Thursday, September 16, 2010

I love doctors

**No icky pictures, but this is about Juliet's ear, so consider yourself forewarned.  I found it fascinating, but if you get a little woozy at the sight of blood, you might not want to read any more.**

Today we went to see Juliet's specialist about her ear.  He checked her out with the otoscope and frowned. 

"Let's move across the hall," he said.  "I need the microscope."

So then we got to check out the ear microscope, which was really sweet.  He frowned again and I thought back to our conversation a couple months ago about how she'd likely need general anesthetic in the hospital to have her tubes removed.  And our conversation a week ago about how she'd need the same thing to have the granuloma in her ear removed.  I winced mentally as I prepared myself to go through scheduling another surgical visit for Jules, who celebrated her first birthday in the hospital having ear tubes inserted after 9 successive ear infections.

He looked at Juliet sitting incredibly still and quiet on my lap.  She hadn't moved a muscle or made a single noise through the whole visit.  He asked her to hold super still, and picked up a slender hooked needle about ten inches long, then inserted it into Juliet's ear. 

Juliet didn't twitch.  Her eyes looked a little sad, but she didn't make a peep.

He asked her to turn her head and snuggle more closely into my neck.  She did.

And then he extracted--without surgery or general anesthetic!!!--the granuloma in her ear.  It was about the size of my fingernail (I cannot fathom how it fit in her ear!), and was a mass of granulated tissue and blood that had grown around her dislodged ear tube.  The tube had somehow irritated the skin of her ear, and when the skin began to grow closed over the irritated portion, it grew right around the tube, just like a pearl forming in an oyster.  Eventually, it outpaced its blood supply, which is when it burst and began leaking blood and other ooky stuff (and smelling really awful). 

Okay, so maybe I'm weird, but I thought it was really cool to watch him dissect the granuloma afterwards--Juliet and Abigail and I were all peering over his shoulder totally fascinated, to see the tube in the center.  It reminded me of that story in one of James Herriot's books where Siegfried just pops the tumor off the cow and the skin closes right back over it.  Amazing.  And the best part was when Juliet smiled very wide and said in a tiny little voice, "I can hear again!!" 

I love the fact that he was willing to do a procedure in-office that he could have billed much more for in the hospital, and that he told me when talking about the follow-up prescription, "You don't want to have to pay for those ear drops ($100/bottle and we needed two)--let me go get you some samples." 

And that is why I love doctors.  Because they can do amazing things, and most of them are so kind and generous and caring.  It seems like we hear a lot about this trend to not trust doctors and avoid unnecessary procedures and follow your instincts and it's all about money and crazy insurance companies,etc. etc., but my family has been blessed so much by wonderful doctors.  Our pediatrician is amazing; she not only knows what's going on with each of my children (and remembers their history without having to flip through the charts), but she remembers details about me and what's going on in my life.  My obstetrician made a special point of being in the operating room when I had surgery 28 weeks into my pregnancy, even though another surgeon was actually performing the operation--and she wasn't even scheduled to be in that day--but she wanted to check on me and make sure I knew she was there--and she was by my side in the recovery room afterwards and gave me the updates on the status of the baby.  Juliet's audiologist and ear specialist have made a world of difference for her; her eardrums are completely healed and her hearing is totally normal again. 

And I just want to say that I think we are SO blessed to live in a time where medical training is widely available, and where there are dedicated, talented, and intelligent men and women who can make such a difference with their skills and compassion.  I'm so grateful for the medical advances we have today.


Elise said...

wow, that is amazing! and i'm glad it wasn't too horrible for Juliet!

Mary Beth said...

That is so incredible. I share your gratitude and I'm so happy that Juliet is doing better. She is a terrific little girl. Your doctor sounds fantastic. (And seriously, just like Siegfried! That's so awesome!)

I don't blame you guys at all for watching the dissection. It sounds really interesting. >.>

Erin said...

Wow, I need to know who this doctor is! I have not had good luck with pediatricians out here.

Crapos said...

That's so great that you didn't have to go the hospital again! And I agree, I love great doctors. Our pediatrician is absolutely wonderful! I just wish he wasn't so close to retiring - we hardly ever see him when we've got sick kiddos since he works so little now.

aLi said...

Yay! I am intrigued by these kind of stories. Glad it was an easy-removal!!!!

Danielle said...

amen! and thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad Juliet is okay now. That is a relief! Great doctors are worth their weight in gold. Some are angels. :) Love, Aunt Pam

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