The week before school begins is usually filled with prepping my classroom and running my last minute errands and trying to entertain the children with the last lazy days of swimming and playing outside.
This is a summer where that week was not meant to be. I had a day the week before where my mother in law commented on how big Lars' tonsils were. I guess I had noticed but did not think of it as they always have been a little on the large side. I was just at the pediatrician's office and missed my chance at a quick looksie, so I called and made another appointment to see if they were bigger than they should be. Dr. Hackbarth took one look and promptly referred me to go see the ENT because he thought they likely needed to come out.
Now, here is the backstory. Bret, my husband, also had Dr. Hackbarth when he was a kid. He had enlarged tonsils. But he was told they don't take them out anymore...circa 1975. He still maintains that he should have had them out and it is all Dr. Hackbarth's fault. So when I called Bret and told him about the referral he was a little stunned.
Then I called the ENT and we were able to get in Monday afternoon. We took my happy little guy to go see Dr. Capper, the nicest and most engaging ENT I have met yet. Lars loves him and really is enchanted with his calm and funny manner! He told me that they rank tonsils size on a scale of 1-4. Four typically is the worst and that is when the recommend removal. Lars was a 4. He told me that his breathing, voice quality and eating will all be much improved with the surgery. In his practice he told me that he typically does T & A surgery (My 12 year old brain laughed inside when he called it T & A!) on Tuesdays.
Now, for me this is my last week- I go back to work on Friday. Kids come at CCA on Wednesday, my kids go to school on Thursday. So in my head I was trying to figure how many days off my husband and I would have to take. Then I was trying to figure out how in the world I would ever be able to get myself organized since I have so much on my plate right now- with school beginning. Oh and in case you don't know I plan on teaching a class at Kirkwood Tuesday and Thursday nights. So- a surgery later would not be better than sooner.
So I scheduled the surgery for the next day. This took most of the rest of my afternoon. As I meet with scheduling and then met with the surgical unit up from the ENT office. Did you know a tonsilectomy can now be outpatient? I thought we would be going to Mercy, but with the new surgical unit, we were in at 6:30 AM (yes! This is the earliest I have gotten up in a while!) but we were home before noon.
The surgery went great! He was a happy little boy skipping off with the anesthethologist before surgery. I worried that he would never trust me again. He did well in surgery and the doctor commented that they removed a lot of tissue. He was amazed that Lars was able to swallow solid foods without complications. I did remind him that Lars seemed to gag and choke on his food all the time, but we attributed it to him eating too much or too fast.
The doctor also noted an immediate difference in the quality of his breathing, pre and post operation. Lars has always been a loud and somewhat restless sleeper. He does sleep pretty sound though and he always sleeps through the night. Just in strange positions. He props himself up, thrashes his arms around etc. all to find a comfortable position. He also is a mouth breather- mouth wide open. It is loud and noisy. I have been joking about his snoring and breathing for a while but I was alerted that some of the breathing patterns resemble apnia and that is not normal for a 4 year old. It also means that he is not as rested as he could be- which may account for restlessness, inability to listen, and other behaviors I sometimes see. When we came home, I really could not get over how quiet his sleeping was. I kept checking on him throughout the night- he was really sleeping soundly. It is amazing! His appetite is not huge but he is managing great. Last night the menu was ice cream, popsicles and pudding. I got him to have some Cream of Wheat this morning too!
I really thought this would be enough for our fmaily to deal with this week. I called Brenda and she volunteered to take Ella for a couple of days, so I can focus on Lars' getting better. When the docs brought Lars out of recovery, the informed me that he had lice. I was so happy he made it okay but this news was just so NOT what I wanted to hear. Sure enough I saw several little nits on his head. I sighed and decided to focus on his recovery and deal with this mess later. I guess after some thinking, I am glad we caught this now rather than him gettign sent home on the first day of school! I only found a dozen or so nits in his hair. I think the docs found a bug though. It took me more than an hour to go through mine and lets just say, I am looking forward to a haircut soon! I spent the entire day cleaning and washing all our linens and bagging up toys that need to be in quarantine for a while. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my day or week!