Well we couldn't get an appointment on Monday, so instead of waiting, we went to a walk-in clinic. The doctor said that Patrick had swimmer's ear and that fluid was also building up on the other side of the ear. Damon's was almost as bad. So he gave us a prescription for oral antibiotics (zithromax) and antibiotic/steriod ear drops. It took about 3 days for them to start to feel better. They have pink discharge coming out of their ears now, which is apparently within normal. Yesterday they were still relying heavily on Advil to quiet the wailing.
How did both Patrick and Damon end up with swimmer's ear? And stranger still, Patrick's friend S. and his brother both have the same thing! They have spent many days together this summer, some of those in the friend's swimming pool. But it is a brand new pool that is crystal clear, and S.'s brother's friends have spent even more time in the pool and they don't have an ear infection. S's mom was worried that it might be her pool and was going to ask an expert, but I told her I wasn't worried that it was her pool. My theory is that they are swimming a lot and it has been a hot summer, which means that their ears are very warm moist environments for bacteria to get into. Or it could be that all 4 of those kids were swimming in the Great Lakes (Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Superior). Oh well, my brain hurts, so I'm not going to think about this one too hard.
I'm getting things under control here, so I thought I should update on the phones. I have found all 3 cordless phones! One was in Patrick's room on his bookshelf. One was underneath my bed and the last one was between the couch cushions. Typical places, but things were so busy here, I didn't have a chance to look.