Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tonsils, Lord help us

[I want this detail for myself in the future. No need to read if it's too much for your interest.]
So. I know that I had vented back in the spring about the recurrent strep throat in our family, and how Luke was the carrier and they ended up taking out his tonsil (along with adenoids and placing ear tubes), because they were causing him some other issues, and we were hoping that that would take care of the strep epidemic in our household. We went from May-September without any strep and I was crossing my fingers, hoping and praying that that would do it. And then:

- September 21st - a Sunday, a trip to the urgent care, Katy has strep
- October 30th - David has strep. I insisted they test Luke again to make sure he still isn't carrying it. Luke was negative (yay!). They make (another) ENT referral.
- November 10th - see the ENT. He said both Katy and David would definitely qualify for tonsillectomies, but the final call was mine. We could either schedule them, or wait a couple of months and see if they get it again. I hated that it was my call. But I felt like we had already "waited and saw" twice prior and they kept getting it. Plus we've already met our insurance deductible for the year and now's the time to do it if we're going to do it. So I schedule the procedures for both of them on December 3rd, and spend the week doubting the decision, especially when one of the children is very much not on board.
- November 13th - David has strep again. And this time he's really sick and misses 3 days of school. Feeling more confident about the decision every day.
- November 17th - I finally give in to the strep throat that I haven't had in 15 years or more. It was awful, the sickest I have been in a long time. I couldn't get out of bed for 3 days. My mom had to drive me to the doctor. Now I'm sure...the surgeries are the right decision.
- November 25th - last day of school before Thanksgiving break. Katy gets strep again, and this time she's really sick. (they've had it so much this year that sometimes for them it's mild and sometimes it's strong). Now SHE is on board. She doesn't care how hard the surgery will be. She wants these tonsils gone because she is really tired of being sick! Only 8 days away from surgery and realizing that she would still be on antibiotics when the date came, I spoke to the ENT that day and panicked when they said they might have to delay the surgery because of it. But by the end of the day, I had confirmation that as long as she didn't have a fever on the day of, they would proceed.
- November 29th - five days before surgery, David is positive AGAIN. We caught it early, got him started quickly, and it was a mild case. But at this point I was just hoping and praying that nothing would delay the surgeries. I really didn't want to run into Christmas or have to wait until after New Year's to do it.
- December 3rd - after 17 cases of strep in our family in 2014 (1 me, 1 Luke, 1 Anna, 8 David and 7 Katy), we had our 2nd and 3rd tonsillectomies of the year. Which will hopefully put a halt to the Year of Strep!

I was so totally impressed with how well the kids did leading up the surgery. Even going to school the day before, I assumed would be really hard (I remember from this summer that I was a wreck the day before my surgery). But they did really well. I think they were like me, just wanted to get it over with. And it helped all of us a LOT that we had just been through it with Luke at the same location, so we knew exactly what to expect. And it was a big plus for them that they were going to go through it together. They both mentioned it throughout the process, that is was great to have a buddy.

So the surgery center is really nice and they have everything down to a science. Katy and David were really excited to change into their scrubs and see what stuffed animal they would find on their bed. Then there was a lot of waiting. The waiting got hard for the last hour. And I was really thankful that they are able to give something to calm them down for the 30 minutes before surgery, otherwise that separation would have been really really hard.

David was literally looking forward to it. Oh, that kid.

The waiting. We will always remember this strangely bittersweet experience.

So the surgery went well, Katy's were more scarred than David's and therefore harder to get out and more difficult to heal. Once we got home, the first 16 hours or so went really well compared to Luke. They were sore and tired, but they ate ice cream and drank plenty and took their medicine and watched movies. I was thinking maybe we got really lucky or something.

But on day 2, Katy especially took a hard turn, spiking a high fever and just being really sick and in pain. It was scary and no fun at all. I was talking to nurses and doctors and laying awake next to her at night. But on day 3, her fever was better, she perked up here and there, still in pain, etc, and things started to get a little better each day. By day 4, we had stopped using the pain med and just giving ibuprofen and tylenol.

But then it has continued to be a slow progress. Today is day 7, and I remember feeling this way at this point with Luke. Everyone said it would be 10 days of recovery, but in your head you thought they'd be feeling pretty decent by day 7. But they are still pretty sick. David is doing better, but even he was up in the night panicked with pain. Last night was a really hard night. Up a lot, not much sleep. Several things are hurting, etc. And this time, we have the added pressure of needing to get back to school. Tomorrow is supposed to be their first day back, according to my school excuse. I think David will go, but Katy is nowhere near ready. She still has a fever and is not up to a normal activity level at all. They already came home with a huge pile of work to do while they were gone, and I'm afraid of them missing more school. David has finished his pile as of today, but I know he has another packet waiting for him at school. And Katy has barely made a dent in hers. I just know it's going to take awhile to get back on track. And next week is the last week before break!

But the sweet part of the week is what Katy said best: "When you have surgery, people really spoil you!". It's so true. Friends and family have shown up at our doorstep with meals, popsicles, movies, boredom gifts for the kids, you name it. And everyone has been checking in and so supportive. I'm really thankful that these surgeries are available to us and for the great health care that we have access to. I know that this is temporary and by next week we will hopefully be back to normal. I'm just tired, and missing some fun Christmas stuff, and also needing to get a move on getting ready for our own holiday. But it will come.

This year I found a personalized ornament shop online and let the kids pick something out, instead of going to Hallmark (which was getting expensive and they always picked out these media characters.) I'm happy with the results!

Hard to believe this is only her 2nd Christmas. And that she'll be two in just a few weeks!

The little heart says "Nanna," because that's what she calls herself.

Legos for Luke, of course.

A Cub Scout shirt for David.

Gymanstics for Katy - she has been loving her class at the rec center and has really been improving!

Mommy and Anna

Ever since the surgery, Luke has been sleeping alone in Katy and David's room so that Brian and I could care for Katy and David (each with one kid in bed with us). Last night we put him to bed and heard him moving around, but eventually he got quiet. When we went upstairs at 10:45, we found him sound asleep like this in the hallway. (That's his usual room where his feet are touching the door). I think he really wants to go back to his room. Poor little guy!

1 comment:

bluedaisy said...

Hope they are still healing and sorry to read of the strep (again) on FB :( Lots of prayers up!