Surgery

So! A follow up on Daniel’s surgery. I mentioned a while back that Daniel was going to have surgery to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears again. Well, that happened! His surgery was on the 15th of December, in the morning, followed by an overnight stay for monitoring. Normally their cut-off is age 3, kids 3 and older don’t generally stay overnight following this particular procedure, but because Daniel has Down syndrome they wanted to keep an eye on him for the night. Anyway, the surgery went well. Tonsils were very large, adenoids were blocking 60% of the space back there, which is obviously less than ideal. But now they’re gone! Only one ear had fluid, but tubes should help keep them dry which is important for hearing. And, of course, hearing is especially important as he’s learning to talk.

Post surgery he seemed okay. Obviously he was in pain, and he hated having to take his meds, but he ate and drank just fine. No hospital night is particularly restful, but nothing out of the ordinary went on, and when the ENT team came by in the morning they said they were fine with discharging him. We were home by 9:30 that morning. Barely 24 hours in the hospital all told.

I had my tonsils out at 22. Brian had his out at 29. We are both well aware of how rough the recovery can be. And even though kids are supposed to bounce back much quicker, we were expecting it to be rough! But it did not go like I expected.

Some side explanation. There are 3 basic versions of Daniel: 1) Happy Daniel. This is what most people see, and his most common state. Everything is good and exciting and he’s a happy guy. 2) Sick Daniel. Sick Daniel is very snuggly and pathetic. He sleeps A LOT, cries some, doesn’t want to eat, and mostly just wants to sit on your lap. 3) Mad Daniel. This Daniel is PISSED. Whatever the reason, he’s mad and he’s going to let you know. Mostly by yelling. He screams, he cries, he hits you, and he is generally NOT FUN to be around. (Bonus, since he can’t talk, we often have NO IDEA what he’s mad about!)

Anyway, post surgery I was expecting Sick Daniel. I expected that he wouldn’t want to eat (I know I didn’t), that he would want to be held a lot, that he would sleep a lot, and that we would have to be very careful to stay on top of his pain meds. (They don’t do narcotics for kids under 5, by the way. Just over the counter stuff.) What I got? Was Mad Daniel. Oh my gosh you guys. SO MUCH YELLING. Every medicine dose (so, every 3 hours alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen) was a fight and there was much screaming afterward. But a late med does? Extra screaming. Whenever Brian left he screamed. He screamed when I tried to feed him, but he also screamed because he was hungry. My nerves were shot. Days 3 and 7 were the worst (as we were told they would be.) And then, right at 2 weeks, he turned a corner! Suddenly he was fine even if meds were late. He didn’t scream at me during meals because swallowing hurt. WOOHOO!

Of course, now we have to undo all the bad habits- all day TV, giving him whatever he wants to eat (pudding/ice cream/noodles (mac & cheese was about the only real food he wanted)) and just generally letting him get away with everything because he was recovering. Oh, like the fact that suddenly he doesn’t want to wear his glasses? I don’t even know what that’s about, but I blame recovery. I’m hoping getting back to school will help with all this.

Anyway, I’m glad we did it. Even in the first days home I noticed a difference in how loud he is when he sleeps (much quieter.) And although we all caught colds right around Christmas, this one has not developed into the nasty cough he usually gets. So, yay for successful surgery!

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2 thoughts on “Surgery

  1. My son had tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and ear tubes just after he turned two. I meant to blog about it, but the recover was so rough, I never got around to it. (I have many pathetic pictures on Instagram, however) They did give us narcotics, which just put the kid into a miserable stupor and then Arwen the blogger suggested Motrin alternating with Tylenol and OHMYGOODNESS it helped!!! It truly was miserable, but it is completely worth it. He gained weight, he talked, the ear infections stopped 🙂 Glad he is doing better!!

    • I did some texting with Arwen after Daniel’s! I remember her talking about how bad the recovery was for her boys & feeling retroactively more sympathetic! Because Daniel’s wasn’t even awful, but I can’t imagine it times two 😬

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