What’s That Lurking Behind Your Ear?

Four-year-old Dovi sauntered over to his mother, brandishing a T-pin he’d taken from her home-based sheitel salon. Without a word, his cheeky smirk conveyed what he’d do if she would prick him yet again.

Esti says he could hardly be blamed. Up until five weeks ago Dovi had been a regular, healthy kid. Then, all of a sudden, he’d found himself being wheeled into surgery, followed by a grueling daily regimen of two injections and a cocktail of medications. The T-pin was his only way to make light of the situation.

It all started one night when Dovi began to whimper and complain that his ear hurt him. Typical ear infection, Esti thought to herself, and spoon-fed him some pain reliever. As the parent of five young kids, she was no stranger to childhood ailments and was therefore in no rush to get him to the doctor. But as the day wore on and his misery continued, she decided to check it out.

Upon examination of the ear, the doctor found pools of discharge and diagnosed him with a burst ear drum. Since there was no sign of ever, he predicted that it would heal on its own. In light of the recent phenomenon of many bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics, he was reluctant to prescribe them in this case. It was only due to the fact that a blizzard had been forecast for the following day, Thursday, that he wrote out a prescription, noting that it should only be utilized if the situation got considerably worse while they were snowed in. Again, he stressed that it was not the standard procedure, since it was the sort of ear infection for which intervention was not particularly necessary.

By Thursday Dovi had developed a fever, which Motrin and Tylenol were failing to relieve. “They only made him sleepy,” says Esti, “but at that point even sleeping was a struggle. The poor kid was lying on his forehead to avoid putting pressure on his ear and head.”

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