Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Never Without a Crisis

Ham has had a snotty nose for what feels like forever. He has always been a heavy mouth breather which has earned him the nickname Darth Vader, which he loves. I don't like to use antibiotics, but I was finally worn down and decided to take him in to the doctor. I have always assumed that he will need his tonsils out at some point. Our family doctor didn't have any available appointments so I made an apt. with the Ear Nose and Throat Doctor that did Jack and John's surgery earlier this year. I kept trying to talk myself out of the appointment because he's really not sick sick, and I wondered if I was over-reacting by taking him to a specialist right off the bat. I decided to go anyway. Better safe than sorry.

When we got in to see the doctor I explained that he has had a runny nose and I just need a scrip for antibiotics. I reminded him about Jack and John and then asked him at what age he would consider doing a tonsillectomy. He said that he is way to young to consider it. He apologized and insisted that a kid has to be at least three before surgery or else it is just too risky. I was like, "Hey no biggie. we're just here for antibiotics anyway. We'll come back for a tonsil checkup in the next few years."

Then the Doctor looked into Abe's throat. He burst out laughing. He said "I'm going to now completely contradict myself and tell you that this kid has to have his tonsils and adenoids out immediately. Lets call the hospital and get their next opening right now. I have never seen a case so bad in a kid this young in my entire career. This can NOT wait until he is three."

By the time we finished the exam we learned the following things:

Abe has two raging ear infections, needs tubes in both ears and has probably been in major pain for a long time. He probably has significant hearing loss and most likely hears everything like he's underwater. The doctor was surprised that he doesn't have delayed speech.

Abe's adenoids and sinuses are so inflamed that he has no airflow in his nose at all and his airflow is so restricted by his tonsils that its like breathing through a little straw. He probably hasn't slept for a solid chunk of time for a long time because of airway restriction. Major obstructive sleep apnea.

The reason he is so drool-y is because swallowing is super painful and he would rather let the saliva drip out than swallow unnecessarily.

We're having the surgery at Banner Desert on Friday morning and he has to stay in the hospital afterwards because of his age and the risk involved with operating on such a young kid. It won't be a simple out-patient thing like Jack had, but a minimum of two days and one night in the hospital. It will be a super painful recovery but will restore his breathing and hearing and save him from a life time of chronic infection. I told Ham about what we have to do and told him he won't sound like a Sith Lord anymore. Now he can be Han Solo. He wants to still be Darth Vader because he wants to wield a light saber. He told me this emphatically with hand gestures showing me Darth Vader's mask over his mouth and then lots of sword motions with his arm and light saber noises. I told him he could be Luke Skywalker and keep the light saber. He was satisfied so surgery is on for Friday He has no concept of what it means to be at a hospital across town by five in the morning. Frankly, neither do I. I am very anxious about the whole thing but more than anything I'm glad that there is a solution to this problem. I was freaking out about the whole thing and then stopped myself and said a prayer of gratitude for the blessing of modern medicine and competent doctors and mommy intuition.

I feel so bad for him to know he's been hurting without complaining at all. I didn't even know he had an ear infection or a sore throat. Poor little guy. I'm so glad I took him in now. I realize now that I was more prompted than paranoid.

They put him on strong antibiotics to knock down some of the infection before surgery. The anesthesia is less risky if he is clear. The problem is I can never get this kid to take medicine of any kind. Its always a wrestling match. Jack has always been the same way so I was prepared to negotiate when I gave him his first dose last night. We had finished reading books for the night and he wanted to read one more so I told him that if he would eat this delicious liquid candy then I would read one more book. We made a deal but then of course ended up having to hold him down on the bed and funnel it in to his mouth with a syringe while he tried to spit it out. It got all over the place and was a major fight before I was satisfied that he got enough consumed. Then he walked over and handed me the unread book. "Read Book now."

I said "I don't know, Ham. You didn't really keep your end of the bargain. You made it really hard and you tried to spit it out. That wasn't in the deal." Without missing a beat he looked me in the eye, pointed to the empty syringe and stated "Not candy."

I read the book. It is simultaneously heartwarming and disturbing to lose an argument to my two year old.

In other Kramer Family Crisis news... I wrecked both of our cars at the same time. Yes, thats right, both of 'em. I backed out of the garage in the van and John's car was in my blind spot and I completely dented up the sides of both vehicles, ripping the rear view mirror off of the Focus. Not my finest moment. Of course the repair cost is not much more than the deductible so insurance will help but not much, and either way our policy doesn't contain anything that will make me feel like less of an idiot. I had the entire family in the car plus a couple of neighbor kids so there was no escaping my shame. I'm so mad at myself about it. I have to remember my gratitude... No one was hurt and the cars are still driveable, just a little trashy looking now. Oh well. Life goes on. Hopefully we have met our monthly quota of drama for the month and it will be smooth sailing for a while. We just have to get through Abraham's surgery and we're golden. I'll keep ya posted.


Kiera said...

HOLY COW STACI!! That is INSANE about Abe!!! How did he not complain with all that going on.. that makes me wanna cry, poor baby! I'm so glad you were promted to go to the Ottorhinolarynchologist! I would have never thought to do that... i'm so sorry, let me know if you need anything! and CRAZY car drama.. At least no one was hurt.. but that does suck:(

The Lamb's said...

Poor little guy! So glad you figured out what was going on with him. I will keep you both in my prayers. Hang in there!


Brianne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your little Guy. My little Brayden has surgery for tubes next Thursday. I'm nervous too! Ham will be in prayers along with you. ;)

Stephanie said...

I have decided to have my tonsils removed. I'm going in on Oct. 5th to have it done. I will be able to feel Abe's pain.... literally! Good luck!

Kara said...

oh man Staci, I didn't even know about your car situation! No wonder you said never without a crisis! How did I happen to miss that one?
Sorry I never texted you back today, another day of helping out the helpless. ;) Did you ever talk to the DR today? I know what you mean about losing a child verses having extremely large tonsils/adenoids. I hope things go ok... I'll be prayin for ya both. :o)

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