Where do I even begin?
Monday - The day went ok, but that night I felt like I was getting strep. My throat hurt so bad I could hardly swallow. Not a great way to end the day. Earlier (after school) Brookelyn kept grabbing her right ear and telling me "owie". She had been doing this off and on for about four days. I called my pediatrician but they were booked. So, I dropped the three older ones off to Grandma Terri and headed into Instacare (followed by a nice 2 hour wait!). The dr. we saw told me 2 things. Number 1-the tube in B's left ear is out. We knew this a month ago. What I didn't know was that the tube was still hanging out in her ear canal stuck to a piece of wax AND the hole (aka perforation) has not yet healed. Awesome. Number 2-the right ear was not infected. HOWEVER, it was extremely plugged. The dr. did not feel like he could get ahold of the tube in the left ear canal and remove it without hurting B. I don't think he was confident in his tube clog removal skills enough to even attempt it because he didn't even suggest it. He did say her ear was red behind the top of the tube but that it was from irritation because the tube was trying to push out. Awesome again. I resolved to do ear drops, thought about calling the ENT and went home dejected.
Tuesday - Forgot to call the ENT until school was out. I was told he was leaving early that day and that he was going to be in surgery all afternoon on Wednesday afternoon. Knowing our history of clogged tubes, I didn't want to let it go because I knew it would just get worse. I asked what the earliest appointment they had on Wednesday was. The earliest they could get us in was 8:45 am. I took the appointment knowing how slow that office is but hoping that it was going to be early enough that it wouldn't be a three hour ordeal. Second Tuesday event - the election....enough said.
Third Tuesday event - Travis called to tell me that there was a rumor that Halliburton would no longer be paying their employees on their week off. Not cool. Not cool at all. Meeting to confirm or deny said rumor would be 8 am on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday - Got to the ENT's office at 8:30 with some wishful thinking. It wasn't until 10 AM that I finally saw the dr.! I was suppose to be at work at 9:15! I had emailed the first group of teachers that I work with and told them I'd pick up there students when I got to work. Since we were so long, I had to call the second group of teachers and tell them the same thing! GRRRRR. Considering we sat for an hour and a half and B didn't feel to hot, she was a really good girl. She discovered the joy of pushing the button on the drinking fountain! I had hoped that we would get there and get in quick and it would be a quick unplug the tube and be on our way scenario. NOPE. Left ear looks just as Instacare dr. said it did. Right ear is a mess. It isn't just clogged. It has Keratin growing over the opening of the tube. Keratin is like skin. Dr. Blotter couldn't just poke the clog through the tube, give ear drops and send us on our way. If he did that, it would be excruciatingly painful. AND, it looks as though skin is growing around the base of the tube as well. OH and by the way, the ear is trying to push the tube out too. So, the ear tries to push the tube out and the tube resists because it has skin attached to the base and over the top of it! NO WONDER she's been saying owie! My poor ENT just shook his head not knowing what to do. He told me that she has two problems and everything they do to fix one of those problems is a really bad solution for the second problem she has! It seems that her tubes are coming out way too soon. The tubes she has in now should only be half way through their life (they were put in in March/May & should last 12-18 months). What they do to solve this problem is they either use a beveled tube (think funnel put in backwards) which they then half to go in and remove with surgery after 18 months. Or, they anchor the tube in the bone in their ear. Both of these solutions are fine with tubes that don't tend to get clogged. My ENT informed me however that if these kinds of tubes become clogged you end up with a real nightmare on your hands (like we need that!). After much head scratching and discussion, we decided that the best solution is to put two new tubes in each ear. The biggest draw back to this is that it increases the chance of perforation (this would lead to a fat graft like Sam had a few years ago). Dr. Blotter assured me that double tubes in the ears doesn't guarantee a perforation, it just increases the chances of one.
After all that fantastic news we left the dr.'s office with a surgery scheduled for Thursday Nov. 15. I called Travis to tell him about what was going on. He had the pleasure of then informing me that the rumor at Halliburton is in fact true. Halliburton will no longer pay their employees in Travis's region for their week off. What does this mean? It means a loss of $750/month. This makes it so that it isn't financially worth it for him to work at Halliburton in Rock Springs anymore. He's been there for almost four years (four in February). Halliburton has treated us well. We have excellent insurance (that started the day he started working there), we have great benefits, retirement and stock options and regular bonuses. However, with the loss of $750/month but the maintenance of living expenses in Rock Springs, we just don't feel like it's worth keeping the job. The new policy will take effect beginning Nov. 19th. This means his week off next week will be his last paid week off. We have a couple options here. He can take his week off and then work two weeks and then quit. He could take his week off and then quit. He could keeping working there and we'd have to figure out how to make up the $750/month loss. Or, he could keep working until February when Halliburton will match his retirement (about a $10,000 value) and then quit. Luckily, my brother in law recently told me he knows a guy who drives truck for one of the gas station companies in UT. He's home every night and the pay is only $1/hr less than what Trav makes now. And, the best part is, he could get Travis a job really quickly. I don't know what is in store on this front, but at least we have some options!
I keep telling myself there's an end to all of this. I was talking to the computer teacher at Millville today. She told me her daughter outgrew her ear problems by 16. I...will....DIE! I guess this is a good way of learning patience, right?
Thursday - When I went to get kids from daycare I found out B had been napping for about 4 hours. Laura woke her up for me & I thought she felt quite warm so Laura took her temperature. B's temperature was 101.9. Seriously?! She can't have ibuprofen until after her surgery next Thursday! She can have Tylenol, but I don't think it works as well & since she can't have ibuprofen I can't dose her every 2 hours by alternating the two fever reducers. I have a feeling it's going to be a long weekend!