As you read this I will be sitting in the children’s ward at our local hospital with my big boy awaiting (or perhaps just out of) for him to go to theatre to have something removed from his ear. Four weeks ago I went up to check on Leo shortly after bed time, as I always do I found he was still awake and a little bit upset. ‘Mommy I need to tell you something… Mommy, I put something in my ear’. I asked him when but like most four year olds, his perception of time is a bit warped… ‘Not now. Maybe it was Friday, or maybe Tuesday?’ I did the responsible thing of calling 111 who told me to take him to the doctors in the morning. My surgery told me that there was nothing they could do as they didn’t have the tools for foreign body removal so I would need to take him to A&E. So off we went.

Now, I don’t know Leo to be a fibber but I’ll be honest in saying that initially I did wonder if he was telling the truth. I shone a light into his ear but I couldn’t see anything and I only had his word to go on and there’s nothing more I hate than wasting the time of medical professionals. I mean, half of me hoped there wasn’t anything in there but I was fearful of being branded a time waster. But lo and behold, with a brighter light I could see it. Something black. And REALLY in there.

First we were seen by a nurse who attmepted to remove the foreign body with both forceps and suction but every time she touched the object Leo screamed. He was feeling no general discomfort from said object, only upon it being touched. They deduced that based on how far in it was it must be pressing on his ear drum hence the sensitivity. Ouch.

We then saw the Doctor and she was wonderful. ‘If anyone can get it out it will be me. It is my favourite thing to do!’ she told me. She tried the same techniques as the nurse, she even tried a small spoon thing. And unfortunately, the object just wouldn’t budge. Our next step would be to try and remove it ‘surgically’. I use that term losely because there’s not actually any surgery involved but that’s how she termed it to me. They will literally do exactly as she had that day but he would be asleep and so therefore not in any pain and they can have a better go at really grabbing onto it.

So the big question… What is in his flippin ear?! Well we have deduced from his description that it is the rubber end from one of Anthony’s earphones. I’m assuming he put the earphone in his ear and as he pulled it out the rubber end stayed in there and as he’s tried to fish it out he’s just pushed it further and further in. We shall soon see if I am right or not.

I won’t lie. I have felt quite a high level of anxiety about the whole ordeal. From the day we went to A&E until now it has been 24 days. Initially when the Doctor called to get an ‘operation’ date she told me that the 22nd was too far away. Although she was confident it wasn’t anything metal (a battery or the like) she still didn’t think he should wait that long to get it removed so they would shuffle the schedule and get him in within a week to ten days. Turns out they couldn’t shuffle the schedule, which I understand. But I was left feeling sick. Why all of a sudden was it actually ok for him to wait three weeks? What had changed? I tried to get him in privately but turns out that the Doctors work out of the same hospital for this type of paediatric ‘surgery’ and so there was no way it could be done sooner.

My mind raced; what if he gets an infection, what if there’s prolonged damage from it being in there so long, what if it gets even further down his ear canal and they can’t get it out? That will lead to actual surgery. But Leo has been ok. The only thing we’ve noticed that is slightly different about him is that he has an incredibly itchy nose. He’s not a nose picker but the last three weeks it’s been getting gradually more irritable. I’m hoping that is something that stops for him once this object has been removed.

I’m very much NOT looking forward to him going under the anaesthetic and neither is he. He’s at that age where you can’t not tell him things. And as the date has crept closer he has asked me more and more about it. I know he will be scared and anxious and probably upset. And me? Inside I’ll be feeling everything he is but I’ll put my big girl pants on and stay strong because the cooler I am the calmer he will be right?

So, that leads me to ask… Have your littles ever been in hospital for sticking things in their ears or noses? And what about you? Did you ever do it as a child? I’ve heard so many funny (well funny now but I bet their poor parents felt just like me at the time) stories from my friends childhoods when I’ve told them about this and they’ve bought quite a lot of comfort so come on… share away so I can read whilst he’s ‘under’…