Growing up and ENT

Ally had her regular ENT check up today. She was so mature and grown up about the whole process that its hard to imagine we used to have to hold her down while she screamed and cried throughout the whole check up.

Ally’s first and only set of ear tubes fell out when she was around 1. Since then, she has had to endure regular ENT visits every few months. The first couple of times were difficult, she was so young and it was hard to explain to her why we had to put her through all this.

When we walked into the clinic today, there was a little girl crying hysterically in the waiting area, she must have been about 6 or 7 years old. Ally was very concerned that Jie Jie was so upset. Anyway, Ally had her hearing test down and when she came out, the little girl’s parents were trying to convince her that the ear cleaning wouldn’t hurt. Now I need to stop and explain how the ear cleaning is done.

The child has to sit on a big dentist-like chair, the doctor usually shines a big light/camera in the child’s ear. Now comes the scary part, they swing this big tray of metal instruments around the side of the chair and proceed to pick up whichever scary instrument needed. All this time the child has to be extremely still and facing forward. Since Ally is small, she usually sits on my lap and I distract her with games on my phone. I’ll always tell the nurses to let her start her game before they start bringing out the instruments.

So I could understand why the little girl was crying hysterically and I could also understand the parent’s frustration having gone through the same thing myself. They started off by trying to reason with her, then bribing her with sweets and stickers and finally scaring her with threats. As adults, we know the procedure doesn’t hurt but to a child it can be very daunting. We were the only two patients left in the waiting area so the parents were trying to convince their daughter that if a 2 year old girl could walk into the room so cheerfully and eagerly, then she too could do the same. My heart went out to the family, it’s really stressful trying to deal with these sort of situations. I felt terrible whenever we had to pin Ally down to get procedures done but we didn’t have much of a choice. I’m so glad that she has become accustomed to all these doctor visits and actually looks forward to each one. My little girl has really grown up!

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