Friday, September 26, 2008
We found out a few weeks ago that Half-pint needed his tonsils removed. We were able to get on the surgery schedule quickly, and the operation was set for about 2 weeks later. It all happened very quickly, but we have great assurances that the surgery will greatly improve his speech, among other things (like snoring). I was quite apprehensive about the whole thing, but quickly felt comfortable with the decision. I did all that I could think of to prepare him. He is very much like me in the way he handles new/different situations (actually he probably does a little better than I do)-we like to know what to expect and then it's easier to roll with the punches. When I scheduled the surgery, I didn't waste any time getting on the local library web site and placing holds on any kid book I could find relating to tonsils and hospitals. We waited until about 48 hours before to tell him (didn't want him to worry too long about it). We had already read the books, and he's familiar with the local hospital (with his brother and 3 cousins born locally in the past year). He took the news better than I expected-there was some apprehension, some fear, and then excitement about all the ice cream and pudding he could eat. We also did a quick tour of the out-patient surgery center. When we got to the reception desk, Half-pint proudly said: "I have big tonsils, see..." and opened his mouth as wide as he could. We had a special trip to the local mega-mart for a special toy. We had a special grocery run to get all the pudding, ice cream, jello, Popsicles, canned peaches, applesauce, and juice he wanted. We went to the local bundt cake shop to pick out a "thank you cake" for Grandma, and one for Half-pint. The evening before the operation, we held a "Goodbye Tonsils Party" complete with wrapped presents and cake. I know, it looks like a lot of gifts. Here's the breakdown: new pjs for the big event, a new color wonder coloring book, and color wonder markers, and the big one is moon sand (that was the special gift he picked out). He chose chocolate cake and insisted on blowing out candles. (The littlest present on the top of the pile is a train from his set that he so graciously wrapped for his brother-but Half-pint insisted on opening it up, then gave it to Quarter-pint to play with.)
The next morning, we got him up early and headed for the hospital. A few minutes into the journey, Half-pint sleepily said "Mom, where we going?"
"To the hospital, remember today your tonsils are coming out."
He rode quietly the rest of the way. He was a trooper though. He played happily with Daddy until they called us back, then he became shy and a little nervous. He didn't like the blood pressure cuff and wouldn't go to the bathroom (that's okay-thanks to pull-ups). He was happy to watch a movie and wait for the doctors. I was able to into the OR with him until he was asleep. That was hard for me-he was scared and fought the mask. I guess I didn't do enough to prepare him for that part. Thankfully, he was asleep quickly and then Daddy and I just waited.
It only took an hour, then we got word from the surgeon that all had gone well. We found out that both his tonsils and adenoids were HUGE, so we made the right decision. He was pretty unhappy when he woke up. I ended up holding him in my lap for 2 hours while he slept. He was a good sport. He slept on and off the rest of the day and had a pretty good night also. Quarter-pint has been really sweet-he can be a little bit of a bully, so we've been pleasantly surprised. He made sure his brother didn't get too lonely-bringing him toys they played with together, and coming over just to babble at him. The second day he was bouncing off the walls. I was really hoping the pain medicine would actually make him drowsy. It doesn't hype him up, but he certainly has not been sleepy after taking it. He gets sad when I tell him he can't eat crackers or cereal-two of his favorites, but thankfully he's happy to eat pudding and ice cream sandwiches. Now my big challenge is to try to keep him from being too active until the 2 week recovery period is finished. Anyone have any good ideas? It's been 2 days and I'm already struggling.
When Half-pint saw the pictures of him when he was sleeping on the couch the first day, he said "Oh, that was a bad day!"