learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Post Surgical Child

As I wrote before, J’s surgery went well. Recovery? It’s like pregnancy and childbearing – read all the books you want but be very, very prepared to have everything turn out precisely against what you read.

It was a standard tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. He did not have such grossly mutant tonsils and adenoids that he’ll be a legend in his ENT’s office for years to come but they were problematic, so out they came. The surgery was about 30 minutes total and most of that time was apparently spent placing his IV. They had to place it in his foot, which was a blessing and a curse: blessing that he didn’t easily always see it and therefor didn’t pull at it, curse in that when he did see/feel it, it hurt that little bit more it seemed. I was kind of a mess through the morning of his surgery both from intense nerves and from being a ding dong and forgetting to eat/drink. Seeing him go under with the gas was brutal but the nurse anesthetist that was on duty was hands down amazing. I could not have left my son in better hands than that man, the ENT and the nurses present. 

He came into recovery expectedly unhappy. The post-op nurse saw to his pain needs and he sat up stock straight, reached for his cat (who went through surgery with him) and snatched her up like we’d been trying to sell her away from him. Then he laid back down and very soon blessedly slept. The time in the recovery room was long, too long it felt like, but when we got up to the pediatric unit it was for okay reason as he’d been given a private, isolated room set apart from the general noise of the floor. 

Pain management has been our worst complication. Tylenol could not cut it alone those first days and he refused to even consider eating or drinking. The first couple of nights post surgery he was vomiting off and on until they said “why don’t we give him zofran?”. I’m just his lowly mother but good grief I was frustrated at that point! It should have been given long before, just to keep him comfortable! The pediatric on call physician was hilariously awesome though and treated J with such incredible understanding and dignity. 

Then the days just wore on. He would not drink until Thursday and even then, it was a struggle yet he would eat! He would eat chocolate donut holes! He would eat peanut butter and jelly! Just … not drink his milk?

Never let it be said that anything about this child is typical. Ever.

He came home Friday and has been off and on with the whining ever since. It’s been a struggle to nail down how to effectively manage his pain but after several episodes of having his tylenol or lortab spat at me (nice) suppositories were procured and the rear door method was employed. Effective? Yes. Dignified? Not on any planet. Strangely, he’s been more cooperative about taking his medicine by mouth this afternoon. We’ll see if he remains so.

Lessons taken from this? 

— Never underestimate the stubborness of a singularly determined little boy to get what he wants

— Speak up when in the hospital, cause sometimes you get forgotten

— Realize that while your child may sleep in the hospital you plain and simple won’t sleep much and if you do sleep, it won’t be well. It’ll be an hour or two here, an hour there, and most of it will be the most uncomfortable sleep you’ll ever get. 

— Bubbles cure everything. 

1 Comment

  1. anne rossetti (mary's sister)

    Your post, as usual, is incredible – hope things continue to be on the mend. The lesson you mentioned that I will reiterate is “Speak Up In the hospital” – sometimes we don’t want to be too much trouble,or think that the personnel is doing all they can – but often, you just plain get forgotten, or some health professional just ignores something totally obvious! Speak up, but can do it calmly, but sometimes you have to be assertive!
    I hope you both are feeling much better soon! XXXOOO

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