Monday, October 12, 2009

Goodbye, Columbus

And then Saturday morning E woke up complaining that the bones in her face hurt. She was folding her right ear forward and rubbing her jaw. When we asked her how long it had been hurting she said, since the night we ate at the Noodles by my school. That was the Wednesday night we went to Home Depot and collected paint chips, also known as Ten Days Earlier. Also known as: oh, great.

We called the ENT, who was sensibly closed, so we called the pediatrician who invited us to come visit him. E was as cooperative for Dr. Coleman as she typically is, and he informed us that the tube in her right ear is blocked again, and the pain is from the blocked fluids stuck inside her. He recommended pain management and calling the ENT on Monday morning and he suggested that we let E chew gum to relieve the pressure.

The only gum in our house is minty and I knew that wouldn't be well-received so we stopped on the way home to make a gum purchase. We came home and I unwrapped a piece of JuicyFruit. "You put it in your mouth and chew and chew and drink the juice and keep chewing and it's yummy. Okay?"

E's whole body went rigid and she began screaming. I don't like gum! I don't want to chew it! I won't I won't I won't! Her face turned blotchy and rivulets of tears came flowing down her face and she was shaking. She was afraid of the gum.

I was afraid of the gum becoming another insurmountable obstacle. I was afraid of her ear pain getting worse, and of the poor sleeping and poor listening that we retroactively realized had been mounting. But here's the thing: we were in the position of begging our daughter to chew a piece of gum.

"Please chew the gum. Dr. Coleman said it will help. Just try it."
But Mama!! I don't like gum!!
"How do you know, love? You never tried it. Please just taste it."

She chewed the JuicyFruit for about one second but was so upset she began dryheaving, so we let her spit it out. We opened the other flavor we had bought, Fruity Sensations or something. It came in a purple package, though, and she wanted to end the moment as much as we all did, and so she insisted she'd like it before it even passed her lips. She chewed and chewed and said, I liked it! with a very proud and relieved smile on her face.

"That's so great!" I said. "Keep chewing!"
I can't! I swallowed it!

Today was Columbus Day and as such, all four of us were home today. I scored a cancelled-slot with the ENT for mid-afternoon, but our beloved doctor was working in the downtown office today. So E and I trekked downtown. E's favorite part about driving downtown is spotting the parking meters and I disappointed her greatly by explaining that because of the holiday, street parking was free.

But who was Columbus? And why doesn't he like me to put quarters? I like to put quarters! I don't like Columbus and I don't want Dr. Earl to touch my ear!

The good news was that Dr. Earl says E's ears are clear now. The bad news was that Dr. Earl says E's pain looks like it comes from bruxism, or grinding her teeth in her sleep. The bad news was that Dr. Earl says we should have E looked at by a dentist right away.

The good news is that the dentist probably won't tell her to chew gum. Pin It