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Swimmer's Ear

Cora woke up Tuesday complaining of an achy ear. She had no fever and didn’t act like a typical ear infection, so I figured she’d slept on it funny and thought no more of it.

Throughout the day, though, she’d mention it again, and I finally got her to pinpoint the pain – all right towards the outside of the ear. “Does it feel like an ear infection” I asked. “Does it hurt anywhere inside, where you can’t touch?”

“No, and no,” she said, obviously as flummoxed as I was. So we simply kept going with her day.

But when she woke on Wednesday and her first words were, “Mommy, it STILL hurts!” I gave the doctor a call.

The doctor confirmed a raging case of swimmer’s ear, and was quite impressed with Cora’s specificity, pointing out that swimmer’s ear is an infection of the more superficial part of the ear and thus doesn’t feel like a typical ear infection.

We’ve got drops now and will hopefully feel better today, but the doctor warned that once a child gets swimmer’s ear she’s much more likely to get it in the future. She encouraged me to buy some “swimmer’s ear drops” to use after pool time as a preventative, at least for the rest of the summer, once the ear has healed.

The doctor must have seen a certain look on my face – the one that said “I don’t do ‘extra’ medicine” – and remembered that I am more of the granola side of the spectrum. So she then said, “Or you can totally make your own preventative drops. Half white vinegar, half rubbing alcohol, put a few drops in each ear and go on with your life.”

And this? Is why I love my doctor. A medical pediatrician who is happy to let me go my crunchy way.

So Cora’s banned from the pool (don’t bring it up – very sore subject around our house) until Saturday, and then we’ll be trying the homemade drops. And Cora knows how much I love my home remedies: on the way home from the doctor, she said, “Isn’t it great she gave us a recipe for a home remedy? Now you can make me some good medicine, like you like to do, and not have to use anything that might have extra stuff in it I don’t want or need.”

She knows me so well.


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