Tank had his first surgery when he was 21 months old. I shared a bit about that day here. He had his adenoids de-bulked and tubes inserted into his ear drums (Myringotomy). No doubt, it was a rough day. Unfortunately, his second surgery this past week was much worse. He had his adenoids de-bulked again (apparently they can grow back!), new tubes inserted into his ear drums, and his tonsils removed
I'll be honest, I was not prepared for how difficult the healing process would be after a tonsillectomy. It was heart wrenching to watch our baby boy suffer so intensely. Plus, going through this with a child too young to reason with, or explain what's happening, or tell him it's going to be ok, made it even worse.
Let's start from the beginning.....
With his surgery at 10am, I was sure that the fasting was going to be an issue. This boy likes to eat! But with all the commotion of admitting, meeting with nurses and taking vitals he didn't seem to notice. This was a blessing.
Check out his face in the second pic. The blood pressure cuff was inflated.
We soon headed upstairs to the pre-op waiting room. I vividly remember this room from last time. I remember the sick and panicky feeling I had as soon as we set foot inside. I remember we waited for over an hour, which didn't help the panic. This time I was prepared to wait and already knew the worst part would be the separation when they took him into the operating room. I tried not to imagine how scared he would be or picture his crying face or hear his
voice calling out for me. Even now I can't keep my composure writing about it.
When it was time for him to go the nurse asked if he would like to go "for a ride in the wagon". They have a red wagon that's used to
lure bring children into the OR. He willingly climbed in and buckled up. It's hard not to feel guilty knowing exactly what was going to happen to him when he has no idea. One of the added pains of doing this with a child too young to explain this too.
It was one hour later they called me up to the recovery room on the fifth floor. Only one of us was allowed to go and the nurse had given us this big speech about understanding what being in the recovery room would be like and to be sure whichever one of us went could handle it. I had gone last year and was quite sure I would be fine. I'm a farm girl after all!
I rushed up to the fifth floor and to my weeping, disoriented, hurting little man. He looked rough and didn't seem to know I was there. He kept calling for "mama". I would turn his head so he would see it was me, he would relax and lay his head down against me, and then five seconds later he would cry out for me and we'd go through the whole thing again.
Soon the surgeon arrived and started telling me how the procedure had gone. She talked about the fine details of the after care and how to handle the situation if bleeding should occur. It was around this time that another child was wheeled into recovery. She was making inhuman noises and had medical equipment coming out of everywhere. It was then I noticed the man next to us
who had bags of blood hanging off his bed. Then things got a little fuzzy..... I could see the doctor's lips moving but I couldn't hear her any more. I felt very hot and could feel my legs going. I quickly sat down in the rocking chair to catch myself. The nurse took Tank and forced my head between my knee's. Cold wet clothes and ice packs were flying everywhere. Tank was screaming bloody murder, and I was so embarrassed I thought I might die.
I'm mortified to report that both Tank and I were wheeled back to his hospital room on a stretcher.
For the first 5-6 hours Tank was eating freezies, playing with his toys, and seemed to be in a manageable amount of pain. I thought, no problem, we can handle this.
Then 6pm hit. The pain got so intense he refused to swallow - even his own saliva. He drooled, and cried, and was extremely restless. He went back and forth between Andy and I, refused to drink anything or take his meds without a fight. It was horrible.
Things did not improve as the night went on. By morning he was croupy and his throat was dry. This is bad. It was a long and difficult day of forcing liquids into him. The doctor left it up to us whether we wanted to stay another night or head home. We thought he would do better at home, and so we were discharged.
I'm happy to report that we were correct. Soon after we got home Tank took his meds willingly, had a drink, and even ate some yogurt. We were thrilled. He's had a few bouts of refusing to swallow since we've been home. This is not fun for anyone involved, but we're getting through it. It stinks having to wake him multiple times a night but we know we have to stay ahead of the pain.
A side effect neither Andy or I had expected is Tanks voice sounds different. Just slightly different and likely not many other's will notice it, but we do.
We are currently on day 5 and the recovery time is a full two weeks. I sincerely hope we are through the worst of it though I've heard nightmares about days 7-10 when the wound scabs up and begins to pull.
Hopefully he's too young to remember any of this, but I can promise you his mama and daddy will remember every bit of it!