A New Teddy Bear to Love

No parent wants their kid to have to go through surgery. We certainly didn’t, but my husband Kyle and I were faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to have our 11-month-old go through an ear tube procedure.

Our little Everly had four somewhat back-to-back ear infections. She would get a cold, get an ear infection, get on antibiotics, get better, and then repeat. After that last infection, our doctors at Como Cubs Pediatrics recommended that we speak with a doctor at Missouri Ear Nose and Throat Center.

We were matched with Andrea Hanick, MD and our appointment with her confirmed that ear tube surgery would be the best course of action. She explained that getting ear tubes greatly reduces the chances of Everly continuing to get ear infections and if she did get one, she could just get ear drops instead of oral antibiotics. Not getting the tubes could mean potential hearing problems, delayed speech because of those hearing problems, gut problems because of the constant antibiotics, and of course constant ear pain. For those reasons, combined with the fact we were about to enter cold and flu season, made us agree tubes would be best.

We decided to have Everly’s surgery at Boone Hospital Center, and I’m so glad we did. Someone from the hospital called me the evening before Everly’s surgery and answered all of my questions and let me know what to expect for surgery day. She scheduled Everly for their earliest appointment so that she wouldn’t have to wait long since she wouldn’t be able to eat before surgery.

They said they always try to schedule babies and kids as early as possible because of that. Our appointment was for 8 am with a 7 am arrival.

I was nervous Everly would be upset when I couldn’t feed her in the morning the day of the surgery but she did ok. I normally nurse her right when she wakes up in the morning, but I let her sleep until right before it was time to go, changed her diaper, and put her right in the car. She seemed to be a little confused by the change in routine but she did well in the car and when we arrived at the hospital.

Kyle had to hang back home for a bit and get our preschooler Reese off to school so I kept Everly in the stroller while we waited to be called back. I walked her back and forth in the little hallway near the waiting room and she waved to the doctors and nurses who passed us.

When we were called back, the nurses were so incredibly sweet. Several of them told me their kids had gotten tubes there and not to worry. Kyle was able to join me in the pre-op room and we tried to keep Everly distracted together.

At one point Everly started to get upset. The poor thing was probably just hungry! One of the nurses left and came back with a little teddy bear with a t-shirt that said it is a gift from the Boone Hospital Foundation. Everly lit up and was so excited. It totally changed her mood. It also lifted our spirits to see her so happy as we were starting to get nervous about her getting taken back.

When it came time for surgery, a nurse carried Everly to surgery and they brought her teddy bear with her. It was hard to see her go, but I felt confident in her medical team.

We went back to the waiting room and after only about 15 minutes, we were called to a room with Dr. Hanick. She said the surgery went very well and gave us some follow up care instructions.

Then we were able to go see Everly. Several nurses were caring for her as she woke up and one had her wrapped in a blanket in case she was cold. They gave her to me, and I nursed her. She was a little out of it for a few minutes but soon she gave us a big smile and again wanted to hold her teddy bear.

We thanked the doctor and nurses and went home with our little girl. She took a nice long nap and then was back to her normal self after that. We are so glad we had the procedure done and are so grateful for such a wonderful medical team!

By Madison Loethen