Category: Ear Infections

Ear infection returns…and yummy barbeque sauce:)

My second oldest son has been off dairy for many years due to a recommendation by our ENT. He had had ear infections every 6 weeks since he was a baby for eight years and had five ruptures in his left ear. He also had tubes put in twice. We have been very strict, however, as of late, my son has wanted to “test” dairy products. He is 13 years old now, and I felt that it would be okay to try trace amounts. Shortly after our move out west, he said that he couldn’t hear out of his right ear. It progressively got worse, until I finally was able to get him in to see a doctor. Sure enough, his right ear was infected. He also failed the hearing test in both ears. Strange, since we haven’t had problems for years. We go to see a new ENT on Monday. I will be curious to see what he says. I have no idea if it is related to the small amounts of dairy that we have permitted or if it is related to a new area (seasonal allergies?). Needless to say, I will take him off of dairy again until we are certain what has caused the infection. Fun times:)

On a side note, my husband made the BEST dairy-free barbecue sauce that I have ever tasted. I wasn’t able to take a photograph because we devoured it so quickly (there were NO leftovers). He cut the chicken up into small strips and cooked it in the sauce (covered in a skillet) until the chicken was no longer pink. Here it is:

1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c salsa (we used Medium heat picante)
4 T brown sugar
2 T white or cider vinegar
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. salt
dash hot pepper sauce or crushed red pepper
1/2 onion, diced and sauteed

Saute onion and set aside. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Add onion. Pour or brush over desired meat and cook until no longer pink.

Another ear infection…

My daughter, whom was fussy as a baby until I stopped dairy all together while nursing, got tested for a milk allergy and it came back negative. So, I decided to try and give her cow’s milk. At first she wouldn’t drink it, as she preferred soy. So, I kept her on soy. The other day, we were out of soymilk, so I gave her a sippy cup full of cow’s milk. The next day we went to the doctor’s office and found out that she had an ear infection. What!?! It is an interesting coincidence. I do not imagine that I will keep her off of all dairy products, but until I’m certain, she will definitely stay on soymilk.

More ear infections…

After seeing the improvement with my second son and his ear infections, I decided to try the experiment on my fourth son. He also had a history of ear infections. They wanted to do surgery when he was two and then again at three, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go through that again. Especially since it didn’t seem to help his brother long term. As I was deciding on what to do, I got the advice about the connection between ear infections and milk allergy from the ENT for his older brother. So I thought, “What would it hurt to take both of them off all dairy?” My three year old has not had an infection since.

One interesting thing is that my parents babysat for me and gave him pizza. The next morning he woke up screaming holding his ear and saying that it hurt. I did some research that stated that milk can cause extra mucus when you drink it. It makes sense to me that if my boys ears don’t drain very well and if they get extra mucus in there, that it will eventually get infected. When I went to an allergist for my fourth asking about the connection between milk allergy and ear infections, he said that it was just a coincidence that his ear hurt after having had the pizza.

Whether or not there is any connection, my boys are now all dairy-free…as well as ear infection free:)

Two surgeries and eight years later…

Okay, I want to jump from my first son to the history of my second son for this blog. When he was born, he was an extremely colicky baby. He would scream every night for hours at a time. This was a very difficult and dark time in my life. Anyone with a screaming baby can understand. In addition to the colic, he had recurring ear infections. Every six weeks or so, he would get another infection. He was constantly on antibiotics and his left ear drum ruptured twice. So, he was sheduled for surgery to put tubes in his ears. After his surgery, he could have no water in his ears for one year. We had to use special ear plugs for every bath. When he went to the pool, we put ear plugs in and then reinforced his ears with an ace bandage to insure that no water could get in. Everyone at the pool thought that he had a severe head injury:) But at least he could splash around in the water. (I believe that he was 2 or 3 during this time). A few years later, he was still having ear infections every few months. He had had a total of four ruptures in his left ear and was scheduled for a second surgery. This time they took his adenoids out as well. I was pregnant with my fourth at the time and as he awoke, he started vomitting blood. Apparently it had drained down into his stomach during the surgery. As I was sick as well with morning sickness, the nurse had to help both of us and clean up my son. It broke my heart to witness this. Since he was I believe 6 or 7 at this time, I thought that all would be well. Once again we had a summer with no swim lessons and had to take precautions to protect his ears. This was really hard for him. After the tubes fell out, I noticed that his hearing was diminished in his left ear. He was talking to his Dapaw on the phone and couldn’t hear him at all. I then switched the phone to his other ear and he could hear perfectly. So we had even more visits to the doctor’s office. As a side note, every time his ear drum ruptured, we had little signs and little warning. He would wake up at 1 am screaming, we would rush him to the hospital and by the time we got there, it would have ruptured already, if not then, then by the next morning. So, any time he said his ear hurt, even the slightest, I would pack up all the kids and rush off to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or the hospital, depending upon the time of day. When his ear drum ruptured the fifth time, I sobbed. He woke up, said his ear hurt, and by the time we got to the doctor’s office, it had already ruptured.

So…why do I bring all of this up? We finally found a specialist when he was eight who told us that we needed to take him off of all dairy products. What? I had never in my life heard of anything like that. His older brother had the severe milk allergy, not him. Besides, he LOVED pizza, ice cream, milk on cereal, etc. I decided to do an experiment. In the past he always had mucus and green stuff in his nose. After the fifth rupture, he was also getting infections every six weeks. So we took him off of all dairy. Completely. No whey, no casein, etc. His nose cleared up and he hasn’t had an infection since.

As a side note, I brought him to an allergist and asked him about the possibility of a milk allergy and ear infections. He said that it has never been proven and didn’t believe me. I don’t think that I’ll be seeing him again:)