A Small, Purple, Multi-faceted, Sphere in Her Ear

“Oh my Gosh! What is that?” Not the words you want to hear come out of your pediatrician’s mouth when looking in your child’s ear.

Last week Fish told me her ear hurt. Meh, colds have been going around and we were headed to the doctor the next day for a follow up on a different issue, so we could get it checked out then. At the doctor’s, we discussed the primary reason for the visit and then the doctor looked in her ear and uttered the above statement. Fish had no idea what was in her ear, or more importantly how it got there. Oy! The Doctor tried to get it out but was unsuccessful. Off to an emergency appointment with the Ear Nose and Throat specialist. After 45 minutes they squeezed us in.

Diagnosis confirmed. Something small and purple was in her ear and it didn’t belong there. He tried to remove it, but the pediatrician scratched the ear canal during her extraction attempts and Fish found it impossible to hold still. The ENT was worried about puncturing her ear drum so the decision was made to put her under general anesthesia to retrieve the foreign object. Dear Lord!

Of course the only opening at the surgical center was more than a week later. He wasn’t overly concerned about it and it only seemed to impact her when she changed elevations (when from lying flat to vertical). So, we waited.

The procedure was yesterday and Fish was a good sport, smiling and talking to everyone. The staff was excellent and made sure to explain everything they were doing before they did it. She was only in surgery for fifteen minutes and they quickly brought me back to recovery to be with her. She was still smiling albeit a little groggy.

Fish in her scrubs and cap ready for surgery, the doctor signing off on the ear, and the beat in a specimen cup

On the medical chart, the doctor noted, “Removed foreign object from patient’s ear. Object was a small, purple, multi-faceted sphere.”  A bead! It was a small purple bead and Fish still maintains she has no idea how it got there or how long it had been there for that matter.

Fish's hospital monitor
I don't care who you are, when this is hooked up to your kid and an alarm goes off you jump even if she's laying right next to you smiling.

Like I said, she was very brave and I thought I was fine, it was very minor surgery after all. After we got home and I had a few minutes to myself, I was overwhelmed. It was a bigger deal to me than I thought.  Thankfully everything went smoothly, but general anesthesia is not something to be taken lightly. I’m grateful we have access to good medical care and the means to pay for it, I just wish, we never had to take advantage of it.


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