Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bye-bye, snort!

Timothy has always been a fitful sleeper.  From the very beginning he cat-napped instead of "sleeping like a baby", and when he did sleep deeply, it usually wasn't for long.  Somewhere along the way he started snoring.  He snored so much and so loudly that sometimes I couldn't tell if it was him or Billy! While we were home together during my maternity leave last year I started noticing that he was snorting a lot during the day, too, like he was trying to clear something from the back of his throat.  He was also mouth-breathing a lot, so the point where he would wake up with a very dry mouth and a swollen upper lip most mornings.  So we finally decided to take him to the doctor. 

Our pediatrician immediately referred us to the ENT, telling us that his history was "compelling," and that he would likely need to have his tonsils and adenoids out. Now, most of you who know me well know that I am not a particular fan of interventionist and invasive medicine (or doctors in general, for that matter), but everything I'd read about Timothy's symptoms seemed to lead to the same conclusion - tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.  Sheesh.  So to the ENT we went.  And it only took him a few seconds looking in Timothy's mouth to determine that his tonsils were GINORMOUS (not terribly surprising, given the fact that mine are, too), and needed to come out.  So we scheduled the surgery. 

January 27th was a really rough day for Billy and me as parents.  I don't really know how to describe the abject terror that gripped me as I watched Timothy walk hand-in-hand with the nurse into the OR.  Yes, I know that the "procedure" is a "simple" one and that he was in very capable hands, but he was to be put under general anesthesia, which doesn't come without risks, and everything that was about to happen in that room was completely out of our control.  Simply put, it was awful. 

In the waiting room, blissfully unaware
The surgery was at the Mercy outpatient surgery center, and Billy's mom used to work with many of the nurses there, so she was confident that everything would go fine.  It was a good thing she was there with us, because she kept us grounded for the hour or so that we were in the waiting room.

Waiting to go to the OR

They finally came to get us, and the walk to the recovery area was surreal.  We had been warned repeatedly that children are more often than not inconsolable and disoriented when coming out of anesthesia, but the screaming and crying I could hear as we walked back there didn't sound like him at all.  It was only as we got closer that I realized that it really was him.  :(  They assured us that he wasn't really awake and he wouldn't remember any of what was happening, but it was still heart-wrenching.  They put him on Billy's lap (I was wearing a sleeping Lyla), and he started thrashing around trying to get his IV and heart-rate monitor off.  Billy held him close and he finally calmed down and fell asleep for another hour or more.  And that was really the worst part of his recovery, I would say. 

He was super-hungry when we got home, and powered through five or six popsicles in the first hour or so.  He also had a bite of a turkey sandwich (weird!).  He had a prescription for hydrocodone (vicodin), which apparently tastes horrible, because he had to have it in a bit of juice every time (and he's never been difficult about taking medicine before).  It also had an opposite effect on him - instead of making him drowsy, it turned him into an absolute maniac.  Bizarre and annoying, since we were cautioned to keep him calm (rising blood pressure could cause a hemorrhage), but it managed his pain reasonably well, so we dealt with it. 

It's now been 10 days since the surgery, and I'd say he's been back to his normal, perky self since at least Wednesday.  And - he's not snoring or snorting anymore!! Huzzah!!


Emily said...

wow nicole, what an overwhelming and scary experience. i am dreading the day anything happens to ceci where i have to see her hurt or scared. so glad everything turned out ok and hopefuuly now he'll get more rest!

Nicole, Billy, Timothy and Lyla said...

It was SO awful! I totally know what you mean about seeing them hurt or scared. You kind of get used to the bumps and bruises that come with toddler-hood (sort of), but this was a whole other ballgame! At least they put him under with gas before starting the IV - apparently they had quite a hard time. Ugh! :(