Saturday, October 30, 2010
For over a year now we've been watching Tommy's tonsils. Although not prone to infection, they continued to grow, and grow, and GROW. "Have you seen his tonsils?" his pediatrician would ask each time we went in for other issues. Of course I could see his tonsils. It was as if they turned into little creatures in there, things to be watched and admired for their increasing size. Last year she recommended we take them out. Tommy's ENT, who put his tubes in, also marveled at their size, and continued to chart their progress, but left it up to us in deciding what, if anything, to do with them. We decided to hold off. By summer, Tommy's increasing snoring grabbed our attention, and we noticed that one tonsils was completely touching his little flapper back there in his throat. However, Grandpa said it wasn't necessary to worry about it, as he could still outgrow both these tonsils and his snoring. I couldn't help but think of his future wife. If his own mother couldn't stand to sleep with him, or sleep at all anywhere near him, what would a future wife do with him?
In July, Tommy started a pattern of intense headaches, and we got more and more worried, yet it was another issue we didn't know fit with his tonsils. We asked for an MRI to rule out big and bad uglies in his brain, and found only an ear infection that we knew about and adenoids that were obstructing his airway. Hmmmm....
The ENT at that time advised that we had enough now to move ahead with surgery, and thought that his headaches were more likely due to lack of oxygen at night due to his airway obstruction and tonsils than migraine. We took that with us, yet still didn't do much, as Bruce reviewed the MRI printouts and wasn't convinced enough to proceed. We again sat back and waited. Finally, John and I both noticed a change in Tommy' snoring and then in his daytime "snoring". He was breathing with his mouth open during the day, he sounded very nasally and constricted when talking and his speech was getting worse. I decided we would not wait any more, and called and got a surgery date for November. However, within a day of making that appointment, I noticed that Tommy's chest was sucking inward when he tried to breathe, and after calling Bruce down to check him out, we all agreed he couldn't wait any longer. It was a scary night, wondering if your child would continue to breathe under such stress, but by morning, we had a new appointment set up for the following week with a check up for the following day.
Tommy took the news as well as anyone would. He was a bit nervous about it, but we toured that same surgery center he'd been in for his tubes, talked a bit about "sleepy juice" and searched both Fred Meyer stores for just the right "big Lego". We are dropping a fortune on this kid! On the morning of, he did great, only getting tearful when we finished his blood pressure check and headed for the small room he would take his sleepy juice in. Having two years ago watched this little man take the long wagon ride away from me, I was a bit more prepared this time. I was more confident this time in our decision, knowing that he desperately needed this relief in order to breathe. My anxiety was completely focused on the recovery from this surgery, and the days ahead that we faced. Knowing how cruel and painful this recovery is was eating away at me, although, again, we knew we didn't have a choice. We had to move forward with this. When his surgeon came out to talk with us, he reported that both tonsils had been touching, and he had over 75% obstruction of his airway. He remarked, "I'm not sure how he was breathing." Wow. Talk about serious.
Tommy was crying a bit as he came "out" of the anesthetic, but there was no drama, no crying and screaming that they warned us about. The nurses quickly made a spot for us to cuddle with him on the bed. He was in a lot of pain, but the meds kicked in, along with the popsicles, and he held it together very well. He was "drunk/high" coming out, and he couldn't talk, staring off into space and remarking that there were two of everyone. It was quite entertaining, in a sad way. As he continued to get more with it, John took to the bed to play Angry Birds on the IPad. We were so thankful for the IPad in times like this. At noon, we were finally discharged and ready to go.
Tommy had a great afternoon that day. He played, ate, enjoyed his Legos upstairs. We enjoyed this honeymoon time that we knew would be quick to fade as the heavy hitting meds wore off. By Thursday morning, the pain was greater, and he refused to eat, drink or talk, basically sleeping the day away. On Friday, I lowered his dose of pain med by .5, and he was awake a lot longer, although not eating, drinking or talking. By today, Tommy was struggling to eat, but eating, and talking a bit more than yesterday. He felt well enough to not only get out around the house, but to take an outing to get Slurpees and sandwiches at Subway, as well as work up at the house a lot. A lot. The kid had major surgery three days ago and he was hammering away up at the house. We are so thankful that he is making this much progress so soon, and thrilled that we are not worrying about him not waking up in the morning.