The Rite Aid managed to find the right anti-fungal medication for Nolan's ear. Just in case anyone else ends up in the same predicament and has the pharmacist try to hand them a certain feminine anti-yeast cream, here is a picture of what the medication should look like.
This is quite a big difference from the *ahem* first dispensing method they tried to offer us. I placed the first drops in his ears last night. So far, his ear is still quite infected. Hopefully things will improve over the next few days!
While solutions of vinegar and/or rubbing alcohol are commonly used for fungal outer ear infections, this is not advisable for any child with patent middle ear ventilation tubes. Since any medication dispensed into Nolan's ear canal will end up in the middle ear space, everything from the eustachian tube to the membrane-covered oval window is exposed to the solution. The only safe medication to treat the fungus at this point is a non-ototoxic medication, which has a fairly neutral pH to prevent irritation and pain. The reason the Ciprodex drops were so painful was the low pH in the medication, which burned when in contact with the raw skin in Nolan's ear canal. So far, he seems to be handling the anti-fungal drops fairly well.
In other news, we are preparing for preschool. The 3 year old class requires a potty-trained child, so we have jumped in with both feet and have candy, a potty (chosen by Nolan), and lots of training underwear. The score so far- puddles: 2, potty: 1.
Wish us luck: preschool starts on September 14!