Mum shares her son’s shocking experience with grommets.
Grommets must be one of the most common surgeries that kids have. Grommets are tiny plastic tubes that are placed in the ear to prevent fluid from building up – which can then cause glue ear and infections.
If your child has had grommets put in, you’ll know that they usually fall out by themselves. However, one mum has shared her story to warn others about what can happen if it all doesn’t go to plan.
Sarah Vanunu originally shared her son’s story in the Facebook group, Mum’s the Word and has given us permission to share this with you:
Sarah wrote: “This serves as a warning of sorts, or at least just a heads up about what most likely will NOT happen, but still, in the unlikely event, CAN happen nonetheless, and what the doctors won’t ever tell you about when having grommets inserted, and which did in fact happen to my son (I guess we’re just lucky!)
“I figured that my experience with dealing with my child’s ear problems and grommets over the years bears some significance, and if my cautionary tale can help another family to avoid the unnecessary suffering that we went through, then it’s worth something, I guess.
High Praise For Those Grommets
Sarah continued, “to be very honest, we were *really* pleased with the results of our son’s operation to have grommets inserted when he was 5 years old! He’d always been a dribbler, always very snotty and lots of wax in his ears and constant ear infections. Every cold and every swim would lead to a guaranteed ear infection. He also spoke loudly all the time. At first, we were told that this would pass and he’d likely just grow out of it, and that it’s really common in babies and toddlers and that the ear canals would eventually enlarge and the liquids would drain better.
“We’d held out for long enough and at the age of 5 we did the operation and got the adenoids removed while we were at it too.
“INSTANT improvement! It was like heaven”
“Literally the same week of the operation and for that whole year thereafter, our child was talking in normal volume, was hearing perfectly, smelling, tasting, his appetite grew, he was eating more, behaving better, no more snot and dribble, no more ear infections… it was like a whole new child! High praise for those grommets! I highly recommend anyone considering to go ahead and have this operation done if your child is suffering. It’s really an amazing procedure.
“After about a year, we took him for a check up to the ear doctor who said one grommet had fallen out naturally, which is OK as usually grommets will fall out on their own, this is not out of the ordinary – and the other one she just removed as it was on its way out. And that was that.
Then Something Changed
“Fast forward to today and he is now 9 and has been constantly complaining about his ear. Over the years we’ve been to 2 different ENT doctors because of the recurring ear infections after that one year honeymoon, and insane build-up of wax and pain and discomfort, and because he was so worried about getting ear infections he showered with ear plugs every day just to be on the safe side, and he was scared to swim for the same reason… each time we were told that he is just vulnerable to ear infections. Nothing to be done. More antibiotics. And then more of the same….
“We were finally referred recently by our ENT doctor to another senior ear specialist at the hospital, on the suspicion that maybe the boy had a perforated ear drum. Finally, this doctor took a look and found that in fact, the grommet was still inside!
All this time… It had gotten lost and the skin had begun to grow over it! And it needed to be removed!
The Lost Grommet
“At first, I thought this was negligence on the part of the doctors who had falsely assumed and told us that the grommet had fallen out 4 years ago.
“However, the hospital doctor assured us that it would have been hard for even him to find if he were to just look inside the ear without using his special equipment and ultrasound which normal ENT Dr’s don’t use; the ear canal is not completely straight and the grommet was hidden deep in the curve (and covered by skin, which is the body’s healing way to try deal with something foreign).
“It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to discover that a foreign object accidentally went missing inside your child’s head for a few years! I mean, he’s 9!
“Just thinking about all those years of needless suffering and discomfort. The poor guy. What a champ!! All that wax, those ear infections, the pain, the fear of swimming – all because a doctor (2 doctors!) said the grommet fell out, when it fact it hadn’t. It was that easy to be dismissed.
Listen To Your Gut!
Sarah said the lesson to be learnt here is – “don’t take everything your doctor says as gospel.”
“If you’re told that your child’s grommet appears to have fallen out naturally – just ask to get a referral to a specialist ENT at the hospital just to be 100% certain, and you can tell your doctor that you heard about this strange incident about the lost grommet and want to make sure it doesn’t happen to your child. Just to be on the safe side.
“I’d never heard that this was even a possibility as no one had told me this could happen. Don’t say you didn’t know.”
Many parents have thanked Sarah for sharing their story.
But one mum commented that they too had a very similar experience, “I could have written this almost word for word only it happen to us twice and both times the grommet got lodged causing our daughters ear drum to perforate to the point she couldn’t even go to school for 6wks and they weren’t sure if she’d lose hearing in one of her ears.
“She is now 10 and although she is a lot better we still have issues. Her adenoids have grown back TWICE, the surgery they did on her nasal passages hasn’t worked. The list goes on. Not to mention how sick she was after her surgeries…”
This post has been shared with full permission.
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