If you follow us on social media at all you would have seen these posts from this past weekend where I shared about how my small boy was struggling with an ear infection then a perforated ear drum.
It was not a fun thing to watch him in so much pain, knowing there was very little I could do. I have some ENT experience from my nursing days, so I knew what was happening, or what would happen, and I did my best to help ease his pain and wait it out. It ruptured, we took him to see the doctor, he’s on antibiotics to help heal the infection and we are seeing our beloved ENT surgeon in the next few weeks for a check up and to see what he thinks of the current ear situation (do we need more grommets?)
In the car on the way home from the hospital, I cried. I cried some more last night, after I put him to bed, and he fell asleep holding my hand, because his ear was a bit sore and he doesn’t like the oozy sensation of the infection coming out.
I still feel guilty, almost 3 years to the day of his diagnosis of chronic glue ear and the surgery that brought his such relief. I still feel like somehow, somewhere in all the lack of sleep and chaos that was our life, with a small boy who cried all the time and didn’t sleep, that I should have fought harder, pushed back when fobbed off, asked again when I was told there was nothing really wrong, that it was my poor parenting that was causing his issues and not actually something physically wrong with him. I still wish that I had clicked sooner that it was his ears and made the call to get the ENT referral. Maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Maybe I wouldn’t be watching him go though the agony of a perforated eardrum, knowing I could do nothing. Knowing that the sensory processing issues he struggles with now, are probably because he spent so long in pain, not being able to hear properly, with a buzzing sound in his ears almost constantly, and feeling pretty awful and not being able to sleep properly either.
I don’t think that guilt will ever truly go away. He is my child, and I feel like I should somehow have known what to do, and done it earlier. I know, I know, that these things happen, that I couldn’t have known. That the health professionals and experts I saw, that I listened to, didn’t mean anything by fobbing me off, that it wasn’t that obvious that it was his ears causing him his issues. I know that we were doing our best under very hard circumstances and that when we did figure out what was wrong, we acted fast and I stood my ground and refused to be fobbed off and sent away with no help.
That guilt now motivates me to fight HARD for my beautiful boy. I will not sit on months of waiting lists to see a doctor if he is in pain whilst his behavior and sleep worsens again. I will not be fobbed off by people who do not know my son, telling me that he doesn’t need what I KNOW he needs to help him make the best of life and be well and comfortable. I will not allow what happened to happen again.
So yes, I still feel guilty, but I will use that to motivate to me to do things now that I didn’t know how to then.
Parenting guilt, mother guilt. It never goes away…
This post is the post I wrote just after his diagnosis. It gives you an idea of where we were at and what we had been through.