Monday, July 29, 2013

Bye, bye tonsils!

The week after Kennedy was done with preschool, we had scheduled surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids.  It is something that we thought about, prayed about and investigated multiple options throughout the past year.  We saw two different surgeons, filled out countless questionnaires and finally decided that her quality of sleep would greatly improve with the procedure.  It was amazing how loudly she snored ~ with the door shut and a fan in her room turned on, you could still stand down the hall and hear her at times.  Not only did she snore loudly but there were times when we'd hear her stop breathing during sleep.  Not often, but enough to make us concerned.  She was also a super loud breather on a day to day basis, I often wondered if she was getting enough air at all.  We were able to meet with the Dean of Surgery up at Dorenbechers and I really liked him...he recommended having the procedure done, giving us hope that her sleeping would improve greatly.

As surgery day approached, I was getting more and more nervous.  I knew in my head that it was a simple, routine procedure but my heart was terrified of my baby being wheeled off to surgery and it was all so out of my control.  It certainly didn't help that Kyle was travelling for work and I was going through the whole process alone.  That was really hard.  Thankfully Kennedy was pretty excited to eat ice cream and would only get a little scared here and there. 

It was a very different story once we checked in and got settled...She just curled up into herself, wouldn't really communicate with the doctors or nurses and told me more than once that she was scared and just wanted to go home.  It about broke my heart.  I did my very best to be strong for her.  I can't say enough wonderful things about the staff up at Dorenbechers ~ everyone was so friendly and helpful and so great with Kennedy.  The first person that we saw after our initial nurse got us settled was a nurse whose job it was to explain everything to Kennedy.  They had a kids book that explained what would happen before and after her surgery, they gave her a stuffed animal and then gave her bear, Rainbow, her own hospital gown and blood pressure cuff.  Oh, and they had Disney Junior playing too, which was a great distraction.
She looked so small and fragile lying in the hospital bed...
And she was all done with pictures, thank you very much!
Once Rainbow got all suited up, Kennedy was in slightly better spirits.
Taking her blood pressure...
Rainbow getting sleepy medicine...
Kennedy was getting pretty anxious as her surgery time approached, so they offered to give her a mild relaxant.  It made the transition so much easier (at least for Kennedy)...once she got her dose, she was calm and smiley.  As we walked down the hall, wheeling her in the hospital bed, I tried so very hard to keep it together.  I kissed her, prayed with her and then they took her into the operating room.  And I lost it.  It was a very, very long hour.

They came and got me once she was done with surgery and I sat with her in recovery.  Unfortunately, this is when things didn't go quite as smoothly as we would have hoped.  She woke, crying loudly, kind of thrashing around and in obvious discomfort.  Again, I lost it.  I must admit, it was just so hard to be by myself watching Kennedy suffer.  The nurse who was attending to her was very sweet and tried to calm her down but then decided she'd need morphine.  After two doses, Kennedy was zonked out again.  And then her blood pressure (or oxygen levels?) began to drop, so she was given oxygen and allowed to slowly wake up again.  Second time around was much better...she was sore and scared but she was doing much better!

Back in our little area, she fell asleep again and I just loved on her - in no rush to leave the safety of the hospital.

After a couple of hours Kennedy perked up and we were ready to head home

She even got a fun ride in a wheel chair!
She slept a lot on our car ride home, but then asked for ice cream.  I stopped and got her a shake, but she really had no interest in food.

Asleep again...more than anything she was tired.
The first night was a bit rough, she woke around midnight in obvious pain and it was difficult to comfort her.  She needed pain medicine but wasn't very willing to take it.  
Thankfully after the first night, things got a little better. 
The recovery took a full week, getting a little better before getting worse again.  I was most worried about her lack of wanting to eat and it was visible that she had lost quite a few pounds.  
she definitely looked more frail than normal for several days after surgery

After a week, she was on the mend and back to eating more like normal.  It didn't take long for her to be back to her normal self.
And I'm super thrilled to report that the surgery was successful in helping her sleep better.  She is getting more continuous and longer periods of sleep at night and her behavior has really improved, as well.  I am so thankful that we decided to have this procedure and that it's now behind us!
Praising God for our healthy girl!!!
On a side note, spending the day at the children's hospital and seeing so many sick children and tiny preemies made me stop and appreciate the health of both of my kids.  It's so easy to take that for granted but being in the hospital proved a good reminder of how very lucky we are.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that this ordeal had the positive outcome that you had hoped for. It made it all worthwhile! I have to say, I love the picture of Kennedy looking so thin and your description of how she lost weight and was looking frail and in the background there's Carter rummaging around in the refrigerator. :)