Friday, September 23, 2011

It never gets easier

You would think that, after all of the drama that we endured when Trystan was a baby, that something as mundane as Charlotte's outpatient tonsillectomy would be no big deal. It is a very common surgery, one that kids her age handle very well.

And yet, the moment she was out of my sight and in the care of the nurses and surgeon and anesthesiologist, I cried tears of helplessness and fear all over my husband’s shoulder. She would be fine. I had to trust that she would be fine. I said a silent prayer for her safety, and one for the doctor and nurses who would be taking care of her. But it didn’t make it any easier to have her behind a door where I couldn't hold her hand.

With Trystan's epic tome of medical considerations, I've always taken Charlotte's good health for granted. But she has gotten strep regularly a couple times a year since toddlerhood, and she snores like Darth Vadar with a faulty power supply. Her tonsils have been huge, resembling a pair of shelled walnuts closing off the back of her throat even when she wasn’t sick.

The referral to the pediatric otolaryngologist was a relief. "Have you seen these?" he asked me, looking down her throat. Oh yes, regularly for the past several years. He wasted no time deliberating whether or not she was a good candidate. He simply started reciting the risks and benefits of surgery like it was a done deal.

Wednesday’s surgery wasn't, in the grand scheme of things, a huge deal. Charlotte stayed home from school and hung out in her jammies. We watched a couple of movies. I had to remind her a couple of times that she couldn't have a snack until it was all over. We left around noon for the hospital. She was very, very brave the whole time.

The anesthesia was not kind to her. She woke up afterwards in a haze and confused, scared and clinging and not able to focus well. But as the last of the drugs wore down, she began dutifully swallowing white cherry and blue raspberry slushies. Before long, she was requesting food and enjoying jello and pudding and a bite of Suzy Q (which was probably contraband as it came from me and not from the nurses). We were home by 9pm.

She is sore, but in good spirits. She is hungry, but only eats a bite or two at a time. She is anxious to work on some of the homework her teacher sent, but maybe not the handwriting practice. She has a list of movies that she wants to re-watch. Her voice is different.

When I tiptoed into her room overnight to bring her pain meds, she was sleeping peacefully. Quietly. So quietly that I was worried for half a heartbeat before I realized that the surgery has already gotten rid of the snoring. Perhaps now she can catch up on years of sleep-debt caused by poor breathing.

So, the family will be enjoying jello and pumpkin pie and milkshakes and smoothies, and giving up chips and other scratchy things while our big girl heals. We have some home-schooling to do. We have a lot of snuggling to do. And we have prayers of thanksgiving to say for the continued good health of our Charlotte.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

So glad everything has gone well. I about flipped out when I first saw the picture of her in a hospital bed before I started reading. Too much nasty stuff going on in the world has me on edge I guess.

Oh, and BTW, what is your big news you haven't posted in your other blog? Please dish! I'm sending all kinds of prayers and good vibes your way.