Take it out please….
“Mommy Mommy I have got a kernel stuck in my ear. I need help. Take it out please.”
We were shopping in the produce aisle at the grocery store for Thanksgiving, when Johhny found some ornamental festive corn that you don’t eat but use in decoration fallen to the floor and kernels scattered around. He helped clean up the mess but then decided to treasure one in his hand and place it in his mouth. I told him it was decorative and not for eating and then 2 minutes later he told me very excitedly “Mommy you need to get it out. You need to get the corn kernel out of my ear.” He has never ever been the child that puts stuff in his mouth or anywhere else (except pockets or hands) so we have never had to be worried about that but I guess there is always a first time for everything.
Johnny spent 5 hours on Saturday night at the ER at our local hospital, 4 of which was waiting very patiently for a doctor in the exam room. He has been learning about the “Zones of Regulation” and how to identify how he is feeling, share it, and then use the strategies to self-calm himself. He told us that he was in his orange zone repeatedly and said he was scared. When the doctor tried to get the kernel out he yelled for me as well as screamed he was in his red zone and needed help. He hates suction at the dentist and the doctor really had not proper tools in the ER but was determined to get it out so she used suction. At one point the hospital staff decided to swaddled him like a baby and hold him down so that they could try some other ways of getting it out. Johnny went into the worst autistic meltdown I’ve ever seen. He cried, screamed, shouted, tried to get away, shouted for me, pleaded that they would stop but I don’t believe they knew what they were seeing. If they did they would have not forced anything and would have tried to make him more comfortable. It was very traumatic but the suction, extraction tool, and syringe of warm water did not work and instead pushed it farther into his ear. He didn’t get home until 1am Sunday morning. He is scheduled for to see a specialist at the hospital tomorrow morning 9:30am. I am told that the speciaiist will have the proper tools to get it out but Johnny is REALLY sensitive to people touching his head or face and he only lets people who he he trusts do this.
So right now, Johnny is at the children’s special hospital ER downtown in the hopes that paediatric doctors could be more successful. We don’t have confidence in the other hospital right now and decided that maybe we should go where we should have gone and have children’s doctors and nurses try and help him not be afraid and get the kernel out.
I don’t think Johnny will ever be doing this again.
Instructions from ENT Doctor:
Need to give drops for 10 days, twice per day
Must keep ear dry, if water gets in can cause infection. In shower/bath need to put cotton in ear then cover with vasoline
Can’t go swimming until follow up appointment to verify no damage or infection.
Follow up appointment in 2-3 weeks.
We don’t know at this time whether there was any damage to his ear.