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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Night of the Burning Ears

When my son hurts himself there is nothing little about it. The injury itself might be minor, it might be something that another person wouldn't even notice, but to him it is the worse thing ever. If you close your eyes and listen to him when he is hurt it sounds like he is dying. Unfortunately I have been listening to this expression of pain for so long that I don't jump when I hear that he is hurt. Usually it is a bump or scrape or maybe a minor cut.

For the last couple of months at bedtime he has been complaining of his ears burning. His ears do turn bright red and I know it must be bothering him. Though if you just listen to him and see the expression on his face you would think he is being tortured. This happens inconsistently and only at bedtime. At first we thought it was a tactic to get out of going to bed. We also thought maybe he was leaning on his ear and it was going numb.

Well, last night it was the usual cries of agony multiplied by at least ten. There was no comforting him. It was torture to me, not being able to help my child who was obviously in pain. Even if the pain is less than it sounds it still had to be pretty bad. He had tears running down his face and a look of fear because he didn't know what was happening. There was no comforting him. He wouldn't let us touch him and he was screaming so loud I thought the neighbors would call the police to make sure everything was okay.

So today I call the doctor, I wanted to make sure it wasn't an ear infection. I warned him that I might have to take him out of school for the appointment and I did. Once at the appointment and I described what was occurring he seemed to know what was going on. It sounds like he let his ears get too cold during the winter. Not quite frostbite cold but colder than recommended.

This is from the ears recovering from being too cold. It will eventually go away. So we just have to deal with it. Pain relievers may or may not work. The best solution he could give me was a tight headband holding his ears tight against his head. Pressure often seems to relieve the symptoms of this.

He will wear a knit hat and hood from now on in the winter. The only times I wasn't vigilant on his headwear this last winter was when he was playing at a friends or playing hockey with his father. I plan on having earmuffs, and all sorts of gear to put on his ears next winter. Now I have to hope that the worse nights of his burning ears are over and my nights will be scream free for a while.

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