From ear infections to ear tubes: A tale of 2 tots (in texts)

ear infectionsMeet Henry and Atticus — two toddlers with much in common. Both little boys live near Boston with their parents and are happy, smiley babies … most of the time. But sometimes, they aren’t quite so joyful.

Henry and Atticus have suffered chronic ear infections in infancy, and their conditions persisted to the point at which their pediatricians recommended ear tubes. Their mothers — Erin Jemiola (Henry) and Katie Monroe (Atticus) — share their text messages as they coped with their sons’ ear infections and made the decision to have ear tube surgery.

Katie-50pxHelp! I’m not sure if I should take Atticus to the pediatrician. He’s been tugging on his ears a lot. Otherwise, he seems fine. 




You may want to. Henry had similar symptoms, plus fussiness and restless sleep, after I went back to work in September. It turned out he had a double-ear infection and fluid in his ears. Erin-50px







Katie-50pxYou were right! His pediatrician put him on antibiotics. I hope it clears up. 





Good luck. Keep me posted. Henry has had three double ear infections in the last few months. 🙁 Erin-50px





Katie-50pxI’m sorry to hear that. Atticus had another ear infection when I brought him in for his 9-month well-baby check. Dr. Ryan is going to try a stronger antibiotic. 





Dr. Sax has prescribed amoxicillin and augmentin, but Henry keeps getting colds and ear infections. Erin-50px





Katie-50pxDr. Ryan referred us to Dr. Adil at Boston Children’s Hospital. I’m really worried. Atticus’ audiology screening showed he has significant hearing loss. She thinks Atticus should get ear tubes




What a coincidence! We just took Henry to Dr. Adil. She thinks he might be a candidate for ear tubes, too, but said he’s a little too young for surgery. Usually, they wait until a baby has three months or more of fluid in the ear with hearing loss, three ear infections in six months or four infections in one year. We’ll see what happens in January. Fingers crossed! Erin-50px









Katie-50pxWe scheduled Atticus’ surgery at Boston Children’s at Waltham. I’m a little nervous about the anesthesia. 




When we went back to Dr. Sax. Henry had another ear infection. We decided it was clear he should get the tubes. I was nervous about the anesthesia, too. But we’ve done our homework and learned how this will help Henry. And Boston Children’s does 100 ear tube surgeries every week. Now, I’m feeling comfortable. Erin-50px







Katie-50px Atticus just had his surgery. It went well. I’m pretty sure it was harder on us as parents than him. He was a little drowsy when he woke up, but he already seems more verbal than he was before. 






That’s such good news! Erin-50px





It is. I’m still worried about his hearing loss. We’ll find out if it was temporary when he sees the audiologist. Dr. Adil feels confident it will resolve. 




Let us know. Erin-50px

ear tubes
Atticus’ post-surgery hearing test showed he no longer has hearing loss.



Henry has not had an ear infection since his ear tube surgery.

Henry’s surgery went great! He’s always been a happy boy, but we’ve seen such a difference — he’s more responsive and talkative! We made the right decision 🙂







What are the benefits of ear tubes?

Ear tubes, or myringotomy tubes, are placed in a child’s ear during a brief outpatient surgery called tympanostomy. These small tubes are most often placed because of persistent fluid in the middle ear, recurrent ear infections or ear infections that persist despite antibiotic treatment. Potential benefits of ear tubes includes improved hearing, reduced fluid in the middle ear and and reduced incidence of ear infections.


Find out about services for your child at Boston Children’s at Waltham.