Tuesday, 19 April 2011

From Ear Infection to Ankylosis?

Bear with me on this one as it’s a bit long.. Plus yucky photo alert!
So hands up if you know what Ankylosis is?   Anyone?  Well it’s not a dinosaur, that’s an Anklyosaurus, which if you are living with a future palaeontologist you would know about.  The medial definition for Ankylosis is the “fusion of a joint” so in other words the joint fuses due to the formation of calcium deposits around the ligaments.  So you may be asking yourself how come I know about this, and the simple reason is that Son No 1 was diagnosed with having this in his jaw last year.  It seems that the culprit in this happening was a very nasty ear infection that he had when he was 19 months old.
At the time I had never given much thought to ear infections and it was only when Son No 1 rolled over in his cot and all this crap oozed out of his ear(yes it was like something out of a horror film) that I realised his bad cold was something worse.  After what seemed like waiting for hours I managed to get an appointment to see the practice nurse.  Who confirmed that it was an ear infection (no shit Sherlock!) and sent me on my way with antibiotics.  When it became apparent over the next few days that these weren’t working I was told by the surgery to finish the course before bringing him back in.  Should I at this point have put my foot down and demanded to see a doctor?  Most probably, but being a first time mum I thought that they would know what they were talking about.

So back to the doctors we went and was told by the doctor, “pretty nasty ear infection, why hadn’t I cleaned his ear (no f**king shit, because he won’t let me touch it, because it hasn’t stopped oozing!!)  So after a rather heated discussion about why the first lot of drugs didn’t work I was told that 9/10 times that the antibiotics that I was given should of worked but in our case they didn’t.   At this stage I was about to lose it so he took a swab of the ear and gave me another prescription, which thankfully worked its stuff.  Looking back on it I think in total he would have had crap oozing from his ear and a temperature for the best part of 10 days. 
Over the following two years everything was fine but then I began to think (or was I imagining it?) to myself that he couldn’t open his mouth very wide.  I mentioned it a couple of times when taking him to the doctors.  The conversations generally went like this..  “is he eating and drinking okay” “ Yes” “ well he is speaking okay so it can’t be serious” “ Okay” “ He might be having you on”  “Okay, thanks”.  It wasn’t until I was weaning Son No 2 that I realised something was seriously wrong and it was getting worse.  So this time I stomped back to the doctors and demanded to see a paediatrician.
Amazingly we got an appointment pretty quickly and he agreed with me that something was wrong so he then referred us on to a maxillofacial doctor, who within 5 minutes of seeing Son No 1 and after a quick x-ray diagnosed Ankylosis of the jaw.  Quite common apparently in third world countries due to lack of medical attention so it’s very rare to see cases like this in the UK...  Lucky us!
So 6 months and 2 cat scans later we are off to the hospital today.  To hopefully find out how they are going to operate and how soon he can have the operation.  As we are at the stage where he can hardly fit a child toohbrush into his mouth and I have to cut his food up into small pieces so he can get it into his mouth.

Fingers crossed that the Health Service comes good.  I’ll let you know...
P.S. I added the photo against MR P wishes!.  In case anyone is wondering the ear was cleaned all the time what you are seeing is just a build one of the muck once it has dried.  My son wouldn't let me touch that side of his face so was unable to give it decent scrub..


Mari's World said...

Awww, best of luck today. I would add the photos (against Mr P's advice I know) but people may search the word Ankyo wotsits being in a simialr position, your blog may come up and help other mums.
It makes me so angry to ehar stories like this, I'm fed up of going to my docs as they always pass me off as a mad hypochondriac and the worst thing is I never go unless I am really worried!

multiplemummy said...

I was aware of ankylosing spondylitis which is fusion in the spine but I did not know it could occur else where in the body. This is such an interesting post and I think will be helpful to a lot of parents. I hope it went well yesterday. x

Frankie P said...

Thanks, it went better than we thought as its not as bad as they first thought. Fingers crossed we can get in soon for the op x

Fox in the City said...

Ah, that poor baby. My Little Miss used to get ear infections all the time and I had no idea that this was a possible side effect of them. I am happy to read that it is not as bad as they first thought.