11/01/2009

My Tonsils Are In The Trashcan

Here's the whole tonsil history. Mid June, Austin started waking up 5-6 times a night crying, sounding like he'd just had a nightmare. We often laid down by him to comfort him back to sleep. That's when we noticed that his breathing often sounded like this:


In August Austin had his well-child check up where a very exhausted mother complained about his poor sleeping patterns to the doctor. He suggested it might be sleep apnea. We followed up with an ENT who said that his tonsils were definitely large and getting them out would significantly improve his breathing. (To help you decode this picture, his tongue is in the foreground and you can see the uvula almost dead center.)



We scheduled surgery for three weeks later. In the mean time, I did my best to prepare my little man. We checked out a handful of books from the library about hospitals (Froggy Goes to the Doctor, Franklin Goes to the Hospital are both highly recommended). When I saw this Halloween costume and doctor kit at the store, I couldn't resist getting it for him - in an attempt to create a positive association with all the paraphernalia. His cousins were very willing patients and nurses.

Austin did great at the hospital. He was very nonchalant about the whole thing. He was super excited to get his name bracelet, and quite content to watch TV while he waited. I can't help wondering just how much he remembered from being there almost exactly one year ago for ear tubes. (Which fell out just before his surgery and which dropped Austin's ear infection rate from 7 the previous year down to 0 last year). On the left, Austin 1 year ago for ear tubes. On the right, the recent tonsil surgery.


15 minutes before surgery, they gave Austin an oral tranquilizer, which basically made him drunk. It was hilarious to watch him try to sit up like his arms and legs were two sizes too long. We had to put the bed rails up to make sure he didn't fall off. Too bad I didn't get video of that.

The surgery went quick and one hour later we heard him crying as they carried him back down the hall to us. He cried loudly for about 20 minutes, then fell asleep in my arms. When he woke up an hour or so later he was groggy, but great. The next day he seemed almost back to his old self. He was a little more aggressive that first week, which I attribute to the pain killers making his head foggy so that he really didn't "know his own strength." And for 5 days his voice sounded like he'd been sucking helium. I tried to get some comparison video, but the helium sound is a little harder to hear on video. Video 1: The night before surgery, grandma came over to give Austin a Woody doll to take to the hospital with him. Video 2: A few days later.



Austin is now 6-weeks post-op and doing great. I'd throw in video of his breathing now, but he breathes silently now, so there'd be nothing to hear! I'm so glad we did the surgery. He breathes so beautifully now and he wakes up only once a night (sometimes zero). When you ask Austin what happened to his tonsils he reports, "The doctor threw them in the trash can."

3 comments:

Rachel B. said...

Oh, so sad! How amazing that that totally cured his night wakings. I'm sure you were thrilled to have figured it out. And I remember when my nephew Jordan got his tonsils out and his voice sounded so much higher and funnier after too. What a brave little guy Austin was. Glad you guys figured it out!

Michelle M said...

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad he's feeling and sleeping better.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Your boy cracks me up. While watching those videos I just kept thinking of the one where you're talking on the stairs. YOu gotta post that on your blog. You son sounds just like you sista.

What a good mommy you are preparing him so fantastically!!!