Sunday, July 10, 2016

Surviving the Tonsillectomy

Where have I been? Confined to Patches with a little guy with smelly breath and a painful throat.... This post is going to be long, and probably boring unless you have a child who is about to have a tonsillectomy.

On Friday, July 1, Woody was scheduled to get his tonsils and adenoids out. I was so happy to finally get this done to correct his snoring and breathing trouble at night. We talked a little about how we would meet a doctor who would help him feel better. I didn't want to say too much because I didn't want to freak him out. I kept thinking it was no big deal, so why worry him?

Thank goodness I decided to google some other mothers' accounts of this procedure. My opinions on it were based on when my niece, Maddox, had it and had little to no problems. (I even thought I could use this weekend at home to potty train Gaines. Ha...hahahahahaha.) However, I read that the recovery can be difficult and longer than I imagined. And it was is.

July 1: Surgery Day. It was scheduled for 9:15, and we had to be there by 7:15. Senior Harvards got to our house a little before 6:30 to stay with Gaines. Check in went well, and we got Woody set up in a pre-op room. He didn't seem to mind waiting in there or the fact that he didn't have anything to eat or drink. His main complaint was over having to wear the gown. 

One parent was allowed to carry Woody back to where they would put him under anesthesia. I had planned on that parent being me, but because I am pregnant, I couldn't go. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because I think I would have started crying (Brooks said it was uneasy to watch.) I went to the post-op room where Woody would go after surgery, and Brooks quickly joined me. The surgery was very quick (20-30 minutes), and the doctor let me know that Woody did great and he would be joining us when he started to wake up. 

A sweet nurse carried him in, and he quickly fell back asleep in my arms. When he woke up, he cried out and said his mouth hurt. We let him watch some cartoons, and he drank the entire juice box. When his IV fluid was up, they let us go home. I remember thinking that this would be no problem at all!

At home, he was a little whiny, but seemed not to be too bad...

Then all those great hospital pain killers wore off. When it was time from the Hydrocodone (which has Tylenol in it too for the fever), Woody spit it out and screamed. I later found out that the alcohol in medicine hurts...a lot. I didn't want to force the pain medicine if he didn't want to drink it.

MISTAKE 1: Yes, it hurts their throat. However, they will scream without it. Try to calm your child, remind him that it is going to help their throat, and offer juice to "wash it down."

For bed, we put him in his room with Gaines.

MISTAKE 2: I should have sent Gaines home with the grandparents. He is the most adorable thing ever, and truly cares about Woody, but he gets on Woody's nerves...especially when he doesn't feel good. 

I had read that I needed to set an alarm to go off and give Woody medicine. That seemed silly. Why would I wake him up if he was sleeping?

MISTAKE 3: Woody woke up in pain and couldn't calm down, he was so hysterical, that I couldn't get him to take the medicine. And his screaming woke Gaines up (see MISTAKE 2.) 

We put Woody in bed with us after he finally took some medicine. He was very restless and wanted to sleep fully embracing me. (This is not super comfortable for a pregnant lady in case you were wondering.) However, when I calmed him down, I didn't mind. Seeing him so upset was hard.

Day 2-3: Medicine was still very much a challenge to give to Woody. He would spit most of it out and scream. About halfway through the morning, I realized he wasn't drinking much, but I didn't want to push it and make him cry anymore.

MISTAKE 4: Keep them hydrated!!!! My kids are actually great about a cup of milk in the morning and mostly water throughout the day. But now is not the time to get on your high horse about sugar. Let them have all the full strength apple juice they want! It helps with the consipation. (Funny story...Gaines is loving the full strength apple juice. We have had the plessure of cleaning some messy diapers because of it!)

Woody was resistant to it because his throat hurt so much, but I realized he wasn't drinking the recommended number of ounces, and I was scared he wasn't peeing as much as he should, so I tried a new tactic...

SUCCESS 1: "Woody if you don't drink your juice, you will have to go back to the doctor and get a shot." (I would like to thank Ken Hollon for this parenting strategy.) Woody started to proudly show me the number of juice boxes he downed!

As far as food went, he didn't ask for much. He successfully ate some ice cream and yogurt. (He doesn't like Popsicles, but don't worry, Gaines does! He and his momma gladly ate the entire package.) 

Day 4-6: I completely thought by now Woody would be feeling much better. Eh, not the case. He was doing better about medicine during the day, but he was hungry and was disappointed when what he was craving hurt his throat. He spent most of the time lying in our bed with Thomas on the TV and train demonstrations on the iPad (no judgment.) On night 4, we tried him back in his bed. However, a little after midnight, he would wake with night terrors. We learned to quickly get him out of the room to try not to wake Gaines, but Woody would be hysterical. Even when in bed with us, he sits straight up from his sleep and starts screaming. It is terrifying. Luckily, he usually calms after 5-10 minutes (as long as he can sleep in that full body embrace I mentioned earlier.) Oh...and the breath. It is the worst, and no toothpaste can cure it. It is like he knows that his breath smells like a dying hyena and surely Momma wants to smell it all night.

As I said, I thought he would be much better by then, so I didn't cancel his trip to stay with Senior Harvards for a long weekend. Mimi is a great nurturer, and I knew Gaines would love playing with Papa. I asked Woody if he wanted to stay with them over and over, and the answer was always yes.

MISTAKE 5: I hope they forgive me for this past weekend...He just wasn't ready. He was still having night terrors. If they are scary for Woody and me, they have to be really scary for a grandparent. He quit eating and struggled to drink enough or take his medicine. Senior Harvards were so sweet and patient, but I think it was a little too soon to send him with them.

SUCCESS 2: I got Squeak's nursery painted while the boys were away!
SUCCESS 3: I got two nights of interrupted sleep!

The boys went down on day 7, and the morning of day 8, I realized I had made a mistake. Senior Harvard kept reassuring me that he was okay, but we decided to go ahead and pick them up the next day (Day 9.)

Day 10: So here we are today. TEN DAYS PEOPLE! I still have to force Woody to drink and medicine is a challenge. And all of his favorite foods are still painful. I read that somewhere between days 7-10, the scabs in their throats fall off (cue Momma vomit), which is super painful. I pray that he starts to feel better this week. His birthday in Thursday and party on Friday! So please say a prayer for his recovery. I know that he will eventually feel better, and this surgery is nothing compared to what some kids have to go through. However, I hate seeing him in so much pain. And maybe send out some positive vibes for better breath...

Not happy with the gown...

Day 1: Enjoying ice cream

And so is Gaines

Gaines finishing his brother's ice cream
He is also awesome at picking out his clothes...

As pitiful as he and his breath have been, it has been sweet rocking him to sleep. How is he almost four!?

Resting in Mom and Dad's room

 Happy to be with Mimi!

When we picked them up yesterday. Milkshakes make things better...

...for everyone.

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