Sunday, November 22, 2015

Who needs tonsils anyways?

Day three and five really are the worst for recovery.

Abi went in for her tonsillectomy at the beginning of the month and all has been going well. Better than I had expected. But then again, I wasn't sure what to expect since we weren't given any information. All I was thinking of were the news stories of children who have died after tonsilectomies from bleeding and hemoraging. I know those cases aren't common, but it's in the back of your head that you could be that small percentage where odd things happen. (We do have a strange medical history in this family!) So I kept picturing lots of throwing up and bleeding. Ugh.

Thankfully that has not been the case.

We went in to her appointment with only the knowledge of where to go (Surrey Memorial Hospital), what day (Nov 4) and what time to arrive (6:30am)  That's all. Oh, and that she needed to fast from midnight on. Nothing else. No tips on how to prepare, no info on what to expect, nothing on what recovery is like. It was very frustrating. (it didn't help that I couldn't even get in to the office on the phone. It just rang and rang every time I called.)

A day after her surgery, I had to laugh as I remembered being concerned about knowing too much. I didn't want to be told what the doctor would do or how. (The idea gives me shivers) I just didn't think that my non-vocalized worries would keep me from knowing anything!

(this was taken an hour after we arrived at the hospital and were getting comfortable in her room. We had been up since 5:30am...after restless sleep...and were feeling silly and tired! I'm glad that we were able to laugh a lot instead of being quiet with anxiety.)

Her surgery went well. In the past, I've almost passed out when my kids have been put to sleep. (which sounds horrible...the description that is.) But I had no problems this time. They had the Frozen movie playing in the OR (I guess they do that to distract the little kids) and Abi was relaxed (mostly) so it felt casual, which totally helped. (I'm thinking that having a child fight and cry and thrash and then suddenly fall asleep by medication does a lot to create anxiety in me, which explains the almost-passing out part) We also had a nurse int he OR that I knew; an old classmate of my sister's during their nursing student days. That was so nice to have! It gave me comfort.

What surprised me is that it is only a half hour procedure. I was barely back in her room when the doctor visited me to say all went well and to give me some recovery tips. Such as no straws, only soft food, and that day 3-5 would be more painful, but as long as we kept up on her pain medication, she should be okay.

And it has been okay. Abi had made herself cozy on the couch, mostly playing on her Ipod. We would both get up in the night for Advil and Tylenol (I slept the first night on the other couch with her since I was getting up every 3 hours for her) and if she missed her scheduled medication she could tell. For the most part, things have been good and her pain has been low. But when she hit day three, she had a headache, earache, jaw pain and sore throat. (all normal) Her voice has been really weak also, and her throat doesn't like to swallow so dinnertime was painful.

 (I took and posted this picture with her permission. It makes us laugh. She's tired and sore and bored of the being home and only eating Popsicles and yogurt!)

I was feeling concerned about her recovery though. We were told 7-10 days and at day 9 she was still in tons of pain and needing to take something every 5 hours. I told a friend that if she was still in pain on day 10, I'd take her to the doctor again. I wasn't expecting her to be any better, and said that it would take some sort of miracle for her to be suddenly healed enough in one night. And guess what happened? She missed her nighttime medication and ended up going 12 hours without! What just happened? I was so surprised! The next day, she was even better! Wow! I guess we got our miracle!

Hopefully with no tonsils to bother her now, Abi will have a healthier winter. Last year ended with strep throat and this year started with tonsillitis, missing 2 weeks of school. Although having your tonsils removed doesn't mean that you won't get strep throat,  it is supposed to be a lot less. Hopefully it'll help with her asthma as well. So we'll see.


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