Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Surgery and Stuff

My daughter is getting tubes in her ears on February 16th.  They are also planning to remove her adenoids at the same time (the doctor won't know for sure until she gets in there and confirms that the adenoids are as large as she suspects they are).  It is common to remove the tonsils as part of this procedure, but I've opted not to have that done right now.  A has not shown any signs of having complications from her large tonsils (no sore throats or that sort of thing).  I just have a hard time giving the thumbs-up for a surgical procedure that may not be necessary, a "remove this and that just in case it might bug her later" sort of thing.  On the other hand, I did hesitate because I know a few people who've had their tonsils removed as adults.  What is a relatively minor surgery for a child . . . knocks an adult on their ass for at least two weeks.

The appointment with the ENT (Ears Nose Throat) doctor was a little bit frustrating.  The doctor was nice and certainly seemed very competent, but I think she sees so many kids with recurring ear infections that perhaps she forgets they are not all the same. She seemed to be operating under the premise that my daughter is a "mouth breather."  She pointed at my kid's mouth.  "See how her teeth are?  She's got an underbite."  It felt like she was pointing out a dent on my car or something.

"Yes, I'm well aware," I responded a bit curtly. The doctor then went on to say that my daughter doesn't hold her tongue correctly against the palate, which causes the mouth breathing, the underbite, the snoring, and is probably also to blame for the current situation in Egypt. I think she could tell I was getting irritated because eventually she asked me what was on my mind.

"With all due respect, don't you think I'd notice if my child was a mouth-breather?  Also, she does not snore."  As I was speaking, A was sitting in the exam chair, breathing through her nose.  You know, like she does. 

We chatted for a bit longer, with the doctor eventually conceding that perhaps my daughter doesn't specifically fit the pattern she is used to seeing. She escorted us to the office of the scheduler person, who handed me a folder and started talking about general anesthesia, which of course made me think about my baby lying on a gurney in a hospital gown, which in turn caused a minor panic attack. A is not worried about the procedure at all, but I'm having heart palpitations over it. Yes, I know this is a very common procedure and yes, I know she will be fine. Nothing can stop me from fretting about it, though.  She is my only child - I do not have a spare!

The kid and I headed to the car and as we made our way across the parking lot, I slipped on some ice and went down like a ton of bricks.  I had been holding A's hand, but she was still fully upright.  The folder was lying in a pile of snirt.  My keys were nowhere to be found. "Baby, can you help me find my keys?"  I started looking under nearby cars.  Instead of helping, she stood there with her hands on her hips.

"What are we going to do?  How am I going to get back to schoooooool?"  Good to know she is supportive in a crisis.  Eventually, I found the keys (I'd managed to fling them pretty far, as it turns out) and drove her back to school. Later, I did some Googling to find out where, precisely, one's adenoids are located.  Seeing that they are in the middle of the head did not make me feel more comfortable at all. I guess I'm just taking a little leap of faith here, hoping that the adenoidectomy plus the installation of the tubes will lead to fewer ear infections in the future.  I'm also anxious to confirm that my daughter can hear better out of her right ear once the trapped fluid has been drained.

I could've scheduled the surgery for next week, but we're going out of town next weekend and there will be lots of swimming involved in our little trip.  I wanted her to be able to swim without worrying about the tubes (we'll have to be more careful once she's got them).   We're looking forward to getting out of town for a couple of days.  I think we've hit that time of year when we're totally over winter and spring is nowhere in sight.  All we can do is plan fun stuff on the weekends and hope it's over soon.

Speaking of fun, the kid came home yesterday and announced that today was scheduled to be a "pajama day" at school.  I thought she might be confused because they do have pajama days at Kindercare every so often (she goes there for before and after school care).

"I dunno," I said.  "I'd feel a lot better if I had something in writing to tell me about pajama day."  After all, the wee lass has been wrong about stuff before.  I didn't want to send her to school in a nightgown only to find that she was off by a week or something. I started digging through her backpack to see if the school had sent home a note of some sort.

Meanwhile, she went in her room and proceeded to write a note. 

[Name of school]
Tomorrow is pagama day  ("tomorrow" was misspelled, but it was close enough that I knew what she meant)

She handed me the note.  "There, you have it in writing."  Smart. Ass.

I finished sorting the contents of the backpack.  Worksheets, paper glued to other paper, wet mittens, etc.  But nothing about a pajama day.  "Sweetie, I don't see a note about pajama day.  Are you sure it's tomorrow?" 

She rolled her eyes.  "Mama!  I. Gave. You. The. Note."  She enunciated every syllable because, you know, moms are stupid. Finally, I called another mom from the class.  Whaddya know . . . today IS pajama day. 

I hardly knew what to do with myself this morning when I didn't have to yell "Get dressed!" every thirty seconds. At what age do kids start dressing themselves? I mean, I am sure she is capable of it.  She just doesn't give a rip. I just keep picturing this future scene where I show up at my twenty-five-year-old daughter's house and her husband answers the door.

"Oh hi, Aidan," I'll say. "I'm just here to get A dressed."

4 comments:

Tammy M. said...

Oooh, I hope you're not sore from your fall!

I had my tonsils removed when I was 33. The only good things about it were I lost ten lbs in a week and I could legally take oxycontin every four hours. (I never had issues with my tonsils before but all it took was one trip to the ER to have them slice open the back of my throat to move saks of puss that were disabling my ability to eat and talk for me to schedule the removal of those bad boys.)

Anyway, good luck with everything!

Beth said...

Just so you know, Jason's tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy knocked him on his ass for two weeks--and he was only 3.5 years old! He was a mouth-breather and snored loudly enough to wake the neighbors. He also had apnea and would stop breathing 10-12 seconds EVERY minute of his sleep. Yeah, that's scary as hell!

If A isn't having those issues, I'd opt not to have the extra procedure done, too. Kudos for standing your ground with the doc!

Jason also had ear tubes; that was his third time under general anesthesia for surgical procedures (tear duct surgery at 1 year old, tonsils/adenoids at 3.5 and tubes at 4). I've cried every time.

I suspect that you will agree when I say that, until becoming a mother, I had no clue how much fear my heart could handle! Frankly, I'd rather not push it any further!

Oh, and Jason never minded the bright orange ear plugs he had to wear while the tubes were in place!

Stillwater said...

Now who's Aidan?!

Laurie said...

My son had tubes in his ears at one at they were the best thing we could have done. Surgery was really quick and we saw his crummy always infected ears turn into a pair that worked quite well... immediately. Waking up from being under is tough and confusing for kids but besides that we were golden :)