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Tonsils are Gone

Spent all yesterday morning at the hospital for Calfgrit6’s tonsillectomy. His doctor recommended the procedure after it was confirmed that he’d had strep throat 7 times over the passed year. Calfgrit10 had his tonsils removed a few years ago for the same reason. I’m the only one in our family who still has his tonsils — a fact I intend to brag about whenever I can. “My tonsils are STRONG!”

You know, it’s kind of ridiculous how long the whole outpatient surgery thing takes. The actual procedure was 40 minutes, but we were at the hospital for over 4 hours! His surgery was scheduled for 10:30, but we were to check in at 8:30. We were on time to the hospital, then we sat in the waiting room for about an hour and a half. We were taken back to the preparation room at 10:00, where we waited through meeting all the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, etc. until about 10:45. When they took Calfgrit6 back to the OR, his mother and I went back to the waiting room.

We sat in the waiting room for about 45 minutes, when the doc came out and quickly told us that everything went perfect and fine. A few minutes later and a nurse came out and took us back to the recovery room where our little boy had just awakened. We hung out in the recovery room till well after 1:00. Finally, we were able to take our little guy home.

Everyone in the staff at the hospital was great, though. Everyone from the front desk to the nurses in back in the prep and recovery rooms were very friendly and helpful, so I can’t complain about any way we were treated. It just takes a long time to go through the processing of everything at a busy hospital.

In the prep room, Calfgrit6 was great. We had been explaining and describing the whole process and concept of surgery to him for several days, so he was pretty aware of exactly he would be going through. The nurses at the hospital were very nice and helpful when dealing with him — he wasn’t the first child they’d dealt with there, even on that day. He picked out a smell for his gas mask, he drew on his bed sheet with (nurse provided, washable) magic markers, he watched some cartoons, and he took his oral meds very well. It was fun to watch the prep meds kicking in on him. He got glazed-eyed and slow, even at one point using his fingers to hold his eyes open to watch the TV.

In the recovery room, though, he was not doing well. He was in some pain and was feeling very sick. He was crying and pathetic. The nurses explained this sometimes happens, but it didn’t happen to Calfgrit10 those years ago, so we didn’t think to warn CG6 that he might feel this way afterward. We held him and rubbed his head and did all we could to make him feel better. He said, “I want my tonsils back.”

It took a long while, and some doses of morphine, to get him calm and quiet, but he did eventually get better so we could take him home. Once home, I picked him up from his car seat and carried him inside and upstairs to our bedroom. I laid him in our bed and covered him up. He lay there, calm and tired. I got halfway back down stairs when I heard him call out, weakly, “I’m going to throw up.” And then I heard that disgusting sound.

We ran back to the room to find him covered in yuck. He hadn’t eaten anything in about 20 hours, and most of his meds went through his I.V., so I don’t know how he could have anything in his stomach to throw up. We got him showered, and the bed sheets changed, and got him back in bed. He laid quietly and rested the remainder of the day, only barely eating or drinking anything.

Right before sleep time, we gave him some more pain meds. He immediately threw up again. <sigh> We waited a few minutes and then gave him the pain meds again. He held it down this time. Then we had to wake him up in the middle of the night to keep him on his pain meds schedule, and he threw that up several minutes later. All through the night and into early morning, he threw up everything he swallowed — water, pain meds, anti-nausea meds, nothing at all.

We didn’t expect this. No one has slept much, and the poor little guy is on the verge of dehydration. The doctor’s office open at 8:00 a.m., and we’re going to call then and see what can be done. He’s doing better this morning than when he was in the recovery room, but this has gotten complicated. We totally didn’t expect all this; Calfgrit10 didn’t have these problems after his tonsillectomy.

As hard as this is right now, the end result of this trauma should be that he’ll stop having so many throat infections. And that will mean a happier life for the little guy.


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