Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The first cut

I'll get the questions answered up front.  Yes, they still do it.  No, it was for obstructive sleep apnea.
Yes on Tuesday Big Dog had his tonsils and adenoids out.  The first thing nearly everyone has said was "Wow!  I didn't think they did that anymore!"
Well they do, and we had it done.  What seemed like it would be a recipe for a harrowing week actually started off pretty smoothly.  Even with our surgery sign in time being at 6:45 am in Bellevue, requiring a trip across one of the most notorious traffic generators in the Seattle area, aka the floating parking lot,  we more or less sailed through.  Granted, traffic seems to be less of an issue at 6:00 am, so we arrived about a half hour early then got to wait for a while before they were ready.
Thankfully my mom and dad came up from Portland to help out, so Ansel was left sleeping quietly in our bed (after throwing up in the middle of the night just to mix things up) with the Grands there to entertain him once he woke up. And when he woke up he felt great, he just likes to keep me on my toes.
Surgery was scheduled at 7:30 am.  We did the check in, met with the nurses, the nurse anesthetist, the anesthesiologist, the ENT and what felt like half the staff of Children's Hospital.   My only hesitation was when I met the nurse anesthetist and he looked young enough to be in school with Big Dog, but that panic faded when he mentioned his own three children.  Turns out he's just one of those people blessed with genetics that defy aging.  Not fair, but not too worrisome.
Big Dog played with his Nintendo DS, answered questions, chatted with the medical staff then quickly drifted off to sleep with the scented laughing gas.  The surgery was quick and he was alert and even chatty in recovery.  The nurse was impressed by his willingness to drink fluids immediately, by his smiles and his jokes, by just how OK he seemed to feel right off the bat.
Once we got him home he wanted to eat breakfast with us.  Eggs.  We talked him into Jello and Gatorade.  I think we were all stunned about the lucid and happy child we got out of surgery since we were all expecting a subdued and painful patient.  The happy boy continued for the first two days.  After that the numbing agent the surgeon put on the incision site faded and the real pain started.  And Big Dog decided that he didn't like the kiddie Vicodin and refused to take it.  We tried mixing it with juice, coaxing him with the promise of popsicles, ice cream or more juice.  It wasn't until he was absolutely miserable and I'd made two calls to the on-call ENT at Children's Hospital to check what other options we had for pain relief and finally was told there were really none, that he finally agreed and assisted me in devising a method to take the dreaded medication.  Since then we've been more or less on the right track.  If the right track includes a child waking up screaming and sobbing in the morning or a normally sleep resistant child sneaking off to bed in the middle of the day for a three-hour nap. 
Finally we've had two mornings start silently.  He climbed into our bed and snuggled up, but there were no tears.  And today he even managed to go to school for a shortened day.
Tomorrow they have a field trip.  He's slated to go and I think he'll do fine.  I just can't wait until I quit counting down the hours between medication doses.  I'd also like stop dreaming that Mr. Dog and I have gone out on a date and left the sleeping kids at home alone.  I'm sure it's somehow related, but I'm not quite sure how.


geekymummy said...

Yay, I think you made it through! Lovely photos.
It is quite often done in the UK, I know several people who have been through it, at similar ages to Big Dog. Hope he keeps getting better.

followthatdog said...

It turns out they still do a lot of them here too, but mostly for obstructive sleep apnea. They found taking them out didn't have much impact on the number of sore throats a child got, so it wasn't worth doing like they used to. However, now that Big Dog has had his out I'm hearing about many of his friends who also had theirs out. I guess it isn't uncommon after all, but without fail the first question people ask is "Do they still do that?"

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