Grommets for a 3 year old – Ollie’s progress.

Quite some time ago my mom thought that Ollie needed grommets and I agreed with her.  We might have been quick to Dr Google diagnose Ollie because I had grommets when I was 5 nevertheless as usual, my mom turned out to be right.  #MommaKnowsBest

What are Grommets?

They are tiny little rings/ tubes that are inserted into young children ears to help with hearing problems, particularly glue ear.  They help to drain fluid from their ears and improve hearing.  Ollie also had an adeniodectomy on the same day.

They usually stay in place for a few months and can either work their way out or be removed.  I remember having mine picked out, they had shuffled out and then a doctor picked it out with tweezers and I remember it looked like a tiny polo mint!

Ollie was referred by the GP for recurrent ear infections and glue ear.  We then had to see audiology several times which gave inconsistent hearing test results where I felt he wasn’t hearing high pitched sounds.  Finally we got a referral to a very good consultant who assessed his history and decided that grommets and adeniodectomy were the best options for Ollie.

What happens?

To have grommets fitted children need to go in for day surgery under general anaesthetic.  The actual procedure takes 45 – 60 minutes and they need to be monitored for 4 hours after surgery and as long as they’re not sick or have any adverse reaction, they go home.

Ollie arrived to Birmingham Children’s Hospital at 12 midday in August earlier this year.  We had to wait around in the waiting room for a while (Ollie hated this part.) Then the anaesthetist came to see him to explain what would happen and check there were no health changes since his consultation.

grommets 3 year old

By this time Ollie was really stressed and crying. The nurses and support workers thought he was scared, he didn’t know why he was there! He wasn’t scared he was just bored of waiting and saying, “This way mom!” Trying to get me to take him home.  I knew he was really tired too so once we’d done all the checks I put him in his pushchair and took him for a walk and he fell asleep.

So I went back to the waiting room and to be fair to them, they were really good and tried to hurry things along! The youngest kid goes first so Ollie was first. It was easy to give him the anaesthetic because he was asleep! He would’ve hated the mask but we lifted him up, he sat on my lap still asleep and they wafted the tube until it kicked which was about 3.5 seconds! It’s a horrible feeling, he just flopped on me and the doctor held his head and we moved him onto the bed and he had the little mask on.

The doctor said, “That’s it, you can go.” I didn’t want to leave him! I cried!

So quick…

We’d starved ourselves all day because Ollie was nil by mouth for the day so we stuck with him. So when he went in the said go down to the cafe or whatever because he’ll be in there for the best part of an hour. I didn’t want to leave but we were so hungry we ran down to Costa, shovelled in a sandwich and drink and ran back up!

It really wasn’t long and they said we could go and get him.

He looked so little and innocent when we went round to recovery.  All curled up with two blankets on and they woke him up.  Ollie was not happy when they woke him up (just like his momma) but we took him round to recovery and he was allowed to eat.  I’d brought him a little packed lunch and he ate cake and a sandwich.  He was really miserable for about an hour, crying and restless and then all of a sudden he perked up and was running lengths up and down the ward, climbing up the chairs, helping himself to the water and playing with the toys.


There was no sick or reaction to anything and even though he wouldn’t let the nurses check his heart rate, they were happy with him because he was running around so much and clearly not bothered.  He had some chips when the food trolley came round and was quite chilled and happy. We were allowed to go home in the evening and Ollie was absolutely fine, he slept really well.  (I slept in his bed because I was worried about him!)

All was ok… or so it seemed.  We did have a problem as a result of the surgery but I’ll move onto that part tomorrow.