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Thread: A Cautionary Tale

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Darwin, NT
    Posts
    357

    Default A Cautionary Tale

    Hi there!

    I thought I might share a recent drama with you all so that maybe it can save someone else the heartache.

    On Saturday night, my DS (aged 2 1/2) was very sick with influenza, and I was checking his temperature every hour or so. He was hovering around 39.5C all night - which worried me greatly. He was disorientated and distressed - so I spent much of the night up caring for him.

    When the next morning rolled around, my DH went on a early morning fishing expedition - and DS slept from sheer exhaustion. So I enjoyed some badly needed sleep.

    I knew that my DS (aged 8 1/2) and DD (aged 5) had got out of bed. But a regular weekend morning normally consists of them getting up and watching cartoons for about 45 minutes before we get up (as tv is a special treat for weekend mornings only).

    I was awoken by a blood-curdling scream - and confronted with a very distressed DD holding her ear. DS informs me that he was taking her temperature with our digital thermometer - THROUGH HER EAR!

    It took me some time to calm DD, and she asked for a icepack. After laying on the icepack for a while, I noticed some tiny spots of blood in a large wet patch of 'water'.

    Thinking that this 'water' could be from the icepack - I tried without the icepack.......same result.

    After doing a quick internet search (thank heavens for the internet) - I discovered that immediate medical attention needed to be sought. It said "If clear fluid is coming from the ear canal, seek immediate medical advice"

    After 5 hours waiting time in the ED of our hospital (and a significant increase in the leeding) - the doctors discovered that this 'water' was infact brain fluid - as the thermometer had perforated a membrane that surrounds the inner ear - and this fluid was leaking out - the same fluid that cushions the brain!

    To our horror - we were informed that there were serious implications for this type of injury.

    The hospital sent our DD home after a thorough check-over, with instructions for us to closely monitor her, and return the next morning.

    Fortunately, the fluid stopped leaking overnight - but the bleeding continued.

    The next day, the doctor informed us that her ear drum is badly damaged, and she has a large cut in her ear canal.

    So - we are fortunate that she is ok, and we now play the waiting game for the damage to repair, and importantly to see if her hearing returns.

    I dídn't think that there was anything wrong with leaving a digital thermometer on the table - and my DH tells me that it was one of those freak things - BUT........My DS did not understand that there was anything in his ear beyond where his finger can fit. He now understands the seriousness of his actions, and that the ear is a very fragile place. BUT what a dreadful way to find out!



    We are very lucky, and are counting our blessings. But, I hope that our horror weekend serves as a cautionary tale for someone else.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Penrith, NSW
    Posts
    1,979

    Default

    OMG - you poor things. It's just crazy to think that something so seemingly safe could cause such damage. Hope everything turns out to be ok

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
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    15,272

    Default

    OMG - so glad your little girl is ok. it's definitely something you woudn't expect to happen, and no one would be able to blame you for not guessing that it was going to happen - i guess it's been a big learning curve for everyone involved.

    good luck for a full and speedy recovery for your DD

  4. #4

    Default

    Oh, you poor darlings! I hope your DD is a lot better soon, what a dreadful thing to happen.

    My sister did this to herself with a ball bearing when she was 7; these things do happen and she just kept pushing it in, expecting it to roll past her eyeballs like it does on the cartoons. It really is something you just can't predict, please don't feel bad about it.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Mooroolbark, VIC
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    Default

    How scarey that must have been!! I hope that your DD's ear heals well and that there are no issues. Thanks for the warning too, I leave our thermometer out all the time, but will be more careful now!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chasing Daylight...
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    2,034

    Default

    What a frightening experience!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ex-Melbourne girl in Hong Kong
    Posts
    308

    Default

    You couldn't have known that would happen so don't beat yourself up about it. My fingers are crossed for your DD's hearing to return to normal...what a scary lesson to learn for your son.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Darwin, NT
    Posts
    357

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your re-assurance.

    I was pretty miserable - and was beating myself up over this - but everyone around me has been so supportive - it sure helps!

    DD returned to school today, and had a lovely day.

    Putting her ear drops in is getting easier - as she is learning to trust us with her ear.

    We have our fingers crossed. I have to say that I was particularly distressed by this, as I am a professional musician - and imagine my kids will have reasonably fruitful music horizons. Only time will tell.

    Thanks again for your replies.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Down by the ocean
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    6,110

    Default

    Wow what a frightening thing for you all to go through

    I hope your DD's ear heals up ok and there is no ongoing problems with her hearing.

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