Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tonsillectomy Success

Whitney was finally healthy enough to have her tonsils taken out last Monday. She had to be to the hospital by 2:30 in the afternoon for the pre-op physical. Thankfully, she didn't have a fever and her lungs were clear. Those were the requirements we were worried about since she'd had a cold and/or flu for the last month.

We visited a bit with the ENT who did the work before Whitney went in. He reassured us that this would be a big help to her. Whitney had some Valium to calm her before going into the OR. This made her happy to see everyone. Even the nurses and her ENT got a smile and a wave. Usually her reaction isn't quite as welcoming. Poor kid's just been poked and prodded too much over the years.

The surgery itself took about 45 minutes. During that time the ENT removed her tonsils, ensured Whitney's adenoids hadn't regrown and placed a new tube in her right eardrum. Everything went smoothly and before we knew it, Whitney was in a recovery room sleeping soundly.

The nurse explained to me that after a tonsillectomy, the wounds are cauterized instead of stitched and it made me think just how much Whit's throat was going to hurt when she woke up. Whit was pretty agitated when she came to. Once efforts to give her some Lortab orally failed, the nurse gave her some in her IV and Whitney calmed down nicely.

Because Whitney's so small and frail the plan was to keep her hospitalized overnight to ensure there wasn't any continuing bleeding and that she was taking food and fluids orally. So Tuesday morning Whitney began taking liquids and some slushy via mouth. She took her Lortab dose orally as well. That satisfied the requirements for discharge and Whit was home just after lunchtime.

Whitney's improvement over the last week has been slow. She's been very reluctant to eat or drink because of the pain. Melanie has helped keep her hydrated using an oral syringe. Finally, in the last couple of days, Whit's felt comfortable enough that she's drinking from a glass again. And she's feeding herself some soft foods. She's getting sick of them though and keeps trying to sneak a chip or carrot at meal times when we're not looking. Hopefully, she'll be back to the foods she loves soon.

The doctors told us that it would be a two week recovery and I believe she's pretty well on target. Tylenol and ibuprofen seem to be managing her pain well enough now. The good news is that I can tell a huge difference in how well Whitney is breathing. Her airways are much more open and clear. This is leading to more restful sleep and hopefully a few less illnesses as well. All in all, we're grateful the experience is behind us and thankful Whitney's recovery has been smooth. I'm looking forward to better health for her on the way.

Thanks, everyone, for all the well wishes during the process of getting Whit ready for surgery and for all the help with Whitney and our other kids since then.


Justin said...

I'm glad everything went well. What good news!

Have a Merry Christmas.

Nate said...

Thanks, Justin! Merry Christmas to you. Have a great one!