Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snore No More!

Back when I was a college student, around the age of 20, I had found myself in a cycle of recurring upper respiratory illnesses. Because I was heavily involved in vocal music back in those days, chronic colds and throat infections made singing quite frustrating. I finally reached the end of my sniffling-coughing-sore throat rope and saw a specialist. Very soon after, out-patient surgery was scheduled and my tonsils and adenoids were removed. Thankfully, this procedure- for the most part- ended almost all of my ongoing illnesses and complaints. I was amazed at the huge difference it made in the way I felt day to day once I had healed.

But what I did NOT expect of that particular surgery was how indescribably painful it would be. OH! MY! GOODNESS! I can still remember the intensity even 14 years later. It was agony, I tell you. And not just for a fews days, either. More like 20. Two and half weeks of hardly any eating, little drinking, sleeping only while sitting straight up in a recliner, and barely any talking. Misery. Of all the surgeries my body has required (including gall bladder removal and 2 c-sections), this was the tip-top of the totem pole of torture. Once I made it through those long weeks, I knew it had been worth it. I'm still certain, years and years later, it was worth what I went through that particular August. 

Because of this particular experience of my young adulthood, I had to think long and hard when this same procedure was recommended for my 5 year old this past fall. She, too, had fallen into a recurrent cycle of ear and throat infections, along with (what seemed like) never-ending antibiotic prescriptions. And the scariest symptom on the list came every night at bed time: the sawing-logs snore. Who knew such a man-sound could be produced by a little girly nose?! Along with the illnesses, snoring, and other concerning symptoms, we were pretty certain she was experiencing sleep apnea episodes, as well.

So, this past November, our beloved pediatrician finally looked at me and said, "It's time."

A week later, the referred ENT examined my daughter and then looked at me and said, "It's definitely time."

After discussing her history and looking at our finances and insurance coverage, my husband and I both agreed, "It's time." 

A short two weeks later, she was on the books for those mean tonsils and adenoids to come out and tubes to be placed in her stuffy ears. I knew it was the right decision. I knew it was exactly what she needed to get out this cycle of infection. But what about that excruciating pain that still haunts me? Could I really bear putting her through that intentionally? I took a big gulp of trust in the counsel of the ENT, which said her experience wouldn't even come close to mine. I still wondered... but refused to worry. We plowed ahead with the surgery plans and, before we knew it, it really was time. 

Here we are! Bright and early at the surgery center... all checked-in and waiting to be called back.

Lots of group pictures to pass the time... because let's face it- all three of us were somewhat anxious and nervous.

Sporting her hospital fashion. Getting ready to drink down the she'll-barely-remember-any-of-this juice.

Starting to get a little smiley and loopy.

Surprise visit from one of our favorite "family" members. :-)

Hard to believe, but an hour later the surgery was over and done. Yet, the majority of my questions and fears were still unanswered... "Will she be able to handle the pain?"
"Will I be able to handle seeing in her severe pain?"
"Will she remember this and hate me the rest of my life?"

First stop after leaving the hospital- Sonic for a cream slush. She passed out asleep after the first sip.
(This pic cracks me up!)

We made it home and she slept most of the day away. Crawled into my lap to sleep at one point, which hasn't happened in years. I soaked in every second!!!

Later on that post-surgery night, she decided that she was ready to hop out of bed and enjoy a popsicle.  At first I thought she was still loopy and numb from the meds and didn't really know what she was doing.  I was all prepared (and secretly hoping) to lay in the bed and watch movies with her for the next week.  But no... less than twelve hours after surgery, she crawled out of my bed and pretty much never returned. 

Her incredibly sweet kindergarten teacher came over for a visit and brought lots of pictures, cards, and posters from her class buddies.

And here she is two and a half days later literally climbing the walls because of a raging case of cabin fever. Needless to say, this particular weekend looked N O T H I N G like I had envisioned it would be. 

Day seven... the final road of this brief ENT journey. Not only did she act like nothing really ever happened, but the doctor released her to life as usual- eating, running, jumping, gymnastics, school- everything. Amazing.

We're now six weeks past surgery day, and my little princess is doing wonderfully. What a huge blessing it was that her experience looked nothing like mine! Not only are her normally-clogged ears clear, but we also got to celebrate the first Christmas break in several years without a trip to the doctor for earaches and congestion. Sooooooo incredibly glad. I am so grateful that the surgery was a success and that her recovery went so smoothly... and yes, I admit that I'm also thankful (mostly for her future husband) that her endearing roar of a snore is no more.


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