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Breathing Easy

 

Quinn had his tonsils out this week.  He’s doing great.

(Quinn right after his operation before being wheeled to his room.)

In fact, he’s almost doing a little too great.  The instructions I got at the hospital about his pain medication said he would need it every four hours for the first few days, even through the night, and then we could slowly work him onto ibuprofen instead.  But he really doesn’t like the medicine, and I don’t know how to make a kid swallow something he doesn’t want to swallow (yes we tried mixing it with pudding, yes we tried being persuasive, yes we tried just forcing it down….) so we’ve been leaving it more to him.  And he’s fine.  When his throat is sore he’ll drink some ibuprofen and then he’s good for long stretches.  He’s been sleeping while his sisters are at school and when they are home he’s so distracted and happy when playing with them he doesn’t mention his throat.  So we’re just monitoring his food and keeping him away from the clementines and anything scratchy looking.  We’ve made frozen treats abundantly available.  Before the operation I asked him what kinds of ice cream we should pick up and he said, “Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate.”  (That’s my boy!)

I’m so glad it’s over.  I’m trying very hard not to feel guilty about having canceled his operation last year (because there is no point in stirring that up, but mommy guilt works in mysterious ways).  Last year he just seemed so small, and when he had no symptoms right before his scheduled surgery the idea of putting him through an operation that required general anesthesia terrified me.  That probably sounds silly to many, but a surgical procedure–even one as routine as a tonsillectomy–is just so far from anything I can control that it’s hard for me to trust everything will be fine.  But it’s done.  His snoring at night was getting scary, and when our pediatrician explained that his snuffliness was not just from colds or allergies but from his tonsils blocking the drainage from his sinuses, I realized it was time whether I was comfortable with it or not.

I let Quinn choose a toy from the gift shop on an earlier visit and told him we would pick it up the day we went in for his surgery so he would be excited about going to the hospital.  He wanted one of those things filled with water and colored blobs that you can flip over and watch everything bubble and drip.

I can’t say enough nice things about the Children’s Hospital here.  It’s a very nice place, reassuring in both the competence and kindness of everyone we’ve met.  The recovery room was set up with a little area for parents to sleep, and I even got to take a shower before I went to bed (which kind of took the edge off of sleeping in my clothes and going to work in them the next day).

I was impressed with Quinn’s appetite after surgery.  He started off with a popsicle, then proceeded to eat five cups of orange jello, two cups of chocolate pudding, and a bowl of mac and cheese.  I don’t think he eats that much at home most days.

There was also a playroom across the hall where we could get out toys or even bring them back to our own room.  Quinn’s favorite game when we are at the cottage is Battleship, but the hospital had a modern version.  I have no idea when they updated the look of Battleship, but compared to the flip open game boards I’m used to from the 1970′s this looked really wild to me.  There’s even a “ship” that’s really a single guy “standing” on the water which kind of cracked us up.

Anyway, as far as hospital stays go, this was about as pleasant as it gets.  Quinn and I had a nice time together, playing games and watching Spongebob and eating pudding.  I was even able to skype with my brother in Germany while I was in the waiting room during the surgery which took my mind off of being nervous.

And as I said, Quinn is doing great.  So we can both (finally) breathe easier.

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