi, this is Katie, writing for Will again as he is in bed for the night.
Today, we had Will's six month well-baby check. For the past week, Will has been rubbing and jabbing at his ear a lot, especially at bedtime. I called the doctor's office last week and the nurse took me through a checklist and determined that it was most likely related to teething (a nerve in the jaw attaches to the ear and babies can sometimes feel the pain of teething in their ears). He had no fever, the ear wasn't red, the crying wasn't incessant, and he was sleeping pretty well. He had seemed slightly more grumpy here and there, but was his usual happy self for the most part.
However, when Dr. S looked into his right ear tonight, she was pretty concerned as the ear looked "weepy." Poor Will has a middle and inner ear infection and probably a ruptured ear drum to boot. He was not happy, as she had to clear away debris to even get a good look at the drum. She used a long stick to get out the wax and drainage (his Daddy has some bad memories of those sticks and shuddered in sympathy). He screamed the loudest he has since he was born! Because the infection is so severe, the doctor prescribed both oral antibiotics and drops to put in the ear.
Other than his poor little ear, Dr. S said he is a "beautiful, big boy." He weighs in at 18 pounds, six ounces (55%) and is 28 inches tall (80%). His growth chart looks great and it is very normal for breastfed babies to start slowing down in their weight gain at this point. Dr. S commented on what a happy, social baby he is (gee, wonder where he gets that gabbing from?). He was very intent on watching her talk and when she listened to his heartbeat and breathing, he loved grabbing at her stethoscope. Actually, until she started digging around in his ear, he was having a pretty great time at the doctor. Then, came the shots. . . four in all. After that, he caught on quickly that he did not want to lay down on the table with the crinkly white paper, because that is where the ear exam and shots happened. When we tried to lay him back down to put his jammies on at the end, he was having none of that! Finally, the torture was over, and he was rewarded with his favorite thing in the whole world. . . nursing.
He fell asleep in the car on the way home. We stopped to get his prescriptions and then we came home, expecting him to wake up from his "nap" and be ready to party. Well, we were surprised when, after getting his medications and sucking down a bottle, he just wanted to be put to bed, where he promptly fell back asleep. This is a common reaction to vaccinations, so I am not worried, just glad that he is getting the rest he needs.
So, that's the Will-update. I am feeling badly that we missed the signs of the more serious infection - so much for Mother's Intuition. But even Dr. S said that based on his disposition earlier in the exam, she would have never guessed that he had anything going on. I guess we are just blessed with such a cheerful little guy!