On June 7, 2004, I had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and PE tubes inserted. I was just 10 days shy of my first
birthday. Yes, I was very much on the youngest end of the spectrum for having this surgery. It was a much needed
surgery for my health.
We arrived at Cincinnati Children's Hospital that morning and went through all the usual pre-surgery stuff. The
anesthesiologist was concerned about my runny nose and congestion. Mommy explained to her that I was ALWAYS like that,
and that was part of the reason we were there anyway.
Let me back up a bit here. I was sent to the ENT after my 9 month well baby visit with my pediatrician. Mommy
knew that this constant runny nose and congestion wasn't normal. I wasn't around other kids very often, so it wasn't
just a cold. Mommy thought maybe it was a deviated septum because my Daddy has that. The doctor thought I should
go to the ENT so he could take a look. He said my septum was fine, but that my adenoids were HUGE!! He had to
peek in with one of those cameras they put up your nose. It hurt me. :( Mommy didn't like that experience,
and neither did I.
Mommy wouldn't have thought much about huge adenoids except the person that evaluated me from Early Intervention was
concerned about my hearing. Mommy told her about my adenoids and she mentioned that enlarged adenoids can cause a fluid
build-up which could compromise my hearing. Mommy checked it out on the internet and hoped it was fluid build-up and
not an interpretation issue. So, I had a hearing test and failed. They also checked for fluid at the hearing test
with a device, and fluid was detected. Woo hoo! It's not a problem with my brain interpreting sounds!!!!!
Good news! This can be fixed!
I had a runny nose all the time, always sounded congested, snored when I slept, choked on food, and the biggest problem
of all...my adenoids were so large that they were causing a fluid build-up in my ears. I couldn't hear much at all.
The doctor thought that I probably had headaches all the time also. There was so much pressure in my head, that headaches
could have been common. My tonsils were also enlarged and seemed to be causing problems, so the doctor figured those
should go as well. The PE tubes were to help drain the fluid from my ears.
So, back to the pre-surgery issues at the hospital...Mommy convinces everyone that I don't have a cold. She was
going to be sooooooooo angry if they said I couldn't have the surgery that day. They gave me a steroid shot in my leg
to help clear up the congestion in my head. It started working in about 5 mintues. Mommy wasn't able to be with
me while the anesthesia was being administered because of my congestion. They wanted to do that in the OR in case of
an emergency situation.
The surgery went fine and was over in about 30-45 minutes. The doctor went out to tell Mommy and Daddy that they
could see me after the anesthesia wore off and the breathing tube was removed. The doctor told Mommy that would take
about 20 mintues or so. About 45 mintues went by, and the doctor went back out to talk to Mommy and Daddy. When
my breathing tube was removed, my throat swelled shut. I had to be re-intubated. That meant I needed to be on
a breathing machine. That also meant I was on my way up to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). They warned
Mommy and Daddy about that before my surgery. Children my age are so little to start with, and when you go messing around
in our throats, the swelling can sometimes be too much.
The doctors wanted to keep the breathing tube in for 24 hours while I was given medication through my IV to get the swelling
down. I was also sedated during this time so that I wouldn't try to pull out the breathing tube. It was very difficult
for Mommy to see me like that. She hoped I was going to be okay.
Mommy and Daddy were there when they removed the breathing tube. Mommy almost had to leave the room because she
couldn't stand seeing me suffer like that. I was waking up from being sedated and was fighting the tube. My heart
rate soared to 200 beats per minute. She couldn't watch. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the doctors said
I was breathing on my own. Mommy was so relieved!!! She then rushed over to me to hold my hand and tell me what
I good boy I am.
I had to stay in the ICU because I now needed oxygen. The doctors told Mommy and Daddy it is normal to need oxygen
after being on a breathing machine. I only needed the oxygen for about 24 hours after the tube was removed. Then
I had to remain in the ICU for 24 hours after I was off the oxygen.
I was doing better by day 4, and Mommy and Daddy convinced the doctors I was ready to go home. I was supposed to
move into a "normal" room on day 3, but there wasn't anything available. The hospital doesn't like to discharge straight
from the ICU, but Mommy flipped out when she was told I would staying overnight on day 4. If I had been able to move
out of the ICU when they wanted me to, I would have been going home on day 4 anyway. Because I was doing so well, they
agreed to let me go home as long as Mommy agreed to take me in to see my pediatrician the next morning. Of couse!
Mommy would have done just about anything to get me home. I was getting really cranky in there, and Mommy thought I
just needed to be at home.
It took me about 2 weeks before I felt 100% better. I haven't had a runny nose or snoring since my surgery.
Mommy knows I can hear now! Having the surgery turned out to be a great thing for me. Even though it was scary
what I went through, we all think it was worth it to have me feeling better and able to hear.