Sunday, September 9, 2012
Emmett's pediatrician would often make comments like, "Woah!" or "Check out those babies!" whenever we went in for a check-up and the doc looked in Emmett's mouth. He was referring to Emmett's tonsils. He said we would need to keep an eye on them and they would likely have to be removed sooner rather than later. Well last month Emmett became ill and his already extra large throat-lumps swelled up even larger. Emmett was gagging on his food and spitting up at meal time because he could not swallow well. I took him in to the doctor and my poor baby tested positive for Strep throat. Even after the antibiotics had run their course, one of his tonsils was still pressing up next to the uvula, and the doctor referred us to a specialist. Our first visit to the E.N.T. was all it took. As soon as he walked in, the doctor asked, "Is that how Emmett always sounds when he breaths?" He was referring to the snore-like sounds coming from my little mouth breather.
"Not always," I said, "But quite frequently."
We also discussed his nightime snoring, constant stuffy/runny nose, frequent fluid behind his ears, etc. The next thing I knew, we had an appointment for surgery for the next available day the doctor had - about two weeks out. Being pregnant, I had overly emotional responses over the next couple weeks to the upcoming procedure of my little guy. I was all but convinced that something would go terribly wrong and Emmett would have some adverse reaction to the anesthesia or some such thing. I knew I was not being rational, but that didn't change the stress I was experiencing. I prayed like crazy to know if I was making the right decision and to be comforted to know all would be well. I was grateful that David and a family friend were able to give Emmett a priesthood blessing before his surgery that gave my emotional pregnant brain the calm I needed.
At the day surgery clinic Emmett happily allowed a nurse to scoop him up and take him back to the operating room. He was having so much fun pushing the buttons that automatically open the doors that he didn't care that we were not coming along with him. At the conclusion of the surgery, we got to go into the recovery room and sit with him. Daddy held Emmett on his lap while Emmett got to watch part of Finding Nemo and eat popsicles. The nurses kept commenting on how good he was. They said most two year olds have a fit when they separate from the parents to go back for surgery and then put up a fight when the nurses try to get them to do anything-like put on the gas mask or take a dose of pain meds from a syringe- but Emmett was completely cooperative and didn't even fuss or cry when he woke up from the anesthesia. What a tough little guy. (*Reminds me of when he astonished the nurses at his regular doctor's office by holding completely still while they drew some blood for an allergy test. They said they did not have teenage patients that acted that calmly or held that still for a blood draw.)
Emmett has recovered well. He was up and jumping around the afternoon after his surgery. As long as he let me give him his pain medicines, he was his cheerful rowdy self. After several days, though, he decided he didn't like his medicine anymore and I either had to force feed it to him (which made him kick and scream) or let him go without (which made him irritable and overly sensitive and dramatic). Luckily that only lasted a few days and then he was past the pain and we no longer had to worry about the meds.
After the surgery, David and I noticed that Emmett was breathing through his nose rather than his mouth. The Dr said our boy's adenoids were also large and had probably been part of the congestion problem. Emmett sleeps so quietly now that I have to go clear into his room and stand by the crib to check on him. I used to be able to hear him snoring from outside his door, so I knew he was asleep! During his surgery the Dr also drained the fluid out of Emmett's ears and said they should stay clear now that the tonsils and adenoids are gone. Emmett can probably hear better now as a result, so his pronunciation will likely improve quite quickly. Others are already saying they can understand him more easily now!
I am glad Emmett is better off because of his tonsillectomy. I just hope none of my other kids will need to undergo surgery of any kind anytime soon...or ever, for that matter!