Back in the fall, scheduling Rosie Girl’s tonsillectomy for December 31, 2009 seemed like a smart thing to do. We figured she’d only miss a couple of days of choir at school and it wouldn’t be hard to modify her homeschool work for the first week of January. She’s a healthy kid, so her recovery was expected to be short and sweet.
Well, it hasn’t been. The first week of 2010 has been less than stellar, shall we say? Actually, the first few days after surgery weren’t too bad – well, at least, they were what we expected. Rosie Girl took lots of pain meds and nausea meds. On the third or fourth day, she started to get more nauseous and even threw up once, so we made sure to keep up with the nausea meds. The pain meds were reasonably effective, but when I called the ENT’s office, they said that it was too early to use ibuprofen in addition to the other pain meds. (Ibuprofen and aspirin-type medications prevent platelets from sticking together normally. After some kinds of surgery, these medications are not allowed because of the risk of bleeding. This is important later in the story!)
Rosie Girl didn’t make it to school Monday or Tuesday and didn’t look like she was going to go on Wednesday, either. Since she only takes two classes, we weren’t terribly worried. Wild Man got a little bit of work at home done on Monday and Tuesday, but those days were limited by my headaches (which has been going on for a full week). Not only that, but we just plain forgot that Wild Man had band class on Tuesday afternoon! Yeah, I know, not terribly responsible on the parenting side of things. In our defense, Rosie Girl was still needing plenty of attention.
At 7pm on Tuesday night, Rosie Girl started having some bleeding from the back of her throat. The ENT had warned us about this (said it happens about 5% of the time in teens) and had given us instructions on what to do if it happened. So, Rosie Girl put a popsicle against the back of her throat to try to constrict the blood vessels. It didn’t work immediately, so I called the ENT on-call. While I was on the phone with him, Rosie Girl got the bleeding to stop with the popsicle. So, armed with new instructions, we went back to watching TV while Rosie Girl drank ice water and sucked on popsicles.
At 2:30am on Wednesday morning, though, Rosie Girl knocked on our bedroom door to tell us that the bleeding had started again. And, this time, after 20 minutes, it still hadn’t stopped. So, the ENT on-call said he’d meet us in the ER. We all (including Wild Man and Mr. Math Tutor) bundled into the car and drove into the city to the “big hospital” ER where we met the ENT. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped about the time we got in the car, but we weren’t taking any chances. This episode had lasted well over 30 minutes so she needed to be looked at. We were quite fortunate – the ER was incredibly quiet, so there was no waiting and Rosie Girl had two nurses to get her all hooked up to monitors, etc.
Well, to make a long story not quite book length, the ENT said that Rosie Girl needed to have the spot on her throat cauterized which required another trip to the OR. Rosie Girl didn’t really seem to mind this so much. Once the i.v. was in place, Rosie Girl was just ready to have it done. She seemed pretty nonchalant about the whole “surgery” part of things – it was quite a change from a week previous when she was so nervous about surgery.
Since the surgery was done before the regular working day started, Rosie Girl did her recovery in the pediatric wing, so she got a stuffed animal and a fleece blanket to bring home with her! (Several weeks ago, Rosie Girl went to a project at the high school where they made fleece blankets for this pediatric department. She said this pattern didn’t look familiar, so it might have come from another volunteer group, but it was a neat coincidence.) We finally were able to bring her home at about 9:30am.
We got home and all went right back to bed. Mr. Math Tutor had called all the appropriate people from the hospital to cancel his appointments for the day and to let the school know that the kids wouldn’t be there. I called the Nutrition Site to tell them that Wild Man and I wouldn’t be there.
Now, it’s almost midnight and I’m about ready to go back to bed. Rosie Girl is asleep on the sofa. She’s been doing well with pain and doing a very good job of staying hydrated. Wild Man is going to do some schoolwork tomorrow – I let him watch lots of TV today – and even going to go to his band class! If my headache is calmed down, I hope to start taking down Christmas decorations. But, the first priority is making sure that Rosie Girl is recovering well.
I’m praying that we’re getting the major stress of the year all done with in the first week!! And praying that your 2010 is much calmer than ours so far!!